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5 Trends Of Augmented Reality In Communication

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Technology has been rapidly changing over the last couple of years, with many innovations introduced into our digital world. While some of them were not so significant, there were a few ones that proved to be successful.

One of the technologies which facilitated those changes is Augmented Reality which had a significant effect on many industries including retail, gaming and entertainment. 

AR has also influenced the area of digital communication which was especially notable at the beginning of the pandemic when many of us had to start doing our usual working, learning and other activities from home.

Like any emerging technology, AR’s speed of innovation and growth is fast and it can be a real challenge for companies and their customers to keep track of the trends of Augmented Reality in communication. Some of them presented in this article will continue to define the digital communication industry in 2021. They are the ones your company will need to pay attention to.

Augmented Reality In Communication: 5 Interesting Trends For 2021  

1. Remote Video Collaboration Using Virtual Backgrounds & Face Filters [/H3]

Due to the ongoing global pandemic, doing many daily activities on a remote basis became a new normal. The CEOs of the major tech companies in the U.S. including Google, Amazon and Microsoft have even allowed their employees to work from home, either indefinitely or until the end of 2020. People got used to working, learning and socializing remotely over video conferencing apps because they needed to adhere to social distancing rules being set in many countries across the globe.

Many technological companies including Zoom, Google and Microsoft have in response introduced their conferencing apps which enjoyed their biggest popularity ever in March of 2020, when they topped 62 million downloads during the week of March 14-21.

Data Source: appannie.com

Even though working and studying remotely proved to be doable and effective, many individuals did not feel confident about their physical appearance and the world surrounding them as proved by the results of the research from Cloud and Managed Services provider Maintel. Moreover, many of us started to suffer from so-called “Zoom fatigue” while being on call for long periods of time.

Virtual backgrounds implemented in popular video conferencing apps proved to be a solution because these tools allow meeting participants to make their video conferences more interactive, enjoyable and comfortable while keeping personal privacy at the higher level.

Another useful feature for conducting video calls is face touch up. The technology can refine a person’s appearance in front of the camera in different ways, including skin smoothing, teeth whitening, improved camera lightning and much more. As shown by the results of the study prepared for one of the conference on computer supported cooperative work and social computing, looking good in front of the camera can make people feel better about themselves and give more confidence.

2. The Rise Of AR-Powered E-Learning Platforms

This sector saw a boom because of the rising demand for e-learning solutions powered by AR technology among students and teachers.

Online learning platforms and virtual classrooms are now helping various groups of people to learn new things distantly during the pandemic. With the help of technological advancements, teachers can attach AR experiences to objects of curiosity such as 3D life-size models, from where students can learn about the object via hovering a phone or tablet over it.

Making a studying process fun for students is no longer a tedious process. Teachers can download an AR-powered educational app and use it to explain concepts in the most creative way possible using face filters, AR masks and virtual backgrounds.

With many Internet users willing to work and learn from home even after the pandemic and the continuous advancements in AR, we can expect a further rise of the e-learning platforms with the respective market size set to reach $375 billion by 2026, growing at an 8% CAGR. 

3. The Increased Popularity Of AR-Powered Short Video Content

With the pandemic and much of the world sheltering in place, we’ve seen an explosion of short, entertaining videos on Instagram Reels, Tiktok, Snapchat Spotlight and Triller.

People have started to use short videos to share their daily updates with friends and relatives. To make their videos more engaging, they often take advantage of video editing software to augment their video content with AR features such as lenses, virtual background and face filters.

Businesses such as Walmart have turned to short video content because they can use this medium to demonstrate the latest products to the potential customers and let them be tried online using virtual try-on technology.

With the uncertain future of Tiktok in both the U.S. and India as well as the continuous interest of e-commerce companies in promoting their products using video content, we can expect the trend to continue in 2021, with more and more tech companies set to introduce their alternatives to TikTok in the near future.

Do you want to enhance your own short mobile video app with Face AR technology? Get to know our mobile video editor SDK. It includes the best collection of filters, animated backgrounds and AR overlay features.

4. The Use Of AR For Virtual Try Ons In Live Streaming

The live streaming technology enjoyed one of its strongest popularity in 2020. With major industry events forced to go virtual due to the pandemic, businesses had to get creative. Many of them took advantage of live streaming AR to communicate with their customers about the latest products they have to offer.

Why has live streaming become so popular? First of all, the virtual event is much more personal and public-facing than the offline one. Second, participants can join from anywhere across the world, without being at one particular physical location. Third, presenters can take advantage of virtual try-on technology to let users try a particular product in real-time.

The positive effects of AR technology for live streaming events can be demonstrated by the cosmetic company Estee Lauder which used livestream shopping and virtual try ons technology to increase their digital sales by up to 60% amid the pandemic.

The Rise of AR Avatars For Live Streaming

With the people’s increased demand for more personal privacy and the willingness to make online communication more personalized and unique, there is also a growing demand for AR avatars. 

In Japan, there are now over 4000 virtual YouTubers. Rather than facing the camera themselves, these people prefer to use a digital version of themselves in the form of an avatar.

The users of the Twitch online streaming platform can take advantage of a virtual makeover with Snap’s AR effects that give them a way to be creative while doing live streams of their favourite games and other content.

Slutsats

With the constant change of the world we all live in, there is no doubt that the use of Augmented Reality in communication will set new technological trends both businesses and users will need to adapt to.

Nowadays, AR technology is not only limited to Snapchat’s funny filters and Pokemon Go. The software can be found in almost every area of our world, be it education, work, healthcare or entertainment. The extent to which businesses can adapt it for their advantage will influence their competitive advantage and the effectiveness of building long-lasting customer relationships.

TEKNOLOGI

Vodafone Ireland turns to Amdocs to drive enhanced customer experience

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Cloud Computing News

Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Vodafone Ireland has chosen Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, to transition its infrastructure and application workloads to the cloud, enabling an enhanced customer experience and rapid adoption of the latest 5G innovations.

Under the agreement, Amdocs Customer Experience Suite (CES) will migrate from Vodafone Ireland on-premise to the cloud, providing the Irish operator with greater flexibility and capacity to support its future growth.  

Mairead Cullen, CIO at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Moving to the cloud is a key part of our strategy as we look to become even more dynamic, agile and responsive to our customers’ needs. We have a long-standing relationship with Amdocs and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on this important initiative.”

Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of technology and head of strategy at Amdocs, said: “By migrating its IT services infrastructure to the cloud, Vodafone Ireland can ensure it has the foundations in place to achieve growth and further enhance the experience of its customers.

“We are excited to be taking such a central role in the company’s cloud strategy.”

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

With access to large amounts of data made available to businesses, maintaining and governing the kind of data that is accessible to users have become significantly essential.

Proper data and analytics governance in organizations can help them in achieving on-point data and analytics processes.

The use of data and analytics is increasing across practically all industries. Due to the availability of inexpensive storage alternatives, organizations have access to more data. It’s not surprising that the usage of analytics due to access to extensive data has expanded to every part of the company when you take into account the growing number of user-friendly tools for managing, retrieving, and analyzing data. 

However, a lot of effort goes into managing data and analytics. Thus, organizations must ensure that their efforts are aligned with their business priorities, and the data is accurate in nature and thoroughly secured. Without analytics governance, even if the organization has a good hold on its data governance policies, the advantages of establishing policies and processes to govern the analytics process still stand. As data governance guarantees your business has processes and standards around the use of data, analytics governance provides the same level of oversight to the way analytics initiatives are built and delivered.

Aligning Data and Analytics Governance

Data and analytics governance initiatives must be closely related to organizational strategies. However, businesses frequently base their data and analytics governance processes on data rather than the business. Here are a few points on how businesses can align their data and analytics governance with their business outcomes.

Aligning_Data_and_Analytics_Governance.png

Trusted Governance

Forming business decisions based on the notion that “all data is equal” is no longer a sound strategy because data and analytics capabilities exist across a company and differ in nature. Instead, create a paradigm of trust-based governance that allows for a dispersed data and analytics ecosystem and is able to help business executives make decisions that are more confidently appropriate to the circumstances.

Digitization

With the essence of developing technology, digitization has taken over almost every business to stay relevant in the market. However, for businesses to gain the best outcomes from the digital space, digitization is essential. And for successful digitization, data and analytics governance must function based on factors like digital ethics and transparency. Therefore, ensuring that the values and concepts of digitization are reflected in the data and analytics governance is crucial to significantly align it with business outcomes.

Data Security

Today, organizations are aware of the potential risks associated with their businesses and securing data has become a necessity. This awareness implies that they address both the threats and the possibilities brought about by data and analytics. Organizations frequently manage risk and market potential independently, and they also do not really prioritize information security when assessing business results. Therefore, data and analytics governance authorities should have interdisciplinary teams capable of making decisions that are well-balanced, giving risk, opportunities, and security the appropriate weight while considering the organizations’ future interests in mind.

 

Today, businesses are aware of the fact that without effective data and analytics governance, their initiatives and investments in data and analytics won’t be able to satisfy important organizational goals like increased revenue, cost reduction, and improved customer experiences. Therefore, aligning it with business outcomes is critical for business success.

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IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

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Cloud Computing News

IBM has developed IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses.

IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”

IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the centre of IBM’s go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

“The new IBM Partner Plus program provides an enhanced experience that sets our company up for success by offering employees access to skills and opportunities, so we can help more clients utilise IBM’s technology portfolio to modernise their operations,” said Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions. “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, rewards our investments and fuel growth.”

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. 

Competitive incentives

Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.*  IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.

Insider access

IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

Enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.

PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge här.

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