Top Technology Conversations for 2019

TOP TECHNOLOGY CONVERSATIONS CANADIAN BUSINESSES SHOULD BE HAVING IN 2019

By Cara Bedford

What incredible questions have you asked today? A simple notion that would instill childlike curiosity into our everyday business dealings – and open up a whole new world of creative problem solving.

While we are focused on grand ideas of innovation and disruption, we sometimes forget that these things are the results, not the process – they are the answers to the incredible questions that someone was once brave enough to ask.

ARE WE WASTING RESOURCES ON THINGS THAT COULD BE DONE BY RPA?

Robotic process automation (RPA) makes configuring computer software possible for anyone – no extensive training or degrees required. It makes use of both machine learning capabilities and artificial intelligence to automate repetitive tasks that were once only achievable by humans such as invoice preparation, certain CRM processes and data entry – one of the most mind-numbing tasks known to humans. While it can’t do all data entry, it can recognize basic patterns and convert just about any text into a form that is searchable and editable which makes it capable of severely reducing the number of tedious hours needed to input data. More importantly, along with being easy to configure, RPA helps companies automate processes for a lower cost than ever before without sacrificing quality. Its other qualities include the ability to work with existing infrastructure and being easy to scale with any operation.

How can we make our company smarter with IoT?

The Internet of Things is allowing many “dumb” products to get an instant master’s degree in connectedness. Due to the proliferation of inexpensive processors and wireless access, it’s possible to connect nearly anything to the IoT which is the network of physical devices linked through the internet. This connection means that these items can collect and store data to do things like improve customer experience, monitor how a product is used and offer instant customer support when some- thing fails with a connected device.

What can your company do with the IoT?

Could it help you provide more efficient customer support? Improve the way your consumers interact with your product? Collect data to prevent theft, monitor expiration dates, or something else? So far IoT has been used to do such things as help a pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, alleviate stress on caregivers by wiring pill bottles to notify them when their patient has taken their medication. Additionally, the Digi Honeycomb Program is helping grocery stores and other produce sellers to track their perishable products to reduce spoilage and product loss.

WHAT WILL 5G MAKE POSSIBLE FOR OUR COMPANY?

→ 5G is far more than being able to download cute cat videos at lightning speed. While previous generational upgrades have all given us greater capabilities and speed improvements, 5G will represent the most massive change in a single shift – making mobile broadband more reliable, increasing capacity and upping band- width like never before.

However, what’s really exciting about 5G is how it will in- crease our ability to connect to IoT. IoT, as we discussed, has the ability to connect devices and send data, but as that data increases, we need broadband that is able to keep up with it – 5G is the technology for that job.

5G will make it possible to connect all manner of devices that will help in our daily lives including products like smart shoes that could teach stroke sufferers to walk, record data from ingestible health monitoring devices and much more.

Because of this increase of speed, real time interaction with customers will also be easier, the overall cost of innovation will be more affordable and

HOW CAN GOOGLE VOICE IMPROVE WORK / LIFE BALANCE FOR OUR TEAM?

Once requiring a special invite code, Google Voice’s free and low-cost telephone and text messaging service is now open to all. With Google Voice, you receive a single phone number that can be used on mobile devices, computers and phones making it easier to ensure you get all your communication in a way that is most convenient to you and each of your team members.

Other Google Voice capabilities include call forwarding, voicemail, texting and more. Each of these services work on whichever device you are currently signed in to Google with. Along with allowing employees to stay better connected, even when they aren’t in the office, Google Voice gives staff the ability to answer work-related phone calls from their personal devices without revealing their personal number. Additionally, Voice can act as an answering service to ensure you never miss a call.

When considering Google Voice, ask how can this service help you deal with high call volumes and serve customers better? How can we use this to improve our CRM?

HOW CAN VIRTUAL REALITY TECHNOLOGY HELP US IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?

Virtual reality technology has come a long way since we saw the Lawnmower Man take on an awkward digital world filled with clunky graphics. As VR has become more accessible its applications have become far more practical and realistic than we once imagined. Now, we can find VR in everything from REinVR real estate tours to National Geographic’s VR content which brings remote parts of the world close to home. With VR, we can now create experiences for our customers and employees that are both cheaper and more immersive than traditional training, tours, and educational resources.

HOW CAN ALEXA FOR BUSINESS STREAMLINE OUR DAY TO DAY ACTIVITIES?

“Hey Alexa, can you add 3 hours to the contract for the shipping company?” Imagine never having to manually submit a timesheet again. With Alexa for Business that possibility is here, and it has the potential to save your company a ton of time.

With voice commands like the ones you give Alexa, workers can have timesheets, contracts and similar items updated in less time than it would take them to put the task on a to-do list. Not only is this a time savings, it frees up mental power that would be used to remember mundane tasks like this along with the frustrations that come with task switching.

HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP US ADAPT?

Huge changes, innovations and disruptions are on the horizon in nearly every industry and within our personal lives. While it can sometimes be over- whelming to consider the sheer amount of technology coming our way, it can also be exhilarating and lead to improvements we never even dreamed possible – if we embrace it.

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