Digital Transformation

Podcast - Pardon the Technology Disruption

Doug Bannister, Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Omnivex Corporation, Mensa member, and all-around Renaissance man, knows how fast technology changes. His involvement in the technology industry dates back to 1991. Back then, only those in the know knew what the internet was. Things have grown leaps and bounds in the 30 years that followed. And, with every technological advancement that’s changed how the world works and operates, there is a major disruption that’s come along to push the technology in a new direction. “My role at Omnivex is to be the guy looking down the road,” Bannister said. “Where are we going, tracking innovation, tracking disruptions, looking at technologies as they arise – the question that drives me is, ‘What should we be doing today to ensure we are still delivering value to our customers many years from now?’” With so much change in the technology space over the past 30 years, does Bannister see things slowing down, or will the future contain more rapid advancements? Spoiler alert! It's more rapid advancements. “One of the things we have to understand is the concept of exponential growth,” Bannister said. “It’s counter to a lot of our natural thoughts, but exponential growth is a continual accelerating growth, and so much about what’s going on in the world is driven from that.” One great example of how rapid growth can occur when technology shifts are the conversation from horse and carriage to the automobile. Bannister cited two photos from an Easter parade in NYC taken 13 years apart. One photo taken in 1900 shows horses and carriages lining the street. A second photo taken in 1913 shows the same street now lined with cars and only one horse and carriage. Fast forward to today, and a little invention called the iPhone debuted in 2007. It completely changed how humans communicate and interact with one another. So, without the benefit of a crystal ball, how can people keep up with the changes and stay relevant when a job today may not exist 10 years down the road? Bannister said it is through education. People need to be curious and learn about many different technologies, not just one. When education is continual, there is an opportunity to seize on opportunities and take advantage of the next technology disruption.      

Podcast - Leveraging Digital Signage to Create Future Flexible Workspaces, Part 2 of 2

In this podcast Doug Freutel, Vice President of Innovation and Visionary at Radiant Technology Group, an Omnivex partner, continues to share his perspective and insights on how digital innovations, specifically digital signage, will play a role in these future workspaces. Fruetel picked things up where he left off in Part 1, discussing the evolving workspaces of the future – one where work hubs may become the norm. “How do we maintain capacity on how many people can come back?,” Freutel said while discussing the future workspace. “You have that 40-45% of workers that want that hybrid situation. We don’t need full-time desks for those people. But, when people come back, they want to be able to have those social engagements. So, if you split your group into two, and someone on team A, which is working Mondays and Wednesdays, wants to engage in person with somebody who’s working on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re eliminating that opportunity.” One of the things Freutel’s team works with companies on is implementing proper flex workforce strategies. One strategy is a hoteling practice that allows businesses to see when teammates are available. This type of approach allows a manager to reserve a space that can either pull a whole team together, or at least a significant portion of the group, and then deploy collaboration tools to draw in the rest of the team. “We see this evolution of instead of these cubicle farms and offices, we’re redefining our spaces into what are called ‘neighborhoods,’” Freutel said. “People are a part of a neighborhood and can book spaces and book desks and collaborate when they’re involved in that neighborhood.” Another consideration for businesses reopening and planning their future workspaces is vendors and guests. “A lot of our customers have shut down their offices to vendors,” Freutel said. “But we’ve got to get vendors back in. Obviously, a face-to-face meeting when you’re trying to entertain a guest or you have to have a vendor come in; how do we safely bring them back? We’re seeing a lot of implementation of new tools around getting people back into the office safely.”  

Podcast - Leveraging Digital Signage to Create Future Flexible Workspaces, Part 1 of 2

There are many avenues to pursue related to the future workspaces and how the pandemic has forever changed the landscape of the way people work. In this podcast Omnivex invited one of their partners, Doug Freutel, Vice President of Innovation and Visionary, Radiant Technology Group, to share his perspective and insights on how digital innovations, specifically digital signage, will play a role in these future workspaces. Freutel kicked off the first of this two-part discussion with some of the new business workplace challenges of the pandemic. While some businesses sent employees home to work remotely, many essential companies needed staff on-site at the workplace. Social distancing and other safety and sanitation measures were required to keep employees healthy on-site. The next question was how to communicate all of these changes and procedures. “Digital signage is a key portion of how to collaborate and communicate with employees effectively,” Freutel said. “One of the terms I like using is ‘future flexible.’ If anything was learned from this COVID experience, the idea of future-proofing gets thrown out the window. One of the cool things about digital signage is that it can be future flexible. It can be adaptable.” During the pandemic, digital communication has already played a significant role in enterprise communications. “It’s been great with crisis management,” Freutel said. “The CDC posted a bunch of jpegs and images that people could immediately throw on their digital signage. “One of the great things is companies that have had to deal with their change management governance have been able to use signage for that.”      

Smart Communication Technologies

Smart Communication Technologies: Building a Higher Quality of Life According to the United Nations, it is estimated that by 2050, roughly 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. Today national and local governments are already feeling the strain of urban growth with limited resources, and aging or outdated communications infrastructures. How will they handle this urban growth in the future? To adapt, cities have become Smart. They are leveraging smart technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize limited resources and provide a higher quality of life through urban informatics designed to reduce traffic, save energy, and improve public safety. Many smart technologies are already being heavily implemented in cities such as Barcelona and Amsterdam. As well, the use of digital communications connected with IoT technologies provides cities an opportunity to communicate important messages and emergency notifications to any screen; including mobile phones, digital signs, interactive kiosks, and video walls What role does IoT play in Smart Cities? The Internet of Things is expected to connect more than 75 billion devices by 2025. Smart Cities will utilize this communications infrastructure to connect sensors and devices to optimize limited resources, meet the demands of growth and tackle city inefficiencies. Additionally, by replacing static signs with a network of digital screens and interactive kiosks, governments can further streamline operations and reduce operating costs now and in the future. Using devices such as digital signs, mobile phones, interactive wayfinding stations, and self-service kiosks, helps keep visitors informed in real-time of relevant information. Communication technology tools connected through the IoT, allow for various pieces of data to be analyzed in a central hub. Every device in a Smart City will be fluidly interconnected with the surrounding environment in order to communicate and receive key information. This allows for smart responses and faster adaptation to change. Data from a variety of sources such as calendars, weather and news feeds, external transportation schedules, and emergency notifications, can also be integrated into the digital communications to ensure the right information is provided at the right time. Smart Cities in action As smart devices and sensors learn and track behavior, they can predict and optimize trends and patterns to control energy and other resources. Sensors and devices will also allow diverse control strategies and optimization throughout the city in areas like transportation, waste services, and water/utilities. Barcelona has designed a new bus network based on the data analysis of the most common traffic flows. They are using digital communication technologies to display real-time information, alleviating perceived wait times and enhancing travel experience. Additionally, they have optimized the travel routes of emergency vehicles by calculating the fastest routes and setting all the lights to green as the vehicle approaches through a mix of GPS and traffic management software. This has drastically reduced response times for emergency services all through the use of integrated communication channels. A range of channels can constantly transfer information to indicate various actions—from displaying travel updates to engaging passengers with news, weather, and emergency broadcasts.  Smart Cities are pioneering a new approach to governing and running a city, based on real-time data. Digital communications enable cities to use the data they have collected to streamline operations and improve the quality of life for the residents. The Omnivex platforms enable organizations to easily collect, process, and deliver targeted information across any screen, allowing organizations to enhance their two most valuable assets: people and data.  

What Are You Doing with the Information You Already Have?

Information used to be difficult to come by. It was hard to collect and tough to analyze. Today, that’s no longer the case. We are drowning in information—so much so that the vast majority of the data businesses collect goes completely unused. Seems like quite a waste, right? Yes, for some. According to Forbes, many businesses experience frustration, barriers to easy data analysis, security concerns and a lack of data transparency. They don’t have the money or technology that the big giants do. Mega companies like Google are creating a completely data-driven future guided by machine learning. The first story might sound more familiar—but that’s about to change. To learn more about how Omnivex can help you make the most of the data you already have, watch below.

Are You Disruptive or a Dinosaur?

Disruption in an industry leads to innovation. Uber and Airbnb are two examples of companies that are disruptive and have turned an industry on its head. They created a peer-to-peer model that combines technology and business. Previously, these industries had cobwebs in their innovation labs. They had established markets dominated by a few main players. By companies such as Uber creating a sharing economy, consumers have greater access to goods and services that may have once been unavailable. The result is an expectation for other companies in that industry to adapt and evolve. While consumers are not necessarily demanding digital transformation, they will gravitate to those organizations that offer the best customer experience. Creating disruption By leveraging a digital communications platform, you can create a unique and engaging customer experience that sets your business apart from your competitors. Perhaps it is getting rid of a point of friction, such as the lines and checkouts, like Amazon Go did with their new retail concept store. No matter what it is, digital communications enable you to create meaningful connections between technology and your stakeholders. Technology has changed how people see various industries and they expect choices. Innovators have developed platforms that enable businesses to easily collect, process and deliver targeted information across the organization on any screen; enhancing your business’s two most valuable assets, people and data. Think outside the box Uber and Airbnb are disruptive because they don’t actually own any cars or hotel rooms. What they have done is transform the entire experience, not just create an app. Consider Airbnb for a second, they disrupted the entire travel industry in 2008. Before its existence, boutique hotels were providing guests with a more intimate stay than the large, mainstream hotels. Travelers began to expect even more choice, they craved a new type of hospitality that provided a personalized experience; the ability to live like a local and immerse one’s self in the culture. Airbnb used technology to be disruptive and create a “marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world” and at the same time created a new normal in the travel industry with their peer-to-peer business model. Previously, consumers weren’t aware what they wanted because the choice wasn’t there. Now, they expect options that grant them more control of their experience. They value increased technological capabilities that are user friendly. If you don't have a digital transformation strategy in place, you will be left behind in the ever-changing business economy. You risk competitors providing better and more robust innovation. And, worst of all, you risk losing your customers. According to Forbes, “for a successful digital transformation in any business organization, digital maturity and a modern organization culture are of paramount importance.”

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.  

The Workplace of the Future and It's Digital Transformation

Digital communications in the workplace are an essential part of daily life across all departments. From updating employees with real-time information to relaying positive feedback from customers and highlighting employee accomplishments, they engage and inform employees in every department. Learn about the Workplace of the Future and it's Digital Transformation in the engaging infographic.  

Generating a Tangible ROI with Digital Signage

Digital signage is found in nearly every corner of the modern world. Companies are discovering the benefits of strategic messaging that can be deployed easily across the globe. However, the question many newcomers are asking, though, is: “Will digital signage really generate a tangible Return on Investment (ROI)?” The simple answer is yes! Business goals and objectives The first step to generating positive ROI is understanding how your digital signage aligns with your business goals and objectives. What are you looking to achieve? Increased sales, reduced costs, enhanced customer experience, and brand awareness are just a few of the many positive benefits organizations derive from digital signage. Understanding your business goals and aligning that to your digital signage strategy will help create a positive digital blueprint. Make sure you have SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-sensitive) goals. It is also important to consider how you will measure success. What constitutes enhanced customer experience? What costs are you looking to reduce and how will you measure their reduction? Tangible metrics If it exists you can usually find a way to measure it. Tangible digital signage metrics include increased sales, reduced costs, reduced wait times, and improved customer and employee satisfaction. One way that airports and other public facilities are currently deploying digital signage is as a wayfinding tool. The ROI on these types of deployments is evident in reduced wait times and employees having more time to help service other areas of the business. On the revenue side, the average increase in sales from digital signage is somewhere between 3-5%. There is an additional increase of margin per transaction of 2.5-3% based on customer upsells from attractive Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays. Surveys estimate that nearly 20% of customers have made an impulse purchase after seeing a product displayed on digital signage. This makes it is easy to see how quickly digital signage can provide a hard ROI, especially when displayed to large volumes of consumers. In another case study, a bank was able to reduce perceived wait time 10.8% through digital merchandising.[1] Product awareness doubled from 22% to 45% and customer recall for digital signage in branch reached nearly 63%. The positive impacts of a better customer experience and enhanced product recall are not always as easy to see as fluctuations in sales numbers. However, they are important barometers for the success of digital signage strategies. Measuring engagement It is also important to think outside the box about what is possible with digital signage. The rise of social media platforms gives businesses the opportunity to engage with their buyers in a completely novel way. For example, one way to increase engagement and ROI might be through a targeted Twitter campaign using specific hashtags. ROI is measured in growth of Twitter mentions and followers. The value of being a thought leader with millions of followers is potentially massive. Your customers are busy and distracted. The best way to bridge the gap between a prospect and a sale is through digital signage that connects and influences buying habits, all while improving interactions. ROI doesn’t need to be elusive. Whether your organization is seeking out revenue increases, better brand awareness, or improved customer experiences, digital signage can provide galvanizing opportunities.     [1] https://www.digitalistmag.com/industries/retail/2014/05/02/how-digital-signage-drives-marketing-roi-01249973

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