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So far John has created 162 blog entries.

Avoiding Collaboration Solution Overload and Adoption Failure

Today’s collaboration technology and platforms are transforming our communication habits. While collaboration tools can be a significant business advantage, it is possible to overload on collaboration tech? Adoption failure is a serious risk, and even if your company adopts and integrates a collaboration solution successfully, using it too often or for the wrong purpose can lead to real problems. Does your organization struggle with collaboration solution overload?  Here’s how to avoid it.
Why Collaboration Overload Happens
Collaboration solution overload occurs in the workplace for many reasons. First and foremost, the free flow of information that collaboration technology enables is making it harder for all of us to focus on tasks specific to our jobs. Multiple requests for input, or access to resources, and meeting notices, and other work-related communications combine to is distract us and make it difficult to remain productive.

Using collaboration technology to communicate and to work together is meant to be a boost productivity. Some companies are finding out the hard way that it slows things down and causes communication overload, which is only intensified when the business uses more than one collaboration technology.

Collaboration platforms are—among other things—intended to simplify and streamline day-to-day work communications and operations. However, if you are attempting to utilize multiple platforms, your collaboration tech is more than likely disrupting operations. For example, employees whose job entails handling an enormous amount of information—scientists, lawyers, etc.—use, on average, eight different collaboration tools every day to carry out their work. Imagine trying to use eight—or even four—different collaboration platforms just to perform daily tasks. Changing collaboration platforms that frequently could cause substantial workflow interruptions.

Another factor in collaboration overload is email. Organizations that invest in collaboration technology need to inform employees how and why […]

By |April 12th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Virtual Reality: Revolutionizing the World of Work

While many of us have heard references to Virtual Reality (VR), the computer-generated recreation or simulation of a real-life environment, we may not understand how it works or how it will impact the world of work in the very near future. VR stimulates vision and hearing; immersing the user in a simulated reality. Virtual Reality is created using a coding language called VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) which can generate visual images, and specify the interactions to go with them.

VR technology has already made its way into certain industries. But will virtual reality translate into real value in the workplace? Yes, it will. VR has the potential to revolutionize business and the world of work—within the next ten years. While the uses of VR in the workplace are still developing, we are already aware of many potential ways VR will benefit business. Let’s explore this further.
How VR Will Be Used in the Workplace
Perhaps one of the most intriguing uses of VR in the workplace is the way it can change the perception of space. VR can create a 3D office that incorporates virtual whiteboards and charts that teams can use.  Companies that adopt VR with the intention of creating 3D office spaces can customize the virtual office to their specifications. Since VR allows people to interact with objects in virtual offices, it will potentially provide a new way to work together within virtual offices as well. And, by allowing people to collaborate in a shared virtual space, VR provides significant benefits over today’s collaboration methods.

In manufacturing, the use of virtual reality technology introduces new time and cost-saving methods in the prototype and development stages. For example, Ford is using VR technology to create virtual models […]

By |April 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Facilities Manager’s New Role with loT

Smart devices are now a part of everyday life. They can interact and share data automatically, making life easier. Retailers have already acknowledged the multiple benefits the loT offers in their industry, but can the loT have a significant impact on other sectors? The answer is yes, absolutely.  In particular, the loT provides a multitude of benefits for facility management.

The connectedness of the IoT and its ability to monitor energy, predict maintenance needs, track inventory, and more is starting to draw attention in the industry. Let’s explore some these benefits and how they can impact facilities.
How the loT is Making Buildings Smarter
Smart building technology is expected to grow 34 percent annually over the next five years. That means by 2021, the total market for loT integrated smart buildings is predicted to be $24.17 billion. With the investment of that amount of money, smart buildings must offer a vast amount of benefits to companies. And they do. For example, the loT and smart buildings allow predictive maintenance in many forms.

The loT receives data from multiple building functions to predict maintenance needs. By processing past and present usage, apps can identify problem areas and correct them automatically, or alert facility management teams of any potential issues in advance. Predictive maintenance like this isn’t limited to a single building function, either. For instance, IoT connected devices can monitor and communicate data from HVAC systems, lighting, elevators, and more. which saves more than just energy; loT predictive maintenance is estimated to save a company 15 percent of their capital asset spending.
loT and Simplifying Facility Management Problems
Smart buildings with loT capabilities not only predict maintenance needs, but they also diagnose and locate current maintenance issues. With every facility device reporting […]

By |March 29th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Improving Customer Satisfaction with IoT and AI Applications

Keeping customers satisfied is the primary goal of any business. CMOs and CIOs need to equip their employees with the right tools and training to be able to do this in today’s tech-obsessed world. Figuring out what technology can assist employees in making customers happy has never been easier.

There are many new developments in technology that are improving customer satisfaction—automation, machine learning, and AI are just a few. Let’s look at what CMOs and CIOs need to know about these technological advancements and how they are helping employees improve customer satisfaction levels.
Automation in Customer Service
Your organization’s customer service can make or break a buyer’s satisfaction. Thanks to automation, the world of customer service is getting a major overhaul. We are seeing new systems that can monitor and manage devices connected to the IoT. This automation features connected devices with dashboards that walk users through the process of troubleshooting common issues.

These automated troubleshooting interfaces can eliminate unneeded human interaction for easy problems, and free up human customer service representatives to address bigger issues. Chatbots are an example of automated customer service technology that can interact with their clients and solve common, small issues through text recognition. Automated systems like chatbots are just the beginning of improving customer satisfaction with AI applications.
Machine Learning Programs
In business, access to data is essential. Especially today. So too is customer satisfaction and customer service. AI has progressed immensely in the past two years, and machine learning has a range of potential benefits in customer service. AI, like machine learning, can hypothetically find the best customer service representative for any given customer. How? The process is simpler than you might imagine.

A machine learning engine can gather attributes from the customer calling—location, age, […]

By |March 21st, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Enterprise Application of AI Personal Assistants

Artificial Intelligence (AI) personal assistants are all the rage in the consumer market, and Amazon Echo and Google Home are making a name for themselves in that category. Right now, most AI personal assistants are sitting on consumers’ living room tables allowing them to order their favorite delivery food, play music, search the web, and perform other day-to-day activities.

Consumers are primarily using these AI personal assistants as in-home helpers, but can they transition to enterprise applications? If yes, what uses would they serve? Let’s explore.
Improved Scheduling
AI is already stepping into the enterprise by enabling voice-controlled scheduling. For example, Amazon’s Alexa can now add events to your calendar in Outlook. This update allows users to simply ask “Alexa, what’s my schedule for today” and the voice control triggers the AI personal assistant to list meetings, lunches, and various other tasks on the user’s schedule. Currently, Alexa is only compatible with Microsoft Outlook, and can only make calendar appointments at the user’s voice request. However, Amazon is updating and aims to make Alexa as universal as possible someday soon.

One reason Alexa demonstrates the AI personal assistant’s potential value in the enterprise marketplace is the compatibility factor. With so many different types of software already in place, most companies will only be willing to adopt AI that is compatible with existing software. The adoption of an AI that is self-reliant would call for a massive software overhaul for a company, so compatibility is essential for enterprise use. Another program in the marketplace, similar to Alexa, also has the ability to schedule meetings—startup’s personal assistant named Amy Ingram—but with one significant difference.

Amy is an AI assistant that has been programmed to scan and read e-mails. If any mention […]

By |March 17th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Five Ways AR and VR Are Changing Solution Selling

Deploying cutting-edge technology benefits businesses on many levels. From marketing to human resources, to sales, technology is improving operational efficiency across the organization. So, what’s the latest technology designed to helped companies exceed projections? The answer may surprise you.

While we commonly associate augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with displays and video games, they offer significant benefits for sales departments as well. Let’s examine in-depth how and why AV and VR are powerful AV technologies for companies and sales teams.
Five Sales Benefits of AR and VR

Increased Communication and Collaboration for Sales Teams. Communication within a sales team is a crucial part of their success. AR and VR do wonders to improve both communication and collaboration within a sales team. And, VR offers sales teams new ways to interact not only with each other, but as importantly, with clients and prospects. Imagine, instead of a conference call, team members and clients meeting in a virtual conference room with the ability to see and interact with each other in real time. Inserting others into VR can help sales reps read physical gestures and nonverbal communication, helping them better understand their colleagues and clients. Moreover, having the ability to read physical gestures also allows sales reps to deliver information in a clearer, more concise manner than through video chat or a traditional conference call.

Client Engagement. One of the most beneficial features of VR is that it allows potential customers to engage with products. Not only does this engagement through VR enable consumers to understand the product better, but it also helps in the research process along the path to purchase. How? Instead of relying on branded or user-generated content alone, VR makes it possible for […]

By |March 8th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

The Value of Simple and Seamless Collaboration

In today’s constantly evolving business landscape, most of us feel an urgent need to collaborate and stay connected. We use smartphones, tablets, and laptops on a daily basis on almost every level of work. And, with the increasing use of various mobile devices in the workplace, it’s a challenge to keep collaboration between coworkers, clients, and teams open and free-flowing. But if you want to keep your company viable, simple and seamless collaboration is a must.

Why? The globalization of business is here. Whether it’s across the office or across the Pacific, companies need to be able to communicate with their clients and team members. They must find ways to push beyond clutter and unnecessary difficulties in their communications. The answer is collaboration technology.
Why Collaboration is Vital
The saying, “time is money” is as relevant now as it’s ever been. And in today’s competitive marketplace, most organizations are looking for ways to save time and streamline their efforts in driving revenue.

Easily finding information and sharing it with the intended person or persons in real time has obvious benefits for both employers and employees. Programs like Microsoft Teams include software that eliminates long searches for content and gives employees the power to share and collaborate on multiple devices simultaneously.

Video collaboration is becoming one of the most powerful and streamlined methods to communicate efficiently. Through video collaboration, companies don’t only save time, but also promote more positive relationships with whomever the collaboration is taking place. And while employee morale and client relationships are important to any company, so are the numbers.

Companies that utilize video collaboration grow almost twice as fast as businesses that choose not to adopt video collaboration at all. If that statistic is not incentive enough, 41 […]

By |February 28th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Systems Security Analysis: In-house vs. A Managed Service

Cybersecurity breaches have become a fact of life these days. With the average total cost of a data breach reportedly at about $4 million, it’s no surprise that data security remains top of mind for CIOs and IT pros. As you’re no doubt aware, monitoring corporate AV systems is a critical component of security, and there are two schools of thought on how best to handle protection: An in-house strategy or working with a managed services provider. Let’s explore these options and review the pros and cons of each.
Getting Started
It’s important to begin by researching every component required for running and operating a successful Security Operations Center (SOC), before weighing your options about system security. With an increasing amount of companies storing data through different platforms, the need for systems security is at an all-time high.

While building and maintaining a SOC might appear an easy venture from the outside, it is a massive undertaking. You need trained individuals familiar with your monitoring systems of choice, a business specific strategy, the right technology to protect your data, and the wherewithal to navigate your legal obligations.  Each component is vital to the success of your systems security, including support from your executive team.

If you don’t have a business specific strategy, your SOC team will not be armed with the proper tools to be successful. The strategy must pinpoint your company’s needs while mapping out the most efficient way to handle potential security breaches. A focused business strategy will help executives feel at ease about funding a SOC.

Creating a SOC for your company is a lot of work, but it offers advantages that managed service providers can’t. For instance, putting together your own team to manage your systems […]

By |February 22nd, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

AV Integrations Transforming Higher Education

In higher education, we have left the days of blackboards and chalk far behind. Students today expect a classroom or auditorium to serve up a learning experience using the latest technologies. As a result, state-of-the-art AV technology occupies the center stage in the transformation of today’s higher education institutions.

Go to most universities, and you will see video screens, state-of-the-art projection equipment, interactive whiteboards and of course, amazing sounds systems. These examples only scratch the surface when it comes to the transformative possibilities of AV in the higher education landscape. AV integrations do more than just benefit the students; they provide a range of advantages to colleges and universities as well.
Benefits for the Students
Classrooms with interactive whiteboards, study rooms equipped with collaboration technology, and libraries and auditoriums that contain projection equipment all contribute to students’ learning experience. The incorporation of AV in higher education at this point is a necessity. Students can collaborate and share their work with peers and professors like never before. Students are more likely to feel engaged when using AV integrations.

Auditoriums and large lecture halls equipped with the latest large LCD technology and superior surround sound can reach students on a greater level. Professors can reach more students at once, which is a necessity for general education classes that all students are required to take.

Classrooms that incorporate communication and collaboration are vital to the success of college students since students who are encouraged to actively share and communicate using AV technology retain that information better than those taught without it.
Benefits for the University
“Colleges and universities of all types are competing to attract a generation of students that expects technology-driven experiences and prefers to learn in new ways,” stated David Labuskes, CTS, CAE, RCDD, InfoComm International Executive […]

By |February 20th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Smart Beacons Take Digital Signage to The Next Level

Digital signage can make the business of attracting and enticing customers easier than ever. While it’s a given that moving, interactive ads capture attention more than static ads, measuring the impact and effectiveness of those interactive ads is difficult. Until now. Smart beacons can make all the difference in taking digital signage to the next level by allowing retailers to connect the dots between digital display, conversions, and sales.

Here’s a scenario: Imagine a customer walking by a digital sign that contains information about a store they already frequent. If the shopper has the enabled app on their phone, a smart beacon can then push information about that store directly to the customers’ mobile device. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Better than cool, it’s effective. A recent Deloitte study showed that consumers who use digital technology in store convert at a rate 20 percent higher than other shoppers. That’s why smart retailers are using beacons to display relevant messaging about a sale or product in which the consumer might be interested. Stores could also collect customer data, with permission of course, and serve targeted messaging and ads to individual consumers.
The Clear Advantage of Beacons and Digital Signage
The use of digital signage and beacons doesn’t just benefit business, it benefits consumers as well. With the use of beacons, consumers are presented with real-time information about products, sales, and even number of products in stock. While beacons and digital signage might seem like a relatively new marketing strategy, it’s more common than you think.

According to a survey by SumoHeavy, 62 percent of purchasers use mobile devices to help in their purchasing process, including in-person shopping. While the usage of the device may vary—checking for coupons or researching a product, for […]

By |February 15th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments
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