Monday, February 28, 2011

Social Media in the 2010's

It still sometimes amazes me the way social media has exploded in growth over the last couple of years, and how it is shaping the way people communicate in the 2010’s. Social media is not only at the forefront of marketing, but is literally helping to drive revolution in the middle east! Decades of dictatorship are toppling before the power of the people, and the internet is helping to spread the word despite censorship efforts by those governments. Once again, this shows how the pen is truly mightier than the sword! Social media is the ‘digital’ pen that is replacing ink and paper of old.

The social media tools of Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, blogging, wikis, etc. are changing the paradigm of marketing from one of presenting to the market to one of creating a meaningful interaction with the market. This interaction and knowledge collaboration creates trust and a sense of community with a business’s client base as well as with their networks – strangers become followers, followers become friends, and over time, friends become customers. Forward thinking businesses can use these tools of opportunity to greatly expand their client base in a much more ‘organic’ way, create customer loyalty, and educate people about their area of expertise. The result will be a “top of mind awareness” and a strong brand recognition.

Interaction with the customer base is not the only powerful advantage to using social media in a strategic way. Those same tools can also help businesses to optimize work processes, culture, and technology, allowing for better collaboration and more innovation within their employee organization. Management can tap into the tools and methods that people are already using in their personal lives to share information, stay updated on current happenings, and give helpful suggestions. Since many people already feel comfortable plugging into these technologies and understand the online culture of community and information exchange , the ramp up period for a business to utilize these tools can be short.

I have no doubt that social media will be continuing to grow in importance and effectiveness over the next decade. Next time, I will write about companies that have been using social media to pioneer innovation.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Join me at Digital Signage Expo

2/23/2011 - 2/24/2011, booth number 843 in Las Vegas, NV!

More details can be found at: http://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our digital media solution: AppSpace

The application of digital Media Technology to business is a very significant growth opportunity of today. Technology is changing the way people receive information, collaborate with one another, and get work done, both inside and outside of the workplace. As a part of this, marketing is being driven by an entirely new paradigm of customer interaction. The technology that makes this possible is allowing businesses to reach their customer base and create an interaction in ways never before possible. Internally, large organizations are able to facilitate information sharing and team collaboration in new, seamless ways.

For this blog posting, I wanted to give an introduction to AppSpace: our digital media platform that operates out of the cloud and allows our clients to build their own Enterprise video strategy. As an industry leader, the application of digital media technology (video, TV, images, audio, data, and more) to the client’s business via complete, end to end solutions is what we specialize in. AppSpace enables the client to create applications that store, manage, and transmit digital media to desktop computers, mobile devices, television, and / or on-location digital signage. Included as a component of the platform is an online toolset that accomplishes all this with ease. Clients are able to invest in a single, highly scalable platform that enables the sharing of digital media throughout the Enterprise. And we don’t just sell the technology that makes this happen - AVI-SPL can assist in all aspects of implementation, including equipment specification, installation, configuration, and application development, where needed.

The leveraging of digital media has great application for organizations large and small, including educational institutions, healthcare, and retail. Our platform enables you to put this exciting new technology to work for your business.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One year and counting...

It is hard to believe, but I surpassed the one-year mark at AVI-SPL just this last week. What a year it has been. I have been so surprised and incredibly pleased by the confidence the team at AVI-SPL has put in me to drive their Digital Media practice. I took on that job about July of last year and the opportunities have been streaming in. With over 35 offices and 140 sales reps nationally doing high-quality work for 70% of Fortune 100 brands, to say our opportunities are compelling is an understatement. I continue to be amazed at the connections this organization has and at the history and credibility that they have built with their client base. So many opportunities, so little time.

As part of the team driving our Digital Media practice, it is incumbent upon me to support our sales efforts and help our team understand what Digital Media is and where the industry is going. As part of my blog series, I figured that I would take the time to pack this information into this format such that I can inform others in the process as well. That is what you'll see throughout the following weeks...starting today.

Digital Media is a burgeoning new industry that is focused on the distribution of media digitally, typically through the IP network. Our company is working very closely with Cisco to specify the Digital Media System (DMS) with our mutual clients. This infrastructure system offers clients the ability to leverage a single platform to deliver media to televisions, either as signage or as IPtv, to computer desktops and to mobile devices. This provides our customers with the ability to invest in a single, scalable, highly extensible platform for media sharing throughout the Enterprise. This offers large organizations an opportunity to integrate video applications much like we've integrated e-mail applications. Additionally, AVI-SPL is now offering clients a DMS "Lite" that can facilitate many of the same Enterprise video applications, but do so on a smaller scale. This DMS "Lite," called AVi-SPL AppSpace, is an application that operates out of our cloud and allows our clients to ramp-up to an Enterprise video strategy.

This industry is finally going mainstream...took long enough. I remember talking about digitally distributing content to digital displays through satellite and, believe it or not, microwave signal about 15 years ago. Network bandwidth is finally in a place where this kind of IP-based distribution is possible. From here...the sky's the limit!