When I sat down at my desk and turned on my computer (a Chromebox) this morning, there was a little alert advising that an update was available and to restart to apply the update. Now in a Windows or Mac world that could potentially render your device useless for an hour or so while the updates are downloaded, installed and applied. However, on a Chromebox (or any Chrome device including Chromebooks) a reboot never takes longer than 10 seconds until the machine is fully operational. I’m serious. 10 seconds. So I rebooted and got to work.Then I thought to myself, remember back when you had to worry about antivirus software and the relentless job of keeping it up-to-date. That’s all obsolete now. The Chrome Operating System has such sophisticated security features built-in, that even worrying about devices becoming compromised is now a thing of the past.

Often when I am speaking to prospective new clients that have a need and use for digital signage, touch screens and devices for frontline workers and customers, a common concern arises. Security. One of the fears that would-be digital signage users have is that someone will hijack the content on their screens and display competitors content (or worse).

One horror story about this type of activity was in 2019 when hackers uploaded a pornographic video that then screened on high profile central Auckland promotional screens to shocked shoppers and pedestrians. The video ran for approximately two hours from 8 am. While some people were shocked, others reportedly just stopped and watched. With all of the hard work that Marketing and Branding teams do to build trust, loyalty and brand advocacy, this is not the type of content any business would like playing on their screens.

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Another concern organisations often have is that a network of digital signage devices will add to the IT Team’s workload. Setting up and maintaining a fleet of new devices would usually just add risk, vulnerability and extra work for the IT Team. By using Chrome Enterprise one IT Team reduced device setup time from three hours to 25 minutes. They said: “Chrome Enterprise adds extra security features that protect employees and our platform while offering easy support tools for our IT team”.

Many people are wondering what the #NewNormal will be like. If you think about it, using devices that increase security, reduce workloads and mitigate risk should really be part of the new normal for organisations. Here are five security features that you might not (but should) know about Chrome devices and the Chrome operating system:

Sandboxing

Chrome OS keeps different software on Chrome devices separate with sandboxing. So even if one part somehow gets infected, the rest is designed to stay safe.

Verified boot

Every time a Chrome device starts up, it goes through Verified Boot — a rigorous and seamless security check-up in the background that prevents malware.

Security chip

Protect your data. Every Chromebox and Chromebook includes a built-in security chip to encrypt the most sensitive data and keep it away from prying eyes.

Built-in virus protection

Built-in virus protection defends Chrome devices from malware automatically. You can focus on what you need to do, instead of installing third-party security software.

Powerwash

In the rare event that something does go wrong, a fresh start is just a click away. With the power-washing feature on Chrome devices, they can easily be reset (even remotely) to restore factory settings and get rid of malware in the process.

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So in a year when cybersecurity has never been more important, It’s nice to know that there are simple technology choices that can help alleviate risk, increase productivity and tighten security. If you or someone you know are considering digital signage, but have security and IT concerns, you should try a Chrome device demo. I can hook it up for free and it could end up saving your organisation hundreds of IT hours and unnecessary security headaches.

If you have found this article insightful, or helpful, please consider sharing it to help others to find out how to gain critical control in managing threats and mitigating the harmful impacts of attacks. Thanks for reading and sharing.

I am recovering from shoulder surgery and my physiotherapist said to me, “You’re not out of the woods yet, but you are definitely in a clearing.”

Unexpectedly, the retail sector also seems to be in a clearing as we emerge from 2020. After years of commentary forecasting a brick-and-mortar retail apocalypse, CBNC reports that for the first time in five years, retailers will open more stores than they will close in 2021, according to Coresight Research. This is encouraging for consumers and good news for retailers during this surprisingly exciting time for retail.

2020 created retail space vacancies which have enabled retailers to negotiate shorter, more flexible leases with more affordable rental contracts. This has created opportunities for retailers to diversify their footprint, experiment with new formats and open new stores

Another thing that 2020 prompted was a digital shift in consumer behaviour, which has expedited digital transformation plans for many organisations. As the retail sector evolves to meet the ever-changing expectations of consumers, value-adding digital solutions have become an essential component when opening new stores.

free demo device

Purpose-built digital signage, touch screen kiosks and cloud-native devices enhance customer experience and improve employee engagement; and are perfect digital touchpoints to add value to new stores. With multiple internal stakeholders involved in the planning process, there are numerous reasons to include in-store digital in the new store budget.

When digital signage has been part of the architectural design and installed by professionals, it is much more than a marketing tool. It improves aesthetics, enhances customer experience and validates brands as digital natives. C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “Progress means not just changing, but changing for the better.” As retailers open new stores in 2021 there has never been a more important time to innovate for the future.

This really is good news for retailers during this surprisingly exciting time for retail. If your organisation is opening new stores and exploring innovation, please get in touch. datmedia specialises in helping businesses transform digitally with innovative solutions. We’re dedicated to enabling positive change through technology.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

According to many web polls, most people update their phone every two years. Many device warranties are often only for one, two, or three years. This is even true for some commercial devices. The world we live in is changing faster than ever before and keeping important technology up-to-date can seem like an endless challenge.

When I received my recent electricity bill, it was clear that my solar system was no longer working as it should. It was the biggest electricity bill that I have seen since we installed our panels and it shocked me into taking action. I kind of knew even before I called the solar company to come and see what the problem was, that I was probably going to have to invest in some new equipment.

Sure enough, the inverter wasn’t even turning on and there were various other system failures. As the system had been installed over 10 years ago, a warranty claim wasn’t even an option. So when the quote came in with two choices I needed to have a good think about each of them and more importantly what I wanted for the future.

I wanted to play my part towards Net Zero by 2050 of course, however, it was also an important time to think about return on investment. Do I simply replace the failing component, or do I take advantage of current incentives and replace the whole system? If I just replaced the failing unit, it will almost certainly outlast the rest of the system and will probably cost more in the long run (for both the equipment and on my electricity bill).

So now I have a new solar energy system that even has an app on my phone to show me how much money I am making and how much energy I am producing, along with how many trees I am saving and other environmental impact metrics. More importantly, the technology is up-to-date and has new warranties.

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Many early adopters of digital signage now have ageing equipment yet it is serving a purpose that is now more important than ever before. That important purpose? – Supporting businesses and their customers during the COVID19 pandemic and into the future as consumers change the way they transact. With the equipment outside (or approaching the end of) warranties, updating technology is essential to businesses in 2021.

For eligible businesses that need to update equipment before March 12th, 2021, the Australian Government’s Instant Asset Write-Off scheme could mean that eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

datmedia do not offer financial advice, just a world-class digital signage service and CMS. However, if it helps, we can help facilitate an Operating Lease to update technology that hasn’t been included in a capital expenditure budget. Whether it’s updating technology, streamlining operations, or even just another quirky Bernie Sanders meme, we are here to help.

Please consider sharing this article to help businesses that may need to update their digital signage equipment soon and to get this Bernie Sanders meme circulating.

Thank you for reading and sharing, and please get in touch if you would like to know more about how we can help you update your technology in 2021.

Computer image credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Life just got easier for the IT team. Well, a particular IT team in Rosebery NSW that is. One of our clients is setting up a new store and they just received two Chromebox media players that we sent to them. One will service a display screen for digital signage and the other is for a touch screen kiosk.

In error (our error – just being candidly honest here), both media players had been set up as digital signage players. No problem, this was simply an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the power of Chrome.

Using other technology, it could have been a complicated and time-consuming exercise to reconfigure the kiosk player. Uninstalling software and reinstalling other software, changing multiple device settings and depending on the use case, possibly needing to re-image the device. The last thing any IT Team wants is another complicated, time-consuming job in their workload.

However, with the simple yet powerful Chrome Enterprise system, it was as easy as logging into the Cloud-based dashboard and moving the device from one group to another (one that had already been set up for kiosks at other stores). And that was it! All the device needed was an internet connection and a reboot (which never takes longer than 10 seconds on a Chrome device), and it was instantly transformed from a digital signage player into a touch screen kiosk.

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Let that just sink in for a minute… How many hours of your IT team’s valuable time do you reckon we could save if we could simplify device management policies and settings at scale? Not just that, in this year of the distributed workforce that is 2020, the IT team doesn’t even need to be anywhere near the devices when working like this. With all that extra time and fewer headaches, your IT team could focus on things like innovation and that important project the business is working on.

When it’s this easy, a term like ‘Unlimited Scale’ actually sounds exciting, rather than daunting. Do you know an IT team that could use some extra time and resources? We would love to demonstrate something like this, to help boost productivity and solve challenges that they shouldn’t even be concerned about. Everyone from Senior Management to the Accounts Payable department will be glad that life just got easier for the IT team.

If you want to learn more, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

I enjoyed a great Working From Home Lunch meeting yesterday (even though I was actually at the office). My Vietnamese Bánh mì was one of the highlights, yet it was the discussion that really made it great. After all the attendees had introduced themselves and their lunch choice, the conversation quickly shifted from customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) to buyer personas and customer journey mapping.

It was refreshing to talk to an IT leader (not a marketer) who had such a firm grasp on who their customers are, how they transact and a crystal clear understanding of their typical paths to purchase. Even though it was possible to carve their buyer personas into three distinct groups, it was evident that almost every path to purchase is unique.

In 2020, online research and transactions have skyrocketed (for obvious reasons). However, conditions have also shown us just how important the physical presence of brands and organisations is to the way that we purchase. A recent report conducted by payment provider Adyen revealed that although 33% of those surveyed say they will shop online more often now, 72% of respondents still prefer to shop in-store (here in Australia – more than any other country).

So it’s important to understand that the customer journey is more than just online, or in-store.  Shane Lenton, Chief Information & Digital Officer at Cue Clothing Co. explained in a recent article that: “It’s imperative we engage with customers in a holistic sense rather than look at them as online or offline customers – that’s a thing of the past”.

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Along every path to purchase are important opportunities to engage with and help customers. Google calls them Micro-Moments. Some of these moments will happen online, some on mobile devices and others will be in a physical space somewhere. One of the best ways to help your customers is to meet them wherever they may be and become a trusted guide for the rest of their journey.

Mapping your business’ unique customer journey can help focus your strategy, solve business problems, create contextually relevant content and ultimately add value for your customers.

Here are some handy resources to help create your customer journey map(s):

How to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

Think Outside the Funnel: How to Create a Custom Customer Journey Map

If digital touchpoints in the physical space are something on your customer journey map that you would like to explore, we are here to help. The events of 2020 have accelerated digital transformation plans that may have been floundering for a while. Now is the time to ensure that organisations establish the right platform to unify business processes, deploy future-proof technology and delight their customers. Thanks for reading and sharing.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn as How to help customers on their journey

Here’s something to contemplate.
80% of the global workforce does not sit behind a desk*.

That’s over two and a half billion workers who aren’t tethered to an office, many of which who now use job-transforming cloud tools do their job. Like a doctor, or the delivery guy who just dropped off your lunch.

They are often the first people your customers connect with, and first impressions last. A worker who knows their job and – most importantly – has information at their fingertips, leaves the best impression of all. It translates to a great customer experience, and that supports your bottom line.

Transforming Your CX?  Don’t forget the EX!

Cloud device technology has revolutionised the delivery of engaging digital experiences into bricks and mortar stores or branches.  But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed. A great in-store customer experience nearly always involves a satisfying interaction with a frontline sales associate or product specialist.

When you are upgrading your in-store customer engagement tech, consider how you can better enable your team members at the same time.

frontline-cafe

Once you free your staff from legacy limitations, productivity soars. They value the speed, convenience, collaboration, fluidity and security of working in the cloud. The question is, how do you empower your frontline worker with CX-transforming cloud tools?

1. Make your frontline team part of your cloud device conversation 

They’re the backbone of any customer experience, and deserve access to the same cloud-based productivity tools that have already improved the day-to-day for information workers.

2. Remember that frontline workers are customer experience ambassadors

First impressions can become lasting ones, so make sure the impression of your company is a great one. Afterall, customers who have the best experiences spend 140% more.†

3. Many frontline workers are ready and willing to adopt cloud based technologies.

All of us regularly use cloud tools in our personal lives, and most want them at work as well. 53% of frontline workers use unapproved cloud messaging apps for work-related reasons but 68% said they’d stop if given approved internal communication tools.^ Don’t fight your staff, empower them.

4. datmedia supports your frontline workforce with Chrome Enterprise  

Chrome Enterprise was made for a cloud-first workforce. With benefits like fast deployment, company agility, built-in security, ease of use, and a strong multi-user experience, Chrome Enterprise ensures that IT and frontline workers alike can work better in the cloud.

fronline-google

If you’d like to learn more about empowering your frontline workforce, download this whitepaper prepared by Chrome Enterprise. It has a wealth of information, ideas and inspiration as you continue your journey into the cloud.

Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you find the right cloud based technologies to empower your frontline workers, and transform your business.

 

* Emergence, “The Rise of the Deskless Workforce,” 2018.
† HBR, “The Value of Customer Experience, Quantified,” 2014.
^ Cision PR Newswire, “Frontline Workers Frequently Turn to Unapproved Messaging Apps for Work-Related Communications,

Many of us are now juggling Working From Home (WFH) with distractions – from homeschooling to working around the tradie who suddenly arrived to do that thing you didn’t plan being around for. Here are a couple of tips to help make the ‘new normal’ seem, well, a little more normal.

 

1. Create A Space

First of all, it’s important to create a space that is about work, one that tells your brain ‘this is where I work productively’. That’s not the couch in front of the television. This place needs to trigger the idea of daily routine – somewhere you go to at the start of the working day, and somewhere you leave at the end of that day.

TIP: Avoid Distractions It might be productive to do the laundry while your PC boots up, but it becomes a distraction. Try to keep your brain at work by keeping your activity about work. Schedule non-work tasks for a different part of the day.

 

2. Create A Schedule

Just like working in the office, WFH requires a schedule. It helps you shape your day and your week, and gives structure to the work you’re doing. Not that a schedule should be just about work. Build in breaks for lunch and other activities. If you need to make time for a child or someone else in your household, build that into the schedule. That way, when you’re at work, you’ll be focussed on work.

TIP: Make A List Lists are great, and one of the best ways to stay motivated is by ticking another item off a list. It can be thought of as a reward for successfully completing a task and coming to the end of a time block. It also helps you structure your day more productively.

laptop-zoom-call
3. Collaborate

Find a way to see your colleagues. Zoom has become a byword for video conferencing these days because it has now gone mainstream. And that’s because talking face to face, as you would in the office, is the best way to collaborate. Communication is as much a visual exchange as it is audible. Phones are OK but you understand more when you see the response. Google Meet is a big player in the VC space and offers chat facilities which is great for a quick confirmation or request.

TIP: Make a Group Most VC platforms allow you to create a group of colleagues quickly and easily. It’s a simple way to check in with all your team at once, to collaborate and stay abreast of what everyone is doing and how they’re feeling.

There’s been a lot of focus on customer experience (CX) recently. We know this due to the successful CX event that we co-hosted at Google in Melbourne in 2020.

Although there is no doubt that customer experience is important, consistently good customer experience doesn’t just happen. It’s your team that makes it happen, which is why employee experience needs to be a top priority when planning and setting budgets.

Research shows that happy, engaged employees = happy, returning customers and brand advocates. Data doesn’t lie. There is a direct correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). So how can you improve EX to help develop a connected, collaborative, enthusiastic and committed workforce? Cloud devices can help. When employees are empowered with the right tools and resources it’s the perfect foundation for providing a differentiating customer experience.

Here are three such tools and resources

Everything your team needs is in the cloud. Why not enable them with cloud-native devices that will boost productivity, enhance collaboration and provide your cloud-workers with the resources that they need when they need them? Chromebooks are designed to be a simple, secure, and speedy way to work from anywhere, anytime. From the shop floor to the back office, these reliable devices are an affordable way to improve the employee experience, quickly.

Frontline workers are the backbone of your business. The Chrometab is a versatile, portable, touchscreen solution that empowers your employees to facilitate a world-class customer experience. With a ruggedised, secure, high-performance design, the Chrometab’s 10-hour battery life will keep employees and customers engaged and connected.

A recent Harvard Business Review report found that organisations that prioritise employee experience technology are well-positioned to work remotely with efficiency and that agility can prove to be a competitive advantage. Neverware is an easy way to transform your old laptops or aging Macbooks into high-performing Chrome devices. During a time of unparalleled supply chain constraints, Neverware is an ideal solution to make use of what you already have to improve the employee experience.

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Conclusion

We believe that people are the key to technology.

The right cloud devices can make a measurable impact on your employee experience and drive successful outcomes for all involved. Investing in your people is one of the best things that you can do right now.

Please get in contact if improving employee experience is important to your organisation. We are here to help and can give you a virtual demonstration of these and other cloud-ready solutions.

2020 has given many businesses time in which to replan their future and refurbish their stores. Smart businesses included digital signage in their plans. If you’re thinking about refurbishing, you must think about digital signage as well.

Opening a new store or refurbishing an existing one is no small project. If it’s part of a broader plan there will be many stakeholders to satisfy: Store Design, Marketing, IT and of course, the CFO. Though each party has different priorities, the overall objective is about propelling the organisation into the new consumer landscape. An objective that’s never been more relevant than it is today.

Digital transformation is now the central pillar of any refurbishment, and that’s why it’s the perfect time to invest in a digital signage solution.

Research from Google suggests that over half of all purchase decisions are influenced by digital marketing, and bringing an online experience into the physical world is one of the greatest challenges facing retailers.

Consumer engagement has never been more important for businesses that have yet to establish an in-store digital strategy. Even knowing where to start can be daunting. Here are some common challenges that digital signage can overcome and why including it in the architectural design and shop fit makes perfect sense:

Posters are boring

Not to mention high maintenance and labour intensive. You know the headaches caused by printing in multiple (non-standard) sizes then relying on human compliance to ensure all of that expensive content reaches its audience on time. There’s got to be a better way, and there is. Put digital signage at the top of your refurbishment to-do list.

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Shopfitting adds value

Although retrofitting digital screens is always an option, it can look like an afterthought (usually because it was). When you see digital signage that has been part of the architectural design and installed by professionals, it actually serves as more than a marketing tool. It improves the aesthetics, enhances customer experience and validates you as a digital native.

Refurbishment helps fund hardware

It’s unlikely that your marketing team doesn’t want an easy-to-manage digital signage solution. It’s more likely that they have been requesting it, and looking for a way to fund it, for years. Now’s the chance. While budgets for shelving, lighting, furniture and fittings are getting approved, it makes sense to incorporate a digital signage network into the refurbishment budget. More sense than Marketing having to fund the network from budgets set for brand awareness and boosting sales.

It’s a great time to plan for the future

To paraphrase Karen Lamb, the best time to start a digital signage strategy was one year ago. Failing that, today will do. Digital transformation is inevitable. When all the stakeholders come together, when the refurbishment plan places digital signage and cloud-based technology at the heart of that development, the results are empowering.

Learn More

These are just a handful of reasons to involve digital signage when planning a rebrand, refurbishment or new site. If you need help incorporating an innovative, easy-to-use digital solution into your upgrade, get in touch. We have helped some of Australia’s favourite brands connect with consumers, boost sales, streamline communications and improve operational efficiency. Let our team show you how digital signage adds real value to every project.

Back in 2005, I bought my first flatscreen TV. It was a 32″ Samsung which I am pleased to report is still in operation today. It seemed quite cutting edge at the time because it had an HDMI port. To be honest, I didn’t even know what HDMI was, I just knew that it was better than RCA.

Fifteen years later and that screen is now in my bedroom. Over those years, my media consumption habits have certainly changed: back in 2005 there was no Netflix, Facebook or even iPhones. And if you asked me today, I would tell you that I don’t really watch TV. My kids don’t, they don’t even care about which device they consume media on. They just call it screen time.

The old Samsung didn’t get a lot of action, until just recently. As part of the NBN package that I signed up for, I received a smart-TV box with all the apps that are built in to new TVs. Now, thanks to this media box, my antiquated 32″ Samsung screen has got a new lease of life, and even makes cool sounds when I press the remote.

One of my customers once told his internal communications team that “there is no such thing as dumb screens, there are only dumb people”. Through that future-proofing HDMI port, my once dumb screen has become smart.

Now it’s your turn.

Does your organisation have screens that don’t do much? You know the ones; they get plenty of attention on Melbourne Cup Day and might show news and weather from time to time but are usually turned off. Screens that, like my 32″ Samsung screen (until recently), don’t add any value.

Thanks to that future-proofing HDMI port on the back of the screens they can be revived into 21st-century digital signage screens. You can display anything from important corporate communications messages to mind-blowing real-time marketing media.

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It’s easy.

Connect a Chromebox media player to your screen and using a cloud-based content management system like Laqorr, you can turn your old screen into part of a digital signage network managed from a laptop or mobile device.

Using your iPhone, you could update a lunchroom screen in real-time from Bondi Beach and let the team know that the staff BBQ is being served down at the beach.

One of our customers does a similar thing on rainy days. They have a store outside a railway station and whenever it rains, they push a “$5 Umbrellas!” slide onto their screen and alert commuters. That HDMI port is now helping to boost sales.

Thanks to the smarts of a Chromebox and a simple, yet sophisticated CMS like Laqorr, there is no limit to the ways that an existing ‘dumb’ screen could add value:

  • for your staff
  • for your customers
  • to your bottom line
  • and to the environment

It’s not expensive and it’s not difficult to create a digital signage network using screens that are just taking up space. Now is the time to knock some dust off those legacy screens from an unsuccessful attempt at DIY signage.

Let’s talk about how easy (and how rewarding) it is to rehabilitate screens and put them back to work. Just like I did my old 32″ Samsung flatscreen.