How Automating Office Controls Can Save You Time and Money

When looking to increase their bottom line, company leaders inevitably will explore ways to boost revenue, increase efficiencies and cut costs. That’s why companies can’t afford to overlook the benefits of ‘automated controls’ as a variable in the equation that can save them time and money […]

Staying Digitally Organized

Summer is reaching its halfway mark, and the company’s interns will be leaving soon. It’s time to start preparing your computer and mobile devices so that you can stay digitally organized. Depending upon the organization you currently have, it might seem like a daunting task […]

How to Implement a DIY Video Strategy That Pays Off

So, you’re thinking of producing a video for your company. Your timing is great. With Facebook prioritizing  video content, your audience already is primed to consume information through video more readily than ever before.

You might be a manager seeking ways to break up long meetings with something a little different. Maybe you’re a social media manager looking for ways to boost your online presence. Or you could be a trainer hoping to reinforce key learnings a few weeks after the fact. All of these are scenarios in which you might want to choose video messaging. The question remaining is “how?”

Full-scale marketing companies with video production require a large investment of both time and money, so it may be tempting to pull out your smartphone and just do it yourself. Before you do, take a moment to come up with a plan: A successful video is a video that meets your strategy, regardless of whether it’s DIY or professionally produced.

What do you mean by DIY?

When I talk about a DIY video, I mean the video you would capture on a smartphone or webcam. This type of video is low quality. It may be grainy or shaky, and may have little to no post-production editing. If there’s editing involved, it may be simple – making use of a smartphone app or the presets from a consumer-grade editing software.

These sorts of videos populate your feed on Facebook or Instagram. They definitely can be informative. Low production quality doesn’t negate good content but it certainly can distract the viewer.

The flip side is a professional video. This video has been produced carefully, paying attention to lighting, composition and quality. The editing here may appear minimal but is done carefully to maximize the impact of the content. The professional video gets traction on social media as well but will be posted by brands more often than by individuals.

In order to help you develop your video strategy, here are five things to consider before choosing DIY video.

  1. Resources: What do you need to make a video? One of the biggest determinants of whether or not you should choose DIY video is the resources you have on hand. Without the proper infrastructure, you won’t be able to make videos at all. This is a broad category, and runs the gamut from equipment to available hours and know how. DIY suggests that you are responsible for every aspect of video creation, so you’ll need to have an answer to the following questions.
  • Do you have a camera?
  • Are you comfortable with its settings and configuration?
  • Can you troubleshoot while people are waiting for you?
  • Do you have lighting?
  • Audio equipment?
  • Can you direct people on camera?
  • How are your interview skills?

In a recording situation, you have to be confident that you’re getting the footage that you need.

In post-production, it’s important to ask the following questions:

  • How much experience do you have in editing?
  • Can you do it quickly?
  • Do you have video editing software?
  • What about hardware? Longer or higher resolution videos will be more resource-intensive.

When a coworker of mine began editing video alongside his customer service role, he quickly found that he could not be successful at both because of the massive time commitment video requires. Are you prepared to devote your time to produce videos? Are you prepared to lose a team member to video production?

If you answered yes to a majority of the above questions, or know that you can make the financial and time commitments to turn “no” answers into “yes” responses, you’re ready to choose DIY video. If not, you should look for a professional.

  1. Audience: Who will be viewing this video? Determine your audience before you start making your own videos. When considering DIY video, this can be as simple as identifying your audience as internal, such as employees of your own company – or external, people outside your company.

Generally, if the video will be internal only, go ahead and make it yourself. Members of your own company will be the target of a different strategy than your customers or other members of the industry. Members of your own company are a more forgiving audience as well. People who have a relationship with you, either by knowing you as a coworker or recognizing your mutual relationship through the corporate hierarchy, will see DIY as authentic.

I once worked with an executive to produce a year-end video but the messaging, to her, was irrelevant. It was apparent in the production process that she was an introvert and, in her position, that made her seem disapproving. Her employees spent more time focused on their approach than their content, which created a negative feedback loop and interfered with everyone’s ability to get work done. Paradoxically, by mediating her image with video, she was able to bypass the personality games, and refocus her team on their work. This sort of strategy is one in which she could have utilized DIY video because she was focused less on production than on breaking down barriers with her team.

A video for an external audience will have to meet much higher standards. You must consider how your video will fit into the larger image that your company is trying to promote. It will also have to satisfy a much wider range of critics. There’s always the risk of your DIY video for an external audience feeling unpolished, like a bad public access television show. When making a video for an external audience, it’s a safer bet to get help from professionals. Your marketing team will thank you.

  1. Occasion: What is prompting you to produce this video? Consider the occasion that prompts your video in the first place. Is it a formal event or an informal event? You want to match your video to the tone of the event. As a result, formal events get more professionally produced videos while events that are more informal can make use of DIY video. There are exceptions, but they need to be informed by your video’s strategy.

For example, my sister was recently hired to run social media engagement for a fashion blog. Her first large project involved the launch of a new clothing line – a very formal event. Readers of the blog had a ton of questions and all wanted to see the new clothes. She could have answered all of those questions after the fact with a recap video and tons of runway b-roll, but that wouldn’t have been very engaging. Instead, my sister hosted a Facebook Live event at the launch to answer her audience in real time. She also had her coworkers to model the clothes in real life, outside the realm of overproduced fashion videos.

The launch of a new product line is a formal event, but by choosing a DIY video solution such as Facebook Live, my sister was able to make that process more accessible to her audience and meet her strategic goals.

  1. Timeline: How much time do you have to make your video? As I mentioned earlier, full-scale video production takes time. Not counting the logistics of contracting and project management, marketing agencies can require weeks of post-production editing to deliver a polished final product. If you’ve been asked to generate video content on a short timeline, your only option might be to do it yourself.

No matter how streamlined your DIY video process is, though, video editing takes time. In my experience, each minute of finished video requires an hour of editing. Further, it takes at least half an hour to record what will end up being five minutes of content.

Once in a blue moon, when I have no distractions, I’m able to record in the morning, spend the whole day editing, and send a client the video before I leave for the evening. I produced videos for a pharmaceutical company; so once I finished the editing process, the video needed to be approved by legal. While a DIY video is quick, getting a video completed in one day is next to impossible.

  1. Frequency: How often will you be doing video? Frequency is a bit of a challenge to consider when approaching DIY video. On one hand, if you’re doing videos infrequently, say, less than one a quarter, it may not be worth it to invest in the resources necessary for a DIY video strategy. It also doesn’t seem worth it to spend a lot of money on a professional video if you’re only going to use it once.

On the flip side, if you do many videos, say, more than once a month, utilizing a professional quickly becomes costly. At the same time, frequently losing a team member from one area to edit video becomes inefficient. It’s important to always return to the strategy you’d like your video to achieve and work from there.

The economics of corporate video production are subjective. Each company or manager will approach the topic with different goals in mind and will evaluate the efficacy of a video with different criteria. As with all business decisions, it’s important to make a case for and against each approach. Hopefully, the five things I’ve highlighted here will help you to successfully strategize and implement your video messaging, whether it’s DIY or professional.

Finding a middle ground. One of the areas where Sensory Technologies has been very successful is in developing the ADOPT Video Producer role. I am onsite with the client for work every day, meeting their video needs. I understand their strategies and jargon. My skill set allows me to split the difference and produce full-scale agency work at DIY costs.

How Technology Can Positively Impact Workplace Communications

It’s not hard to see how much the Internet, mobile devices and social media have profoundly changed the way we communicate on a day-to-day basis – no matter our age. According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of U.S. adults owned a smartphone in 2017. And that was just 10 years after the iPhone first hit the market.
work technologyThat same study also revealed that people are using their smartphones for a lot more than texting, calling and checking the latest Tweets. People relied on their smartphones to look for a job (28 percent), shop for goods (51 percent), check reviews (45 percent) and even seek a significant other (9 percent).
With technology impacting our personal lives to this degree, it’s no wonder that it’s revolutionizing the way we engage our colleagues and customers.  Therefore, it’s important to take time to ensure that your digital experiences in the work environment benefit your company’s bottom line – rather than work against it.
Here are a few ways technology can positively transform how employees communicate today – and in the future.
Experience More Comprehensive Internal Communications
The ‘silo effect’ is one of the top communication challenges that have perpetually perplexed organizations.  However, according to a recent Ombono survey, a digitized approach to communication can help tear down those walls. With an increasing number of businesses devoting their resources to digital avenues for communication strategies, progress is being made. Many companies are reporting increased efficiencies in internal communications from real-time messaging tools like Slack.
Also, with video collaboration tools, the way organizations are conducting meetings is evolving. Companies report being able to save on travel costs by opting for virtual video meetings. With high quality video and audio solutions, employees still gain the benefit of engaging in face-to-face meetings — but without the travel expenses.
Training and onboarding of new employees represent another area that is undergoing significant transformation through a digital experience. Instead of heading to a room with a speaker and a PowerPoint presentation, employees can attend trainings at their convenience from anywhere. Executives can streamline the hiring process by conducting initial interviews via video conference – saving the finalists interviews for an in-person engagement. With modern digital technology, companies are able to collaborate, train and hire much faster and more efficiently.
Enhance the Customer Experience
Companies are not just exploring technology to engage existing or prospective employees. They’re also aggressively seeking ways to connect with existing and prospective clients as the general population is primed to embrace the latest technological advances. Everyone is looking for convenience, immediacy and engagement. And companies need to be poised to offer all of them.
Here are a few digital avenues that can help companies deliver on those demands:
Chat bots, which continue to gain in popularity, have been used to customize experiences for consumers. Starbucks has been effective in using a chat bot on the Facebook Messenger app, representing its Pumpkin Spice Latte. While it serves as a great marketing tool, it also is very functional in providing real-time customer support.
Live video feeds have been used by many companies, especially those in the B2B sector, to educate customers. However, they also can be used effectively in B2C communications. For example, companies can provide videos that detail assembly instructions or tips for troubleshooting common problems with products or services.
Social media platforms, perhaps the most familiar digital form of business communication, have been used to generate and convert leads. With consumers using social media extensively in their personal lives, companies have a natural avenue for connecting and engaging with consumers.   
Email marketing has become more automated and customized in recent years. As a result, companies have more opportunities to leverage big data to create targeted messaging for their prospects. And they can deliver them more efficiently – significantly cutting down the time it takes to convert them into clients.
With the digitization of communication, organizations have a wealth of opportunities to connect with their employees and prospects. But they also have unique challenges –some of them rooted in the need to manage both instantaneous positive and negative feedback. As a result, many companies are investing in reputation management techniques that support real-time responses.
As technology continues to change the way we live and work, companies must continue to find opportunities to leverage digital avenues to streamline internal communications and enhance customer experiences and expectations.

Critical Tips for a Successful Cloud Unified Communication and Mobility Plan

Have you taken a look recently at how your organization is approaching employee mobility? With technology that enables people to make connections in their personal lives – no matter where they are, your employees may feel as if it’s a step backwards to have to go into the office simply to join a web conference or a video conference call.
Also, the benefits as part of your overall growth strategy can’t be ignored. According to a recent study, mobility in the workplace has been credited for a 23 percent hike in productivity, 30 percent better processes and 100 percent employee satisfaction.
unified communicationsTechnology innovations have paved the way to increased employee mobility without a huge investment. Organizations, both large and small, should be implementing strategies that make the most of tools and solutions like cloud unified communications (UC). Mobility in the workforce should go beyond simply giving people the ability to connect when they are plugged into the office. The focus should be on implementing tools that work for your employees, no matter where they happen to be – at home, on the road or at a local coffee shop.
However, before simply buying into a UC system, it’s important to compare your options. Just like anything else, all mobility applications are not alike.
When developing a mobility plan as part of your UC strategy, consider the following:
Compatibility: Make sure the mobile application you select supports various tools, including those that run on Windows, iOS, Android and any other platforms preferred within your organization.
Functionality: Does the mobile version of the tool function nearly the same way as the full version? You shouldn’t compromise on functionality just because you’re using the mobile version. Also, consider advanced applications like high-definition video and web collaboration to enhance your team’s mobile connections.
User-friendly: Connecting should never be a struggle for your employees. Test different applications for user-friendliness. If possible, strive to get solutions that are similar in their experiences and required learning curve. Employees shouldn’t have to devote a lot of time trying to understand how to use the different applications in your organization’s UC strategy.
Support: With an increased move to mobility as part of your workplace communications, it’s important to include strategic support to avoid interruptions. Your UC platform of choice should include well-supported mobile applications, as well.
Transferability: The ability to easily connect, as you move from a wired in-office call to a mobile one, should be an expectation. With a quality UC platform, your employees should be able to make those type of transitions seamlessly.
Choose carefully.  Seek consultative guidance, if necessary, to help maximize the effectiveness of your UC and Cloud platform thereby maximizing engagement and productivity within your organization.

Empower Your Employees Through Innovative Technology

Insights from your valued employees are priceless. And incorporating them into your organization’s growth strategy is critical to its ability to be competitive.
According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, productivity increased by 20 percent to 25 percent in companies with connected employees. A Gallup study had similar findings. It revealed that organizations with high employee engagement rates were 21 percent more productive than companies with low employee engagement rates.
empower employeesThose types of results have led organizations to explore the benefits of innovative technology as another avenue to encourage overall employee input. By promoting engagement through technology, companies are creating environments in which different types of people are able to effortlessly collaborate. The benefits include:
–       Encouraging employees to think creatively when developing new solutions
–       Diminishing autocratic leadership, which can interfere with collaborative efforts
–       Encouraging personal growth at all levels
–       Increasing productivity and job satisfaction
Embracing Personal Familiarity
Technology often allows workers to increase their productivity capabilities. At the same time, it can negatively serve as a distraction. That’s why, in the past, many organizational leaders have tried to limit the use of technology in the office – particularly with personal devices. However, as research reveals, the benefits of properly used technology far outpace the risks of potential distractions associated with technology.
By entrusting employees with technology, whether company or personal devices, you are giving them familiar tools to work at a higher level of engagement and productivity. And by pairing innovate employees with the right technology, you empower them to work more collaboratively with colleagues and better connect with prospects and clients.
Another consideration is giving employees the flexibility to use their own devices for business communication outside of the office. Several studies, including one cited in Harvard Business Review, indicate that productivity can increase when employees are given the opportunity to work from home.
Collaborative Technology Solutions
During every workday, over 80% of employees collaborate with a co-worker at least once. This percentage continues to grow as technology makes it easier to connect remotely. And, with improvements in interconnectivity, employees can more effectively use cellphones and tablets as communication tools that can be incorporated into platforms and applications traditionally reserved for computers and conference rooms.
Applications that communicate across devices provide opportunities for seamless communication and collaboration, regardless of location or device. When developing a communications plan, organizations must consider which apps and services are the best fit for their organization and their employees.
For example, some clients of Sensory Technologies use on-demand, video conferencing via Meeting on the Move®  for face-to-face interactions. This robust cloud solution offers an easy-to-use interface with remote connectivity to intuitively collaborate anywhere, anytime.
“The benefits can be significant, especially for companies that are connecting with employees, clients and prospects in different geographies,” said Derek Paquin, Principal at Sensory Technologies.
“The ability to communicate, regardless of location, has transformed the way we collaborate and the speed with which we can make decisions,” Paquin said. “Serving global clients, we understand the immense challenges associated with virtual teaming. Our specialization in implementing these types of solutions has allowed us to solve many potential inefficiencies. We have learned from our experiences how to better help clients succeed with their virtual collaboration initiatives.”
Recent developments in this area include large LED video walls that allow for collaborative screen sharing in multiple locations, simultaneously, from a variety of sources – e.g., remote connections via laptops, mobile phones and tablets. These video walls, which can be placed in boardrooms, social areas or huddle spaces, encourage interactivity and engagement.  
They also can be dual-purposed for digital signage and in-room collaboration.
Unleash Employee Potential
“Employees are organizations’ most valuable resources and yet their full potential almost always goes untapped,” Paquin said. “Encouraging creativity and free-thinking can promote critical positive change, but it often needs to be supplemented and supported by technology solutions that allow for better collaboration and organizational alignment.”
Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) companies, including Sensory Technologies, understand the technology options for generating interest and creativity in the workplace. We also understand that technology and creativity are not one-size-fits all solutions.
At Sensory Technologies, we partner with organizations to help them reach their goals. We’re looking forward to doing the same for you. Contact us for a consultation on the custom solutions that can address the specific challenges and needs of your diverse workforce.

Video Messaging is the Key to Engaging Millennials

It’s no secret that Millennials have grown up being entertained by technology for the majority of their lives, quite unlike any other generation that came before them. Research even suggests that Millennials’ brains have been physiologically and bio-chemically altered because of their continuous engagement with TVs, smartphones and tablets.
You could say that it’s practically in their DNA to be in passive mode while receiving information or entertainment. Instead of waiting for the “next episode” of their favorite show, many Millennials know what it’s like to binge an entire season over a weekend using Netflix. They can master a subject without going to a library. Why sit in front of a stack of books when they can study online via Khan Academy?
Having been shaped so significantly by technology, Millennials and the so-called Gen C or YouTube Generation, expect a similar experience upon entering the workforce or buying consumer goods.
A different type of advertising
This interaction with technology has created a special relationship between advertisers and Millennials … one that challenges advertisers to innovate and shift in order to compete for the highly competitive engagement and attention of a tech-savvy audience. One of the most effective strategies has led to the evolution of video marketing.
According to recent statistics cited by HubSpot, adding video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by as much as 200% to 300%. Clearly, the passive and engaging effects of video has some real measureable value with consumers. As a result, the use of video content has been exploding.
In addition to video messaging being more effective in engaging users, it also gets an extra boost from social media platforms. Facebook, for example, will prioritize video in users’ feed if they have a high view count or are part of a video series. With an effective video messaging strategy, you can more readily get your audience engaged with your corporate messaging. It’s clearly an important element in a successful marketing initiative.
While Millennials and Gen C have had unique childhoods that have been immersed in video content, other generations are mesmerized by video as a medium, according to that same HubSpot research. The study revealed that 59 percent of company decision-makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post about a relevant industry topic.
The power of video to quickly engage and capture the attention of audiences deserves some attention. Instead of debating whether people are being lazy or losing their attention span, we can focus on the reality that “time is money.” And videos can help shorten the time it takes to understand a new concept, a new product or a new service.
Whether you’re trying to reach an audience of Millennials or Boomers, follow these five tips to craft a successful video campaign:

  1. Use a storytelling approach. No matter where you turn, you’re likely to be bombarded with some type of advertising – from billboards, bus wraps and online pop-ups to signs in public restrooms. It’s hard to believe that researchers were alarmed that the average person was exposed to more than 500 ads back in the 1970s. That number has been dwarfed by the  5,000 ads the average person is exposed to in today’s media-saturated environment.

Some of those ads, apparently in an attempt to aggressively cut through the noisy crowd, use tactics like loud noises and flashy visuals to get some attention. Think of a cheesy infomercial or the stereotypical approach used-car dealership commercial.
With so much noise and content out there competing for attention, businesses are finding it more challenging to genuinely capture their audience’s attention while delivering their message in a meaningful way.
In growing up in this bombarded advertising world, many Millennials pride themselves on their ability to disregard ads and remain unconvinced by “in-your-face” marketing campaigns. As a result, these types of ads are becoming less and less successful. The antidotes are engaging, quality video marketing that’s focused on storytelling and high-quality advertisements that capture the attention and genuine interest of the audience.
These new advertising strategies uniquely involve storytelling to communicate the message through thoughtful and relatable content. The success of this approach has its roots in the human’s psyche. By accessing the storytelling queues in the audiences’ brains that have developed through years of evolution and historical auditory history, you can tap into their natural interests.
Brands can use this insight to create more impactful and successful communication campaigns. At Sensory Technologies, we have helped numerous companies craft these types of personalized and narrative messages. Take a look at this video about Sensory’s ADOPT™ Video Production solutions to learn more.
Creating stories that connect to human nature allows brands to build trust, generate genuine interest and establish relationships with their Millennial consumers rather than trying to “trick” them with clever and intrusive ads. This higher-quality content will enjoy more successful campaigns and benefit from positive corporate-client relationships.

  1. Cut the cheese-y approach. Choose intelligent, tasteful humor. What do Millennials’ love of watching cat videos and making memes have in common? They provide a comic release from daily stressors. These also speak more specifically to what Millennials want or have come to expect form content and thus what they deem high-quality advertisements or “good ads.” They want creative humor and relatable references. The irony of talking about cat videos and memes while talking about intelligent humor is not lost on us. But we want to connect to those consumers and to do what we must to speak their language, even if it comes with a corporate learning curve.

Organizations have successfully incorporated witty humor as well as over-the-top absurdity to attract consumers. Staying in the box or producing cheesy content will never go viral and doesn’t win business with younger populations.
A perfect example of tactful humor and over-the-top absurdity is the 2014 ‘Un-Super Bowl’ ad from Newcastle Brewing. The video was released online a day before the Super Bowl.  Newcastle ingeniously used the excitement around the Super Bowl ads, witty and ironic comedy and relatable mockery to create a hilarious original video. The ad featured a story worth sharing with friends, which led to the video going viral.

  1. Develop emotionally rich narratives. Surprising twists that make relatively profound commentary for an advertisement have also become extremely popular with the Millennial generation. So-called “gotcha” videos, such as this video from American Greetings, can leave audiences in awe. The ad cleverly tells a story of people interviewing for the position of Director of Operations at a made-up company. The twist is that job requirements are impossible, including 135+ hour weeks, training in finance, culinary science, medicine and constant on-the-job exertion – all for a salary of $0. The benefit? The lucky candidate gets “satisfaction.” These over the top requirements stun the interviewees as the interviewer calmly continues until it’s revealed that the job duties and responsibilities represent those of being a mom. This results in smiles and laughs followed by emotional tributes to and appreciation for the interviewees mothers. The ad both emotionally shocks the viewers, reminding us the powerful role of a mother, while remaining light with comic relief and relatable characters. The ad only mentions American Greetings in the closing seconds, but the message gets across: “How about you get your mom a card this year?”

The subtlety of the branding combined with the emotional story-telling allowed this video to connect with viewers and create a lasting drive to engage with the brand.
Other communication technologies, such as email newsletters, are still a convenient and effective way to communicate daily messaging and manage client relationships. However, videos actually engage and attract customers. Video has the power to create these narratives that connect with and engage people in ways that the written word cannot. Further, as technology continues to evolve, and content becomes more data-driven, the customization of ad experiences will only continue to grow. That means organizations will likely continue using video successfully as a storytelling communication tool.

  1. Empower your mission. The Millennial generation is often vocal about its desire to create change and produce a “better world.” According to a recent Forbes article, 73% of Millennials indicated they’d be willing to spend more on a product if it is produced by a “sustainable” brand. Businesses with a social or environmental cause can connect with Millennials by using video storytelling to encourage viewers to support their cause.

An organization’s brand is deeply rooted in its mission – or the story of its brand. An organization’s values and mission can be used to set the organization apart from the noise and capture the minds and hearts of Millennials.

  1. Educate via video. Videos also can make education engaging for audiences of all ages. Use that advantage to create educational content that helps your employees or prospects learn and understand new concepts. According to numerous students, Millennials are considered America’s most educated adults. The technology they grew up has been a major component of that educational growth, especially since nearly all information is easily accessible from smartphones. With Millennials’ natural drive for more knowledge, brands can use video to teach them something new and unique as it relates to their organization or industry.

Start engaging your audiences today! Learn more about Sensory Technologies’ Corporate Video Solutions at https://sensorytechnologies.com/solutions/video-production/. Or call us at 800-48-VIDEO or email dpaquin@sensorytechnologies.com.

5 Ways Collaboration Spaces Improve Productivity

Whether you call them collaborative spaces or collaboration spaces, these areas show no signs of slowing down in popularity. The open workspaces, shared desks and interactive technology that characterize today’s collaboration spaces are gaining points among employees and employers alike for promoting brainstorming and connections among co-workers and clients.
However, a collaboration space should be much more than a gathering place. With AV integration, companies not only can visually enhance their space: They’re able to provide their team members with effective tools that allow them to easily share ideas, problem solve and creatively innovate.  When developed correctly, collaboration spaces not only enhance connections in the workplace, but they also improve productivity to boost the company’s bottom line.
Here are five ways collaboration spaces are improving productivity in the workplace:

  1. Engage different personalities. A collaboration space should naturally encourage employees to work together when solving problems. However, it’s important to recognize that your team consists of people with different personalities. Therefore, they will require different tools in order for them to do their best work. Some employees may want to access and review group documents in their own space, while others may work best when leading a discussion or presentation as part of a gathering. By providing a mix of collaborative spaces and private spaces, you’re recognizing the different communication and work styles among your team members. That’s a critical step toward ensuring that you’re empowering everyone’s fullest potential.
  2. Recognize the contributions of remote employees. According to a report published in the New York Times, 43 percent of employees surveyed said they worked remotely at some point. As this trend increases, companies must face the challenge of keeping these employees engaged. Conference rooms equipped with intuitive video conferencing capabilities and seamless collaboration technology enable these employees to easily participate – as if they, too, were in the room.
  3. Enhance brainstorming. With flexible and mobile round seating areas (think campfire), along with robust digital whiteboards, your collaborative spaces should make each of your colleagues feel included. And when they’re able to share information using their own mobile devices, employees will comfortably engage with each other using familiar tools. This type of relaxed environment helps to promote employee connection, brainstorming, innovation and creativity.
  4. Create a teamwork mentality. Collaboration spaces also help to create a teamwork environment, breaking down the barriers that can emerge in traditional meeting rooms. Also, with smaller huddle rooms that are more private, you can engage employees who may not be as comfortable sharing ideas with large groups of people.
  5. Increase morale. Employees who are engaged – and who are asked for their input – are employees who are more productive.  They are more aligned with the objectives and purpose, and therefore they feel greater pride in their organization.  They also are more likely to stay with your company. A Gallup study revealed that engaged employees are correlated with overall organizational success..

Many companies are searching for ways to increase productivity among their employees. Creating collaboration spaces can be the key to increasing employee engagement, teamwork and talent retention.

5 Ways Technology is Changing Workplace Communications

While it’s easy to point to face-to-face meetings as one of the casualties of disruptive technologies, the way we communicate at work continues to undergo significant changes. And the latest innovations indicate that there’s more change on the horizon. If you blink, you could miss opportunities to help leverage technology and meet the needs of your organization.
According to Adobe’s Future of Work Report, 81 percent of employees rated innovative technology as more important than perks and amenities. The 2016 survey revealed that employees in companies with state-of-the-art technology were more likely to feel creative, motivated and valued than employees working at companies with outdated technology.
We rounded up 5 of the major ways technology is changing the way people in the workforce are communicating. Whether your team is all under one roof or spread out across different time zones, you may discover some new opportunities to enhance your business communications.

  1. Mobile technology will continue to lead future change. If you haven’t already developed policies around BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) you may be behind the curve – especially when it comes to attracting and retaining Millennials. According to a recent study, about 60 percent of companies allow their employees to use their personal devices for work. Another 13 percent of the respondents surveyed said they would introduce BYOD within a year’s time.

When paired with the cloud, a BYOD policy gives your team the ability to work – whether at home, work or in a coffee shop. When introducing BYOD, don’t stop there. It’s essential to invest in security and privacy strategies to help minimize security threats. (Employee training in security best practices also is a must.)

  1. Cloud connections in the workplace. The use of the cloud in the workplace has been shown to lower operating costs, improve business outcomes, enhance client services and pave the way for future scaling. No matter your industry, it’s become a necessity for your organization’s goals. The adoption of hosted VoIP (Video over IP), which has become a preferred alternative to high-maintenance and costly on-premise solutions, has been increasing in recent years as a result. And integrating VoIP with CRM allows sales reps, marketing executives and other client-facing employees to utilize client data more effectively.
  2. Video as a communications avenue. Your employees are increasingly engaging video to consume content in their personal lives. In fact, the rate of viewing video on mobile devices is projected to overtake TV viewing in a few short years, according to an eMarketer study. Instead of simply relying on email to communicate company messages, companies will increasingly explore ways to connect with employees through different media, including high-quality audio and video. Video will become the preferred way for people to feel connected with their co-workers and leadership.
  3. Internet of Things (IoT) will go mainstream.  With the global IoT market projected to grow to $8.9 trillion by 2020, according to Statista, more than likely it will increasingly make its way into your work environment. Embedded devices, apps, and cloud systems – capable of sending and receiving data located all around your office space – will further disrupt the way we interact with each other in the workplace. May as well embrace it now!
  4. Unified Communications (UC) becomes even more profitable. With the introduction of cloud-based solutions, UC has become more affordable than premise-based UC solutions. That means more businesses and organizations of all sizes are incorporating UC as part of their business strategy.  According to Computer Economics, unified communications is among the technology strategies that deliver the maximum return on investment.

Is More OLED Technology In Your Future?

With technology continuing to accelerate at the speed of light, you may find it challenging to keep up with the latest developments. That seems to be the case with OLED technology, which has been projected to grow at a compound rate of 15.2 percent from 2017 and 2023, according to OLED growth predictions gathered in a recent Markets and Markets’ research report.
To get a sense of the real dollars, the OLED market is forecast to grow to a sizeable $48.81 billion by the end of 2023 – up from $16.58 billion just as recently as 2016.
oled tunnelBefore we get into how OLED technology can transform your future, take a look at a definition if you’re not already familiar with the technical inner workings. OLED, which stands for organic light-emitting diode, is a type of LED that uses an organic compound – instead of a traditional synthetic compound – as the film layer that responds to electric currents creating images.
Currently, OLED-powered displays already are being used in smartphones, high-end televisions, digital signages, digital video cameras, general lighting devices and other top-of-the-line commercial and residential AV solutions,
The rapid rise of this technology seems to be linked to positive user experiences, including  enhanced picture quality, lower power consumption, lighter weight and better durability. In addition to improvements of the technology, the growth of the OLED market has been fueled by growing investments and government support for OLED research and development.
A Look at Today’s OLED Market
While OLED has a bright future, it remains an evolving technology. It’s unlikely that it will take over the digital display market anytime in 2018. It’s simply a matter of supply and demand. With the demand for inexpensive direct-view LED displays still high, the demand for large-scale production of more expensive OLED TV displays will be limited.
Yet, there’s a sign of things to come with increased OLED technology adoption. In recent years, companies like Sony, Philips, Toshiba and Panasonic have continued to launch their new OLED TV products. Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple have introduced flagship phones using OLED technology, including the iPhone X and the Galaxy Note 8.
Regional Competition Breeds Innovation and Growth
The advantages of OLED products may become more evident as a result of regional competition for market share, all of which is leading to the development of more affordable and higher quality OLED displays.
Market research on OLED technology covers four major regions in the world –  Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and the remaining parts of the world.
Statistics show that Asia Pacific has the larger share, primarily because the manufacturing facilities of several major display panel companies, including Sharp, Samsung and Huawei, are based in that region. Because of those factors, the Asia Pacific is expected to maintain its lead in the OLED market during the forecast period.
According to the report, the North American OLED market also will experience a significant growth rate between 2017 and 2023. Apple,  the world’s leading smartphone vendor, is among the primary consumer of OLED display panels, using them for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Europe’s market also will continue to grow, with the region expected to be closely competitive with North America.
Integration of OLED and AV Expands
With OLED displays steadily becoming more available, these displays will become standard AV integration hardware.
“The benefits offered by OLED technologies and their potential to improve over the next few years makes OLED displays extremely relevant in the current AV landscape,” said Blaine Brown, Sensory Technologies’ Chief Technology Officer. “OLED technology will play an active role in ushering in the next era of displays, from flexible screens to improved quality, OLED has a bright future and it remains on our radar for future investments and installations.”
With the AV space continuing to be highly competitive, it’s not surprising that AV integrators are exploring OLED and other innovations as solutions for the workplace. The benefits include better experiences as well as potential cost savings for clients, according to Brown.
“OLED technology has a variety of advantages over traditional LED displays and the advantages are only expected to improve as R&D numbers rise, leading to more affordable production and consistent quality,” he said.
That improved OLED technology also will allow clients to better understand how to use it to improve their bottom line,
Guard Against Becoming Obsolete
With everything, including products, services and skills, there comes a point that they will become obsolete – especially in an age of technology acceleration. That’s why change must be a consistent factor in the work environment..
With the underlying technology of OLED continuing to improve, it’s likely that it will continue to make a significant impact in the industry for several years, possibly for at least five to ten more years. However, since technology is built on fast and efficient innovation, OLED likely will have to give way to the next technical advancement, such as micro-LED, which is not yet in production.
But, for now, OLED will dominate future-proofing AV solutions as more products make their way into the market and R&D produces more advances.
OLED vs. “The Next Best Thing”
For a breakdown of OLED and other technology, take a look at this summary compiled by CNET as part of its comparison between OLED TV and the next best thing. Here are the highlights:

  • Brightness (light output): LCD edges out OLED because its backlight brightens up the whole screen while OLED can’t produce as much brightness.
  • Black level: Black level is the other side of brightness or how dark a TV can get. OLED gets the nod over LCD in this category because it can turn off individual pixels completely and produce the perfect black. LCDs only offer local dimming.
  • Contrast ratio: OLED clearly has the edge, with the best contrast ratio over any modern display. Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightness and darkness of a TV and is key to picture quality. The higher the contrast ratio, the more realistic the display will look.
  • Resolution: This one’s a tie between OLED and LCD because both are widely available in ultra HD 4K form.
  • High dynamic range (HDR): HDR is an extension of contrast ratio that improves brightness and darkness distinction. Both models are HDR-compatible.
  • Viewing angle: OLED easily wins over LCD in this category because its images look basically the same even from extreme angles. LCDs have off-axis issues where picture quality changes if you’re sitting off to the side.
  • Energy consumption: LED LCD is the winner, with OLED coming in as runner-up. LCD energy consumption depends on the backlight setting. A low backlight adjustment will draw less power. The higher energy consumption of OLED is related to display brightness. One way to lower OLED power consumption is to reduce brightness, but reduced brightness often affects contrast ratio and picture quality.
  • Price: LCD TV is cheaper than its OLED counterpart mainly due to the greater complexity of manufacturing OLED. However, there are signs that costs are coming down (as they have with other new technologies). LG, for example, has steadily reduced the price of its OLED TVs. As a result, some high-end LCD models are not far in price from OLED offerings.

New digital solutions, including OLEDs, will continue to create disruptions across industries. With Sensory Technologies as your partner, you can be prepared to leverage these innovative solutions to help your organization thrive. Contact us for a consultation today.