Blogs

Engaging and interacting with a new generation of students

Engaging and interacting with a generation of students raised surrounded by media is driving significant change amongst schools, colleges and universities. Students today expect and prefer digital communications, and as a result digital signage has become a cost-effective tool for schools to utilize. Dynamic digital signage is enabling schools to improve communications ranging from emergency notifications to wayfinding to events and employee communications. Digital communications in education can: Help schools to cost effectively communicate in real-time with students, staff and visitors Improve school safety by connecting with emergency notification and alarm systems Enhance student, faculty, employee, and visitor experience by creating an engaging and interactive environment Help schools create an environment that is easy to navigate through the use of interactive wayfinding and digital signs Tie into existing systems such as maintenance, inventory and other  administrative systems to provide accurate real-time information to staff and students Be used for a number of applications including digital menu boards, donor walls, emergency notifications, staff/student/visitor communications, and interactive wayfinding An excellent example of a university who is using visual communications and devices like digital signage to communicate with their staff, students, and visitors is the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The Rotman School of Management is the #1 business school in Canada according to the Financial Times, ranked #1 in the world for intellectual capital by Bloomberg Businessweek, and consistently places in the global top 10 for faculty and research. It has over 1100 Canadian and international students participating in its MBA programs annually and over 2,000 people (staff, professors, students, and guests) in and out of the schools two primary buildings on any given day. The school hosts over 100 events a year in its event spaces including book launches, panels, and speaker series on a wide range of topics. The Rotman School of Management recently doubled in size, expanding into a second building in 2012 with a $93 million dollar expansion. Prior to the construction their digital signage was comprised of 6 screens. With the expansion Rotman wanted to provide engaging and effective navigation in the campus buildings and also keep visitors informed of what was happening that day. They also wanted to update the technology in their original building as part of the project. Special consideration also needed to be given to the location of the signage, housing of the players and running of cables due to limited server room space and other infrastructure such as utilities and elevators. The Rotman School of Management has received overwhelming support for their signage solution. It has helped the school improve building navigation and the communication of relevant information and events to building visitors. "The new digital signage around the school gives us a voice in the physical space and allows us to deliver relevant messaging at the time it’s needed the most,” said Eugene Grichko, Brand Experience and Engagement Specialist with the Marketing Team at Rotman. Read the full case study!  

The Next Generation of Emergency Notifications Has Arrived

Why do we continue to rely on the old siren-based system of sending emergency notifications? Advances in technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) provide numerous ways to enhance the traditional siren. When an emergency happens, people need to be informed as soon as possible, but also understand clearly what the emergency is. Sirens simply do not provide anything other than an alert that there is a possibility of danger. Real-time data can make all the difference between panic and rational action whenever an emergency occurs. Why Digital Communications are So Important A digital communications platform can ensure people get the information they need whenever there is an emergency. Sirens, in many instances, have become more of an annoyance than a true sign of a life-threatening situation. A frightening aspect of siren-based systems is that they can easily be hacked, raising the possibility of mass chaos. In April 2017, all 156 tornado warning sirens in Dallas, Texas, activated simultaneously during the middle of severe weather season. Thousands of residents panicked as the sirens continued to go off on a night when skies were clear. According to The Dallas Morning News, officials with the city’s Office of Emergency Management blamed the activations on a computer hack. Not only are sirens antiquated and vulnerable to attack, they provide no information about the nature of an emergency. Digital communications on devices like digital signage and mobile phones, on the other hand, deliver real-time data that adds context to an alert, allowing people to quickly take whatever actions are needed to stay safe. Calm Instead of Chaos There are several different scenarios where an advanced, data-driven emergency notification system can be a major benefit. When severe weather is approaching, facility operators can send informative messages directly to staff members as well as building occupants. These messages, delivered directly to mobile devices, can tell people exactly how to take cover so they can be secure. If an area needs to be quickly evacuated, such as a large office building or a retail store, real-time information will detail exactly where exits are located, and which exits are safe to use so people can leave in an orderly manner. If an office or campus lockdown occurs due to a threat of violence, a digital communications system will let them know when it is safe to leave the area. There are many factors that go into determining how someone will react to traditional alarms. According to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, someone hearing a fire alarm at home will react a great deal faster than someone in a public building. If they are in a shopping mall, and don’t have additional information providing context to the alarm, they will very likely continue with their activities. Perhaps even more important is that according to Security Magazine, a crucial component of security notification systems is bidirectional abilities; it’s critical that messages aren’t just sent, but actually received as well. By using real-time digital communications, facility operators will greatly improve the chances that emergency messages will truly resonate with their intended recipients. It’s Time to Implement a Digital Communications System for Your Facility The safety of everyone inside your facility must be your top priority – it is not only a moral responsibility, it could also be a matter of liability. By going beyond the traditional alarm or siren system, you will be in a much more favorable position to minimize any potential harm and create a safer environment.

Finding Your Digital IQ

Less than 12% of Fortune 500 businesses from 1955 still exist today. For those still alive it isn't a coincidence. Their creative destruction, constant innovation and technology-focused mindset is why those companies still thrive today. By studying a company’s Digital IQ, we can understand how digital transformations propel both organizations and whole industries forward. A survey from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which polled 2,216 executives at companies with annual revenue of more than $500 million, found that leaders are embracing digital transformation – mobile strategies, internet of things, consumer technology, social platforms and more. They recognize what is at the forefront of every executive’s mind - how a digital strategy can influence key business objectives. Digital transformation involves three areas: technological ability, digital communications and customer experience. We have a short list of questions that organizations can use to measure their Digital IQ and progression in their digital transformation journey: How is digital transformation defined at your organization? Who is leading your digital transformation? Is digital transformation being looked at across the entire enterprise or just in individual departments How can digital transformation help the business, both financially and with overall employee and customer experience? How can you leverage existing assets and technologies in new ways? How can data and information have a greater benefit and/or competitive advantage? One of the best ways to raise a company’s Digital IQ is by understanding and improving upon the human experience. Executives must think critically about how their digital initiatives will affect the experience of customers and employees, as even the most well-intentioned initiatives can have negative impacts on people. By prioritizing the user experience, digital initiatives can increase revenue growth and profit margins. In 2007, roughly 40% of Chief Information Officers (CIO) had a seat at the executive table. Now, CIOs are heavily involved in strategic planning as digital strategies are influencing business goals. Digital no longer simply means the internet. It now touches every business function, from human resources to sales and marketing. IT investments are connected to an organization’s goals. The organizations that make IT part of their overall strategy will be ready to handle the challenges that come with the ever-changing business model. No company wants to be one of the nine out of every ten Fortune 500 companies around in 1955 that are no longer around today. Now is the time to bring everyone around the table to honestly evaluate your business. Start thinking outside of the box about the future of your business, and its digital transformation.

Empower More Informed Decisions with Omnivex

Energize Your Business and Empower More Informed Decisions with Omnivex Information leads people to make better decisions, yet traditional IT systems can create silos and bottleneck information. Omnivex solves business communications issues by delivering targeted, real time information. Your message, your goals, and your information has the power to transform your organization. Omnivex brings the sharing to business for better decisions, for greater accountability, for more education, and continuous inspiration. Digital communications are transforming the world and connecting the right people with the right information when they need it. It can take the shape of breaking news, emergency notifications, and real-time data and metrics. Redefine your organization’s communication with Omnivex. The Omnivex platform manages all aspects of digital communications networks. It enables organizations to easily collect, process, and deliver targeted information across any screen, allowing them to enhance their two most valuable assets: people and data. To learn more, please enjoy the video.  

Why Unused Data is a Virtual Goldmine

Every single customer interaction, sales transaction, operations report, and similar electronic record represents a wealth of potentially valuable information that can be used to shape business strategy, enhance customer experience and improve product design. Yet, a vast portion of this data sits unused. The critical last mile between this information and its application represents a massive area of business opportunity. According to McKinsey and Company, typical business servers and enterprise data centers only deliver between five to fifteen percent of their maximum computing output on average over the course of a year. Other research finds that nearly 97% of data sits unused in organizations. The time and effort to acquire, secure, and store this information is significant, but the underlying cost of failing to utilize this information is massive. The Uptime Institute found that nearly 30% of servers worldwide sit unused. The cost of these 10 million comatose servers is somewhere in the neighborhood of nearly $30 billion dollars in idle capital. At the same time 90% of Dark Data, or unstructured data, is never analyzed. This means that valuable insights about products, internal development processes, and even website analytics that are collected during the course of normal business sit unused. The untapped value stored in customer information, log files, account information, and even legacy documents is astronomical. The chances that your organization is sitting on a pile of valuable and untapped data is extremely high. Dark data represents a chance for companies to leverage unique and important insights that can drive their business and allow them to compete with, or remain, market leaders. For example, mobile geo-location information can be used to coordinate logistics and user behavior in completely novel ways. The growth of organizations like Amazon are great case studies into just how much new data is being created in today’s technological society and businesses can leverage that information. People are leaving millions of footprints in metadata that can be mined for profitable strategies and the most successful organizations will be the ones who figure out how to do this the fastest. Omnivex allows businesses to easily collect, process, and deliver targeted real-time information across the organization on any screen – connecting people and data.  

How IOT is impacting manufacturing

Today the way information is shared across organizations and between individuals is dramatically different than a decade ago. People expect to have real-time information available where and when they need it on a variety of devices. This evolution has been fueled by the internet and the devices that are connecting to it. Various market research studies estimate by 2025 more than 75B devices (machines, sensors, etc.) will be connected to the cloud. This explosion of networked devices is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). It should come as no suprise that IoT is transforming the manufacturing industry. According to PwC, 35% of manufacturers already use smart sensors, 10% plan to implement them within a year, and 8% plan to implement them within three years.  Smart manufacturing is about creating an environment where all available information—from within the plant floor and from along the supply chain—is captured in real-time and turned into actionable insights by making this information visible to all who need to see it. It comprises all aspects of business, blurring the boundaries among plant operations, supply chain, product design and demand management. Enabling virtual tracking of processes, resources and products, smart manufacturing gives enterprises full visibility which in turn supports streamlining business processes and optimizing supply and demand. Perhaps one of the best examples of this efficient real-time environment is Lean Manufacturing.  Smart manufacturing requires a healthy dose of technology to ensure machines work together and  information flows in real-time. The Internet of Things provides the environment that makes this possible, and having a digital signage platform allows you to collect, process, and deliver targeted real-time information such as KPI dashboards and inventory levels on a variety of devices including digital signs, interactive kiosks, and tablets. With the Internet of Things and the right digital signage platform, manufacturers can give each of their physical assets a digital identity that enables them to know the exact location and condition of those assets in real-time throughout the entire supply chain. By implementing IOT  and the right visual communications software platform a manufacturing organization will see a lower total cost of ownership, increased worker efficiency, and decreased safety hazards.   

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS: Filling an Information Gap

How Digital Signage Works as First Line of Offense in a Real-time World From highway billboards that warn us about traffic delays to airport signs that steer us through the terminal and even the smartphones in our pockets, we take it for granted that we’re never far from a screen that can deliver information to us when and where we need it. Yet when companies need to extract more value from the vast amounts of data generated by their IT systems, they underestimate or completely overlook the potential of digital communications to transform the business. And the stakes are high: In a recent IDG survey conducted with Omnivex, respondents expressed concern about the potential for security risks, loss of competitive edge, and growing inefficiency when information can’t be shared quickly and easily. In this age of Digital Transformation, information — and the insights generated from that data — has become crucial for success. Increasingly, digital communications are the first line of offense in a real-time world, spurring a move by IT from systems of record to systems of engagement, according to Chris Devlin, president of Omnivex Corporation. “Digital transformation isn’t just disrupting business models. It’s changing the way technology itself is deployed,” says Devlin. “Screens are increasingly everywhere, to the point where we expect to see them and actively look for them. They enable businesses to get the right information to the right people at the right time.” Read more in the full document from IDG.

Looking Ahead to 2020 and the Future of Digital Communications

As 2020 looms, it’s time to consider where digital communications are heading and how you can leverage that direction to stay ahead of the curve, drive engagement and influence behavior. Digital signage and digital visual communications are critical – they are your first line of offense in a real-time world. Screens are the first things seen in public spaces and they’re becoming as ubiquitous as lighting is today. In other words, it’s your first impression, and it should be a core consideration for your business. What are challenges with traditional information delivery? How can you take advantage of cutting-edge innovations, digital agility and digital transformation? Let’s dive in. Digital Transformation’s Increasing Role Digital transformation is going to be a key factor in the advancement of digital engagement. It’s right there in the name – it’s all about leveraging and stretching modern technologies in ways that have never been tried. That’s the essence of transformation. But it isn’t just the latest industry buzzword. It’s a concrete movement toward progress and, as MIT Principal Scientist George Westerman says, “a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance.” To achieve this kind of “radical” shift, buy-in must come from the top. It’s time for CEOs to spearhead an effort of cross-department collaboration, pairing business-focused philosophies with rapid application development models and tools. Challenges Faced in Traditional Information Delivery Disruption is both the largest motivator and largest inhibitor, but it’s far from the only challenge associated with information delivery. In fact, a survey conducted by IDG in March of this year found that: 22% of respondents are concerned with security and access control when sharing sensitive information 20% frequently encounter technical difficulties with their current software solution 18% say information is often low-quality and/or prone to human error 14% called current methods of communicating important information outdated Further, 44% said information is updated manually and is either cumbersome or time-consuming to digest, while 36% felt that information was easy to overlook or ignore and that it wasn’t completely up to date. Ease of sharing between groups and devices was also a major concern. When information can’t be easily accessed or shared, respondents labeled security risks (58%), loss of competitive edge (50%) and inefficiency and cost increases (48%) as top concerns. Fortunately, these concerns can be alleviated through digital signage solutions. How Digital Signage Can Help The majority of survey respondents exhibited some familiarity with digital signage solutions. 84% were highly likely to consider these solutions to solve the aforementioned challenges. The potential benefits were clear to respondents – 54% highlighted improving efficiency and cost management, while enhancing productivity and better capturing business opportunities to drive revenue growth each came in at 52%. It’s clear that the capabilities of digital signage are being recognized, but how can you turn that recognition into action? Omnivex can help. We’re committed to developing software that helps you take advantage of all the innovations that surround today’s clever and connected devices, and our Digital Agility Framework helps us define exactly how we’ll deliver on that goal. Omnivex Digital Agility Framework With our Digital Agility Framework, Omnivex, People, Technology Silos and Organizational Silos function as integral parts of a wider framework that includes governance and security. The People aspect focuses in on culture and communications. Here Omnivex helps you inform people in real time through a commitment to connection, distribution, presentation and automation. Technology Silos – applications, databases, IoT and third-party solutions – support your organization, while Organizational Silos – the departments, divisions, roles and locations that make your organization tick. Omnivex provides a digital communications platform to connect these silos across your business, empowering you to deliver any information to any screen, anytime. Digital signage has a lot to offer a rapidly changing world, and Omnivex can help you keep pace in 2020 by enabling you to share information on any screen across your organization and create true engagement of audiences. When you can provide engaging content in real time, you’ll be ready to find your place in our increasingly digital age.

The world’s most popular mobile app doesn’t run on a smartphone

Quick – what mobile app do people worldwide use more frequently than any other?  Facebook?  YouTube?  Google?  Not even close.  Most people use this app or system a couple dozen times every day without even thinking about it.  It’s real-time, interactive, sensor and big data driven with an extremely friendly user interface so simple even children use it.  In an age of rapidly increasing complexity it’s a great example of a pervasive system that delivers value very simply with no extraneous bells and whistles. I bet you’re wondering what it is – the system I’m referring to is the traditional 3 color traffic light signal.  You may argue that “app” is a bit of a misnomer when discussing traffic lights and a mobile app historically has been defined as a piece of software designed to run on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.  However, if you think outside the box for a moment, a traffic light is powered by software and is utilized by individuals when they are mobile.  So let’s pursue this unconventional angle and see where it takes us. One of the first points that hits home is the fact that the term “mobility” as I’m using it refers to the mobility of the person, not the device.  I am not the first to come up with this concept, but I find it very compelling.  It caused me to rethink many assumptions when I first considered it.  After all, isn’t the point of technology to help people in their lives and do it in the most effective way possible?  Limiting the scope of a solution to a particular device type eliminates other, possibly better, options.  One of the traps that engineers, myself included, often find ourselves in is creating technology for technology’s sake and we often need to catch ourselves and redirect our creativity at solving the real problem in the best way.  By focusing on the mobility of the individual and designing technology that delivers benefits to people where and how it makes the most sense to them it really opens up some interesting possibilities. Imagine for a moment implementing the traffic light network as a smartphone app.  You are in your car approaching an intersection and in wondering whether it is safe to proceed you pull out your phone, turn it on, enter your passcode, and launch the traffic signal app to determine what to do.  Completely impractical, never mind the fact that it’s illegal to use a phone while you drive in many jurisdictions.  When you view this scenario considering the mobility of the individual the best way to deliver the information to them isn’t on a mobile device; rather it is on a simple traffic light that they can see clearly from their car.  And we don’t need full color 4K hi-def screens to get the job done.  Three pixels will do just fine. We constantly hear the mantra to “think outside the box” but actually doing it can be difficult at times.  Constantly looking for new perspectives such as this view on mobility can allow us to alter our assumptions and change a lot of what we think and do every day.

How Do You Digitalize the Workplace?

A popular area of discussion is the digitalization of the workplace, but what does that really mean? The digital workplace can take many different shapes and forms and will vary by organization. At Omnivex we believe that digital communications on devices like digital screens, video walls, interactive kiosks and tablets will play an integral role in the digital workplace. Gone are the days of walls of closed door offices. Today many work environments have evolved into free flowing workplaces that enable collaborative work and with employees who often work virtually. In these environments the communication of information, such as corporate messages, departmental KPIs, has become increasingly important. For these organizations - how do you ensure that the right people are getting the right messages at the right time? In other industries like manufacturing and healthcare you have large portions of the workforce that aren't tied to computers and digitizing the workplace with devices like digital signs is helping improve productivity, increase employee satisfaction and improve safety. Digital signs are getting real-time information to people where and when they need it, enabling them to make informed decisions. What type of technologies are helping digitalize work? While not a new technology, digital screens are one of the primary technologies being used by a number of organizations to help digitalize the workplace. These screens are reducing the need for paper signage, company-wide emails, and many other historic ways of communicating with a dispersed workforce. Omnivex was mentioned in a  Gartner report - What Does It Mean to Digitalize Work?1. “The report mentions that shared screens will grow in businesses as well. There will be computing available to anyone near the screen or microphone — no handheld personal device necessary. In all these automations, more and more physical items are eliminated as work steps too are eliminated or speeded or otherwise enhanced and augmented. Paper is gone. Plastic is gone. Data entry is simplified and enriched.” 1 - https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3043921        

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs