Managing desktops for public use can turn traditional PCs into an IT burden and put a strain on budgets. Userful is designed for public use as an all-in-one, simple, and secure desktop platform.
Userful is a locked down public computing solution that is turnkey and ready to go out of the box. It includes a full suite of public computing features such as print and time management as well as all the end user software needed for patrons. Managed through the cloud by Userful, it requires no local IT management.
Userful saves libraries money by powering multiple desktops through one server using energy conserving zero client devices. This saves up to 80% on hardware costs while reducing software and electricity costs. Userful includes everything needed for any public computer deployment and also allows organizations to provide a rich desktop environment with a variety of features and applications available to meet every patron's need.
Key Features & Benefits
With over 40 applications in 30 languages, administrators can customize desktops to meet the unique needs of each user. Our unique resource-sharing system allows multiple people to work from a single computer.
Controlling and customizing the user interface and policy settings is easy. Administrators can customize desktop for kids with fun and educational games, workstations with large print for users with visual impairment and job seeking stations with office applications.
Power up to 20 desktops that are all centrally managed from the cloud. Userful’s cloud is an easy to use web portal that allows administrators to control settings from a browser.
Our locked-down solution is tamper-proof, immune from viruses, spyware, hackers and identity theft. Only administrators can change desktops which can also be configured to have limited browser access and secure internet browsing for children.
No more patches, upgrades or updates. Userful centrally updates itself. Time and print management options save time for your staff. Userful’s solution improve efficiency and productivity of desktops.
Our solution reduces the cost of deploying computers without decreasing performance by minimizing the upfront cost of purchasing hardware for deployments and saves ongoing resources by reducing the effort required for maintenance.
Extend functionality with a range of software add-ons to meet the specific need of any organization. Add-ons include:
- Time Management and Reservation – Customize default usage settings. The system can connect to an Integrated Library System to reference patron ages, types, reservations, and fees. Customize daily useage or number of logins per location. A count down time notifies the patron before allocated time is ending and automatically logs the patron out of the desktop or gives patrons the choice to extend the session if its a low-traffic time.
- Pre-book Reservation System – Use Pre-Book to implement a full featured computer booking and reservation system. Patrons can pre-book a station from home, the office, or school up to two weeks in advance, or walk-up to view the real time availability charts to immediately reserve the next available station. The system automatically sends email reminders to patrons, provides a grace period for all reservations, and prevents double-booking. Time-based usage restrictions can be set by day and week and across all locations.
- Print Management and Cost Recovery – Enable users to print files and pay for the cost of printing. Implement a variety of payment options including an online account, magnetic swipe card, credit card, pay at desk, or less formal systems like a coin and bill box. Users can see only the names of the print jobs that they have sent to the printer. Wireless web printing is also available.
- Remote Monitoring and Control – Staff can efficiently and securely monitor and control all public computers, including sending individual or broadcast messages, adding or subtracting allocated time, and logging stations in and out, as needed. Staff can also view station status, time remaining and pull status or usage reports. Advanced settings enable staff to remotely perform technical support and troubleshooting tasks such as starting and stopping services, rebooting computers, and running diagnostic or administrative commands.
- Patron Authentication – Integrate Userful Desktop with your library management system, allowing you to monitor and control access and usage. Patron authentication is compatible with major library systems including SirsiDynix, Innovative, GEAC, TLC, Polaris, and Endeavor. Userful supports standard protocols including SIP, SIP2, LDAP, and NCIP.
Userful Control Center and Userful Cloud
Using Userful’s control center, the entire look, feel and functionality of each desktop can be easily configured.
With Userful Cloud you can access the Userful control center remotely allowing you to easily change and manage settings across multiple sites from anywhere you’ve got internet access.
Among the many things you can control through the Userful Control Center:
• Web filtering
• Acceptable Use Policy
• Desktop shortcuts
• Opening hours
• Automatic end of day log-off to facilitate closing the facility
• Print control
• Browser home page
• Warning messages about end-of-session
• Which sessions are available on which stations
• Station numbering and naming
• View or directly control any station from your web browser
• Manage and control the system entirely through Userful Cloud
Userful also includes a full statistics feature. It collects usage stats on number of sessions, length of sessions, type of sessions, and much more. Libraries can pull statistics based on day, branch or even station with the Usage Report feature.
Userful Control Center and Userful Cloud
Userful comes with a session timer that keeps track of time spent on a session, warns users when the session is about to end, and then logs the user out.
Pre-Book Cloud Reservation System
Pre-book delivers advanced time management to customers allowing patrons to book a desktop in advance or can be used to create a queue giving the next desktop available to a waiting patron. It also allows customers to limit users total daily computer time. This features requires user authentication (ie to Library ILS) to implement.
Pre-Book Cloud Reservation System
Userful's has a configurable print cost control dialog box built in. When a user prints from any application, Userful calculates and displays print-job costs for the user's approval before paper and time are wasted. This pop-up can also display custom messages like instructions on how to retrieve and pay for their printout. To handle payment, Userful offers a print queue management system that can hold print jobs until a staff member releases them. This ensures no printouts are made until they are paid for.
Advanced Print Management
OCS is a Userful partner, and our go-to solution for automated print release. Patrons log into Userful with their barcode, that code is then sent with their print jobs. The user punches in their barcode at the station (or swipes their library card if you have mag-strips) and can then pay for and collect their print job.
Wireless web printing with the OCS advanced print module requires OCS Print Release Server software for the print release station, as well as OCS support & wireless web print.
Userful wins Multi-Year Distinction Platinum Award 2017!
Userful was named Product of the Year from Modern Library Awards 2015, and has received the Platinum Award in 2015, 2016 and again for 2017. The honour was voted on by over 80,000 librarians who voted Userful's product as the most flexible, secure, and simplest public computer solution on the market.
Public Computing Pricing
A turnkey solution managed through the cloud that is easy to set up, manage and monitor. It gives a rich and flexible desktop experience to the end user.
Deploy locked down public computers in libraries, schools or any public computing environment. Our virtual desktop solution is customizable and fits perfectly to your needs.
Complete the pricing form on this page and one of our Account Managers will call you towalk you through the software features and answer any of your questions.
Over 15 years of public computing experience
Userful includes over 40 applications in 30+ languages. Users can surf the web, catch up on work, do their homework, or just play games.
There’s even a large-print option for those with vision impairment.
Userful reduces the cost of purchasing public computers and reduces the time IT staff spend managing and maintaining them. With a full suite of self service tools it also saves time and headaches for front desk services staff.