As Chairman of Firo Communications, Elizabeth Gage dedicates her time to the promotion of entrepreneurism while developing her three companies: PCM Interactive, Sonic Mobile and Vortic Technologies. A respected pioneer in the area of multi-channel digital marketing solutions Elizabeth is passionate about IT in Marketing and in finding integrated solutions that benefit a customer. She holds an Honors Degree in English from Queen’s University and is a graduate of Business Entrepreneurship from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Inspired by social networking tools like Facebook, Wikis, Mashups, Twitter and Digg, the ever changing workplace is becoming more interactive and new business models and strategies are forming. From boardroom, to desktop, to laptop, to mobile we are moving to a space where more collaboration will take place. A study from Pew Internet and American Life predicts that with technology interfaces like touch-screen and voice recognition, the mobile phone by 2020 will have considerable computing and be our primary point of internet access. This technological trend may even be sooner than this. Other informational technology trends that will help create a sustainable advantage for business include:
Cloud computing environments will expand CRM and HR systems.
Servers will continue to be virtualized for better efficiencies and lower costs.
Applications built on Web 2.0 technologies will continue to prosper and be more cost-efficient.
Document management systems will become more robust.
There will be more collaboration and cross-functional tools that combine business processes and advanced reporting capabilities.
Video conferencing and high definition virtual meetings will take off allowing us to connect with new and existing customers. Companies will be able to embrace the cost-savings and productivity benefits of virtual meetings vs business travel. In addition, video functions will be incorporated for on-demand content and training application.
Automated speech technologies are becoming more sophisticated and being used to better serve the customer.
VOIP will evolve to UC (unified communications) networks to integrate various systems, media, and devices such as cell phone.
SaaS or software-as-a-service will become the rage.
There will be a greater need for security across all our intermingled devices.
At the end of the day IT strategies will contribute to the bottom line by driving greater efficiencies across all areas for the business.
Ok, so you had better not get caught working from home in pjs because now there’s video chat brought to you by no other than Google. Gmail allows you to switch from email to chat, to chat to video. Imagine all in one application. It works on MAC and PC and all you need is a simple web cam.
This cool application could be the next videoconferencing facility. Failing this it would certainly be cool to connect in this way to our communities for a multi-chat experience. By the way, if you don’t like what the other person is saying you do have the option to put on “small screen”.
I guess its time to keep a hairbrush next to the computer since you never know who might be wanting to chat. I wonder if Google will come up with the option for avatars for those of us of a delicate age who sometimes have bad hair days?
Perhaps there is a marketing opportunity for sponsored pjs? That’s got to be a better advertising investment than the “head rests” rumored to exist in some men’s rooms. Though maybe we should put this question out to jury.
“Mums!” my 6 year old son exclaims as he punts open the door to my office and I brace for his less than graceful landing on my lap. He sucks back his milk eyeing the yellow pages directory on my desk. “What are the yellow pages?” he asks. I explain that it is a book that people use when they want to go shopping. Is there something you would like to buy? I ask him. “A fishing boat” he says in a rather matter-a-fact way. Surveying the ads under “Boats Retail” I ask him which place he would like to buy his boat from. His response is interesting.
“None of them” he tells me rather disgusted. (He doesn’t like the look of any of the ads). “Well, what if you had to choose one of these, which would you pick?” Interestingly enough he does not pick the place with the biggest most colorful ad but one that has a rather obscure looking ad. I ask him why he picked the ad he did and he explains:
“Because Mums, this one has a fish finder in it and I want to catch a Sturgeon. Do the yellow pages have Sturgeons?”
Searching for Sturgeons does not include the yellow pages as we discovered. That afternoon I took my son on a multi-media search experience on the web that he has not forgotten. He watched videos of huge sturgeons, caught and dragged into boats by exhausted fishermen, and experienced the thrill first hand of Sturgeon fishing. My son was ecstatic.
In the infinite search environment that the internet provides it is doubtful my son will ever go searching in the yellow pages again. He wants his information served up fast and in an appealing way that engages all his senses.
“Gotta go Mums” and he is off in a flash to search for his sister.
As marketers there is much we can learn from the young. But there are some constant themes that are recurrent. Products will always be sold in a simple way and in a way that puts the consumers needs first.
September 2008, the first Google Android phone T-Mobile G1 was unveiled and it caused much fury in the already effervescent world of technology. Now whether, this excitement was the result of the novelty of the software or the brand Google associated with it, is still not resolved. Itwas the latter reason if some people are to be believed. The Google Android has amassed some not-so-good reviews about its technological brilliance, in terms of not really being an innovation but only an extension of the existing technologies in the mobile industry.
Nevertheless, The Android is definitely something that has the potential to evolve into a reckoning software stack or operating system. If we are to go by what its promoters have to say then the Google Android is the most developer/user-friendly, advanced open software. According to them, the new mobile operating system for mobiles runs on Linux Kernel and has relevant Java libraries.
The core applications that the Google Android consists of, such as the email client, SMS program, calendar, maps, browser, contacts, etc are all written in Java programming language. Along with these the other software frameworks include Dalvik virtual machine optimized for mobile devices, 2D graphics library, 3D graphics based on Open GL ES 1.0 specification (Hardware acceleration optional), media support for common audio, Bluetooth, Edge, 3G and WiFi(Hardware dependent), tools for debugging, memory, and performance profiling, and a plug-in for the Eclipse IDE. Sounds techy doesn’t it? All these are powered by a set of systems that are user-oriented themselves. Android also includes a set of C/C++ libraries as well that are both lightweight and powerful.
There is no doubt that the Google Android is highly functional and efficient, but is it the first of its kind? Well not really but definitely a beneficial tool for both consumers and advertisers. Google, with its Android has forayed into the telecommunications industry a progressive phenomenon, that of pervasive advertisement. One of the most advantageous features of the Android is being able to support quality content advertisement both static and video.
Obviously with the increase in the number of smart phone users, the advertising industry would definitely want to cash in on the opportunity of reaching out to its target audience so readily. Google is already the pioneer of web-advertising as it dominates the web world with Ad sense and Ad words. Thus, with Google Android, mobile advertisement will definitely encounter an unprecedented boon.
As far as its impact on the consumer is concerned, the software has already been compared to software installed in iPhone. However, certain factors give the Google Android a definite edge like security control, access to library of groundbreaking softwares, new signature unlocking tool (by drawing a shape or form on a 9 inch square which only a user knows) and others . As the market is already ripe for mobile browsing devices, Google by manufacturing a software and not a phone has allowed the consumer to exercise his or her choice and preference in terms of selecting the Handset and still acquiring the operating system that satisfies their dynamic cell phone needs.
Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said during the demonstration, “This partnership will help unleash the potential of mobile technology for billions of users around the world. A fresh approach to fostering innovation in the mobile industry will help shape a new computing environment that will change the way people access and share information in the future,”.
Microsoft announced last month that advertisers can now extend their campaigns to social media through Windows Live for mobile in France, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. by creating banner ads that will be visible across Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail.
This builds upon Microsoft’s initial launch of mobile advertising for MSN Mobile in France, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. where mobile ads are available alongside premium MSN Mobile content. Advertising on Windows Live for mobile is already available in Spain, and later this month will be available in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, further extending its availability for advertisers. All ads placed on these two popular services will adhere to Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) guidelines.
“The mobile device is emerging as a prime opportunity for advertisers to reach their audience,” said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president of Mobile Services at Microsoft. “This announcement is evidence of our commitment to providing advertisers with further opportunities to connect and engage consumers throughout their ‘digital day’ – at home, at work and on the go across multiple platforms, devices and geographic regions.”
Microsoft also announced plans to further expand its mobile offerings for advertisers to now include mobile search advertisements on Live Search Mobile. For the first time invited advertisers can create keyword campaigns through Microsoft adCenter that target customers on the go while they are using Live Search Mobile.
This will be the first time that Microsoft has enabled advertisers to monetize its popular mobile search service. The beta is currently available in the U.S. and will be expanded in the second half of 2008.