Following the launch of Tencent Cloud's first Internet Data Center (IDC) in Indonesia, local businesses across industries and fields have shown significant interest in utilizing the industry-leading cloud offerings the new infrastructure has brought about in the region.
Quadient's Inspire Flex software release delivers customer experience built for a digital-first world
Quadient a leader in helping businesses create meaningful customer connections through digital and physical channels, announced the general availability of Inspire Flex Release 15 (R15), Quadient's flagship enterprise omnichannel Customer Communications Management (CCM) software solution. The new release advances Inspire's evolution from CCM technology to an expanded solution designed to foster greater Customer Experience Management (CXM).
Inspire Flex R15 integrates more than 300 robust enhancements that empower users to elevate and accelerate their ability to meet customers wherever they are through their preferred communication channels and on the devices they use.
Based on customer feedback and market data, Inspire Flex R15 is designed to help companies respond to the increased mobility of both employees and consumers. The new release is part of the company’s continuous drive for innovation in its cloud-based suite of advanced software solutions that is bringing together CCM, customer journey mapping and orchestration, document automation, accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR). Inspire Flex is the only fully integrated, any-premise enterprise CCM solution that enables organizations to create and deliver personalized, compliant customer communications across all channels from one centralized platform.
Today, many companies are combining the power and versatility of Inspire Flex with the benefits of cloud operations to reduce capital outlay, accelerate return on investment and deliver peace of mind. For companies interested in moving to the cloud but don't want to manage the application or infrastructure, Quadient offers a Hosted Managed Service (QHMS) allowing customers to focus on using the power of the latest version of Inspire Flex without having to worry about the technical complexities of operating and maintaining the infrastructure and applications themselves. Additionally, to help companies meet storage and audit needs, Inspire Flex integrates with Quadient Archive and Retrieval, a software solution that enables quick and easy access to past communications and data across all channels.
"Quadient's latest Inspire release continues to raise the bar on the customer experience with intelligent communication automation," said Marci Maddox, research director, Digital Experience Strategies, for IDC, a global market intelligence and advisory services firm. "Quadient brings empowerment and interaction to the forefront with a modernized user interface, data-driven journey decisioning and features designed to help companies give business users more control over content, expanded delivery channels and faster time to value."
Inspire Flex R15's streamlined, modern user interface empowers faster adoption by new users, the ability to analyze key business metrics directly in customer journey maps to promote better decision making and more relevant communications. Inspire Flex also offers the ability to create, manage and execute cross-channel communications delivery workflows, including message distribution to WhatsApp users, extending its reach to more than 2 billion consumers. Additionally, users can build responsive HTML5 emails using a drag and drop interface with reusable design components and proof email communications in more than 100 different email clients through its integration with Litmus, a leader in email marketing.
Users can also speed up template design by importing content from the latest versions of InDesign and QuarkXpress and design Inspire Dynamic Communications faster and easier leveraging more than 60 of the most popular design objects from Bootstrap 5, a front-end opensource toolkit. To accelerate time to value, deeper integration points and accelerators simplify deployment to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
"We are excited to be rolling out a new release of Inspire Flex as we know our customers will be just as excited to see that their investment in it continues to be enhanced and protected with capabilities that respond to the many ways people work today," said Chris Hartigan, chief solution officer, Intelligent Communication Automation, Quadient. "This release is another demonstration of Quadient's commitment to customer-driven development and underscores our dedication to ensuring our solutions effectively respond to a dynamic marketplace, evolving as our customers' business demands do." (Source: Quadient)
The spread of voice assistants, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, heralds a new evolutionary stage for user interfaces.
Classic keyword campaigns will lose relevance in the future. Advertisers must finally establish alternative solutions to third-party cookies and encourage the user to accept consent management with good content. In addition, diversity is becoming more and more popular in advertising and social networks. The digital marketing world will continue to be dynamic in the coming year and advertisers should keep an eye on the most important trends for 2022.
Companies that are now putting their Internet advertising to the test can expect a conversion rate that is as good in the future as it has been before. At least that’s the conclusion of the Google Ads agency Smarketer that has put together the trends that will determine the advertising world in 2022.
An important trend in the coming year will be the cross-channel Google Performance Max campaigns, which Google presented this year as an alternative to the classic keyword campaign. Google Performance Max campaigns focus on conversion goals with the help of user signals instead of being based on keywords – and combine search, display, YouTube, Discover and other advertising platforms. Even if new AI algorithms take over many tasks that the account manager was responsible for in the past, this will not become superfluous. On the contrary: "The account manager must understand the KPIs across all channels, select and interpret the relevant data. By bundling the data and the interaction of all channels within campaigns, marketing goals can be viewed holistically, and audiences can be achieved better and more efficiently." explains Eric Hinzpeter, content marketing expert at Smarketer.
Google and Microsoft's search for adequate substitutes for cookies
Cookie-less tracking will remain one of the most important topics for advertisers in the coming year. Google has announced that it wants to establish the consent mode as an alternative that extrapolates the rejected consent management requests and inserts lost data into the Google Ads account.
At the moment, however, all of this is still a bit inscrutable and there is no panacea, so Smarketer advises companies individually on this. At the same time, Google is continuing to expand its own data protection initiative in the form of “Federated Learning of Cohorts” (FLoC). FLoC should group clusters of users and work out commonalities from the group characteristics. Although individuals can no longer be tracked, but tests still show that a large proportion of the conversions can be absorbed.
Microsoft is following a similar path as Google within the framework of the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN), where campaigns can be played out across services and target groups too. The ad adapts to the respective location and desired format and, with the help of an AI in the background, creates a conversion-optimized ad from various image and text variants. "Artificial intelligence is conquering ad management more and more. Algorithms take on a lot of manual tasks and this relieves the ad manager, who is given more freedom in his work, which is important since campaigns are getting more and more important regarding the data to be considered", reports Hinzpeter.
Like Google, Microsoft will increasingly have to look for an adequate replacement for the slowly but surely disappearing third-party cookies and develop its multimedia ads further.
Diversity and inclusion come across in advertising
Consent management is developing into an increasing problem for the entire advertising industry, and many users are now annoyed by it. It is important to recognize, however, that users tend to be more willing to give their consent if they receive attractive offers and good content.
The demand for diversity from many international customers has also developed as a cross-industry trend, demanding inclusive and correctly gendered advertising regarding the creation of advertising material and communication in social media.
The trend goes away from the one central social network towards adapted advertising material or even completely individual campaigns for certain target groups: TikTok and Twitch are currently one step ahead, especially with younger target groups, and Instagram remains extremely important for many companies. The trend towards more video advertising, which was also observed in 2021, continues, especially since YouTube will roll out more ad features and forms of advertising next year.
Today's users expect a lot from technology, like connecting us or giving ubiquitous, up-to-date information at all times. We expect technology to adapt to our specific user profile, to inform us about the future for unknown events, and to support us in decision-making.
Communication and collaboration solutions have become an integral part of everyday professional life. In the future, they will prevail across all industries and company sizes.
The Business Messenger occupies a small but decisive niche in the market for communication solutions. Whether as an established tool, as a novelty or as a communication alternative, its mission is to simplify professional communication, make work processes more efficient and relieve employees.
Since the business messenger market is driving new developments at a rapid pace, we want to shed light on which innovations in business messaging will be on the agenda for 2022.
The last two years have not only given the digital transformation of companies a significant boost, but also advanced internal communication in many places. To quickly and securely connect decentralized teams and mobile workers with one another, new communication channels have to be found, whereby GDPR-compliant business messengers are clearly on the advance.
Tobias Stepan, founder of Teamwire, identified and elaborated six trends in business messaging for 2022.
Trend 1: Push-to-Talk – from voice messages to walkie-talkies in Messenger
Direct voice communication via push-to-talk, which was previously only possible via digital radio, can now be implemented with the help of a business messenger. Additional devices such as walkie-talkies are supplemented by business smartphones. Push-to-talk enables direct language exchange, which not only makes communication more efficient, but also makes it much easier to interpret. At the same time, this new user-friendliness makes it easier to receive and send audio messages. Particularly mission-oriented teams, for example in the areas of BOS, rescue service, construction, logistics, delivery services and tourism, benefit from a push-to-talk function in the messenger, because in addition to audio recordings, images and documents can also be transmitted in the same communication channel, such as an operational chat during an observation. All communication relating to a process can be saved in the organization's archive and retrieved at any time, which, among other things, significantly simplifies the creation of reports and evaluations.
Trend 2: Implement the social intranet idea in business messaging
Messenger as social intranets not only promote the vision of integrating all employees in internal communication, but also accelerate the distribution of information and raise feedback cycles to a new level. Company news are shared with the aid of status messages, both for one-to-one and group chats as well as broadcasts. The color-coded messages are visible to all users of a chat. An additional overview allows you to filter chat histories according to message types, and thus also according to status messages, and to quickly find the information you are looking for. At the same time, employees can interact with the content by "commenting" on it using emoticons. The aim of this is to activate and promote team collaboration across the entire workforce, from mobile workers to desk employees, but also from trainees to C-level managers, and to guarantee optimal exchange.
Trend 3: New user interfaces and smart devices for messengers
Not only the messengers themselves are becoming more and more sophisticated, but also the end devices. In addition to smartphones, tablets and the like, which have long since established themselves as the standard for messaging apps, smart devices with new user interfaces will conquer the market. Smartwatches have developed rapidly and are widespread in recent years. They are light, robust and are particularly suitable for mobile emergency services such as police officers and rescue workers. But data glasses, so-called smart glasses, are already in the starting blocks. In combination with messenger apps, they can offer remarkable advantages. For example, you enable doctors to easily view patient files together with colleagues during an examination and to communicate at the same time, while keeping both hands free. Smartglasses also support logistics employees in locating stored goods and exchanging information about the transport. It is conceivable that the position of the goods to be loaded, including directions for a larger warehouse, can be called up and colleagues can be requested for support while the employee is on the move with the forklift. In this way, new smart devices make it easier and faster to implement use cases.
Trend 4: Even more sophisticated messenger functions
Sending documents, photos and videos, sharing locations, making VoIP and video calls are all part of the standard repertoire of a good business messenger, and the peak in terms of innovative functions is still far from being reached. Messaging apps integrate more and more functionalities to cover all use cases across industries and to make the exchange of information even easier:
- alerts to ensure direct emergency communication and coordination using acknowledgment options and alarm reports,
- surveys to easily create surveys and simplify scheduling, and
- image processing to anonymize data and make faces unrecognizable.
In 2022, the variety of functions will continue to increase, and individual functions will be refined – individually tailored to industries.
Trend 5: Geo-referencing in Messenger – live location functions reach a new level
Sharing locations in messengers is a popular feature, since it is ideal for sharing your current whereabouts, giving directions, and arranging meeting points. In everyday business, however, there are often use cases in which the whereabouts of the users change dynamically, and knowledge of the real-time locations or live locations can be of great importance for colleagues and business partners. Typical scenarios are the deployment of public order offices, police and rescue services, production employees as well as transport and delivery service trips. There will be the next stages of innovation here to further improve the geo-referenced coordination, such as progressive map applications or the provision of application-relevant location information through artificial intelligence are conceivable.
Trend 6: Messenger with maximum data sovereignty with simultaneous networking
Data sovereignty and security are two issues that are becoming increasingly important for companies. In lockstep with the continuously developing messenger functionalities and technical possibilities, the threat from cyberattacks is also growing. Federated servers increase the reliability against hacker attacks – after all, in the worst case only the attacked server fails. The federation is also a significant step forward in improving data sovereignty. For security reasons, in addition to secure containers on the end device, functions for holistic data and access management are becoming increasingly relevant. Further strengthening encryption algorithms for communication and establishing additional security functions are also among the central developments in business messaging. Compliance and auditing-proof archiving will be an important topic for all companies and industries in 2022. It is now clear that messaging is part of business communication, and therefore falls under the documentation obligations under commercial, professional and data protection law. Companies can easily implement their compliance and data protection requirements with leading business messengers – a key advantage over American cloud solutions.
Professional communication will continue to change, and new technologies will accompany this change and drive it forward. Business messengers are already making device, time and location-independent collaboration within a team and between several teams possible – even from other organizations. However, their potential is far from being exhausted, which is illustrated by the expected trends. Business messaging is ready for the future.
Short, easy to remember, and unambiguous spelling had been the three golden rules for choosing a domain so far. Thanks to smart speakers like Alexa, Siri & Co, voice-based online search is on the rise and changing the success criteria for URLs and domain names.
Until now, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) were only a distant vision of the future for many companies; however, the democratization of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will move forward this year, predicts enterprise search and AI specialist IntraFind.
"Artificial intelligence and machine learning will increasingly arrive at companies in 2022," Franz Kögl, CEO at IntraFind states, explaining that "new methods are democratizing technology and enabling more and more companies to reduce costs through automation.” “Customers will also benefit from this development, because intelligent searches, chatbots and voice assistants also improve the user experience", he concludes.
AI and especially the sub-area of ML have developed into important and indispensable helpers in many areas due to huge amount of data available today.
Platform giants are collecting unimaginable amounts of data to feed generally available AI methods available for generalized use cases. However, companies can only use these generalized models to a limited extent in the specific context of use. For optimal adjustment, they must train the AI with real data, which is only available in small quantities in a specific context.
IntraFind predicts how the situation around AI will develop in the coming year based on the following three trends analyses:
1. More focus on Small Data and Wide Data
For a long time, Big Data was mostly indispensable when it came to training AI. The problem, however, is that in practice only a few companies and developers have access to enough training data. As a result, much of the business community is largely excluded from the technologies of tomorrow. New trends such as Small and Wide Data are therefore just in time to make AI and ML accessible to smaller companies.
Small Data approaches aim to extract value from smaller data sets with ML techniques optimized for them using new analytics techniques. Wide Data is about creating synergies from a wide range of different data sources and types to improve context for AI applications. With these approaches, companies can leverage their own treasure trove of data effectively and profitably.
A study by the market research and consulting company Gartner shows just how interesting the new approaches are: according to this study, around 70 percent of all companies will shift their focus from Big Data to Small and Wide Data by 2025.
2. Intelligent Document Processing on the rise
Intelligent document analysis enables completely new working methods, as companies can digitize and partially or fully automate processes. In this way, processes can be optimized and implemented much more efficiently. Public authorities and large companies have vast amounts of data, and new data is added every day. Often, several employees are entrusted with filtering the relevant information from documents that are required for further processing. This takes a lot of time, and the human factor makes for a comparatively high susceptibility to errors. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), i.e., the use of AI-based software for processing documents, is becoming increasingly important and at the same time enables the automation of workflows.
With IDP, companies and government agencies can automate their front- and back-office processes. Application reviews, order acceptance as well as updating customer and payment data are prominent application areas for this technology. In addition, IDP software helps with regulatory compliance or product tracking via supply chain systems in retail. Ultimately, the areas of application include all text-based work processes.
3. Advances in Conversational AI
Anthropomorphism, the humanization of technology, has always been a major topic in the field of artificial intelligence. At the latest with Siri on the iPhone and Alexa on the TV, this phenomenon has crept into everyday life. Experts call these smart, AI-based voice assistants and other dialog systems conversational AI. They will become even more important in 2022.
This technology is a real asset, especially in customer service. For chatbots and question answering systems as virtual assistants to be of real help to customers and thus also to companies, several challenges must be overcome: the AI must correctly interpret, "understand”, and provide answers to customer queries, as well as rely on a human expert as infrequently as possible. To make this experience as natural as possible, Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used.
The better the conversational AI system works; the more customer inquiries companies can process automatically. This not only saves employee resources, but also makes customers less dependent on business hours. (Source: IntraFind)
The Internet of Things (IoT) not only offers new opportunities for marketing communication but confronts companies at the same time with new challenges – especially in the areas of data protection and data security.
HUAWEI CONNECT 2021 started last week online and is still ongoing till October 31. The theme of this year's event is Dive into Digital – into the practical application of technologies like cloud, AI, and 5G in all industries, and how they can make organizations of all shapes and sizes more efficient, more versatile, and ultimately more resilient as the world moves towards economic recovery.
Images and videos dominate in communication among young people, making clear that the Internet is becoming more visual with each new generation. In fact, nothing has accelerated the already rapid growth of visual content more than the pandemic. Consequently, in this increasingly visual world of communication, marketers need visual literacy to keep up with developments.
Visual content such as photos and videos are great for conveying emotion and complex messages in a relatively small space, but they also come with their own set of challenges. When it comes to user experience, the devil really is in the details. For example, how do you optimize images and videos so that they appear consistently across different browsers, devices, and formats? How do you ensure that the video is displayed correctly when a user turns their phone to landscape? How to optimize visual content for SEO?
Fortunately, modern technology can help with such visual literacy issues and automate many of these processes. Despite all the technology, marketers should acquire a certain basic knowledge of visual media.
Optimize visual content with AI
Optimizing visual media for different devices, browsers and social media channels is a very detailed, time-consuming, and monotonous work for the development team. Luckily, this work can be beautifully automated with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). There are free and subscription-based tools that use AI to optimize images and videos across the four main stages of the media content lifecycle: creation, editing, delivery, and enhancement. For instance, use AI tools to automatically check the quality of user-generated content, auto-crop images to highlight the most important content, auto-tag images with SEO, and apply filters, effects, overlays, and others to bulk content to make improvements.
Acquire knowledge of new image and video formats
Whether for broadcast-quality live streaming, on-demand viewing, or real-time interactive communication, video is becoming increasingly important online. Marketers should try to take advantage of this efficiently. On the technical side, a good starting point is the introduction of the AV1 video format. Unlike its HEVC and H.264 predecessors, AV1 was built for the modern web and is supported by the big tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Netflix. AV1 is not only royalty-free, but also offers exceptional visual quality at a much lower bit rate. For brands that stream a lot of video content, AV1 has the potential to deliver big bandwidth, cost and carbon footprint savings, while delivering high speed and quality. Marketers should talk to their web teams about moving to AV1, AVIF, and other new image and video formats.
Make use of optimization tools
Regarding user experience and visual content, companies should not rely on individual solutions, but take an integrated approach instead. A good visual user experience includes personalization, performance, and usability. To deliver such a visual experience, interfaces for the most diverse visual content and tools are required. A platform that can take over the management of the visual media assets in the backend as well as the advanced processing and the optimized provision of the processed assets can help here. Which means a platform capable of managing the entire visual content processing pipeline, not just for individual products or tools.
Without a doubt, visual content is playing a bigger role in supporting brands in communicating their values, products, and services this year. As new technologies and tools help to automate and improve the visual content optimization process, marketers must continue to build their visual literacy skills to take full advantage of the options.
Time to deal with the innovations in the field of visual content and to acquire the basic concepts of image and video optimization is well invested. Because, to make an impression in the visual economy, marketers must adapt their campaigns to the new circumstances that requires visual competence.
By Daniela La Marca
Most people tremendously enjoy getting recognition for their thought patterns, routines, and beliefs. We also tend to select and interpret information in such a way that it corresponds to and reinforces our own expectations. Some insist on their opinion even when new information has long since proven them wrong. And with all of this we also believe that we are right and unaffected.
Unruly, a leading global video and Connected TV (CTV) programmatic advertising platform, launched its content-level targeting solution that segments inventory based on publisher bidstream attributes that mirror linear TV buys, such as genre and rating.
The solution brings standardization to the programmatic Over-the-Top TV (OTT) and CTV ecosystem and will serve publishers who are increasingly looking to meet buyers’ needs for contextual targeting opportunities, as spend moves from linear to digital environments. At launch, twenty-six segments are supported based on content attributes such as content genre and rating.
Unruly’s proprietary methodology evaluates the direct publisher partner data and simplifies the content-level attributes into scalable deals for buyers. Publishers can also leverage Unruly’s Private Marketplace (PMP) platform, CTRL, to package inventory to meet growing buyer demand more effectively for privacy-conscious, publisher first-party targeting solutions across CTV and video.
In turn, buyers gain scaled access to deals leveraging TV-like content attributes passed through the bidstream. Buyers can activate through Unruly’s direct DSP integrations and via Tremor Video, the demand side of Tremor International’s end-to-end platform.
“As interest in OTT ad opportunities grows year-over-year, publishers want to meet buyer needs for contextual targeting opportunities on OTT supply but lack the framework to pass this content data in standardized ways,” said Karim Rayes, Chief Product Officer, Tremor International. “Content-level targeting gives publishers control over the segmentation and packaging of their inventory, but it ultimately brings benefits to both sides of Tremor’s end-to-end platform. Standardizing content in this way maximizes publishers’ inventory value, while buyers can broaden CTV campaigns across their desired categories.”
Unruly is planning to further expand support for content attributes in the coming months to include language and IAB content category, in addition to providing self-service forecasting, reporting, and insights tools in support of these new attributes. (Source: Unruly)
The buzzword Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is obviously a whole bunch of technologies and Internet protocols that have the common goal of connecting all kinds of devices to the Internet. In contrast to networked computers and servers, these devices are usually equipped with little computing power and memory for lower energy consumption and for reasons of cost. These IoT devices then make their services and data available in the network via a server (gateway / broker) on the Internet that collects and evaluates the data to make it available for query. The IoT devices send their data to the IoT service or its gateway whenever they are ready. Ideally, each device is only responsible for one task or one measured value, so the other devices remain functional if one should fail temporarily or completely.
Delorme’s satellite communicator, the lowest cost bidirectional communication and tracking device in the market, has just upped its offering by launching the inReach SE.
Like the previous inReach 1.5, the inReach SE is a fully bidirectional communication device that can send and receive SMS and short emails anywhere in the world, at high seas as well as at the remotest locations of the globe. Both models interface with any iPhone or Android via an app which then lets the user access his mobile’s address book and compose SMS or email just as if he was using his phone wherever there is mobile coverage, which is only about 10% of the earth. Now the user has the freedom to communicate globally at one fixed rate, no roaming involved.
In addition, the units come with global maps within the app, not requiring mobile connection to use them. A key feature is also tracking via the user’s proprietary web portal. Users can give a link to friends, family or the office, and be continuously trackable online.
But where does this fit into eMarketing? Well, now there is an inexpensive tool available which can be used by expeditions or regattas in order to keep their audience up to date by following the progress live via the internet, no matter how remote the location. The inReach even comes with an option to automatically post messages on Facebook or Twitter, making it the perfect marketing device for every expedition or adventure.
But it also acts as a safety device: with its SOS button, it activates continuous tracking via GEOS, a US based emergency command centre, which then immediately informs pre-defined emergency contacts, as well as the local authorities, constantly informing of the location of the user until he is saved.
An example of such usage was the “Neptune Regatta 2013: Race to the Equator” in February that started in Singapore, where all 35 participating vessels’ progress could be tracked online, as well as being communicated with via the individual webpage or SMS. Even the SOS feature came to use twice during a storm, guaranteeing quick assistance.
The big difference between the two devices it that the new SE also features a touch screen key pad, which enables you to send customized messages even if the phone is broken or not available, whereas the older inReach 1.5 only comes with 3 pre-programmed messages, which can be sent in case of emergency. Therefore, the inReach 1.5 has a more rugged looking body and it even floats by itself, in addition to both being water proof.
The uses of this device are obviously endless. From being able to sleep well if your teenagers go on their first international vacation alone, to having back-up communications when exploring the region at high seas, all the way to vehicle or ship fleet management as well as private plane tracking. At a cost starting of SGD 449 to SGD 529, and monthly plans starting around SGD 25 it is for sure the most cost effective solution in the market.
It doesn‘t come as a surprise that inReach has won numerous innovation awards in the US and Europe from Backpacker Magazine to National Geographic last year. The new inReach SE version even was sold out before the US launch for over a month.Obviously, if you are looking for a full voice communication satellite device, then this is not for you. But the tracking and SOS features sure are an added bonus to the communication capability, as well as it being rugged and water-proof, which most sat phones aren’t. So, if you are really out of mobile range frequently, it‘s value even then lies in doubling as a safety back-up communication option with added life saving features
The Delorme inReach SE is just being launched this month in Asia, with the first units available now. They are distributed to the region based out of Singapore by the exclusive distributor La Marca Marine Pte. Ltd. Find out more about at www.inreach.asia.
By Augustine Hong