At a time when many businesses are downsizing, Ed Crowley could probably use a few extra hands around the office. He has more than enough on his plate as he runs OneSource Interactive, the company he started about six months ago.
Based just outside Dayton, in Kettering, Ohio, OneSource works with hardware and software providers in the kiosk and digital signage industries to bring turnkey solutions and consulting services to its clients. Among the company’s offerings are standard and custom kiosks, digital signage and digital directory solutions, 3D and interactive LCD and LED displays, and a host of supporting hardware and software platforms for both indoor and outdoor requirements.
Crowley says his decision to start the company had much to do with the 10-plus years he spent traveling domestically and internationally during his career in the two industries. He tells of running across a kiosk design in Europe several years ago that helped him recognize a real opportunity for growth in the U.S. self-service market.
“I think the style of manufacturing, along with the quality and contemporary nature of these kiosks, has always been underappreciated and undermarketed,” he said. “I always just thought there wasn’t enough cool stuff in the kiosk market. When you go to other countries and attend other shows and events, you see some really neat things and you go, ‘Well, that may never fly in the States, but what if it could?’”
Bridging the gap
So Crowley decided to work toward merging useful, functional self-service devices with high-quality, modern, European-influenced design concepts.
At OneSource, he works with kiosk manufacturers EuroTouch Kiosks, Sprocket, Alveni and 5point (his former employer), along with a short list of other providers. To complete the solution, Crowley collaborates with the usual suspects in software development, including KioWare, Livewire, Netkey, Nanonation and Electronic Art, and to provide installation services and maintenance, he often partners with Rhombus Services.
“I have established relationships with virtually every manufacturer and service provider over the years, and I’m in a unique position now where I can really pick the best individual platforms for each specific customer,” Crowley said. “I can determine, ‘OK, this hardware vendor may be right for this deployment; this software vendor may be right for that deployment.’ So every opportunity will be based on the requirements of that opportunity.”
From start to finish, a kiosk rollout can be a tedious process, and the real benefit for OneSource’s clients, Crowley says, is that they get to leave it all up to him.
“We all know with the current economy there’s a huge crunch on bandwidth. Everybody is doing more with less,” he said. “This way, they can basically focus on their core business and not have to sweat the small stuff. Leave that up to the experts who have done many, many successful deployments over the years.”
But it’s not just his clients that benefit. Crowley also works closely with both the Self-Service and Kiosk Association, where he serves as vice president of vendors for the board of directors, and the Digital Signage Association.
“I always maybe felt a little guilty that I wasn’t able to give more time to the industry,” Crowley said. “I really feel that all these things are very important and worthwhile causes, and I’m trying to dedicate some quality time.”
And Crowley gets a little something out of the deal, as well.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I’m very passionate about our evolving markets, and that same passion is being brought forward to offer new, contemporary, unique and exciting products and services to the market.”
Source: OneSource Interactive