Last week, Everything Everywhere, the UK’s biggest communications company, and Nokia Siemens Networks, a telecom equipment vendor, announced a partnership for the remote stock monitoring of smart vending machines.
Through the international partnership, vending machines will be linked to Nokia Siemens Networks’ (Espoo, Finland) VendMe application and installed with Everything Everywhere (London) SIM cards, connecting them to Everything Everywhere’s 3G network and France Telecom (Paris) and Deutsche Telekom’s (Bonn, Germany) international footprint.
“This partnership with Everything Everywhere means that we can offer our customers a reduced time to market of up to 60%, and with half-a-million vending machines across the UK and many millions more around the world, we see a great opportunity to use mobile broadband and our customer experience management expertise to offer an improved experience to people,” says Bernd Gross, head of the M2M business line at Nokia Siemens Networks.
This connectivity will allow vendors to monitor stock levels remotely and plan replenishing of machines without the need to make site visits - offering environmental as well as efficiency and productivity benefits for fleet management teams.
Vendors will also have access to new ways to engage potential customers, through sending targeted messages to those people in the vicinity of a smart vending machine, and interacting with customers and their contacts through their social networks of choice.
Once customers are at a smart vending machine, they will not need cash to make a purchase, but can use Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, through Orange Quick Tap from Everything Everywhere, or NFC-enabled cards. Contactless payments are also possible through Reverse SMS and Chip & Pin.