10 December 2013
Extinction of the office receptionist no excuse for chilly reception
The gradual extinction of the traditional company receptionist from the front office – often replaced by a cheap silver
bell or telephone – was the inspiration behind Kiwi technology innovator Designertech’s new electronic receptionist
Created by Auckland based software innovator Designertech, the electronic receptionist, dubbed EVA, is in many ways a
product of the recent global recession.
Service delivery manager, Leigh Roberts, said that while intelligent machines were replacing many job roles, the company
receptionist was probably more a victim of cost cutting and belt tightening.
“It is not uncommon to go into the front offices of businesses all around New Zealand and find a small silver bell or a
telephone – complete with complicated instructions – waiting to greet you. I personally have to make myself ring the
bell, but many others will stand around waiting to be spotted.
“The absence of a person from the front office has become fairly common now, so we expect that the traditional
receptionist role will gradually go the way of many other jobs that are fast disappearing from the workplace.
“That’s not necessarily a bad thing for people, because although the work may change we still need people to make it
happen – so there will always be work.
“On the other hand, however, a bell or a telephone does not create a good first impression – they are obvious cost
Mr Roberts said the idea behind Designertech’s Electronic Visitor Assistant was to help companies present a friendly
efficient face as well as carry out some tasks the traditional receptionist never did.
“Many clients also have a receptionist in place alongside the EVA console because the two can work together.
“First impressions still count, so EVA was engineered to be stylish and simple, with full company branding and the
ability to deliver marketing messages too,” he said.
Unlike some human receptionists, EVA remembers returning visitors, and is capable of delivering customised messages to
the visitor or more general induction information.
The contact person in the company is also advised by email that his or her visitor has arrived, and a barcoding system
makes it easy for the visitor to swipe himself or herself out.
“The safety and compliance benefits of EVA are particularly popular with buyers locally and internationally. In addition
to screening a safety video for the visitor to view – if required – the system logs who is on the site and where they
are supposed to be.
“In the case of a mass evacuation, safety personnel can track people via a tablet computer app,” he said.
Designertech is an innovative and successful IT support, product development and consulting company with specific
emphasis on business outcomes based on strong relationships between people, technology and systems in order to provide
tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of clients.
Through its core philosophy of finding ways for people and machines to work better together, Designertech has enjoyed
excellent results with success stories, such as the MailMarshall Internet security product and also productive
relationships with iconic New Zealand success stories such as Mainfreight, Plunket and Tegel.