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Podcast - The New Normal is Business Unusual

Doug Bannister, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Omnivex Corporation, has seen his fair share of business-altering events in the near 30 years his company’s been in business. But Bannister admits he’s experienced nothing quite like the ongoing pandemic that’s changed the way every company does business. In this time of COVID-19, what does the new normal even look like?   “If this event took place 10 years ago, technology was nowhere near where it is now,” Bannister said. Many of the web conferencing tools people are using to communicate now were not available even five years ago. And Bannister pointed out everything from grocery orders to movie watching is under a rapid change where people are doing more things online, and through apps, that they previously did in person. Online education tools are another area that is transforming as the pandemic goes on.   During this time of rapidly changing events and information, Bannister said the most important thing for businesses to do is to provide reliable, consistent, and continual communication with their workers and their customers. “All of these people in business now working remotely have put a magnifying glass on areas we never really focused on before,” Bannister said. It is crucial to re-examine how we communicate under these new sets of circumstances.   If there is a silver lining to all of this, Bannister believes live-altering global events such as the current pandemic bring forth technological enhancements and behavioral changes that transform the way business moves forward. The new normal may be in flux, but one thing’s for sure: humans are adaptable and will make the change.      

Digital Signage’s Growing Role In The AV World

If you want to maintain strong positioning, you have to expand your knowledge base. We have become accustomed to seeing digital-signage screens everywhere. Whether we’re at our local bank, grocery store, dentist’s office or anywhere in between, we expect to see a screen that will provide us with relevant information so we can make decisions in that space. Those screens have become the first impression that businesses give us about the products and services they offer, and what they consider important for their audience to know. In the context of retail, that sign might be the difference between a customer walking into the store or walking right by. In banking, it might be the difference between inquiring about a loan product and continuing down the street. As more businesses come to realize that digital signage is an important aspect of communicating with their audience, we’re seeing the digital-signage industry grow quickly. There are now more companies involved in some aspect of digital signage than any one person could expect to inventory. Some deployments are so simple that they no longer require an AV company to help with the install; they’re simple, plug-and-play systems. So, where does that leave us? As the need for digital signage has grown, we’ve seen it evolve to the point that putting static information on the screens and walking away is woefully insufficient. That information must now be delivered in a contextual manner. In addition, in many cases, digital signage now offers real-time information that changes automatically as the data that feeds it changes. For example, a restaurant that serves both ice cream and hot chocolate can now automatically advertise the correct product, at the correct time, based on the temperature outside, without the need for manual intervention. As another example, over the last couple of years, we’ve come to see airports have digital screens that show us the duration of the wait at security—and that message is conveyed in different languages. As we see these trends grow, having the ability to get data in and out of systems will become ever more important. In light of the ability to utilize all this data, customer expectations of what digital signage can and should do are evolving. That’s where the opportunity lies for us in the AV industry. Our expertise will be required to deploy solutions that get data onto screens from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, various databases and application program interface (API) integrations. Unfortunately, not all of us in the AV industry are ready for this change. However, it’s important that we get there quickly if we want to benefit from this growth. When you look at an airport that shows dynamic security-line wait times on a screen, multiple vendors have to be involved to make that work. A vendor has to provide people-tracking technology; a digital-signage content management system (CMS) has to collect that information and display it on the right screen; IT services have to make the integration between the sensors and the CMS; a design company has to make the content on the screen look visually appealing; hardware companies have to manufacture the screen, the cabling and perhaps the media player; and an AV company has to put it all together. You might think that level of collaboration results from airports being complex. Maybe you don’t need that many parties to work together for a straightforward project like installing a menu board at a restaurant, right? The truth is, expectations are changing in spaces like that, as well, meaning there’s an opportunity to provide value and bring our expertise to the table. Some restaurants now have their menu boards integrated with their point-of-sale (POS) systems to pull in pricing information, thereby ensuring it’s always up to date. Some restaurants have those menu boards highlight certain items when inventory is high (or when some other, restaurant-owner-determined criterion is met). Now, a simple menu-board project that the restaurant might have been able to set up itself has expanded, and it requires IT expertise to make the integration between the POS system, the signage CMS and the inventory system. That’s an opportunity for integrators to provide value-adding services to clients, and it’s an opportunity that requires knowledge of the right media player, content design and screen manufacturer to put it all together. An airport installation that has multiple components, including integration with a flight-information database, airport advertising network and touchscreen wayfinding. It’s unrealistic to expect that any one AV company can do all this work alone. In fact, it’s probably unwise for any integrator to go it alone, as no one can be an expert in all these areas. However, for those who are willing to embrace IT, partner with multiple vendors on their projects and learn how to incorporate IoT devices into their deployments, there is a lot of opportunity out there. The AV companies that will be best positioned to take advantage of the evolving customer expectations around digital signage are those that embrace IT and understand how to put together a full solution. Although companies like this exist today, there aren’t enough of them. These companies have either built in-house expertise or cultivated vendor partners that help them with IT-services-related project components. Those components include integration services with APIs that allow different systems to function together: for example, a manufacturing plant that can show data from its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, safety/emergency-notification system and HR system all on the same screen. AV companies that do a great job bringing together multiple vendors on each project to meet client needs will be well positioned. If there is a vendor/company that thinks it can tackle these kinds of projects alone, odds are it’s looking at a very narrow scope. Companies that go a step further and bring in not just multiple vendors but also partners—those who have a hand in the design or architecture of a space, as well as folks from other lines of business within the client—will often have a better handle on how to meet an organization’s overall objectives. Finally, AV companies have to understand how to incorporate edge technologies (IoT devices) into projects. These devices include facial-recognition cameras, radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors, movement sensors and more. A lot of data is captured at the edge, so having the ability to show that information on a screen or have that information trigger a change will be vital to customers. Some example use cases are as follows: a facial-recognition camera sensing whether a man or a woman is standing in front a retail window and changing the content based on that; keeping a screen powered off to conserve energy until a motion sensor detects movement and turns on the screen. As we continue to see more screens and IoT devices in our daily lives, our expectations as regards the type of information those screens provide is going to change. For some businesses, this might present an opportunity for a competitive advantage. In all likelihood, companies that can not only hang up screens, but also provide services to help clients connect their data and bring in the right partners to augment the project, will win more business as compared to those simply concerned with a basic AV install. This ability to provide value-added services around data integration is a part of the digital-transformation journey that a lot of organizations say they’re embarking on. The companies within the AV world that are able to provide these solutions, I believe, are poised for success.

Digital Communications: Disseminating Information When It is Needed Most

For some time now, digital signage has been reinventing the customer experience, impacting marketing strategies like never before and helping boost sales and supplement a company’s revenues in creative and imaginative ways. From vibrant displays that quickly catch the eye and draw in consumers more effectively than static signage to transforming long queues into infotainment settings that reduce perceived wait times, digital signage has provided businesses with reactive, data-triggered control that allows for instantaneous updating of their advertising at a moment’s notice. Digital communications enable companies to shift from a one-size-fits-all approach to messaging that can be personalized to a specific audience’s needs and desires at just the right time while gathering quantitative data that delivers useful, exploitable consumer behavior analytics for better marketing campaigns. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic and as we collectively move toward a new normal, where many companies were forced to shut down, grocery stores were compelled to implement social distancing requirements, and hospitals were overwhelmed by coronavirus cases, digital signage has been employed to help facilitate and inform when the world needed it most. Digital Signage Proves Indispensable During Pandemic For businesses that remained open over the last two months, such as supermarkets, healthcare facilities, government offices, pharmacies and more, digital signage played a unique role in communicating security and prevention measures, repetitively disseminating important health and safety content in real-time to help keep frontline employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 crisis. Interactive wayfinding stations helped to direct visitors, patients and families to their intended destinations through hospital and government halls more rapidly, enhancing social distancing efforts and reducing time spent searching while eliminating the need for paper signage and human interaction. Queue management tools allowed grocery stores and other businesses to optimize customer flows while reporting estimated waiting times that allowed patrons to move around within or outside of a location to avoid long line pileups. Digital signage integrated with a store’s POS also enabled these establishments to advertise the availability of and purchase limits on much-needed products such as toilet paper, bottled water and hand sanitizer, helping to reduce both crowd influx and customer frustration. For retailers and other businesses that were required to close during the pandemic, digital communications provided a unique channel for these companies to stay in touch with their customers. From ads that directed consumers to their online sites and sales to helpful content such as recommended CDC safety precautions and measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and even calming messaging that helped to soothe seething fears surrounding the crisis, digital signage offered a glimmer of hope during the worst of times and a glimpse of what can be expected as businesses begin to reopen. Digital Signage’s Role in the New Normal As the world looks forward to a return to normalcy, it’s anticipated that the function of digital signage will expand well beyond its pre-COVID-19 role. In fact, smart signage solutions are already being created that integrate precision AI systems for counting people to ensure capacity management, leverage infrared temperature sensors and advanced algorithms to calculate heat signatures and detect abnormal temperatures, and utilize biometric systems for facial or corporal recognition to help identify whether an individual is wearing a mask or if social distancing is being kept. Further, touchless kiosk displays will enable contactless check-ins at hospitals, ERs, clinician offices, restaurants, hotels and more. At a time when information is more vital than ever before, digital signage has been pivotal in broadcasting content that has helped keep healthcare providers, employees and consumers safe while providing an audiovisual medium that has helped closed businesses keep their customers both engaged and purchasing while they wait to reopen the front doors.          

How Going Digital Will Transform Employee Engagement

The success of an organization is dependent on its employees and their level of engagement. Engaged employees are enthusiastic and committed to their jobs. They understand goals and objectives of the organization and are committed to its overall success. Engaged employees are less likely to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities. In US companies, employee turnover already costs $160 billion a year. There is no debating the economic benefit of employee engagement. Results include higher productivity, better employee retention, a positive, more creative environment, and generally a better place to work for everyone. So how do you improve employee engagement in your organization? Here is your 5-step guide: 1. First, Take Care of the Basics Employee engagement isn't always easy to define, but you (and your team members) know it when you see it. Studies by the Dale Carnegie Institute have found that there are three key influences on employee engagement in the workplace: Employee relationships with the immediate supervisor Confidence in senior leadership Pride in working for the organization Are these three influences positively affecting employees in your organization? 2. Put Digital Communications to Use in the Workplace Employee bulletin boards, memos, and announcements over the public-address system have been used for ages to communicate to and among employees but there was no guarantee the information was reaching the right employees at the right time. Digital communications on devices like digital signs, videowalls, tablets and mobile phones, incorporate the best of these traditional communication channels with the best of technology. Most people associate digital communications with customer-facing communications, but employee-facing digital communications can be remarkably effective too. Not only can you notify people of emergencies quickly, you can communicate personalized real-time information in a manner that's efficient and often entertaining as well. 3. Make Content Appropriate to the Audience One of the best things about digital communications is that you can do as successful television networks do and tailor content to the audience and their needs. Consider a digital screen in a warehouse - a message welcomes the morning shift to work and reminds them to finish their safety training by the deadline could precede a message from HR about the changes to the benefits plan. At their station personalized information about the orders for the day and key statistics from the previous shift can be pushed to their mobile phone or screen in the area. Digital signage in the locker room could thank the departing shift for their work, showcase key stats from their shift, and provide real-time updates on weather and traffic for their drive home. 4. Use Digital Communications for Employee Recognition A terrific use for digital communications and devices like digital signage is employee recognition. Content could include coverage of formal awards people have earned, or even information from the company social network. Giving employees a way to submit positive information about their peers helps maintain a positive work environment, and when employee achievements are tied in with brand philosophy, both are amplified. 5. Consider Creating a Corporate Social Responsibility Channel Some organizations improve team cohesiveness even more by using digital communications to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR). Most consumers today expect businesses to focus on the world we live in as well as their own interests, and this, of course, carries over to employee attitudes. For example, using digital signage to communicate CSR initiatives and highlight relevant accomplishments on both the employee and corporate level can help employees take pride in their organization. Digital communications is far more than a way for businesses to communicate with customers. It's also terrific for communicating with employees and gives companies lots of opportunity for doing so in an entertaining and effective manner. Not only can devices like digital signs and mobile phones be used to inform employees quickly in the event of an emergency, they can be used for countless everyday applications as well, including deadline reminders, employee recognition, and information about how the company is striving to make the world better. Using digital communications toward better employee engagement helps create a more cohesive workforce, with better morale, and hence a greater willingness among employees to give their best effort. It's fast, flexible, more environmentally friendly than printed materials, and offers endless possibilities for programming content.

Digital Transformation - Keep Pace or Lose the Race

Keep Pace or Lose the Race: Is Your Digital Strategy Ready for Tomorrow’s Marketplace? Companies come and go every day—that’s just the reality of business. Not every company lasts for decades, and even fewer last over a century like Ford, which was founded in 1903. The kiss-of-death for a company is an inability to keep up with technology. It might sound surprising, but the life span of a Fortune 500 company today is significantly shorter than it was 25 years ago. Research in Motion, Nortel, and perhaps most spectacularly of all, Blockbuster, are all casualties of a failure to stay ahead of the technology curve. In fact, in its bid to remain viable, Ford itself recently replaced its CEO amid a tanking stock price. Investors view the automaker as lagging behind Google, Uber, and Tesla in developing technologically advanced, autonomous vehicles for the future. Today’s business climate is dominated by companies that embrace technology and data to transform industries. Think AirBnb, Alibaba, Amazon, and Lyft. We live in a digital age, and leveraging digitization is the only way for a business to thrive in such a competitive landscape. Powerful digital communication tools can enable organizations to easily collect, process, and deliver targeted real-time information to optimize its operations. Digital communications allow for effective message dissemination and extends real-time, customized information to everyone within a company. It’s critical that CEOs and C-suite executives encourage the wide adoption of digitization within a company. It’s a transformation that must involve every team and department to maximize success. Many organizations are slow behemoths, unable to nimbly respond to the fast pace of technological change, often resulting in poor customer experiences. Equipping people and processes with the right technology improves customer satisfaction, inspires innovation, and delivers greater value to all parties. A successful digital platform is one that improves employee engagement, reduces costs, boosts productivity, improves safety, builds brand awareness, and elevates the customer experience. It will also allow employees and partners to better connect with customers to achieve business goals. When effectively deployed, digital tools will reduce costs by optimizing inventory levels and eliminating the distribution of printed material. Digital communications enables organizations to share information while adding value and improving the customer experience. No matter your business, the perfect digital tools will free up time, labor, and financial resources so that you can focus on your core mission.  

It's Time To Rethink Mobility In The Workplace

The digital workforce was a revolution in itself, but the mobile workforce takes it to a new level. What does mobile really mean? Mobility is often associated with a physical device - the mobile phone. However, a mobile workforce is more than just employees running around with mobile phones. A mobile workforce has access to real-time information wherever they are on any device and the ability to communicate back in real-time. Many organizations have a workforce that works virtually or is dispersed across many locations. How do you ensure these employees are getting the right information at the right time on the right device to perform their job? Whether it is corporate news, new policy updates or real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or even individual tasks, information is the most valuable when it is timely, relevant and engaging. -Advertisement- The most successful organizations will be the ones that recognize the value of putting information at the fingertips of the employees, customers, vendors and partners. The rewards will be numerous from time savings to increased sales to improved satisfaction to company agility. Enterprise mobility is a strategic concept, and not simply a matter of buying the latest devices. Rethinking enterprise mobility requires understanding the tools needed, the ways people consume information and how that ties in with overall corporate objectives. Here are some areas to consider when thinking about enterprise mobility: Mobile Devices Mobile devices, whether phones or tablets, make sense for a huge range of industries. Sales professionals can always be reachable, while technical personnel working in the field can receive important updates in a timely manner. Field technicians can log their work with ease and accuracy, and employees can take care of mundane office tasks without necessarily being in the office. Whether you provide phones or tablets for your team, or have a "bring your own device" (BYOD) strategy, enabling your team to accomplish important tasks on the go is a cornerstone of enterprise mobility. However, another point of consideration that is almost as important as the device itself is what type of information will your employees need to have access to on their mobile device? Will they need to provide real-time updates back on the status of tasks and projects or share key information from the field? Are there corporate resources like expense tracking or vacation requests they need to access when out of the office? A digital communications platform enables organizations to share information in real-time with people regardless of where they are and on any screen is a critical piece of software to have. Videoconferencing One of the drawbacks to a dispersed and mobile workforce is that it can be harder to corral everyone for important meetings. Fortunately, videoconferencing technology has advanced to the point that even smaller businesses can afford it - and they're often the businesses that benefit most. Videoconferencing saves on travel expenses, makes scheduling meetings easier, and is now mobile-friendly, so your busy and scattered workforce can "get together" virtually more easily and cost-effectively than ever before. Videoconferencing makes working virtual still feel like you are part of a team! Digital Signage You might not think of digital signage as being integral to enterprise mobility, but it is. When you have a mobile workforce getting information to the right people at the right time is extremely important. Perhaps it is displaying important corporate messages when they are arriving and leaving the office on a videowall in the lobby or departmental KPIs on a screen in their area or safety notifications on screens throughout the office, regardless digital signage is a great way to make sure the information is seen by people on the move.

A Day in the Digital Life

From the moment you wake up until you lie down at night, your day is remarkably more digital today than a decade ago – or even a few years ago. With the new digital age comes unprecedented access to information. Let’s take a peek at an average day in the life of a working professional and examine how digital information impacts just about every decision we make: You start your day at home where you wake up to your cell phone alarm. You immediately open your weather app, which tells you that it will be sunny where you live, but raining in Lisbon, Portugal, where you are headed later that morning for meetings. With this in mind, you pack an umbrella into your carry-on bag. On your way to the airport, you pop into the office. As you pull up to the parking garage, the digital sign at the entrance tells you Levels 1 and 2 are full. Luckily there are spots available on Level 3. You drive straight there and scan the coloured lights over the parking spaces for a green one so you can park your car. At the office, you take the elevator up to the 10th floor while watching an ad for flowers on a mounted display screen. That reminds you Mother’s Day is coming up, so you make a note in your phone’s calendar to send mom a gift. As you enter your office, you see some great news: the KPI screen indicates that sales numbers are up, but there seems to be a spike in support calls; you make a mental note to chat with the support manager about potential causes. You have a quick round of meetings in the conference room, some via Skype as many of your co-workers are located in different cities around the world. While you are printing out hard copies of the report for your prospective client in Lisbon, a notification on your phone tells you it’s time to head to the airport. You hop in your car to head to the airport and your GPS routes you around construction to save you time on the road. As you park at the airport, you realize you forgot to check in online. It’s no problem, though, because you can print out your boarding pass at one of the many kiosks inside. After the ritual security check, you find your gate number on a bank of video screens. It says you have 45 minutes before your flight boards, so you pop into the executive lounge to return a few emails. Once you’ve boarded and settled in, a safety video appears on the monitor in front of you relaying vital instructions to follow in the unlikely event of an emergency. Then, it’s wheels up. You reach cruising altitude when you realize you haven’t eaten all day. You pull up the in-flight menu on the touchscreen monitor and order a hearty meal that the attendant brings right to your seat. After eating, reviewing documents on your tablet, and taking in a movie or two, you decide to get some shut eye. When you wake up, you’ve arrived at Lisbon Portela Airport. Digital wayfinding tools help you find your way to the taxi stand, where you show the driver the name of your hotel on your phone. Within 30 minutes, you’ve checked into a room with an incredible view. Energized and ready to go, you visit your client and make an excellent presentation using your laptop and the projector in the conference room. Excitingly, you close the deal! After emailing your team back home with the good news, you check your social media accounts and message an old college roommate who also happens to be in town. You meet for dinner at a restaurant that has complimentary reviews about online. With the help of a mobile translation app, you order and enjoy an amazing dinner. After that, it is back to the hotel for some sleep before you head home in the morning. Digital technologies touch our lives at multiple points throughout the day. It may be in ways we expect, like on our mobile phones, but is often present in less obvious ways, like in the sensors at airport security or on the electronic signs we read during our commutes. Ultimately, however, digital technology enables us to make more informed, and thus far better decisions at just about every turn.

Digital Signage Fuels SMART Organizations

Whether you are a large enterprise with employees scattered all over the globe or a smaller organization with multiple departments, the struggle to get specific information to the right people at the right time is still the same. The use of visual communications and technologies like digital signage, interactive kiosks, and video walls provides an opportunity to communicate important messages, emergency notifications, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to their employees that can help reinforce branding, improve building navigation, as well as enable informed decision making. By integrating digital signage, you have the ability to transform into a ‘SMART’ organization - one that is "Specific-Measurable-Assignable-Realistic and Time-Related." A New Era of Communication With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn, it plans to bring together the “world’s leading professional cloud and network.”  With a common mission to empower people and organizations, Microsoft and LinkedIn intend to break down the silos of information that currently exist for professionals and “create more connected, intelligent and productive experiences.”  When you connect people with information where and when they need it you improve productivity, unlock ROI and break down silos. Employee Communications Digital signs maintained for employees can be immensely useful and help disseminate information quickly, accurately, and in a format that is attention-grabbing. Employees can be kept updated with real-time external information like the news, weather or traffic alerts, and internal information like KPIs or corporate goals. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) provide actionable metrics that most organizations use to keep their business on track. Historically, KPIs have often been tracked in spreadsheets and scorecards that were distributed on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. With the growing popularity of digital screens and digital signage it is now possible to publish real-time updates to KPIs as they happen and keep everyone in the organization informed about how things are tracking.  Integrating with back-end applications like CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.) and ERP (SAP, Oracle, etc.), can show performance metric changes as they happen, enabling improved decision making and allowing staff to be more proactive which increases efficiency. Engaging with your employees and getting them more involved at work can help boost confidence by building an understanding of how the company is performing, increase their trust with company transparency, and create a culture of team spirit. Motivated employees who are committed to their job and their employer are more likely to be high performing, loyal and happy in their work, and it is these employees who will be the company's best ambassadors. Integrated Digital Workplace Creating an integrated digital workplace is easier than you think. First let's breakdown what we mean by "integrated". Integration can take many different shapes and forms. One of the most common approaches is integrating information from various sources such as news and weather feeds, scheduling systems, and technologies such as sensors and alarms or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. By utilizing a digital signage platform, organizations can tie together all of these applications and devices to create a unified communications solution. Examples of common applications include: 1. Emergency notifications Virtually all organizations need to have a way to notify their employees, customers, or visitors of potential fire, health or safety hazards. While audio alarms have long been the standard, visual communications provides a new and unique way to get real-time alerts and information out to people where and when they need it while improving disaster preparedness and safety plans. 2. Interactive Kiosks People today are more self-directed than ever.  Interactive kiosks enable employees and visitors to self-serve. Providing them with relevant real-time information and a personalized experience. 3. Video walls Organizations have the ability to stand out and captivate their audience with multi-display signage. With a software platform, you can do more than just a looped video. Create that “wow” moment with scalable content that will impress any executive, employee, or guest.

Digital Signage & Human Resources

When people think about digital signage, they often think of digital signs that are installed in retail or hospitality locations for the benefit of customers. However, there are a multitude of applications for digital signage ranging from wayfinding to scheduling to entertainment to many more. These alternative applications of digital signage are welcomed by customers and personnel alike, and can produce a strong return on investment. Digital signs maintained for employees rather than for the benefit of customers can be immensely useful and help disseminate information quickly, accurately, and in a format that is attention-grabbing. In fact, there are many ways digital signage can be used in human resources. Here are some ideas, and maybe they'll spark ideas of your own. Keep Your Employees Updated Fresh content is a necessity with digital signage if you want your employees to pay attention. Sometimes important information arises naturally, whether it is important company news, weather or traffic, that can be featured on your digital signage. However, it is also valuable to integrate important real-time information with reminders about deadlines for things such as expenses, benefits changes or company and departmental KPIs. These messages can be delivered in eye-catching ways that cause your staff to sit up and take notice.                      Marketing department kpis Motivate Your Staff When morale is high, everything seems to be easier, including challenges that might seem overwhelming when spirits are flagging. Digital signage is a perfect medium for sharing information that motivates your team and lets them know how much they are appreciated. For example, you could use digital signage to relay positive tweets from customers to a digital signs throughout your organization. Also employee accomplishments, such as congratulations for staff who successfully completed certifications, signed a large account, or achieved a major personal milestone are examples of feel-good information that can boost motivation and make employees feel valued. Mix in Entertainment to Keep It Fresh Incorporating entertaining elements with the information you want to convey to your employees keeps your digital signage fresh and increases the likelihood that people will notice important information that is conveyed on the signs. Mixing in, say, a 30-second positive news clip, an announcement of a staff pizza party, or some other type of light content can keep people from thinking of employee-facing digital signage as just another taskmaster. Running news and weather feeds can inform and entertain while drawing employee attention to other important facts conveyed by digital signage. Personalize Content by Department, Floor, or Building Employee-facing digital signage can easily be personalized by building, floor, department, or any number of other ways. If you run, say, a hospital, the ER team will benefit from different information than the accounting team. And if your workplace is a large campus, building-specific information (such as upcoming maintenance or painting) can be delivered to the right people when they need it. Digital signage offers the perfect way to combine information that must be delivered to everyone, as well as more customized information that can be delivered solely to the employees affected by it. Conclusion Most of us have encountered customer-facing digital signage in stores, restaurants, or healthcare facilities. Digital signs can also be extremely informative for those behind the scenes: your employees. Memos are easy to ignore or lose, and announcements over a PA are easy to tune out. Digital signage gives you the power and flexibility to reach your employees with eye-catching, informative content that's relevant to their workday, and to deliver emergency information more quickly than any other method should that be necessary.

Podcast - The ABCs of Emerging Digital Communication Technologies

Doug Bannister, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Omnivex Corporation, started his company in 1991. There’s been a considerable transformation of technology in those near 30 years, and Bannister’s got a great handle on looking down the road, assessing the future of technology and determining which technologies work and which ones don’t. Host Tyler Kern sat down with Bannister to explore some emerging digital communication technologies that have people excited.   A few hot emerging technology topics Bannister dove into were blockchain, machine learning, Artificial intelligence, IoT and edge computing. With blockchain, companies are partnering together to put health records online using this secure method. Kern noted there is a lot of misunderstanding about the differences between blockchain and bitcoin. “The same way email is an application, and the internet is the underlying technology, so too is the relationship between bitcoin and blockchain,” Bannister said. “Bitcoin is the application, and blockchain is the underlying technology that makes it possible.”   What about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning? Are these two interchangeable terms? Bannister believes they’re two distinct things. Artificial intelligence is the technology that makes machines look like they’re doing something and appearing smart, while machine learning, algorithms and systems improve machine performance over time with experience. Bannister said machine learning capabilities get pretty advanced.   With the internet of things, or IoT, Bannister said people might think of IoT as controlling a light switch or thermostat, but it is much more. “IoT can control your environment, but it can also collect information from your environment.” A great example is today’s sensor-filled automobiles that provide essential data to both the owner of the car and the manufacturer who can use this data to improve future vehicles and quickly run diagnostics when something isn’t working in the car.      

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