Like all technology, AV equipment has a relatively short lifespan. Companies focused on agility and productivity need optimized AV systems. When was the last time you upgraded your organization’s AV equipment? An AV system needs to do more than run to help an organization reach its goals. Clunky and outdated systems tend to make a company look incompetent or sit unused in conference rooms. And as more businesses, clients, and even consumers grow accustomed to using AV technology in daily life, companies need to consider how their AV equipment works within the larger business framework.
Is it Time for an Upgrade?
Functionality alone does not inspire employee adoption. In 2017, an AV system needs high- resolution displays, clear sound, and the latest technology. Use the following red flags to determine if it’s time for an upgrade.
Wires and bulky hardware overrun the place. Older AV systems can feature complex setups involving large, boxy equipment and an assortment of black and brightly colored wires. If you need to hide your AV equipment with carefully chosen conference tables, shelving units, or cabinets, you may want to consider a newer system, which will provide space flexibility. Modern solutions often incorporate cloud technology for reduced hardware. Mounted microphones and speakers eliminate the need to huddle around a centralized unit during calls, and high-resolution displays and cameras remove the need for backup communication alternatives.
Employees reluctantly use the system. A clunky, outdated system complicates communication. When your employees don’t use the AV systems to their fullest potential, you’re sacrifice productivity, savings, and profitability.
The user experience is unreliable. For AV systems to deliver optimal results, they need a user-friendly interface and on-demand functionality. Frequent glitches, the need for constant IT support and […]
We tend to think of UX, or user experience, as a new phenomenon tied to the digital age. However, user experience has long been a driver of design. For example, more than sixty years ago, industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss wrote Designing for People, a classic design text that has had profound impact on the methodologies of design.
“When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient – or just plain happier – by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded,” states Dreyfuss in Designing for People. Dreyfuss describes many of the methods that UX designers employ today to understand and design for user needs.
User experience and the ideal customer journey have less to do with a device or screen and more to do with a user’s ability to interact with a product easily—be it through digital signage or real-world experience. When what connects the customer to your product or service causes friction, it’s a design failure that likely means a lost sale. When consumers feel comfortable because of a positive experience, they are simply more eager to make a purchase. It’s the same as it was sixty years ago; great user experience is the key to business success.
Leverage Interactive Tech for Positive UX
Interactive technology is how users access your product or service. Regardless of how well your product or service performs, great UX must drive your customers to its use or purchase. Interactive technology designed with the user in mind can transform the customer journey— taking your business to a whole new level.
Create memorable experiences that will keep your […]
It’s the age of rapidly evolving technology – the only way to stay in the game is to invest in consistent professional development. In the audio/visual (AV) realm, professional development is especially crucial to stay on top of the frequent installation, design, and equipment updates. Learn how continued AV education will not only keep your brand alive in the modern era but propel your company to the top of your industry.
Reap the Benefits of Continual Education
Employee training and development will always be staples for a successful business to pinpoint company weaknesses, evaluate performances, and make changes to optimize a brand. However, many companies underestimate the value of ongoing employee education. Putting your employees through regular coursework, conferences, and training sessions can keep their information current, give them in-depth, hands-on training they can’t find elsewhere, and give them excellent networking opportunities – all without risk to your company.
Savvy AV companies invest in continued AV professional development because they know it’s necessary to stay ahead of the competition. AV is a quickly evolving industry, with new, innovative solutions hitting the market regularly, which is imperative for new hires, existing employees, IT teams, and before awarding promotions. New hires should receive regular training to get to the bottom of problems and answer questions before they become major issues.
Continued development can facilitate familiarization with the company, a deeper understanding of individual responsibilities, and knowledge of company goals and missions. Existing employees and IT teams can benefit from regular training courses to learn about any updates and new AV equipment on the market and to feel more secure in their roles with the company. Extra training before a promotion can help employees need less supervision once they assume a new […]
It’s the final month of 2016. The New Year looms enticingly on the horizon. There are many reasons to look forward to 2017 – none the least of which is the gamut of incredibly exciting innovations in the technology industry. Here is a brief look at our top 10 technology predictions for next year.
Invest in AI Customer Service
Artificial Intelligence will begin to replace humans in the customer service sphere of businesses. Automating customer call centers or investing in a hybrid AI-human customer service department will improve productivity, cut wasted employee time, and make it easier for customers to get answers. AI will also take over the realm of analytics, enabling businesses to understand trends as they evolve in real time.
Vamp Up Your Videos
The booming success of live video, video marketing, and virtual reality applications in the past year points to another banner year for this medium, as mobile continues to replace desktop viewing. Consumers will come to expect video from your company, and a lack thereof will be a definite mark against your brand.
Enjoy Advanced Predictive Analytics
Big data was the phrase of the year, with new technologies like interactive digital signage giving organizations new ways to gather incredibly accurate consumer information. Predictive analytics will shine in 2017, bringing forecasting capabilities to an all-time high. Businesses will be able to understand customers, foresee trends, and use big data in ways we haven’t yet imagined.
Jump Onboard Machine Learning
Machine learning startups will be the top acquisition targets of software firms, chip manufacturers, and related businesses as they jump to add smarter computing programs to their products. Machine learning techniques will finally reach the point where they’re ready to join the market in applications such as image file […]
Data as a service (DaaS) developed during the last year with the onslaught of the “As a Service” movement. Put simply, DaaS removes the silos around traditional data stores and allows companies to access real-time data streams from anywhere in the world. It removes the constraints of internal data sources. Enterprises – including SAP and Amazon – are already tapping into this developing area, which is showing real promise.
Use DaaS to Change Decision-Making
DaaS is a revolutionary idea that is changing the way companies manage and handle their data. In addition to providing new ways to control the overwhelming flow of new streams of information, DaaS offers several other tangible benefits to modern businesses. First and foremost, DaaS eliminates much of the administrative work surrounding data. Business leaders can still get the same insights and details from their data streams—but without having to parse them to make data-driven decisions.
Additionally, companies that subscribe to DaaS platforms will have access to more data stores than ever. Keeping onsite data collection hardware is costly, and back-end support is needed for onsite data collection. Most businesses that aren’t already in the data industry struggle to maintain a viable internal data source. Simply put, DaaS platforms offer the advantages of access to big data without the typical investments. There is no more need for massive hardware upgrades or creating a dedicated data department.
Find Your Data Faster and With More Accuracy
With DaaS platforms, it’s also easier to find exactly the data you need in real time. Before Daas, organizations would have to determine which data they needed to collect, how and where they would collect it, and then decide whether it was usable. In most cases, companies would need to mine data […]
Sparking employee creativity is a cornerstone of leadership in companies that want to grow and thrive. Encouraging employees to think outside of the box can help companies develop new solutions for existing problems. But creativity can go farther than just problem-solving. Leaders should encourage their employees to get creative with the technology they use.
Encouraging Mobile Usage
Mobile technology is more prevalent and powerful than ever. For the first time in history, people are using smartphones more than desktop computers to access the internet, and the gap just keeps growing. This is largely due to the widespread ownership of cell phones: 68 percent of Americans own a powerful smartphone, and 45 percent own a tablet.
As the trend continues, it’s becoming more and more important for businesses to adapt to the mobile world. It’s important to be accessible to customers, but companies can benefit from using technology for their employees too. In fact, mobile-first businesses are forging the way to more creative and loyal workers than ever before.
When employees can use mobile devices in their job, they are more productive, satisfied, and creative. Companies who are “mobile pioneers” (meaning they utilize mobile devices during work) saw a 16 percent productivity increase. They also saw 18 percent more creativity, 23 percent more satisfaction, and 21 percent more loyalty.
Beyond the quantitative gains, companies who utilize mobile devices also see an image boost. It’s much harder to measure these effects, but they should never be discounted. Employee happiness and retention are both heavily affected by image and relationships with employees.
Implementing Technology Effectively
There are multiple ways to unleash technology effectively, beyond utilizing mobile devices. One of the best strategies for businesses is to improve and utilize existing technology instead of buying new […]
Year after year, each December and January we’re inundated with articles predicting what the trends will be in the New Year. Headlines, such as “What to Expect in 2017 From Your Technology” dominate. The most popular topic making waves in the business world these days is the internet of things (IoT.) How are business leaders going to predict the future of the IoT accurately? How will the rest of us prepare for what’s to come?
Remember, we can discern quite a bit about the future by looking to the past. It’s important for business owners to stay forward thinking and to be driven by future possibilities. At the same time, it’s critical that we remember the past and don’t make the same mistakes again and again. Being mindful of the trends that have come and gone (as well as the predictions that never came to pass) will help you prepare for the year to come.
Don’t Repeat History
A little more than two decades ago, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, companies like Whisper, CellNet, and Hexagram unveiled machine-to-machine networking. However, their inability to think about the future of technology resulted in their downfall, and those companies are not in business today. Their technologies were strictly proprietary and unable to support many applications. Additionally, their limited capacity also meant they offered insufficient security. They would not have held up in today’s market, where digital security is a top concern for just about every industry.
A reliable network needs lots of bandwidth, and cybersecurity can never be just an afterthought. Although many IoT networks have resorted to staying small, hoping that an insignificant appearance would make for less attractive targets for hacking—any system can become a target. When developing […]
The new year is right around the corner, and now is the time of year where we make share predictions about what’s to come in 2017. This, however, is less of a prediction and more of a plea: 2017 needs to be the year that IT embraces shadow IT. The term shadow IT describes employees using their own devices and software in the workplace without obtaining approvals from their firm’s IT department. According to TechTarget, “With the consumerization of IT and cloud computing, the meaning has expanded to include personal technology that employees use at work, or niche technology that meets the unique needs of a particular business division and is supported by a third-party service provider or in-house group, instead of by corporate IT.” Many IT departments grapple with the security issues this use of unapproved hardware and software creates. But the reality of the BYOD (bring your own device) workplace means that the issue isn’t going away. And there are positive aspects to consider. Here’s what shadow IT can do for your business:
Make IT Much Less Intimidating
Employees tend to be most familiar with their own devices, and—especially when a company rolls out new technology through digital disruption—they can be intimidated by new and unfamiliar devices and systems. When companies find ways to incorporate shadow IT and let employees take IT processes to their own devices, employees become more comfortable engaging with IT, and it’s can be a win-win situation for everyone.
Encourage Employee Innovation
By embracing BYOD and shadow IT, businesses encourage workers to innovate with new technology. Employees no longer feel tied to one type of device, platform, or operating system; instead, they may feel empowered to branch out and try different technologies to […]
Technology changes everything. There are very few aspects of our lives that haven’t been transformed, or at least touched, by our digital advancements. Digital devices are good for educational development and have helped us become a more efficient and intelligent society—and the technology is always progressing. Not everyone is eager to proclaim the benefits.
The Anti-Device Movement: What Is It?
Many parents are choosing to distance their children from technology. In most cases, research that likens digital devices to dangerous drugs is persuading parents to cut back on their children’s exposure to tech. While it is true that interactive technology creates pleasurable sensations within the brain, many other activities do as well. Eating sugar, for example, leads to a substantial release of hormones like dopamine – just like illicit drugs. Still, billions of people lead relatively normal lives regardless of their sugar intake.
With publications dramatizing the effects of technology on our children, it’s easier for some parents to justify foregoing digital interactions for their children altogether. Some parents place strict limits on time with technology and others just don’t allow these devices in their house at all. In some cases, parents go so far as complaining to school administrators when teachers use devices inside the classroom. Despite the popularity of this movement, jumping on the “restricting tech” bandwagon is probably not the smartest choice for your child.
Why Ignoring Technology Could Hold Your Child Back
It’s no surprise that parents make extreme decisions in pursuit of a better life for their children. A bit of simple reasoning, however, can help them make the best choices. It’s no different when it comes to technology. Several logical points tell us why digital devices deserve a place in our lives:
You can’t ignore […]
Smart cities are becoming more commonplace as governments around the world invest millions of dollars in technology and infrastructure to make urban life more convenient, more efficient, and more reliable. Smart cities face particular roadblocks, not unlike those that organizations must address when they start technology projects. For this reason, implementing smart technologies will pose problems for municipal leadership. Let’s explore those.
Bridge the Digital Divide
In the same way that businesses must prepare employees for digital transformation, cities must address the social and economic inequalities that exist in urban areas. Those with access to the most current technologies will always have more, and it often stems from unequal access to education and decision-making power.
Technology is a powerful catalyst for change, but it is even more powerful when cities go beyond simply providing access to technology and work to create opportunities for their citizens to learn to use technology—both in and out of the home. Truly smart cities are providing equal access to education that teaches their citizens how to use technology to advance their home and work lives.
Protect Rights and Privacy
Critics express concerns that smart technology does not protect the rights of digital citizens effectively. Most private sector companies that collect data aren’t legally bound to protect the users’ privacy. Many companies today harvest online data for resale. City leaders will do well to review and adopt the United Nations’ Privacy and Data Protection Principles, as they implement planning for smart city functionality.
Break Down Silos
Because most city governments are not unified entities and municipal agencies typically operate within silos, sharing data can be problematic. To work effectively, smart technology relies not only on the data it obtains from connected devices but the collaboration and insights that […]