ALICE Receptionist helps organizations address Health and Safety concerns in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Click to learn more
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As a result of COVID-19 coronavirus, businesses using ALICE Receptionist for visitor management may have concerns over direct contact with ALICE Receptionist touchscreens.

While the CDC has stated the main form of transmission of the COVID-19 virus is person to person, there does remain some information to indicate the virus can stay active on surfaces for some period of time.

We are pleased to now offer contactless methods and supplies that give ALICE Receptionist users the ability to use styluses to interact with ALICE Receptionist touchscreens while eliminating direct contact with the touchscreen.

Touch Screen Stylus
Inexpensive (disposable) touchscreen styluses are an affordable method to provide visitors a way to interact with your ALICE touchscreen without actually touching the screen. Using the single use stylus, users can click on the touchscreen buttons without direct contact. As an added benefit, the visitor can keep the stylus for personal use once they are done.

Photo of Wall Mounted ALICE screen with attached stylus cup and stylus.

We now offer disposal stylus packages and supplies for all ALICE Receptionist hardware including; Kiosk, Wall Mounted and Desktop systems.

Options available for Kiosk, Wall Mounted, and Desktop systems.

Available Stylus Packages

Contact your Alice Receptionist salesperson to place your order today!

The spread of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how much of the world works, and businesses are trying to catch up. To make sure people stay safe and healthy, they need to implement new systems and change normal operations. People can’t simply walk into a store and wander around like they used to.

Instead, businesses need to control how many people enter their buildings at a single time. They need to keep an eye on the max occupancy of their buildings, to make sure everyone stays safe. And it can be hard to manage the number of employees, customers, clients, managers, and everyone else.

It’s up to companies to manage the number of people in the building and to make sure they are following all safety guidelines. By letting more people into your building than the max occupancy, you risk spreading COVID-19 to more people. Your company may be held responsible for putting people at risk.

Keep reading below to learn more about how important it is to follow max occupancy guidelines, and how you can keep everyone safe!

Most States Have Max Occupancy Rules

After COVID-19 began spreading through different communities, states across the U.S. began passing new laws. They began to limit how many people could enter businesses at once, and the kinds of businesses that could keep their doors open. They didn’t pass these kinds of laws to cripple businesses, but to keep people safe.

If businesses don’t follow these new policies, they may be culpable for spreading this new and dangerous virus.

Fewer People Means Less Chance to Spread COVID-19

By reducing the max occupancy in buildings, health officials made sure COVID-19 had fewer chances to spread. An infected person can spread the coronavirus to several other people, far more than if they had the flu or another common virus. This is because of a few simple reasons.

First, viruses are innately contagious. They spread to other people through people, and a person can get sick by getting too close to someone with a virus. Secondly, there is no immunity built up to prevent COVID-19.

The virus is too new for people to fight the virus off as they have for the flu. By reducing the number of people allowed to gather in one area, the virus spreads slower and fewer people are put at risk.

Reducing Max Occupancy Makes Social Distancing Easier

Another key component of preventing the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. It’s a simple concept — social distancing is just about maintaining at least 6 feet between people.

And businesses need to make sure that people have the room they need to stay apart. The best way to make sure that everyone has enough room to stay safe is by enforcing stricter rules and limiting the max occupancy.

Do Your Part — Stay Apart!

As a business, you have a responsibility to make sure that everyone stays healthy while they work with you. Most of the time, this means making sure your building is clean and that you follow basic guidelines from officials. However, times have changed and you need to play a more active role in keeping people safe.

Make sure to have social distancing guidelines posted throughout your building, to help people keep themselves safe. There should be ways for people to tell when they’re six feet apart from someone, such as with tape on the ground. You should also hang up informational posters explaining the new expectations.

With Max Occupancy Rules, You Have More Control

The new normal can be scary, and the changes can seem like a lot to wrap your head around. For most business owners, it can seem like they have a lot of new responsibility they didn’t sign up for when they started the business. However, there are some good things to come out of the pandemic.

For example, businesses have the opportunity to get more control over their buildings. New technologies like digital receptionists can automatically control who has access to your building. They can be programmed to only allow a certain number of people in a single time, so you’re always following guidelines from health officials.

They can also tell people about new programs you have in place due to COVID-19, and keep track of the people in your building. With them, you will have immediate access to information about the people in your business, while they’re in it. And that can be invaluable for both recording who does business with you and for your security.

New Power Means New Responsibilities

While businesses are now responsible for controlling the number of people in their buildings at once, they shouldn’t take their new power too far. It can be easy to get accused of making discriminatory policies when you start controlling who has access to your building and who doesn’t.

Make sure that everyone has the same chance to access your business, regardless of who they are. You may need to put in a little effort to accommodate people with disabilities or people who may not be able to do some things for personal reasons.

It’s up to you to accommodate everyone, even if you need to work a little harder to do it! Luckily there are technologies, like visitor management systems, to help you include others while keeping them safe.

It Takes Everyone to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 is a global crisis, and it takes effort from everyone to slow it down. The average person now needs to wear masks and be conscious of how close they are to people. And business owners need to make some new steps, too.

They need to stay conscious of the max occupancy of their buildings and encourage people to maintain social distancing. It’s not easy, but it’s a vital part of staying safe and making sure communities emerge into the other side of the pandemic safely. We can help you help your community stay healthy.

Contact us, and we’ll show you how our virtual receptionist technology may be the perfect solution for your business! It will help your customers stay safe, and help you stay compliant with guidelines from health officials.

Jitasa improves efficiency with a user-friendly and dynamic way to manage their lobby.

Boise, Idaho

Born in a Boise incubator in 2008, Jitasa is the first and largest accounting firm that works solely with non-profit organizations. The name Jitasa, which means “The Spirit of Serving Others” was chosen to show their dedication to being a force for good in the world. Headquartered in Boise Idaho, they have 215 employees globally across four locations. They currently rank Best in Governance among Certified B Corporations globally.

Summary
The receptionist retiring resulted in a search for a replacement hire or new approach to visitor management. Without a receptionist to greet visitors, employees close to the office entrance would have to pick up the slack and be frequently interrupted. A visitor would have difficulty in finding where they should go when they arrive. Maintaining visitor logs would be challenging. On the other hand, because of the low number of daily visitors to the office, hiring a full-time employee for this role was not seen .

Challenge

Improve efficiency using technology while providing a user-friendly and dynamic way to manage their lobby at low recurring cost.

Many companies today want to stand out to their clients, be memorable, and move forward with the times. Jitasa is one such company. When they needed to replace their receptionist – who was retiring from the company – they started hunting for a different solution.

Because the number of visitors to the Jitasa office on any given day is not partially high, hiring a replacement receptionist to dedicate to this role was something management questioned. They considered the option of not filling the position at all and having office staff listen for visitors when they arrived. They determined fairly quickly that this approach would be disruptive to the staff and would also feel less professional for the visitor.

At one point during these discussions, a comment was made about hiring a robot to do the job. Someone took that idea and did a quick search on Google to see if there was a technology solution that actually addressed these issues. It wasn’t long before they were reviewing ALICE Receptionist.

“We didn’t really want to fill a full-time position for just fielding visitors so we looked at other options. When we found out there was an automated solution, we were pretty excited about that.” Says Aaron Tevis, Manager of Quality Assurance. Aaron received an MBA from Boise State and spent a year as a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints before joining Jitasa as an accountant seven years ago. “We looked at similar products, but it seemed like Alice Receptionist was better suited for our needs than the others.”


Summary
By choosing an automated receptionist solution like ALICE Receptionist, Jitasa no longer needed to dedicate a staff member to greet visitors. ALICE Receptionist provided the futuristic feel and user-friendly interface the company was searching for at a price that was more appropriate for the front desk duties it performed. With ALICE greeting visitors, providing information and connecting guest with employees, staff members could remain productive and focused.

Solution

Why ALICE? They wanted a high-tech, future forward solution that had a low recurring cost and involved a simple implementation process. ALICE gave the the ability to have a fully functional receptionist for much less than the cost of a traditional one. ALICE greeting and managing visitors allowed staff members to stay productive — only being interrupted when ALICE notified them that a visitor had arrived. ALICE could also track visitors activity on visitor reports that were self-maintained and easy to review.

They did have some reservations: how long would the hardware last? How often would new hardware have to be purchased? Was maintenance difficult or expensive? Do they go with a big wall mounted screen, or a sleek kiosk Where do they put it in the lobby so guests know to come and interact with ALICE? ALICE staff was on hand to help Jitasa answer these questions and give advice on the best options for their lobby. They even worked with staff to train them on how to manage the employee list, maps and other content on ALICE. In addition to the training, product software was included at no additional charge and ALICE’s support team is available to assist when needed.

The implementation process for ALICE was smooth. The ALICE system was preconfigured and tested prior to being sent to Jitasa. When ALICE arrived, Jitasa simply needed to plug in the 24” all In One Nye desktop and work with the ALICE Support team to finalize configuration settings and testing once the system was connected to their network. It was an easy process. With ALICE’s image gallery widget configured to show guests the building layout, visitors are able to find where they need to go with ease. Ring groups were also added for guests that do not know who to see. Visitors simply click a “Receptionist” button that dials a list of staff members who are able to assist them.


Summary

Over $20k saved annually with no front desk staff and low subscription costs

Enhanced lobby space that looks professional and technologically advanced

Employees are more efficient, no longer leaving their desks to check for guests in the lobby

Easy set up and maintain

Improved visitor experience – visually dynamic and easy to use software

Results

With ALICE Receptionist managing their lobby rather than a full-time employee, Jitasa is saving over $20,000 annually while simultaneously allowing their employees to be more efficient. Staff can continue working at their desk and are notified and connected with guests only when needed, eliminating multiple trips to the lobby and interruptions from salespersons and unexpected visitors. This allows employees to screen guests quickly and remain productive.

Clients of Jitasa are impressed with ALICE’s technologically advanced look and feel. Jitasa took advantage of ALICE’s highly configurable abilities and widgets, implementing the ALICE weather widget and a map of the building layout, providing guests with important information in easy to understand visuals

In summary, ALICE Receptionist has provided company employees with the ability to control how and when they interact with visitors without the need for hiring someone to direct traffic or putting additional duties onto their staff. With ALICE’s easy to use, visually dynamic technology, Jitasa has enhanced their lobby and visitor experiences while maintaining an efficient and productive work environment for staff members.

Pennys

Penny’s Concrete finds success with ALICE Receptionist

Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Bill and Marlene Penny started Penny’s Concrete in 1976, building their first plant in Lawrence, Kansas. The Penny’s have 26 plants in 22 locations in Central and Eastern Kansas, as well as Western Missouri. Penny’s corporate headquarters is located in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Summary
The corporate office building needed security improvements. The company needed a solution that would notify employees when guests arrive and provide employees a way to communicate with visitor from the convenience of their desks. While the use of the system needed to be simple it also needed to be elegant and enhance the lobby experience for guests.

Challenge

Like many companies today, Penny’s Concrete had an initiative to find ways of improving building security at their headquarters. The building was originally open and generally easy to access for individuals, announced or unannounced, arriving to the building. Preventing unencumbered access to the building’s employees from visitors, competitors, or even potential threats was a key focus for Penny’s Concrete security initiative. Securing controlled access to buildings while effectively managing visitors to those buildings is a growing concern for facility managers around the globe.

As part of this initiative, Penny’s reconfigured their building for tighter access control to the interior of the office, yet they still needed a new way of greeting visitors in their lobby that remained open to public access. “We wanted to move to something that was effective yet secure,” says Cory Claxton, Vice President at Penny’s Concrete. The company receives numerous deliveries daily as well as scheduled visitors and the occasional walk-in guest, all of whom would need to be greeted and served upon their arrival to the building.

Unfortunately, even with the new security measures, an employee stationed at the front desk in the lobby would not be protected. This concern sparked the hunt for a way to greet and manage visitors in their lobby without the need to have an employee stationed there. The decision was made to look for a technology solution for the receptionist duties.


Summary
As part of building hardening, company installed ALICE Receptionist kiosk in lobby area. With ALICE, visitors are greeted when they arrive and quickly connected with employees who remain behind secured doors.

Solution

Penny’s Concrete researched various visitor management solutions on the market, including ALICE Receptionist. They found ALICE Receptionist to be user friendly and priced competitively. But the flexible and configurable options offered set ALICE Receptionist apart from the other solutions Penny’s Concrete looked into.

From Cory: “ALICE Receptionist was the only solution configurable to meet our needs. The ALICE team understood what we wanted and was able to creatively configure a system suited to our environment.”

In addition to their own research, ALICE Receptionist was recommended to Penny’s by a business affiliate that was already using ALICE Receptionist to manage their building to great success.

Implementation was easy. Prior to shipping the hardware, ALICE staff preconfigured and loaded most of the information onto the unit. Once Penny’s Concrete received their 32” ALICE kiosk, plugging it in and getting it ready to go was pretty straightforward. With everything configured and tested prior to shipping, they were up and running in no time.

There were initial concerns by some that ALICE might come across as cold, and not user friendly. Instead, visitors saw ALICE as a source of interest as well as entertaining and easy to use. Because package deliveries are a frequent occurrence at the building, a “Deliveries” card was configured on the top ALICE screen. Delivery drivers now simply click the Deliveries card to be connect with the employee who receives packages for the company.


Summary
30K annual cost savings, eliminated need for front desk worker
Improved visitor experience
Employees enjoy no longer need to get up and go see who is in the lobby
Employees feel more secure knowing visitors only have access to the lobby area of building
Easy setup and configuration to meet Penny’s specific needs
Visitors enjoy the novelty of the system and employees enjoy having a great conversation starter

Results

Penny’s Concrete has experienced measurable improvements in operational efficiency. Because ALICE Receptionist notifies employees when guests arrive and connects the guests with employees at their desks, employees can remain productive and are only interrupted when necessary. ALICE also allows employees to screen visitors from the convenience of their desks – they no longer need to make trips to the lobby to talk to salesmen and unexpected guests.

In brief, ALICE Receptionist has actualized significant ROI for the company while providing company employees with a more secure work environment that empowers them to take control of how and when they engage with visitors to the building. Visitors are now greeted by ALICE Receptionist when they arrive and – based on the configuration that Penny’s has chosen – given the ability to easily interact with employees using the kiosk.

“ALICE is an effective part of our organization and we plan on utilizing the system for the foreseeable future.”

“We wouldn’t be near as efficient if without ALICE.” Says Cory. He also says one of the biggest benefit is that ALICE is a good conversation starter and entertainment for guests. “Some were intimidated, but once they used ALICE, people warmed up to it.”

“We love our ALICE Receptionist! By adding the Virtual Receptionist to our team we have increased the flexibility of our administrative staff, saved money, and have great looking signage in our lobby. It was easy to setup and implement.”
Senior Consultant for McKonly & Asbury LLP

 

“We are looked upon as being a technology company so putting new cutting edge tech like ALICE Receptionist in our front office really impresses our clients even when our main goal was the cost benefits. Our clients like working with ALICE and she has quickly become the center of attention in our lobby!”
President/CEO of Cornerstone Merchant Service, Inc.

 

 “The system was up and running in 30 minutes and has been problem free for over 1 year. Our visitors have been impressed with the system and we don’t need to worry about visitors not being attended by someone.”
Directory of IT for OCULAR LCD

 

“Alice was a great addition to our office. She is easy to use and makes it simple for our visitors to easily find who they’re looking for.”
Development Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada

 

“ALICE is saving Nevada Dental Benefits an estimated $40,000 to $45,000 a year… It was a significant cost savings for us, and for the most part, it’s been well-received“.
President of Nevada Dental Benefits

Stone Energy

Stone Energy Corporation lowers operating costs with Alice Receptionist visitor management system

Stone Energy Corporation is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana with three additional offices in New Orleans, Houston and Morgantown, WV. They have oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and operating facilities across West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Challenge

Stone Energy was hit hard by the $60 per barrel drop in the price of crude oil. The reduction triggered investor sell-offs and the implementation of dramatic cost-cutting measures. Every operational budget was cut and headcount was reduced.

Brad Breaux, Manager of Infrastructure Services, says, “Whenever oil and gas prices fall, like they did in the middle of 2014, one of the first personnel cuts we make is the full-time receptionists at the remote office locations.” There is not a lot of foot traffic at the remote offices, but there is still a need for a visitor management system without having somebody actually sitting at the front desk.


Solution

Brad’s number one requirement was ease-of-use. He says, “To perform the receptionist functions, we needed something that would allow visitors to walk up to it and, without explanation, be able to use it. We were impressed enough with the way ALICE Receptionist functioned that we put it in production within a week. We didn’t evaluate anything else because ALICE immediately served the purpose we were looking for.” Stone Energy is using ALICE Receptionist at all four of its office locations. ALICE Receptionist visitor management system senses motion when someone walks into the lobby. An automated greeting is activated, and ALICE can even print a visitor’s badge.

ALICE Receptionist is tied to Stone Energy’s CISCO Unified Communications Manager (CallManager.) To Cisco, the ALICE Directory looks just like another node on the telephone network. When a visitor touches a name on the screen, ALICE places a call through Call Manager to the selected employee. For its content, Alice visitor management software is synced with Stone Energy’s existing Microsoft Active Directory. Whenever there is a change in the company staff, the names, titles, phone numbers and photos of the employee directory are automatically imported into Alice. Stone Energy has a desktop system with a 42-inch Elo touch screen mounted to the stand. Brad says, “It’s noticeable as soon as you walk into the lobby. It has our logo. It’s personalized to our company.”


Benefit

“ALICE Receptionist has been a big win for us. The office managers’ workload in greeting and handling visitors has gone down quite a bit. Visitors love it because it is really easy to use. They just walk up to the screen, touch a button and get an immediate response.”

ALICE Receptionist visitor management system can handle reception functions at one tenth the cost of a full time employee. For companies in cost-cutting mode, like Stone Energy, the implementation of ALICE Receptionist has an immediate cost benefit. Brad concludes, “In the year and a half that we’ve been working with ALICE we have found the people at WinTech to be very personable and responsive. If I have a question, I get a call back within a few minutes. We get somebody that understands our network and our deployment. Whenever I call to get help, I don’t have to explain to them how it’s set up. They are responsive and personal, the two things that I enjoy the most about working with them. For us, ALICE was the right choice.”