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The Unlikely Marriage Between Mobility Solutions and Enterprise Resiliency

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The Unlikely Marriage Between Mobility Solutions and Enterprise Resiliency


We’ve learned valuable lessons since the start of the pandemic about resilience: endurance favors those who are prepared, agile and proactive about change.

There’s more to the story, though. To truly thrive in this new world of work, businesses must also create value across the entire organization for a better company culture and customer experience. 

Simply put, technology must leap beyond the expected and help craft business resiliency in human terms.

Accelerated digitalization is triggering sweeping changes across many industries: health care, manufacturing, retail, automotive, public sector, finance and banking, just to name a few. With change comes a new game plan for building enterprise resiliency. 

Mobility solutions is the technology tool to watch, particularly as the number of IoT devices continues to grow, and the connected smartphone remains a hub in both our personal and work lives.

The story of how connectivity is rapidly evolving begins with 5G cellular networks. In Gartner’s report entitled “Top Trends Driving Enterprise Mobility for 2022,” 5G is predicted to reach 90% of the U.S. population in 2023 (along with Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea; the report predicts other countries will adopt 5G by 2026). While going from 3G to 4G LTE was about speed, 5G is about reimagining possibilities. 

With 5G comes mobile solutions that defy how business is conducted today, inspiring meaningful engagement in almost unimaginable ways: customer messaging where and when needed, real-time communication with team members, greater uptime regardless of where people work, mobile security minimizing risk, augmented reality that deepens experiential impact, vehicle-to-everything communication (as well as other transportation mediums like railways), the use of AI in the contact center, and 24/7 access to information tailored to the schedules and lifestyles of real people. 

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Connecting People in New and Different Ways

As a board member to several organizations, resilience is a topic I hear talked about often by colleagues. In my view, the magic comes from how you use technology to serve others. Mobility solutions empower employees to succeed and, in turn, help their customers succeed. This, to me, is both hopeful and exciting. 

In the age of remote and hybrid work, mobile technology has the ability to create stronger relationships and increase employee satisfaction in ways we haven’t seen before. 

Gartner’s report, in fact, points out: “The shift to more remote work in the wake of the pandemic has led organizations to move mobile investment to new use cases.” Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), AI and cognitive, and metaverse (described as a “successor to the mobile internet” by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who gives the comparison of sending his parents a picture of his family today while in the metaverse his parents can interact with their grandchildren without leaving home) can enable stakeholders and employees to interact more fully and collaborate with ease. 

Prioritizing Your Team

According to the Labor Department, 47 million quit their jobs in 2021. Perhaps the pandemic inspired people to reevaluate their priorities and options. Gallup found that engagement is highest for “workers who spend three to four days working remotely.” Imagine that. From a crisis came a new workplace paradigm.

Working remotely does not, however, equate to working alone. AT&T Workforce Manager, for example, is a multi-faceted platform that empowers remote and hybrid workers with wireless forms, instantaneous order and mobile timekeeping. For employees living in areas with unpredictable Wi-Fi, AT&T also has solutions to boost indoor wireless coverage (OK, this doesn’t help if you’re working on the beach, but it will help if you work out of the beach house!).

For the resilient enterprise, creating a fluid workforce means prioritizing your team and embracing a mobile strategy for remote and hybrid workers so they are productive, connected, and happy.

A Final Thought 

I believe people thrive at the crossroad of humanity and technology. If technology does not serve real people, then technology fails, and we falter too by not living up to our greatest potential. 

Equip your team with tools and knowledge to achieve what technology alone cannot. Inspire your team to dive into the waters of meaningful engagement – being there in a customer’s greatest moment of need, collaborating with coworkers to solve problems faster, and, sometimes, just sharing a kind word when that alone will turn around someone’s day. An early author of self-help books, Napoleon Hill, writes: “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” This is what will make great companies stand the test of time. This is truly the path to enterprise resilience.

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This article was sponsored by AT&T Business, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent BBN Times and AT&T Business’s positions or strategies.



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TECHNOLOGY

Einstein, Empathy and AI

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Einstein, Empathy and AI


Albert Einstein once said: “The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.”

Kindness, beauty and truth. You don’t often hear these words in the digital world. How do we integrate these life essentials in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, edge computing, internet of things (IoT) and data at scale? Technology, after all, makes things less personal, right?

One company is working hard to disprove this assumption. Not only that, they have a direct tie to Einstein himself.

A hundred years after Einstein shared his views about human existence, NVIDIA is on a path to connecting kindness, beauty and truth with AI as it explores the human qualities of inference, context and nuance in supportive technologies. As for the famous scientist with the wild white hair, NVIDIA has proven he was right about his prediction of gravitational waves, which can now be seen by astronomers for the first time at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

This makes sense. After all, NVIDIA has powered 352 out of 500 of the world’s supercomputers.

NVIDIA has long been known for gaming technologies – it invented the graphics processing unit (GPU) in 1999, triggering the steep growth of the gaming market (much to the chagrin of many parents everywhere) with superior computer graphics and intuitive AI.

Chances are you’ve touched NVIDIA’s tech some time along your day today. Since its launch in 1993, it has been the “AI engine” for thousands of companies, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Alibaba, Tencent, Pinterest, PayPal, Snap and Spotify. The full-stack computer company fuels data center-scale computing solutions with the help of some 20,000 employees in more than 50 countries.

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GPU-powered AI solutions impact critical insights needed for businesses to make better decisions, improve customer service and reduce fraud. The technology is particularly impactful in financial services where around 80% of firms are using artificial intelligence to improve services. NVIDIA’s State of AI in Financial Services 2022 Trends Report reveals that 8 of 10 financial firms are using AI to reduce the estimated $5 trillion in global fraud each year and that conversational AI is being used to mimic customer service representatives in self-service chatbots and call center virtual agents by many banks. AI-led recommendation systems are delivering hyper-personalized experiences to bank customers by giving personalized recommendations.

Conversational AI, however, is where GPU technology can make a significant difference. To date, it has often been seen as deeply flawed by many people, myself included.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You call a company hoping to resolve an issue. Its AI-driven customer service agent answers in a monotone voice. Soon thereafter, the exchange goes off the rails. You’re asking if they have a product in stock and the agent is asking if you want to make a return. Finally, you request a live agent. I’ve gotten lost in the digital loop of big companies when connecting with a real human being is akin to hitting the jackpot.

What’s missing? From moment one, it’s empathy.

Just to be on the same page, Merriam Webster defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

Feeling understood by another is the point of NVIDIA’s article “May AI Help You? Square Takes Edge Off Conversational AI With GPUs”, which explores AI’s unique potential for going beyond the facts, entering the realm of “sympathetic listening.”

As more companies adopt conversational AI, empathy plays a larger role in the customer experience – and, ultimately, growth factors like profitability, customer retention and brand equity. According to Zendesk, 81% of consumers say a positive customer service increases the chances of them making another purchase. AI is more than taking care of business. Customers want to feel good about the exchange and not like a “number.” They want a kinder, more memorable touch point that resolves their real problem and makes them feel “seen.”

Can digital assistants and digital agents get us there?

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With the help of NVIDIA, the popular payment platform Square is making progress. You could say NVIDIA invented one of AI’s greatest solutions – the GPU. The company’s article points out that Square’s tech team “started training AI models at Eloquent on single NVIDIA GPUs running CUDA (a programming interface) in desktop PCs.” Eloquent is an NLP startup acquired by Square in 2019. In addition to the GPU enabled desktop stations, large model training jobs were run on NVIDIA GPUs in the AWS cloud service.  The results were impressive on both training and inference fronts. In particular, Square found “inference jobs on average-size models run twice as fast on GPUs than CPUs. Inference on large models such as RoBERTa run 10x faster on the AWS GPU service than on CPUs.”

Progress? Listen to this: Merritt writes that “Square Assistant can understand and provide help for 75 percent of customer’s questions, and it’s reducing appointment no-shows by 10 percent.”

Trust takes so much time to build. One poor experience breaks it immediately. In an ideal world, our conversations with others are fluid as long as the level of service meets our satisfaction. When an experience falls short, the ramifications interrupt our perception of a brand or worse.

Like New Year’s Eve 2021 when I made a large payment to my house remodeler via check. I sent the check a week ahead to ensure it can be processed before the end of the year. My bank texted me to confirm my identity. I verified that the payment was legit. More than an hour later and seven – SEVEN – transfers from one digital assistant to another and then to a live agent later, the issue was finally resolved. By that time, however, it was already the new year.  As a small business owner, that one day delay had implications on taxes and a supplier’s revenue. 

Many consider Einstein as a great scientist, but I think of him as a great thinker. He understood the power of the human touch. In one essay, he wrote: “When we survey our lives and endeavors we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings.”

When AI understands the nuances of language, we will have taken the next big leap. Intuitive, empathetic AI is upon us. The question is: will it inspire greater kindness, beauty and truth for those who use it?

Explore NVIDIA’s AI solutions and enterprise-level AI platforms driving the future of financial services. 



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