Alpha Micro Components Aids Vending Machine Management with Robust Telemetry
Alpha Micro Components helps Vianet to connect its customers’ vending machines to the Internet
As one of its core offerings, Vianet, the telemetry systems specialist, provides devices to the vending industry which transmit data to and from vending machine sites. It has solutions suited to both local operators looking to manage operations more efficiently and save costs, and to brands seeking to integrate point of purchase data into the planning process. These systems include both the hardware for extracting data from vending machines and the application software, which customers use to run their vending businesses.
A key Vianet offering is providing its customers with complete vending management services including remote monitoring, on-line management reports and sales analysis.
With the increasing use of internet and Ethernet functionality in retail machines, Vianet was keen to explore the possible benefits this technology could bring to its vending customers. It was one of the first in its market to identify the possibilities and advantages of integrating internet capabilities into its vending machines to enable vending suppliers to remotely monitor their machines and analyse their stock sales whilst reducing management time and costs.
Reliability was a key priority for Vianet. A modem was needed which would recover quickly should the internet connection fail or a fault occur in the machines themselves. Vianet also needed to work with a partner that could supply the appropriate modems in large volumes and provide high-level consultancy and technical knowledge on how to effectively integrate the GSM modems into their own systems. Vianet’s legacy modem had raised numerous issues over its size, level of power consumption and cost. Without Alpha Micro’s expertise in finding a replacement, it is unlikely that Vianet would have met its roll out target.
After conducting primary background research on modem solution providers, Vianet Spokesperson TBC, Job Title, approached Alpha Micro Components to gauge how effective the company would be in supporting his design team. Vianet needed a partner with a solid technical record and one which could help them introduce the product to the market as quickly as possible.
Alpha Micro specialises in the design and integration of telemetry products. As it excels in writing at code level, Alpha Micro could also offer Vianet a strong degree of technical knowledge to produce a highly functional and reliable GSM / GPRS solution within a very short timeframe. Using Sagem MO200 GSM/GPRS modems, Alpha Micro successfully helped Vianet to integrate the MO200 into its Vitel Lite telemetry unit. The module was selected over several competitive solutions as it was small in size, benefited from low power consumption, extended battery back up life and offered optimum radio frequency performance in the many different locations where vending machines were located. The low cost of the module in comparison to its competitors also met Vianet’s budgetary constraints and was a vital part of the success of the implementation.
Alpha Micro’s team of in-house design engineers worked with Vianet, to integrate the Sagem components into board-level designs and add real value to Vianet’s vending machine telemetry infrastructure. Dependable internet connectivity in turn helped Vianet’s customers to increase sales and reduce costs significantly
As a recent offering to customers, reports can be now be delivered securely over the Internet together with stock and fault alarms, which can then be sent to customers’ email addresses or mobile phones in real time. This allows local and regional operators to manage operations more efficiently and reduce cost by integrating data from remotely located vending equipment into the planning process.
Spokesperson X, Title TBC comments: "We were very impressed with Alpha Micro’s technical expertise and level of support. Working with them allowed us to go to market as quickly as possible with the most reliable and cost effective solution."
Alpha Micro Components Ltd
Founded in 1995, Alpha Micro is a specialist semiconductor and electronics distributor in the telecom, datacoms, security, EPoS, M2M and telematics markets. The company is a "design based" distributor offering comprehensive technical support ranging from hardware and software application support through to complete turnkey designs. With headquarters in Hampshire in the UK and offices in Ireland, Scotland and the United States, Alpha Micro currently carries 10 franchised product lines which include Teridian Semiconductors, Lantronix, FTDI, Sagem, Taoglas, u-blox as well as the company’s own "AMC" range.
Much of the equipment found on high streets throughout the UK and elsewhere contains devices and solutions supplied by Alpha Micro components. Alpha Micro’s past projects include datacoms, telemetry, points of sale, telecommunications, GPS/GPRS asset tracking and security with new contracts in the financial and banking sectors, global asset management and Machine-to-Machine communication implementing new GPRS and GPS technologies. Alpha Micro’s customers include market leaders such as: Dione, Honeywell, GE Security, Hewlett Packard, The Road Angel Group, Axalto, Verifone and euroConex.