The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the lives of millions and has driven companies to think about how business is conducted. Finding new ways to keep engaging with customers despite the challenges of lockdowns, social distancing and other restrictions isn’t easy and most have seen a fundamental shift in the day-to-day approach to operations. One of the areas that has seen exponential growth accelerated by the pandemic is on-line engagement: Zoom, Teams, Meet (and others) calls, webinars and virtual events have all been heavily utilised as a substitute for face-to-face meetings, but have they delivered and will they continue when we emerge from the pandemic?
At Motorola Solutions, we have been running webinars and holding on-line meetings for many years and they are a great way to reach a large number of people. They allow us to regularly engage with our customers, rather than the once or twice a year that was possible at physical events, and this year we’ve been holding more sessions than ever.
A huge difference for us in the last 12 months has been the emergence of virtual events: we’ve taken part in several on-line industry events like Critical Communications Week and we’ve also developed the Motorola Solutions VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE CENTER (VEC) that simulates an exhibition space to showcase our whole portfolio. It has a futuristic design that is especially impressive using a VR headset and it lets us showcase our entire range of products in a way that wouldn’t be possible in the real world. It’s almost a year since we launched the VEC and in the intervening time we’ve expanded it to cover more products, more information and added a virtual tour guide to explain what’s on offer.
As I look to the future of virtual events, it’s undeniable that on-line formats offer advantages: on-demand systems like our VEC make access convenient for people across time-zones, the always-on nature makes repeat visits easy and far more can be covered virtually than is practical in the real world. On the flip side, they can’t match the interaction, networking and “touched with your own hand” experience of physical events. They also need to continue evolving to stay interesting and relevant.
Although some countries are still firmly in the grip of the pandemic, others are beginning to show signs of starting to open up. I think virtual events are here to stay, but as a part of the marketing mix and not as a substitute for in-person activities as some have suggested. I’d love to hear your experiences and views on the real vs virtual debate.
Head of EMEA Solutions Marketing
Motorola Solutions UK Limited
Connect with Sean on LinkedIn
What do you value when it comes to building on the current success of your business? Is it perfecting the balance between expenditure and income; ensuring your customers are satisfied enough to not look elsewhere; streamlining all operational processes or having the most robust recovery plans in place for when the unexpected hits?
All are extremely vital but what value do you give employee communication? Or, more to the point, what value do you give to building the right communication platform? To understand its potential I’ve always believed there are 3 tracks to communication and if you get these right then teams and management can achieve their goals and the entire business strategy is supported:
Efficiency, productivity and safety are the end-game of what can be achieved through the deployment of a reliable communication platform, but how do you get there? When there is no "one-size-fits-all" platform that you can simply pick off the shelf how do you even begin to know what will work for you?
3 EVALUATION POINTS TO KICK OFF YOUR COMMUNICATION'S REVIEW
Common to every business there are three core areas I’ve identified that will help focus a review of your existing platform to assess whether your communication is holding you back from achieving your business goals.
Spot the warning signs that your existing communication platform isn’t coping.
Ask yourself if you have more employees, bigger premises, or a workforce that works more remotely, or on their own more often, since you rolled out your current communication solutions.
Assess if your communication platform supports emergency situations or unplanned downtime.
Basics such as signal blackspots or device incompatibility between employees may restrict the flow of information when it’s needed most.
Analyse employee efficiency and activity
Determine if staff are focused on the most immediate, income generating or target-hitting tasks in an efficient way. Or, are they being diverted from doing so simply because they’re chasing information and going unaware that their expertise is needed?
I hope this blog has gone some way to unearthing the true potential of communication and why it should be valued as a commodity for helping reach business goals and long term strategies.
If you've unearthed some concerns take the next step and discover what you can do about rectifying the uncertainties using Motorola Solutions new guide for 2018 : ‘The Role of Communication in Today’s Modern Business: Your step-by-step guide to building a successful communication platform.’
HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF BUSINESSES IN A DIGITAL AGE | CRITICAL COMMUNICATIONS WORLD 2018
When the business landscape is in a constant state of change due to ever increasing customer demands and technological advancements, it may seem like you’re never going to be able to stop and catch your breath.
The first thing to do is recognise what challenges are having the biggest impact on your operations, whether it’s affecting your efficiency, service or safety. I often see the same 5 making an appearance; do you recognise any of these?
Challenge #1: KEEPING OPERATIONS RUNNING ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.
Getting things right first time, every time is no easy task, especially when budgets and timeframes are being squeezed. People, equipment and processes all need to interact efficiently to ensure smooth operations.
Challenge #2: DEALING WITH UNPLANNED EVENTS
From minor hiccups to major incidents, businesses need to prepare so they are ready to respond in an instant.
Challenge #3: ACHIEVING MORE WITH LESS
When ‘streamline’ is the buzz word, efficiency savings must be identified and implemented. The results can have a positive impact on reducing wastage in both time and budgets.
Challenge #4: KEEPING STAFF, CLIENTS AND VISITORS SAFE
The security of premises and protection of people is non-negotiable. In emergency situations delays increase the impact of incidents and injuries with potentially fatal consequences.
Challenge #5: ENSURING STAFF CAN COMMUNICATION ACROSS THE ENTIRE FACILITY
The ability to communicate sounds easy but environments can conspire against you: multiple buildings, blackspots and device incompatibility can easily bring down the most planned for communication platform.
If you recognise any of these challenges then there is a solution that can address any and all of these... Instant communication and real-time data on a unified platform that breaks down barriers between different devices and networks.
That’s what Motorola Solutions will be showcasing at this year’s Critical Communications World in Berlin.
If you’re visiting the show then stop by our stand, C10, where our experts will be on hand to demonstrate how you can harness the potential of your business and define your competitive advantage through communication.
Find out more at Motorola Solutions at Critical Communications World 2018 here