ISE 2019 – How We Utilise Technology


Every manufacturer strives to make their technology as intuitive as possible, but what seems like child’s play to us – who designed the device in the first place – can be frustratingly opaque to others. It’s not that technology today is difficult to use.

Rather, as devices become more capable, it becomes more difficult to harness their full functionality. We can’t expect users today to simply unpack a device and start using its most powerful features without some element of instruction.

That’s why ISE is always such an important event for our industry. It’s an opportunity to go beyond the product itself and talk to people about how to use their devices to the full. Only then can you transform the audience’s experience and exceed their expectations.

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Customer talks at ISE 2019

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Smart workspace soltution from NEC Enterprise Solutions at ISE 2019

This is the big difference between hardware and software. Software manufacturers incorporate clever new functionalities with every new release, but the way we use the application never changes. Compare that to someone buying an internet-connected television, but only uses it to watch terrestrial broadcasts.

The problem that the display industry faces is that our products often don’t look very different from generation to generation. They might be a little sleeker and better designed, but to the untrained eye they look like the hardware they replaced. It’s little wonder that people don’t realize that for these devices to reach their full potential, users need to change the way that internal teams share information and collaborate.

Take the latest generation of smart displays for retail, food and beverage, wayfinding and more. When these devices are combined with real-time analytics, they become so much more capable than screens that just show dynamic content. These enable operators to display relevant content to individual shoppers – for example, when someone logs onto the store WiFi or logs into the retailers’ app

This requires the operator’s technology, marketing and data science teams to work together to plan new strategies that harness both data and devices to achieve the goal of transforming the customer experience.

All too often, however, AI and real-time analytics capabilities sit separately – for example, in the business intelligence division.

The result is that businesses are spending significant sums of money on technology that’s operating far below the level which it could achieve.

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Digital signage projecton solution with PX1004UL projector at ISE 2019

These capabilities aren’t always immediately obvious when someone buys a display. The next challenge for our industry is less technological than it is educational: to teach our customers how to effect the changes within their business that will enable them to unlock the power of the devices they buy.

Thomas Walter talks about immersive digital signage solutions at ISE

We shouldn’t just be helping them squeeze out every cent of ROI from their technology, but also showing them how to revolutionise long-established ways of doing business.

Apple is a great example of a manufacturer that helps its customers to use their devices to their true potential.

Like Apple, the display industry needs to move beyond hardware and become true consultancies, selling not just devices but visions of the future.

We also need to involve our SI and distribution partners in this task, too, as we do with the NEC Training Academy for end users and resellers.

As always, this year’s gathering at ISE was a fantastic opportunity to go “beyond the box” and talk about the transformational power of modern display technology – and how to achieve it.

But the conversation doesn’t end with the show – let us all continue to strive for new ways to become better partners to our customers, and achieve the promises of tomorrow, today.

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Thomas Walter, Section Manager Strategic Product Marketing at NEC Display Solutions Europe

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