07/19/2016 02:26 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 10:59 EDT

Why Great Communications Needs More Than Great Technology

The desire to have better, stronger communications with one another at all times often fuels progress, but are we taking full advantage of the technology at our fingertips? As our capabilities evolve, we also create opportunities for improvement.

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Every day we celebrate technology: how far we've come, where we're going and how our innovations are changing lives for the better. While these advances span every continent and every industry, one common thread runs throughout. Communication.

Communication is at the core of everything we do in both our personal and our professional lives. It's what makes technology work better. It's at the root of the Internet of Things, or IoT. It's the invisible force moving businesses forward.

The desire to have better, stronger communications with one another at all times often fuels progress, but are we taking full advantage of the technology at our fingertips? As our capabilities evolve, we also create opportunities for improvement.

Focus on More Holistic Solutions

Information is literally everywhere. When we're not pulling it from sources the world over, it's being pushed at us from every direction. Text messages, news feeds and social media keep us in the know -- anyone with a smartphone holds a wealth of information in the palm of their hand -- but is the quality and timeliness of that information as good as it can be?

Truly effective communications solutions should be able to collect, process and deliver targeted information across an entire network and on a variety of devices, including digital screens, kiosks, digital kiosks, video walls, tablets and other touch screens. The capacity to control how, when and where a specific message is delivered will rely heavily on real-time visual information. When leveraged to its full potential, that ability will empower audiences to make better, more informed decisions.

Advance Every Industry with Connectivity

Microsoft recently announced its acquisition of LinkedIn. In doing so, the company highlighted its intention to break down silos of information by creating more connected, intelligent and productive experiences for professionals. The mission to empower both people and organizations will ultimately improve productivity and unlock return on investment.

But providing access to information isn't always easy or straightforward. To be empowering, information must be available at the right time, on the right device. When companies leverage the technology that currently exists to its full potential, consumers will experience a new level of connectedness across every aspect of their lives.

Consider the retail industry. While there has been a tremendous increase in the number of stores that are using digital signs to draw in shoppers, retailers are currently computerizing the same information typically found on traditional posters. Though this allows for much more content to be disseminated, it does not personalize the shopping experience. Consumers should anticipate scenarios where retailers leverage Bluetooth smartphone technology to capture the demographics and recent product searches of nearby shoppers, and then use this information to showcase customized content for them.

Similarly, students and faculty can expect that schools will leverage the same technology to tailor the content on campus screens to whoever is passing by, perhaps providing direction to the next classroom on the itinerary or sharing information related to a specific course.

In offices, employees will begin to see notifications that relate to their specific job functions. Rather than having to seek out content buried within corporate intranets, staff will receive announcements on company screens and on personal devices that are relevant to their individual roles or projects, and that change as their day progresses.

Wayfinding signage will also become more interactive, notifying the public with critical information in an emergency. This type of connected technology will not only direct people to the nearest exit, but will also let them know if it's the best route to safety. This can be further personalized for those with mobility issues in the event that they need to find the nearest functioning elevator or escalator quickly.

Enhance the Effectiveness of People and Data

While these developments are up and coming, digital communications are relatively unsophisticated today. Only a small percentage of companies are tapping into the full capabilities of our existing software and hardware, but truly integrated technology will be able to tailor suggestions to nearby audiences and conditions to elevate the consumer experience.

At Omnivex, we have been part of this global shift and have seen first hand how forward-thinking solutions can enhance the effectiveness of both people and data. Organizations can develop intelligent digital signage based on existing data to provide their audiences with more useful, actionable information, and will ensure consistency across multiple devices.

Enabling people to identify you and your message in a crowded marketplace is paramount as the world's communication methods evolve, but it's not enough to say your piece. You have to deliver it when the information will be most valued and when it will have the greatest impact.

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