Archive for June, 2011

Will the connected living room become your Digital Life control center?

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Do you or other members of your family sit down to watch TV at night, laptop open and smart phone at your side? Are you simultaneously checking 3 or 4 digital devices with screens of varying sizes – the local news channel on TV, emails or Facebook on your laptop, a video or book on your tablet, and text messaging or chatting on your phone? If the answer is yes – then your living room is half way to being a digital life control center!

With more people than ever working independently or remotely, the old definitions of rooms are changing and all rooms are transforming into “digital life hubs”. A recent study identified that smartphones are so pervasive that they are replacing alarm clocks on nightstands, and are the last thing at night and first thing in the morning that people reach for!

One question that’s often asked is who is really in control of the living room today and who will be in control of these digital hubs in five year’s time? To a certain extent the consumer has control, being able to program their viewing preferences remotely from their smartphone (checking TV listings and scheduling DVR recordings etc) and watch programs at their own convenience and in their own time. But they still don’t necessarily have all the tools they want, or unified platform to hold them.   

Microsoft always claimed that the PC was the control mechanism for online access in the home but gradually the ultimate power is being handed over to the cable companies and the set-top box. These companies are rapidly realizing that, to satisfy the Digital Life needs of today’s consumer, internet-delivered content (for entertainment, information, phone service etc) via one single box needs to be personalized and also delivered to multiple screens in multiple rooms!

In a recent article in the Financial Times about last week’s Cable Show in Chicago, it was reported that cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and ESPN are starting to leverage digital mobile communications and remote storage and software design in order to advance the living room connection one step further for the consumer and improve their TV watching experience.

Cloud TV is one trend that will gain momentum this year as those cable companies with enough foresight will be looking to use the power of the web to their advantage. As one analyst at Morgan Stanley puts it: “The company that integrates online, traditional linear channels, video on demand and (digital video recorders) online across multiple platforms in an easy to use interface has tremendous upside in terms of video market share, and more importantly video pricing.”

The other exciting aspect of the digital hub / living room is the way devices will start to interact with set top boxes and other consumer devices. As the Internet of Things moves into the house, and smart devices constantly monitor and update the status of household appliances, the multiple screens will become the hub for command and control as well as entertainment, information and communication. Smart device manufacturers that jump on the bandwagon early and address the consumer’s need for personal, secure enterprise grade services, blended with easy to use and control smart information, will win the hearts and minds of the digital generation.

To take advantage of this space, companies will have to act fast and embrace the new converged digital technologies available to them so that the existing multiple screens can seamlessly access, process and move content, information and services between them, creating a fully amalgamated Digital Life experience!

To find out how converged digital technologies can lead to better connectivity and collaboration for both your business and home-based employees, contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com

Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC

Is it live or is it Memorex?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

In 1971 Memorex launched its “shattering glass” advertisements, followed up by a series of television commercials featuring Ella Fitzgerald singing a note that shattered a glass while being recorded to a Memorex audio cassette. The tape was played back and the recording also broke the glass, asking “Is it live or is it Memorex?”

Who remembers those ads from an era as far behind us as the Walkman – and why should they matter to us today? If you remember the ads and the company and are reading this blog then you are young at heart and smart enough to know that you need to understand the significance of digital transformation on your business. This story is important for the following 3 reasons:

  1.  Memorex no longer exists – it was started 1961 as a high tech computer storage company, branched into consumer products and after being acquired and broken up, was put into bankruptcy in 1996.
  2. The technologies (audio & video tapes) it was promoting have ceased to be relevant.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, the brand name and power of the message still have value. The brand was acquired by Imation of Taiwan and is used on accessories for iPods, Blueray and flash drives to evoke that sense of authenticity for quality playback.

While companies come and go and technologies fade, the value of a brand and the authenticity are more critical in a digital world than ever before. It is harder than ever today to determine what is live, what is real or fake, who are friends and who are not. Is the Facebook friend a real friend, one who would do for you what you need a friend to do? Is the company you “like” on Facebook a legitimate organization that understands what makes you tick, what really matters in your life? And perhaps most importantly, is trust possible in today’s Digital Life?

There are aspects of human nature that will always supercede the advances of technology – an understanding of right and wrong, good morals, spirituality, the courage to defend one’s family and loved ones, and to help and care for those who are in need. These are the values that define us and do not go away. And this is why brands that we have established an emotional and values-based connection with have such longevity and resonance with us.

Companies and individuals alike both face an interesting dilemma in today’s fast paced Digital World. Do we opt to embrace or ignore new technologies and the changes they bring about? The harsh reality is that ignoring change does not keep things the same!

On a corporate level, ignoring change can lead to disenfranchisement of the brand promise. A classic example of loss and recovery is Apple which owned simplicity with the Mac, lost it in the mid 90’s, only to rediscover it again when Steve Jobs returned and ushered in the iPod.

On a human level, it can hobble our ability to teach our children how to manage time, create expectations, earn respect and create trust by following through using new technologies and mediums, and building on the common values we share. Through the actions we take on a personal level and the brands we chose to validate, we define who we are, and how the world will evolve.

So in the Digital World “is it live or is it Memorex?” translates to authenticity and trust being the critical components of success! As we embrace change, build companies and continue to create more enabling technologies, we must not lose sight of those values that define us as humans. We must use the opportunities presented globally by Digital World technologies to bring health, happiness and the joy of living into the real world.

Organizations will need to change and adapt in order to ensure that their products remain authentic to their brands, and society as a whole will need to adapt to ensure that it remains true to its core values, and rewards those companies and brands that best understand and serve it.

If you’re interested in learning how your business can remain relevant and authentic in the emerging Digital World, we at KeySo Global can show you how. Contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com

Steve Bell & Steve Benton, KeySo Global

The advent of social business – how your business can benefit through digital life transformation

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Social business has its roots in the ever increasing number of converged technologies and devices that are readily available to today’s Digital Life consumer. Their widespread adoption of these has spawned exciting new possibilities for businesses willing to engage with their customers, partners, and other stakeholders.

By implementing a social business strategy, a business can provide easy access to company resources for eager and accepting consumers and customers in ways that many incumbents do not, and often cannot. Social businesses treat staff not only as valued members of their own company, but as recognized and valued members of society at large.

Many businesses are experimenting with social media forums, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn in order to increase sales by reaching their customers using channels that are familiar to them. However, use of social media is merely the tip of the social business iceberg of opportunities.

Social businesses capitalize on the emerging opportunities that reach deep into the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, suppliers, and partners by focusing on 3 core elements of social interaction:

  1. Building of trust and lasting relationships
  2. Listening and learning from employees, customers, consumers, partners and suppliers alike
  3. Collaborating to provide innovative and timely products and services that resonate with the needs and wants of all constituents and stakeholders

Some of the key business opportunities presented through social business include:

  • New and greater insights into market trends
  • Deeper brand loyalty and customer stickiness
  • Timely innovative products and services that are geared to meeting emerging needs of today and tomorrow
  • Increased market share and business growth
  • Better business performance and sustainability

Social businesses learn that the more they successfully engage (interact, listen, learn, and co-create) with Digital Life communities, the more their insights into the needs and wants of their customers are enhanced. They are much quicker to market in providing innovative goods and services that meet changing needs and wants. They find that their growth in sales rapidly turns to record profitability and soon realize that their brand has strengthened significantly due to the viral spread of reactions amongst their customers, potential customers, partners and other stakeholders.

When analyzing the opportunities and threats afforded by social business, your business cannot use traditional tools and methodologies. Instead, a holistic, integrated, and interconnected view of Digital Life must be at the root of your business development and strategy, culminating in new business and economic models that are founded in thinking differently about the world.

To learn how to create a more adaptable business model that can keep pace with the rapidly changing digital landscape, contact us at info@keysoglobal.com, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com

Steve Benton, Principal, KeySo Global LLC