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Advances in information technology over the past decade have brought us the convergence of different communications devices into a unified, centralized platform, further shaping how we communicate and consume information. Lanner continues offering reliable, cost-effective, high quality embedded box PCs that help our customers fulfill the demand for more intelligent IoT-ready solutions.
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Bringing Application and System Convergence to Digital Retailing

Written by Kris Hsieh

Introduction

Digital retailing, which aims to influence all in-store patrons’ buying behavior by connecting and appealing to human emotions and impulses, is the by-product of today’s always-connected economy. The use of various IoT applications such as VoIP, digital signage, interactive kiosk, DVR and in-store entertainment are instrumental in enhancing sales; and network applications such private cloud vpn, firewall and other network security features are required for public/private/guest network access and secure payment processing.

In other words, IoT and network applications are both imperative for creating an encouraging, information-rich and satisfying shopping environment during and after the shopping experience.

Challenges

A solution provider came to Lanner looking for a hardware appliance designed for converging store-level retailing services described above. This particular solution provider had had by then only been able to find appliances with robust processing power but limited expansion capability or ones with ideal expansion interface but lackluster computing performance, neither is considered satisfactorily competent for running applications with which a modern, interactive retail environment and two-way communication (between retailers and customers) can be provided.

Requirements

The ideal hardware must be a in the form of a fanless, high-performance and virtualization-ready box PC with not only robust, powerful processor, scalable expansion and rich I/O interface but also has to be an open architecture so that the following promises can be delivered:

  1. To replace complicated and complex legacy system with one gateway appliance for both IoT and network applications
  2. To enable an in-store private cloud on which an array of applications/services (VMs) can be hosted, without the need for additional hardware
  3. To empower employees with tools necessary for driving sales and for providing top-notch customer service
  4. To provide customers with information that would enable a pleasant retail experience and compels the purchasing of items with higher profit margins
  5. To enable VoIP and self-service touchpoints for lessening in-bound store call flow traffic and in-store staff’s burden

Lanner Solution:

The fanless LEC-2281 comes with Intel®'s 4th generation Core™ i7/i5/i3 processors and offers rich expansion and I/O options that include Intel® HD Graphics 4600, HDMI, VGA and DVI-D interface, dual 2.5" HDD/SSD drive bays and one mSATA socket; expansion is made possible via the included PCI, PCI Express x16 and the full-sized mini-PCIe socket with SIM card reader.

The LEC-2281's high-performance processors, scalable expansion capability and flexible I/O options make it the all-in-one, one-for-all solution for almost all IoT and commercial application scenarios.

Benefits:

Given the specifications listed below, the LEC-2281 can be deployed as a retail gateway appliance for integrating and powering in-store communications applications and systems, including in-store music, wireless connections, VoIP, self-serve kiosks and digital signage.

Such one-appliance-for-all approach provides significant savings when compared to the application/device solution most retailers are still using. Also, stores no longer need to bear the brunt of responding to incoming calls and voice messages; such tasks can now be delegated to voice-enabled call-handling applications.

Kiosk and digital signage strategically located throughout each store not only drive customers’ attention to items/products with higher profit margins (or stock inventory), but also enhancing brand impression and shopping experience.

What’s more, proprietary virtualized management and security application, ported for running on the LEC-2281 deployed at each retail location, can be relied upon, first of all, for performing order automation and for collecting/safekeeping real-time info, buying habits of all customers and their associated sales representative so that each store’s key metrics can be datamined for determining store performance, location-based marketing, personalized coupons and special offers.

Second of all, this patented management and security application also provides protection against security threats by way of delivering VPN, firewall and network monitoring services as virtual machines, enabling private communication, network segmentation and a secure wireless infrastructure with centralized control and monitoring.

  • Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3 CPU with QM87 PCH
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4600
  • HDMI/VGA/DVI-D & 3 Independent Display Ports
  • 2x USB 3.0 Ports & 4x USB 2.0 Ports
  • Mini-PCI-E Slots / 1x PCI or 1x PCI-E x16
  • 2x 2.5” HDD/SSD Bays with RAID 0/1

Conclusion:

By way this successful collaboration with Lanner, this retail system provider was able to offer a cost-effective approach to converged digital retailing seeing as most of the in-store applications can now be run locally on the LEC-2281 and securely managed remotely and centrally.

This particular retail solution can now be found in several retail and restaurant store chains and is considered one of the industry-changing solutions for enabling the delivery of VoIP, digital signage, interactive kiosk, LAN/wifi, network security and in-store entertainment, all from one centrally managed, locally hosted appliance.

Featured Product

LEC-2281


4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3 Platform with Rich I/O and Expansion

CPU Intel® Core™ i7-4700EQ/i5-4400E/ i3-4102E
ChipsetIntel® QM87

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Lanner Electronics Inc (TAIEX 6245) is a world leading provider of design, engineering and manufacturing services for advanced network appliances and rugged applied computing platforms for system integrator, service providers and application developers.

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