M2M and digital signage…not often thought as a M2M deployment, signage is changing. Of course, there are thousands of signage deployments, from video walls at the shopping malls to corporate communications. But, signage has evolved – just think about the billboards on the side of the highway or the video wall in Times Square. And, using a M2M platform means it’s manageable and profitable.
Take, for example, the Titan Outdoor displays deployed installed in the subway platforms by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. With an average of 1.3 million riders per day, Titan can drive revenue with advertising while providing riders with and important real-time transit content. The ruggedized high-brightness display enclosures, made by Vertigo Digital Displays, contain an array of internal sensors measuring everything from fan speed to ambient light temperature to vandalism. All of this is for naught without the Esprida M2M platform. To ensure 24/7/365 operation in a harsh environment, Titan relies on Esprida to manage the entire system, covering everything from 4g connectivity to temperature to the content management system playing ads.
Using the Esprida self-healing features, Titan now automates technical fixes that it would normally have done with an on-site technician, resulting in significant cost-savings, increased uptime, and more ad impressions…the bottom line is that Titan can provide virtually uninterrupted advertising content, increasing its topline revenue, and by using the Esprida cloud, at a nominal annual fee.
With signage installations proliferating, a proven M2M platform to manage connected endpoints will help drive greater profitability and operational uptime.
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Esprida pioneered the M2M revolution. Once again, one of its long-time clients is using Esprida LiveControl to expand its offering. The State of Michigan announced it is adding its DMV self-service terminals to Meijer stores across Michigan for vehicle license registration and renewal services. Leveraging the device management capabilities brought by Esprida, the State is using retail outlets to reduce waiting times at branches for vehicle license plate services.
Traditionally these kiosks were available at only Secretary of State Offices. Under the new program kiosks at Meijers will provide everyday easy access and convenience to the public. The machines will accept major credit cards so the public can renew their license plate tabs while grocery shopping!. And the State can confidently deploy knowing Esprida LiveControl is managing the devices.
To read the article, please click here
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Anila Jobanputra, President & Founder Esprida; Featured in Connected World Magazine ‘Salutes the Women of M2M’
In the latest Apr/ May 2013 issue of Connected World Magazine’s ‘Women of M2M’, it has featured Anila Jobanputra; President & Founder of Esprida Corporation as one of the most successful female leaders involved in technology. Connected World magazine announced its inaugural list of females involved in technology, in order to be recognized for its annual list for Women of M2M. A ceremony was held to honour these women at Joe’s Seafood and Prime Steak in Chicago, Ill.
Connected World is the business and technology publication that provides the intelligence industry titans need and the guidance consumers crave. The article talks about the critical role women are playing in driving the global economy with technology innovations. Out of actual 47% of the women in workplace today, only 25% represent technology industry. These females represent their true spirit, vision and determination towards the growth of M2M technology. All these women have shown tremendous success in driving innovation forward.
To read the profiles of the 2013 Women of M2M, please click here for the March/April issue.
To read the article, Women of M2M, please click here.
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We’ve all heard the term M2M by now, and often referred to interchangeably with the term “Internet of Things” which refers to connecting everything – people, objects, machines – to the Internet and is only the tipping point for what’s to come, as we are just starting to get a glimpse of the potential of today’s M2M applications.
So you may be asking yourself – is all this hype surrounding M2M really all its cracked up to be? Well let’s break down some of the reasons why your business should be considering M2M technologies:
1: Simplify and Enhance user Interaction
With M2M technology businesses can bridge the information gap between their clients and customers. Just imagine how quickly and easily it would be to interact with patients in a waiting room. Information about a company, promotions, or even news events could be filtered through a digital display or device. Patients could check in using their device and receive real-time updates on wait times, facilitating staff communication etc.
2: Improved Efficiencies and Transactions
M2M provides businesses with the opportunity to transfer all of their data via M2M. Wouldn’t it be great if data such as credit card, personal data, and company information could be exchanged and approved through a simple connection? This will inevitably become reality with M2M technologies, by making transactions more efficient than ever!
3: Increase Productivity
Efficiency and productivity is important in any organization. M2M enables employees to work faster and more efficiently. By reducing manual user intervention, managers can focus on more important aspects of their business. The increase in productivity also extends beyond an organization’s employees. Networks and devices that operate the business will also become more and more efficient as well.
4: Automation, Automation, and did I mention Automation?
Automation plays an integral role in improving efficiency in many industries. Many small businesses can utilize M2M technologies to enhance the level of automation that include embedded systems and software which have the ability to track, diagnose, and manage such things as inventory levels, device statuses, and even generate detail reports. Just image now much easier life would be for business if they never had to manually order inventory again.
5: Better data collection
M2M improves the task of data collection like no other system. With technologies such as NFC (Near Field Technology), Bluetooth, and other communication protocols, businesses will be able to easily collect client/customer information on site, on the go, or remotely. In the retail industry, with inventory or device tracking, businesses are able to automate the collection and analysis of sales, and delivering precise information pertaining to which products sell best and when they sell.
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Whether you’re a business owner, an IT manager, or executive, one of the main issues constantly being identified as a cause for concern has always been security. Business networks are constantly exposed to hackers, viruses, password attacks, and various other cyber crimes. Therefore, it is important that businesses take steps towards ensuring that their networks are protected.
As more companies begin to shift focus towards networks to operating their business, the need for remote management will become increasingly important. The threat of network intrusions and downtime can prove to be detrimental to businesses both short term and in the long run, costing companies thousands (if not millions) of dollars in revenue and jeopardizing productivity along the way. Below is a list of several ways remote management can help protect your business network:
Remote Management Can Proactively Diagnose & Resolve Problems. Remote management allows businesses to automatically detect problems before they arise. Some remote management software will even allow administers to repair problems remotely.
Remote Management Can Help Reduce Downtime. Remote Management software such as Esprida LiveControl™ provide automatic alert capabilities which enable IT staff to be immediately notified of problems before it becomes a critical issue. Remote management monitors activity 24/7, allowing any issues to be proactively resolved with minimal latency, thus reducing downtime.
Remote Management Can Help Improve Network Performance. Remote management can help administrators consolidate threats, reports, and security monitoring through a single web-based interface. This will dramatically reduce IT administration time and free up time for other tasks.
Remote Management Can Generate Security Reports on Demand. Remote management software encompasses the ability to generate device and network reports on demand – enabling administrators to manage both their networks and devices without hiring outside consultants.
Remote Management Can Help Improve Asset and Inventory Management
By implementing an asset and inventory management program, businesses can gain greater control and efficiencies with their hardware and software assets. This type of solution will allow a business to manage their specific assets, track their location to ensure the assets are not missing or stolen and, ensure upgrades and system deployments run effectively.
The harsh reality is network outages do happen, however by implementing remote management tools, businesses are able to take steps towards minimizing the likelihood of these outages and provide the IT support necessary to oversee their networks and drastically reducing unwanted downtime.
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M2M is poised to continue its growth in the immediate future as predicted by many analysts. The growth of M2M is projected to equal, if not surpass the record numbers in 2012, and the trend is expected to carry over into 2013. Among the many vertical M2M applications, both healthcare and payment processing segments will continue to carry the momentum from 2012.
The adoption of these 2 segments is anticipated to grow at a rapid pace over the next year. The Healthcare industry is starting to understand the true value of potential of connected devices and the profound impact that it has on improving both the economics and quality of care for patient monitoring; some of which include areas related to: diabetes, blood pressure, heart function and other vital signs.
On the other hand, payment processing has seen a spike in the number of users, and has now reached a level of acceptance. Consumers are finally beginning to see the value in adopting electronic processing tools which extends beyond the traditional channels such as restaurants, taxis, and parking meters etc. and has now branched out into wireless cash registers.
As a result it is highly probable that hardware and connectivity costs will continue to decrease, which will have a trickling impact on the number of new entrants entering the market, ranging from small business-focused applications to high level M2M solutions.
Another trend to keep an eye out for this year is global connectivity. This has been something that has flown under the radar in the past few years, and up until last year, was just a talking point. However, that will no longer be the case, as enterprise M2M begins to emerge, the demand for global connectivity will become increasing essential for businesses looking to benefit from the M2M revolution on a global scale.
There are of course several barriers that may derail the possibility of a single security information management (SIM) solution for global connectivity to become attainable, with the main setbacks being the complexity of roaming relationships amongst various international carriers.
Whether or not these predictions do indeed come to fruition or not, one thing is for certain, the foreseeable future of M2M looks promising and is poised to evolve and shape the way we do business. There is no denying the fact that the M2M sector will continue to rapidly grow, however it still remains to be seen as to whether or not operators will have the capacity to manage all of these connected devices. Nevertheless, 2013 looks to be a promising year for the M2M industry.
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Digital signage has had a profound impact on the retail industry as of late. It’s hard to avoid the media attention surrounding digital signage and how retailers are leveraging deployments to attract more customers and drive traffic through in-store sales.
The amount of interest garnered by the digital signage market has led toward massive growth. A study from leading market analyst, Marketsandmarkets.com has shown that the global digital signage market is expected to worth an estimated $13.6 billion by 2016.
These figures come as somewhat of a surprise considering digital signage technology has been around for awhile now in one form or another. So why has digital signage garnered so much interest in the retail market? A big part may have something to do with the declining technology costs.
Digital signage equipment has now been made more accessible. The costs of LCD and HD screens are more affordable than ever before, with prices ranging in the hundreds. Even the software which retailers use to create advertising content can be downloaded from supplies without any charges. On top of that many suppliers are even including media player software as part of the download package, allowing media content to be displayed to LCD screens for free!
The technology is definitely there. The challenge though for retailers is figuring out how to effectively utilize the digital signage technology to engage customers and evoke payments over the counter. Below are five opportunities for retails to capitalize on digital signage technology:
1. Employ a feature screen area: Setting up a single and/or multiple LCD screens that serve as a central feature video wall display. This will allow retailers to showcase their latest promotions, feature new products, and run third party advertising content.
2. Product display areas: Consumer buying decisions are typically triggered by an emotional feeling or experience that is often associated with the product being sold. Product displays often serve this purpose. However digital signage takes it up a notch by providing shoppers with a “theatrical experience”. Creating engaging content that evokes emotion to the product display is an avenue worth exploring.
3. Interactive displays: customer interaction is a key aspect of engagement. By using touch screen displays showcasing a selection of product lines and offering customers a chance to find out more about them, retailers have a great opportunity to engage and promote their products.
4. Big screen demos: Product demos are great resources for engaging customers. However, they are heavily dependent on in-store space, and rely heavily on the staff’s ability to get the right message across to the appropriate audience. Digital signage can serve as a tool to facilitate communication objectives by placing large mounted LCD displays to assist with the knowledge transfer.
5. Product Guides: Conveying a product’s functionality, advantages and/or benefits of using a product to a customer is a vital aspect of generating interest and ultimately making a sale. Digital signage technology can help alleviate the communication barriers. A visual component could go long way.
Digital signage is poised to make a significant impact in the retail market. It still remains to be seen whether or not it will play a pivotal role on a commercial level, which will be dependent on the nature of the deployment, and the type of media content used. Bottom line though, in order for digital signage to be adopted commercially, there needs to be an element of interest that must resonate through the shopping experience. Screen presentation will need to be creative, intuitive, and should work in unison with communication objectives. After all, the purpose of digital signage should be to drive sales right?
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In this day in age when customer retention is at the forefront of business success, everything a company does should revolve around its customers. Whether it is vision, goals, marketing strategy, or advertising – essentially everything you can imagine. Why is this important? Its simple, customers are the driving forces behind a business’ success or failure, and heavily dictate profit margins. Everything else is simply a means to appeasing these people. Discrediting the value of customers would be a vital mistake.
If there’s one thing the information age has taught us it’s that content and customers are king. Therefore it is important that businesses take their customers seriously. One could even argue that a large portion of a company’s marketing strategy should be dedicated to a little thing called customer care. Regardless of a company’s budget, it’s always wise to consider investing a serious amount of time and resources into customer care. Even if you are on a low budget, you might want to invest a serious amount of time to customer care. The notion of satisfying the consumer would have been farfetched back in the day, as many firms had a tendency of operating in their best interest; however those days are quickly evaporating.
Back then businesses underestimated the value of their customers, and took them for granted, which might have worked (due in large part to market demographics). But now the tide has shifted very vividly. Customers nowadays want to be involved with the companies they make purchases from, which trigger buying decisions typically made under those merits. Social media has opened the floodgates for customers and companies to engage and interact with one another. Take Facebook and Twitter for instance. Both of these services allow people to make passing comments about experiences they have had when dealing with firms, which in turn are read by hundreds and thousands of people. Anything negative could potentially look very bad for business, resulting in reduced profit margins. This is a prime example of how influential customers can really be. Now that we have established the value of customers, let’s turn our attention to customer care.
Most would associate customer care to answering phone calls, responding to emails and putting up an FAQ page. However, it goes beyond that. In addition, more companies are starting to implement remote management software. It may not sound like much; however, having PC remote access could actually
Remote access enables companies to resolve issues such as software malfunction, installation issues or even incompatibility issues for their customers. Basically, this means taking all the guess work out and allowing the technician to diagnose and resolve any problems remotely.
PC Remote access allows technicians to access your device, and work on solving an issue remotely from a centralized location. The end result? Faster resolution times, happier customers, which potentially translates into more business. How much would it mean to you if your business had thousand of satisfied buyers raving about your company and all of the positive experiences they have had with you? I thought so.
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Over the last few years, M2M (Machine-to Machine) technology has flown slightly under the radar. However that’s all about to change very soon as M2M is poised to breakout over the upcoming year. It’s become evident by the increasing number of businesses adopting M2M for connecting and tracking their endpoint devices.
In most cases, it’s often more cost-effective to remotely monitor the mobile workforce and its machines in contrast to dispatching a technician or service worker out to locate equipment or diagnose problems. With the current state of the economy, coupled with the increasing cost of fuel, service companies are faced with declining profit margins, which inevitably force them to evaluate whether it is feasible to send people out into the field.
Perhaps the greatest impact felt is through the service industries, where the problem has resonated with many in the industry, due in large part to the fact that they are aware of the implications that this kind of Intel could potentially have on the industry and how dramatic an effect can be to service delivery.
M2M Ushering in Smarter Service Management
Remote monitoring technology results in less down time for the customer, shorter service calls for the technician, and fewer trips, which saves fuel costs not to mention reduces the wear and tear on vehicles.
Whether you’re operating a small or large business, every company operates a supply chain. Deploying smarter service chain management provides businesses with the flexibility to deliver goods and services more efficiently to minimize and control operating costs while increasing customer service.
As M2M continues to gain popularity, it is abundantly clear that businesses are beginning to integrate M2M data from “smart devices” – a concept which revolves around the idea of supplying companies with information that they can use to schedule and prioritize service delivery to enhance operational efficiency, productivity, and profitability while maximizing customer service levels.
Companies such as Esprida Corporation have been able to address the unique technical challenges by providing affordable, remote management solutions that continually integrate the latest M2M technologies.
Regardless of the industry, efficiency and profitability of service delivery will always be reliant on effective organizational management models, people, and machines. Most of us would agree that customers value services that exceed their expectations and goes a long way in establishing customer loyalty.
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Within the next few years, it will become inevitable that more machines will be connected via the internet than humans. This evolution will present great significant value to businesses and consumers. The OEM market has always been highly saturated with competition, while profit margins remains at a scarce premium. However, that is all about to change with the emergence of M2M technology. By ushering in this new wave of technology, OEM’s now have a competitive grip on the market.
Today, most forms of communication can still be classified as human oriented – information which allows people and businesses to connect and interact with one another. With the exponential increase in connected M2M devices, and approximately 6 billion in human population, it will only be a matter of time before this type of internet connection is surpassed by the M2M revolution.
The next big development in internet usage is machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which is projected to exceed human communications in both value, and sheer numbers. Many experts have already predicted that over the next few years, more machines will be connected through the internet than humans (a terrifying notion indeed!). The numbers estimated range in the tens of billions of connected machines will be able to communicate with each other; as well will also be linked to devices such as data mining and processing systems that are able to aggregate data, ultimately yielding a greater value for both businesses and consumers.
Connected Devices Presents a Competitive Advantage for OEMs
It’s no surprise that today; most computers are connected to the Internet, which allows operating errors to be automatically reported to PC manufacturers or software suppliers. Software and operating system upgrades are easily accessible through automatic downloads.
In the same vein, M2M communications on OEM equipment can produce similar benefits to both the supplier as well as the end-user. This in turn can result in lower operating costs and can spur greater customer service initiatives.
Ever heard of the term “embedded intelligence”? If you have not, get acclimated, it’s become a prominent component of M2M devices. Sometimes the information coming from a device can be deemed more valuable than the actual device itself: for example, information pertaining to aspects of a device such as part number, physical and purchase location, diagnostics, replacement alternatives, repair instructions etc. All of these intangible device characteristics make the information about assets, costs and liabilities more quantifiable to managers in their decision making process.
There has been a shift in OEM business strategy over the last few years. In this information-driven age, instant knowledge is imperative. It is important for OEM’s to take advantage of equipment operating information that is inaccessible by end-users. This creates an informational channel that puts the OEMs knowledge of the equipment into the direct service of the end-user, collecting operating statistics that both can utilize.
M2M will surely have a profound impact on how OEM equipment is deployed. In most cases, the characteristics and components to a device’s operating information are availably accessible to be collected and used. Through the use of M2M, end-users and OEMs can eliminate the barriers of distance, time, and location. When manufactured objects are continually sending field intelligence back, OEMs will be able to minimize operating costs, explore new revenue opportunities, and solve customer problems as never before.
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About M2M Review
The M2M Review offers articles and discussions on the remote management industry, including remote network management and self-service devices.
This blog is brought to you by Esprida Corporation, an industry leader in remote management software for self-service, providing a Software as a Service (SaaS) product line that automates and simplifies the management of self-service devices. Our solution provides comprehensive device management through real-time monitoring, automated content distribution, detailed reports and multi-tiered security.