Cutting costs for businesses, while allowing flexibility to the professional world, cloud contact centers have been becoming increasingly beneficial to enterprises all over the planet. Not only has cloud collaboration pushed regional boundaries, but it has also cut expenses for travel that otherwise would have meant lost time of department heads and leaders, who are instrumental in leading various teams around the country.
Cloud contact centers allow innovative moves towards conference
calling and unified communications directly from the cloud. Business
VoIP is made possible through these systems, often saving call centers
and business operations up to 60% in costs of traditional phone systems.
Additionally, calls can be recorded and save within the system,
voicemail accessible directly through a centralized e-mail platform.
Because of cloud efficiency, it has been predicted that 25% of most IT budgets will be set aside for cloud-based systems.
Growing from a storage-based technology, professionals have been
learning to increase productivity by working within the cloud directly.
Because these systems can be accessed across a variety of devices, many
professionals are opting to work “on the go,” utilizing tools and
communications platforms within the cloud system, where they are also
able to store confidential documents and proprietary information.
Quickly connecting consumers with answers to their questions and
solutions to their problems, cloud centers are saving the business
valuable time, which also translates to money. This also leads to
greater profits, as brand trust is adopted with loyalty and tenure.
As time passes, the business model is transformed and continuously
upgraded. Business VoIP and IT systems integrating into these
cloud-based models are finding that depreciation is almost nonexistent.
While integrations will continue to improve systems, outdated equipment
is no longer an issue.
With the ability to disseminate valuable information throughout the
system at once and because most interactions can now be accessed on
demand, there is less of a need to hire multiple trainers to bring
employees up-to-speed on new programs and procedures. Increased controls
ensure efficiency through shareable content on internal servers.
Again, with a centralized system, valuable information, knowledge
bases and case studies can be accessed while communicating with clients,
partners and customers, improving the overall experience and quality of
As decent-sized business, expanding services to overseas clientele, you might wonder how you fit into “the mix.” Is your company considered a mid-sized business? Or, is it an enterprise? Both come with distinctive needs, and yet it always comes down to whatever it is that the business is looking to achieve.
When understanding which grade of solutions your business requires,
take a step back and analyze your business. Identify your direct needs –
and what solutions would best help your business to excel. The same is
no different from customer service solutions.
What you will find out is quite surprising, really. In a time of
productivity and meeting clients where they “hang out” the most,
enterprise customer service centers are still primarily phone-based,
with agents numbering in the thousands.
While services are scalable, they are usually meant to serve agent
populations of over 10K or more. Because many of these call centers are
specialized in their line of expertise, they are often preferred in
providing vertical customer service solutions.
Enterprise vendors are, slowly but surely, moving away from
on-premise solutions and are starting to adopt cloud-based systems. In a
way, they seem old-fashioned compared to the mid-sized services that
tend to appeal to the more millennial generation. They do provide a
plethora of services, including CTI (News – Alert) integrations, allowing client computers and telephones to interconnect, and agent guidance through the system.
Enterprise customer service solutions also include reporting and
analytics, data management and additional case management. Businesses
that have been grandfathered into existence or have carved a major chunk
out of the marketplace may deem this type of customer service more
efficient and cost-effective for their brand. They may feel no need to
connect via online platforms with Marketing already controlling a
persona amongst audiences online.
While enterprise solutions tend to be more affordable, because they
are based on prepackaged pricing, they cost more upfront, as mid-size
solutions cost more on the backend. Mid-sized businesses work off of a
time-to-value model. Solutions are enabled based on budget, quote or
need. Businesses will pay for servicing based on time period for
servicing, an outline of scope, a price quote for resources used, upkeep
and maintenance, storage and even how large internal teams would
Mid-sized customer service solutions, however, tend to get the
biggest bang for the buck, serving multiple customers simultaneously in a
cloud contact center or work-at-home environment. Dedicated agents
number only in the 100s and are available to service customers around
the clock and via multiple service platforms, such as social media,
mobile delivery and e-mail correspondence, in addition to traditional
call center options.
Mid-sized vendors tend to target specific divisions within the
organization. Dedicated teams will engage in specific tasks, while much
of the solution-based servicing is self-initiated. Cloud solutions allow
for internal help desks to access knowledge bases, omni-channel
usability and integrated controls. Mid-sized solutions tend to involve
more platforms and more automation than enterprise customer service
Why have all the bells and whistles but no clue how to use them?
Will learning these tools save time and investment in the long run?
Or, will they be unnecessary to your organization even if learned? Will
it cost a pretty penny to train internal teams to use these tools, or
would the company excel having someone else handle your customer service
externally? These are the differences between enterprise and mid-sized
Whether an enterprise customer service experience is taking place or a mid-sized solution, Aspect (News – Alert) Software has been recently making a name for itself as a business that does more than monitor call center activity.
Aspect combines solutions from both types of servicing to connect
agents to solutions, immediately, and better serve customers on the
first call. With enhanced customer service features, this suite of enterprise solutions supports high interactivity, automated controls, video and audio integrations, while promoting productivity.
Aspect allows key relationships to be documented and maintained,
ensuring each customer receives personalize treatment, where they feel
appreciated for their continued business. While enterprise solutions
normally aren’t focused on contact center options, the integration will
allow for future utilization, as call centers are becoming more focused
on how to best serve our millennial generation, who now comprises over $2.45 trillion of our annual marketplace.
Enterprise customer service solutions may find that keeping their
current model is not enough, and Aspect helps them stay with the times
in caring for audiences of all shapes and sizes. Like mid-sized
solutions, enterprise service solutions will need dedication teams for
both social and digital customer service needs through larger, more
focused contact center systems.
As productivity literally falls into our hands, and technologies allow for better integration of our most precious business tools, cloud contact centers are working hard to plan their roadmap for 2016. While some of us have been working diligently through the holiday season, many of are returning to the control boards for the first time since last year!
As we enter 2016, many of us are ambitious and excited about what is
rumored to come. We have set goals through resolutions of things we are
inspired to achieve – and we will. Aspect (News – Alert),
a developer of omni-channel customer engagement solutions, did their
homework. And, they offer us a list of 6 common denominators for contact center resolutions in the New Year:
Reinvent “Cool.” + Become More Available = Enhance the Customer Experience.
These three resolutions play a major part in the potential of one
another. In fact, becoming more available on mobile and through social
media, the customer experience will be enhanced, improved and more
gratifying to the brand enthusiasts.
We are living amongst millennials – those young professionals who
never sleep and hate living within the confines of tradition and
“normalcy.” For them, it is normal to pick up a phone at 3 a.m. and call
customer service. But, customer service isn’t usually available past 8
p.m. on a regular business day. Allowing customers to connect to
work-at-home individuals at these hours, however, is not just cool –
But, man, is it convenient!
Cloud contact centers are resolving to become part of the
conversation. They are building their “cred” in social media, while
adjusting to the needs of their most valued customers – even acquiring a
few strays in the process. In 2016, if you aren’t listening to your customers, you’re already #failing!
Build brand advocates. Brands that include do-it-yourself tutorials,
troubleshooting tips, videos, easy-to-read user manuals and customer
portals for live group discussion will notice an uptick in the way their
brands are consumed by those who matter most.
Take Apple (News – Alert)
for example. Each new MacBook Pro comes with paperwork that the average
customer would never read. This material breaks down care and handling
of the new device. It also includes installations with picture and
diagram, highlight with easy-to-read directions.
Users can find their way to a support page and be addressed by a
customer service agent directly, or can find additional help by brand
enthusiasts sharing similar experiences of the past. Thanks to search
engines, these tips can be “Google’ (News – Alert)d” and brand loyalty continues.
Apple finds that many loyalists have created their own help forums in
dedication to the brand, often selling Apple products, as a third-party
carrier. On the other hand, for a subscription fee or onetime payment
in store, customers can be serviced over the phone or at a live store.
Apple has instilled the “do-it-yourself” mentality by allowing
consumers to learn their products inside out and provide tips to better
maintenance and repair of their complex machinery.
Because consumers feel they know their product, they are most likely
to accessorize, tell a friend how “easy” a product is to use and how
they should be using that brand, while upgrading their products and
purchasing surplus repair parts – directly from the brand. Customers
will also be able to better voice concern with a product, knowing
exactly what is wrong with their item – and feeling more confident that
their issue will be handled immediately.
Retain More Customers. Bring the Old Ones Back!
Probably one of the more difficult of industries, the Tech World
finds innovation, trends and the evolution of technology can sometimes
shift response by consumers in support of your brand. So, how do you
keep those consumers? It’s simple!
Be their lifeline. Advocate on their behalf. Listen.
When it comes to customer service and often experienced when work is
outsourced to individuals with frequent turnover ratios, customers
aren’t being heard and call center agents are often treating customers
as if they know not what they are talking about. This is a huge problem,
especially if a customer knows exactly what they are talking about and
where the root of the problem occurs. Not only does this lead to
escalations after almost an hour into the call, but it leads customers
to lose patience and trust in a brand. They go elsewhere…
Believe it or not, there are many loyalists that love a brand so
much, that they stick around based on the customer experience and
familiarity with the product. There are others, who simply are content
with the product at hand and do not have the time to switch platforms or
learn a new one. But if they are experiencing horrible customer
service, they are also the first to “jump ship” and leave your brand in
Cloud contact centers are resolving to integrate features more often,
saving time and complexity of resolving the customer’s needs – allowing
for more time to be spent on listening to the customer, engaging in
short, memorable chit chat and improving customer service. They retain
their current customer base, while bringing back former clientele thanks
to viral experiences that are shared over and over again.
Eliminate Escalations. Improve Service.
We really should consider our customers as people and stop playing
“hot potato” with their issues. Making them call back over and over,
dropping their calls, not solving their issues on the first point of
contact is only pushing them away – and millennials, as social as they
are, will let it be known!
Improving serving impacts the bottom line. Period! Aspect points out – and it’s no laughing matter – that “a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet, than talk to customer service.”
Now, isn’t that just crappy? Seriously, though, how can we expect
customers to trust our brand when they can’t even trust us to help them
in a time of crisis? Furthermore, if they have issues with our products
and services, do you think they will return for more – and at such a
high cost to their pockets?
According to Datamark, there are six contact center trends to watch this year. In case you didn’t get the memo, 2016 is already here; and the future of our cloud contact centers will to be reshaped by our millennial generation. These young, social savvy professionals are hungry for innovation, full of passion and really hate to be tied down. They were born with a silver keyboard glued at the fingertips and are now powering a $2.45 trillion marketplace.
Everything powers on. Everything is connected.
One thing that often goes unsaid about millennials is that they are
truly workaholics. Many of them are content with working around the
clock and have leveraged this quality to quickly build and accelerate
their careers. But, millennials are also full of adventure. They prefer
to be “out and about” while doing business than cooped up inside staring
at wall in between business transactions.
For this reason, companies are okay with investing into necessary
resources to keep Millennials focused, happy and working around the
clock. Because other millennials are also connected around the clock,
they seem to find their way to one another on social media at all hours
of the night. Businesses are learning that social media growth is
definitely a resource they want to shift into the New Year.
The goal with social media is efficiency. Many of our millennials
grew up with platforms like Yahoo! Answers and Cha-Cha in which answers
are provided to them immediately with little effort on their behalf.
These same millennials are now returning the favor and providing their
on consumer base with the same efficiency they once craved. Doing this
on an enterprise level is one thing, personalizing the experience is
Businesses are listening to their consumers now more than ever. Much
of this is happening via social media and proving extremely beneficial
in acquiring new customers and combatting negative feedback before it
One Harvard Business Review shows that from 2013 to 2014, customer service has grown by 70 percent on just Twitter (News – Alert)
alone. Couple this with the fact that Pinterest is named the most
effective network for converting customers during marketing campaigns
and that YouTube (News – Alert) has now become our largest search engine provider and the possibilities have become endless.
External devices that stick out of our computers and memory cards
larger than a pinky nail have become irritating to us. We don’t like
lugging them around – potentially losing them with valuable data in
tote. Shoot, we don’t even want to bring the laptop with us any more.
We want to leave our table at Starbucks without worry of someone
taking off with our previous devices. The set up and tear down even
becomes a nuisance for a split-second purchase or at a time we just want
to empty our bladders. For this, we have adopted the cloud and have
made it the new norm.
We now have ability to connect to extensive storage systems access
programs at a distance and we can even connect directly to another
human, as we collaborate to launch our new product line – from the
middle of the Grand Canyon.
Life has become more flexible, and we owe it to cloud. And, while 13
percent of our workforce still refuses to adopt this technology based on
security paranoia—a majority of our corporate world rather not have it
any other way!
For the most part, the millennial generation is constantly found
texting. If they had to thumb wrestle for their next dinner, they would
be the new gladiators. By 2017, Millennials are expected to surpass the
baby boomers; who are now retiring and stepping down to less demanding
Millennials hate sitting through telephone prompts. Why take a survey
via inaccurate touch-tone keypads when we can reply to a text message?
Without major providers raping us for short codes like they use to,
consumers find it easier to interact with their favorite brands via
text. In fact, they prefer it … especially if the conversation
circumvents a discount or exclusive offer!
These same brands can choose to upsell products and services to their
consumers thanks to the level of customer satisfaction that they have
already cultivated. In fact, it is this same customer satisfaction that
is leading companies to throw old mentalities completely out of the
When measuring call quality, they are learning that volumes and call
times aren’t always the best indicator of good quality service. Very
often, good quality service comes from an agent taking the time – no
matter how long it takes – to understand their audiences needs and
handle issues right then and there. In fact, the more time spent
listening to the customer, the better the agent can paint a picture of
The loyalty that is gained from a customer who feels important and
has just found a solution to their problem is priceless. Rushing
customers off the phone will only make them irate and teach them to
distrust a brand that has them forking over hundreds of hard earned
dollars every month.
A positive response rate and an amazing customer experience will lead
to work of mouth opportunities that the brand can cash in at a later
With over 37 bugfixes and new added features, Chrome48 is now being enhanced with scalable WebRTC and VP9 updates.
As Chrome collaborates with Vidyo to release the new VP9 codec,
cross-platform delivery will now allow video calls to take place through
the same high quality it always has but with a 40 percent lower bitrate
than the previous VP8 codec. This leads to improved HD-calling at the
previous bitrate through the WebRTC open source project. The downfall is
that it will take up an additional 15 percent of CPU.
While the stream may not freeze and lag as much, systems may.
Portable devices may also see a decrease in battery life when the app is
powered on. There are many cases where previous versions of Hangouts
have completely killed batteries for tablets using this app, requiring
additional charge time.
The plus side to this new release, however, is that it is scalable.
All things considered, battery life may not be a problem after all. This
will encourage an increase in video calling for both business and
Because Chrome will utilize the previous VP8 codec by default, VP9
will have to be applied directly to each application. New AppRTC
enhancements will allow the VP9 codecs to become the preferred codec by
default. WebRTC and Chrome are headed in a direction that will allow better delivery of video,
utilizing less power to do so. It will also mean greater multipoint
potential for video conferencing. Through the new scalability, less
delay and lag time will take place – significantly less.
Joining forces and bringing Vidyo to Google Hangouts, developers can
now begin to add the added experience that users are searching for –
adding further collaboration to their own projects. APIs are currently
underway to support the WebRTC layer and will be available in future
versions of Chrome. In fact, Vidyo has already utilized scalable coding
in building new server architectures for large-scale communications.
These improvements will impact high definition video delivery on just
about any device.
For years, the two companies have been working together to improve
Hangouts; but with increasing trends in video conferencing and cloud
integrations, this release couldn’t happen at a better time. With
Google’s proprietary suit of cloud and productivity tools and the
ability to innovate platforms through layering, we sit back in
anticipation of what is next to come.
Are you ready to listen, yet? As we enter 2016, our social media strategies had better include social listening. Otherwise known as brand monitoring, brands have been finding added value in social media by paying attention to what their enthusiasts have to say.
Whether seeking validation for our future marketing campaigns or
looking to improve product delivery, brand monitoring has been
benefiting brands across the web for some time now. Business 2 Community
recently broke down ten ways social listening can benefit your
business. As brands improve the customer experience, we need to improve
our customer service strategies, as well. How else can we improve
customer service without getting to know our customers intimately?
In early 2015, a telecommunications company (name withheld) lost many
customers who were no longer locked into a two-year agreement, thanks
to horrible customer service techniques. Not only did their service fall
short of expectation, but they faced multiple overcharge and device
failure – gaining the brand a bad reputation.
In many cases, refunds were in order for customers spending hours of
talk time with customer service, repeating their nightmare to
representatives, while pleading to be heard. They often received no
follow-ups and were therefore never refunded.
As one of the top three service providers in the United States, they
began losing the favor of a loyal fan base. On top of this, potential
customers wanted no part of what the brand had to offer. We saw botched
marketing campaigns. ROIs suffered.
Social media can be a son of a gun when it comes to marketing to the
masses. Every campaign initiated via social media was flooded with
negative feedback. Social commenting and storytelling put the brand into
overtime and urged them to hire a cloud contact center that could fix
their painful dilemma.
Per one negative comment, a minimum of two positive comments must be
made to dissuade public opinion. In fact, a “no comment” is better than a
negative comment. Negative commenting can bring irreparable damage to a
brand via word of mouth experiences.
The brand didn’t listen to begin with. Social media led to further
damage. But, when it was adopted as a tool, this brand found the power
of social media to be beneficial in repairing their image. It totally
turned around the experience for millions of customers, who have since
been returning to the network and bringing friends and family with them.
Once the brand began listening, they publicly showed concern with the
customer experience – earning back brand trust, bit by bit. They also
learned what can be done to improve their brand and what the customer
They learned that towers weren’t feeding devices the way that they
should be; and customers were paying for services that they weren’t
receiving. They learned that existing contracts with television
providers were causing damage to service potential. This led to
expedited contracts in fulfilling service plans. They were going to
continue losing customers and owe for unfulfilled servicing of their
Because of social media, they were able to identify common issues
amongst a network of users. They also learned that their outsourced call
centers weren’t living up to the expectations that they once had.
They avoided a PR catastrophe by simply listening. They were
protected against competitors, who could easily capitalize off of their
weaknesses. With a website that showed nothing but ways a customer would
benefit from service, the full picture was gained through social media
access. Competitors monitoring this brand could have easily intercepted
customers by enacting social listening strategies and jumping into the
Listening and intercepting the conversation halted “bad mouthing” to
friends and family, further allowing the brand to dissuade the
conversation. They now control that conversation. This has allowed them
to gain new customers. Positive experiences continue the flow of
incoming sales leads for the brand and has been the turning point in
Since this experience, this company has become extremely social
savvy. They have been showing appreciation for their consumer bases,
making them feel special through social sharing of user-generated
content and by joining in the fun with memes that their customers can
They have been able to leverage key advocates and supporters,
influencing new audiences for the better. With new product and service
lines, plans have been maximized to better meet customer needs and
provide consumers with the exact product that fits their lifestyles…
especially those niche lifestyles… all of which lead to brand tenure and
Social listening is very important and needs to be implemented
immediately. If you’re not engaging in some form of brand monitoring in
2016, you will most likely fall behind.
A sharp increase in online sales shows that consumers are learning to
trust brands through interactive experiences and online platforms. A
“buy it now” mentality has influenced the demand for most brands to
shift the way they do business and often changing the first point of
contact between the brand and the consumer. Most importantly, this
adoption has led to an increased need to meet the consumer “at the door”
with a qualified sales specialist and customer service representative
in assisting the consumer in an enriched shopping experience.
Taking control of the sales funnel, VeriShow allows agents to lead
the customer directly to a particular product or service of interest, as
they are given the power to access consumer screens and better guide
them through the sales process. This, of course, can be done in real
time – and saving energy on behalf of the consumer, while better
influencing the point of sale and reducing drop-offs to the sales
Providing effortless shopping experiences and instant gratification
to consumers, customer service representatives and live sales agents
will now be better equipped to encourage sales in real time, while
translating customer concerns directly with the brand and tightening the
sales process for maximized online shopping experiences.
An enriched CRM will lead to more productive sales potential,
allowing existing models to evolve in ensuring a future that builds upon
the direct needs of consumers, themselves.
The future of customer retention is now more controlled, predictable
and able to be scaled, allowing for a deeper satisfaction at the time of
transaction than we have ever seen before. Gaps in the sales funnel
will now be better explained.
VeriShow demonstrates an added advantage with its current Salesforce
integration. Video chatting and screenshares build off of conferencing
mechanisms that promote collaboration and better overall communications
A customer will now have his or her own personal sales representative
to assist in every step of the sales process. They can ask questions,
voice concern and receive product insight without the need to leave a
webpage for additional research. Brands will be paying less in obtaining
market research, as well, with customer insight presented right in
front of their eyes.
Once a consumer leaves a particular website, they may or may not
return. They may find a better price outside of the system or lose
interest all together. Shopping with a personal agent will ensure better
sales performance and provide a better measure of control in future
sales and marketing initiatives.
Delivering added security to private matters, tools will now better
assist human resource personnel in the filing and processing of
important documentation in real time. Access may be more flexible and
easier to grant through convenient online portals. This will reduce
visitor wait times within lobbies and waiting rooms all over the world,
allowing for better productivity and better accessibility to those we
need to speak to the most.
As technologies join forces in creating better experiences for the
end-user, we will see this become a trend in Salesforce integration for
the 2016 fiscal year. In fact, this type of experience is sure to become
a standard in how we do business remotely. Productivity is key, and
better interactions help us to accomplish it.
Recently, TokBox (News – Alert), a Telefonica company and recognized leader in WebRTC, announced the release of yet another collaborator tool in mobile integrations.
While companies are pairing up to bring the ultimate communications
experience, TokBox makes its contribution to the overall customer
experience, while eliminating some of the frustration that comes with
tech support and strategic planning via remote interface.
As businesses are adopting the ability to engage customers in
video-enriched tech experiences, TokBox’s annotation tool allows for
convenience in literally pointing out the problem.
Whether through screen sharing or screenshots, TokBox’s annotation
tool allows users on either side of the conversation to engage in
markup, calling attention to important points within the conversation.
While this can already be done through standard mobile editing tools,
TokBox allows for live screenshares and annotations through its OpenTok
In tech support, customers can point out exactly what is broken,
while specialists can direct customers to exactly which button resets a
system and in which direction the switch needs thrown. There is no more
room for a twenty-minute conversation trying to explain where on a
device the customer should start looking. This cuts back call times,
which directly cuts costs for tech support departments and promotes
TokBox recently released a platform associated with FoxSports and college football.
A coach could hold a meeting via remote delivery; strategizing
gameplays and maneuvers, similar to what is done by commentators while a
game is airing live to television. This would allow college students to
be more proactive in their studies while maximizing their potential
wins on the field. They would no longer have to skip classes or leave
class early just to make a meeting on time.
Like many video conferencing platforms, OpenTok is recordable and
able to be accessed at any time. This will benefit those who need a
refresher course or would like to study what was discussed during the
video conferencing. These platforms are available on both web and mobile
OpenTok’s annotation tools are currently in beta and have a long way
to compete with some of the more advanced tools in video collaboration.
But, they are off to an amazing start. Not too many platforms currently
allow live annotations, but those that do are leaving our experiences
Polycom (News – Alert), for example, calls their version of annotation “video whiteboarding.”
They actually have created physical tools that allow “in-meeting
annotation” and that enable participants to share those annotations on any standard whiteboard or LCD display to everyone on a call.
While basic tools and free form shapes are being made available through these platforms, colleges, such as Harvard’s MIT (News – Alert), are searching for new ways to make rich annotations
available – which would mean encoding more complex algorithms and
allowing even more people to join the conversation simultaneously across
a variety of streams and a variety of platforms.
In technology, only one’s imagination limits progress. You may not
see a need for rich annotation at this point. But in the future, you may
wonder how you got along without it. We can thank companies like TokBox
and Polycom for their contributions to innovation and for making
productivity a forefront of our video conferencing platforms.
This is perhaps an unpredicted and overlooked trend to hit 2016. Will
we see more in-conference possibilities that help our business and tech
support efforts become more productive? Rumor has it that Elliot
Associates’ billionaire, Paul Singer, is pushing for a Polycom integration with Mitel to do just that.
In 2016, it is predicted that we will see an even larger shift in
consumer access to personal records, video diagnoses and even monitoring
of our own health. Many of us have alarms set up on our phones already,
reminding us to stay hydrated. Others are connecting smartphones to
small devices that clock sleeping patterns and restlessness in the
For years, consumers have been heading to the Internet to research
every sneeze and every scratch that we encounter in our daily lives.
Now, we have the capabilities to provide ourselves with the same
“anytime, anywhere monitoring, diagnosis and treatment” that we can
expect from visiting a healthcare professional in-person.
As healthcare companies are becoming hip to a consumer desire for
improved lifestyle decisions, they are seemingly partnering with
technology companies to delver solutions and provide a jumping board for
promotion of their product and service lines. And, we are loving it!
Taking charge of our lives, a growing consumer niche is moving away
from prescriptions medicines as much as possible, while working towards
natural healing through diet and exercise, discipline and monitoring.
Others are finding life too demanding to visit a physician during office
hours and are finding it easier to consult via smartphone.
Forbes reports that one in three consumers have at least one health
app on their smartphones. This number has actually doubled over the last
two years with an increase of viable solutions in the app marketplace.
This also has increased with growth in consumer proficiencies during
The Walgreens Boots Alliance app was first released in 2009 and is
now one of the most downloaded apps on the marketplace. It has led to a
heightened interaction with consumers via mobile platform, as Walgreens
is now showing an average of one prescription fulfillment per second –
ordered by mobile app! Now, how is that for productivity?!
You can run, but you can’t hide. If you are one in two-thirds the
consumer base not already using a smart app to monitor health or
encourage healthy choices, you may very soon become just that.
Innovations are being seen every day, as the health industry leads new
technologies in promoting healthy lifestyles to a global consumer base.
Now, whether or not you become part of this culture, the question truly
is – are you actually going to use it? Let’s hope so! Here’s to a
wonderful New Year full of health, happiness and innovation!
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED ON TMCNET’S REAL TIME COMMUNICATIONS
Planon, a software provider in support of workplace optimization and
Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), has released their
predictions in Real Estate and Facility Management efficiencies for
“Many of the trends that will come into focus in 2016 already exist today, but their significance is expected to grow and become mainstream in the near future,” states David Karpook, Strategic Business Consultant at Planon. “Today’s facilities management and real estate managers face an increasing need to respond to the evolution of technology and sustainability, ensure compliance, and increase cost efficiency.”
Planon predicts that IoT opportunities will be made more applicable to the Real Estate spectrum in 2016. Therefore,
it will be increasingly adopted by agents all over the world. Bottom
lines will increase with the placement of affordable sensor
technologies. Analytics data will be easily collected through occupancy
of the workplace or meeting room. Additional IoT implementations point
to better utilization of smart screens triggered by in app functionality
or by room sensors, alone.
In the case of real estate, the amount of time an onlooker spends in
each room may translate to sales potential, funneling sales interest
data collected during the time spent in each room, individually. This
data can be used to physically enhance the features that potential
buyers enjoy the most and call out the needs for improvement in areas
that guests most dislikes on the property. Doing so will lead real
estate companies towards increased sales and shortened periods of
closing. It will also provide insight as to where, exactly, a visitor
may actually lose interest.
Workspaces can be checked for availability within a facility through
the scanning of QR codes or the swiping of RFID tags. This will save
time and face, while meeting with clients in a busy conference space.
Much of 2016 will see an increase in the use of mobile technologies
for just about every phase in daily process. Not only are individuals
now using mobile devices to make and accept payments on the go, but also
team collaboration and communication can more frequently be made
feasible. Integrations in communications tools are now allowing for
better project management and workforce productivity through in-app
tools and centralized clouds, allowing users to stay in just one
application all day without the need to toggle between apps to complete a
Through mobility, employers are seeing more stretch-room in the
physical workplace and may even save on operating costs with the ability
to downgrade unnecessary expenditures. With flexible schedules, the
workforce is being made more available at untraditional business hours
and increasingly made available through “always on” technologies.
Finally, Planon predicts that building information modeling, BIM,
will continue to increase in adoption. Their claim is that it will hold
great promise for facilities management and real estate in the very near
Applying BIM and its methodologies to operations will allow more
efficiency in management of the building space. This includes
maintenance and construction during lifecycle process in providing a
platform for real-time collaboration, logistics and quality management.
Agents and construction superintendents will, themselves, be able to
better predict the future of their own real estate empire.
Smart businesses and smart buildings will continue to make their
presence known through the adoption of IoT and cloud technologies,
allowing employees to be more mobile and embracing the alternative
workplace. BIM-culture will become a norm, as teams will be impacted by
better communications and interactive visuals in which promote