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Use Of Bluetooth Beacons In Business Marketing

Bluetooth beacons are hardware devices that use low energy signals to transmit periodic information to electronic mobile devices in close proximity. The beacons transmit their id to the mobile devices, which return this identification number to the cloud server. The server responds by sending the information attached to the identification number. It could be a product detail, a webpage, a phone number, etc.

Business marketing professionals are using Bluetooth beacons in numerous ways to increase sales and revenue:

  1. Tracking customer’s in-store movements: Bluetooth beacons can be used to track the movements of a customer in the store and send relevant offers. For example, if the beacon detects that a customer is in shoes section, it makes sense to send her a shoe discount coupon. This motivates the customer to make a purchase.
  1. Help Customers In In-Store Navigation: It is common for customers to abandon the store if they can’t find what they are looking for. Bluetooth beacon technology can be used to tackle this problem efficiently. The technology can be used in conjunction with the store app to create an in-store mapping experience. Businesses can develop their apps to assist the customers in creating a shopping list as they enter the store. The app can then be used to show them the location of the selected products. The Bluetooth beacons detect the real-time location of the customers as they move and create a map to show them if they are moving in the right direction or not in relevance to the products.
  1. Attract Customers To In-Store Events: Retail businesses commonly organize in-store events to attract customers during holiday seasons. The events may range from free makeup tutorials to gift wrapping presentations. Traditionally, the business marketing professionals used emails or telemarketing to inform their customers about the events. However, customers have a higher probability to walk in the store for attending an event, if they are already in the vicinity. Thus, you can use Bluetooth beacon technology to alert mobile device users in the proximity of your store about the ongoing events. This will help in increasing the footprint traffic, giving you a chance to generate leads.
  1. Improve In-Store Conversion Rates: Using Bluetooth beacon technology, you can have an idea of the products that are being purchased by a customer via his online shopping list or in-store location. This information can be used to transmit notifications or reminders to purchase related products. For example, if a customer purchases cereal in a supermarket, a notification such as ‘Do you also need milk?’ can make sense to him. Such targeted messaging helps in increasing in-store conversion rate.

For more information about use of Bluetooth beacons in business marketing, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

AI & Customer Service: The Future

Customer service is an important aspect of any business organization. Businesses keep looking for new ideas to improve their customer service and offer better customer experience, which has led to the advancements in AI based customer service solutions. Although, businesses have been using AI in customer support for a while; the collaboration still holds many facets that are yet to be unfolded in the future.

Following are some of the applications of AI that can be explored for enhancing customer service by businesses:

  • Brand Messenger: In recent years, there has been an increased user inclination towards messaging apps. The use of messaging has extended from personal communications to user engagement with brands. This has laid out a path for businesses to incorporate chatbots to interact with new and existing customers. As some major industries (like fashion, tourism, food chains, airline, e-commerce and hotels) have adopted this feature to increase user engagement; it would be exciting to know which industries will follow the suit in future.
  • Quick Resolution: Wait time for resolving simple queries is an important determinant in customer satisfaction. Customers seek quick answers to general queries and tend to trust a brand that offers faster answers and streamlined action plans for their queries. Thus, businesses can exploit the capacity of AI to multi-task and handle multiple automated queries. This will help in limiting the response time and generating accurate resolutions.
  • Customized User Experience: In addition to making self-service user interfaces more intuitive, AI can help in anticipating customer needs based on previous chat history, contexts and user preferences. AI integrated systems can capture a large amount of data for identifying customer issues, defining customer behavior, determining frequent decisions, prompting with proactive alert messages, suggesting personalized offers and discounts, etc. Such intelligent assistance and pre-emptive recommendations will help companies in offering a quality rich customer service.
  • AI Controlled Multiple Support Channels: In addition to providing direct assistance to the customers, AI can be used to control multiple channels of customer support. For example, in case a telecommunications agent is unable to answer a query, AI can determine the issue and direct the customer towards dedicated support channel.

Undoubtedly, these applications support the strengthening of collaboration between AI & Customer Support. However, as the AI systems rely on collecting extensive user data for working efficiently, this gives rise to privacy concerns. The data collecting system can be compromised resulting in a data breach. Thus, business organizations need to pay due attention to data security policies before implementing AI supported customer service systems.

For more information about use of AI in customer service, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

Balancing Automation With Security

Automation helps in enhancing the productivity of a company by streamlining the processes. Technological advancements have helped companies in automating routine tasks for better management of time and resources. Undoubtedly, automation seems like a lucrative option and a large number of companies are grasping the opportunity. However, it has some security risks that should be taken into consideration before incorporating automation into your operations.

  • If your business process makes use of IoT enabled devices for data collection and process execution, a through security audit is recommended. It is also important to make sure there are no vulnerabilities in the internet or LAN connection that may install Trojans or malware in the system.
  • When automating your company’s payment process, it may be a risk to provide access to multiple people. If multiple employees are authorized to set up and verify payments, the chances of insider threats may increase.
  • Relying excessively on automated tools is another security risk for your business. Periodic manual checks to correlate automated process findings should be conducted.
  • Like other software, ignoring regular updates of automation software may open a back door for cyber attackers.

Once you understand the risks associated with automation, here are some ways to help you balance automation with security:

  • Set Security As A Priority: As the automation market is growing, the service providers have a zeal to launch the latest solutions at a higher pace than their competitors. This may lead to ignorance of security measures during the beta phase of development. Thus, make it a point to ask the automation provider about the built-in security measures. Also, you may consider a trial period to test if the products match your security standard.
  • Think Before Scaling Up: Investing in automation for the sake of keeping up with the trend may lead to the obliviousness of security measures. Thus, before you invest in automation, you should consider the need and purpose. Also, pay attention to your system and infrastructure security before scaling up the automation operations.
  • Regular Updates: Outdated software has vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers and may lead to cybersecurity breaches. So, it is important to be aware of software updates provided by your automation service provider.
  • Automate Cybersecurity: Incorporating automation in your cybersecurity strategies can help in improving your security protocol by offering features such as better threat detection, data correlation, etc.
  • Training: Before incorporating automation in your operations, train your employees to train them on ways to use the automation tools while considering security protocols.

We, at Centex Technologies, provide state-of-the-art IT security solutions for businesses. For more information on securely incorporating automation tools into your work processes, call us at (972) 375 - 9654.

Reasons Why Companies Fail In Securing Data

      

Companies accumulate large amount of data every year. The data may include important information like trade secrets, customer information, client database, product/service information, marketing strategies, etc. It is important for the companies to keep this data secured to prevent financial, trade and reputation loss. However, an increasing rate of data breach incidents indicate that most companies fail to secure their data.

Here are some common mistakes that the enterprises make leading to loss of data:

  • Lack of Security Testing: New security features are launched at regular intervals. While it is recommended that businesses should update their security features with newer versions; the switch should be made after proper testing. The companies make the mistake of skipping the beta phase of testing (a testing phase where vulnerabilities of a new security feature are detected and rectified by the technical team of organization). Implementing any new security feature without thorough testing puts the business data at the risk because hackers get the chance to exploit the vulnerabilities and launch a data breach.
  • Forgetting To Map Data: Data movement is an essential component for managing the operations of any business. As the use of online resources is increasing, data movement forms the basis of marketing/ sales strategies, collaborative meeting of on-shore & off-shore employees, process handling between different teams, etc. As the data is regularly moving, it becomes important to keep a track of it. Mapping data is the process of marking the origin, journey and destination of data flow. It also involves keeping a track of every person who interacts with the data, and the changes made to it. This helps the data monitoring team to detect data handling patterns and recognize unexpected interactions at an early stage. However, companies usually commit the mistake of neglecting this important process.
  • Relying Solely On Anti-Virus: Although it is important to install anti-virus software into the computer systems of the organization to detect the malware; it should not be treated as the backbone of the cybersecurity strategies of the organization. Businesses make the mistake of relying solely on anti-virus software instead of installing other security measures that can detect and flag potentially malicious incoming data before it enters the network.
  • Using Outdated Versions Of Security Networks: When considering security networks, companies have to pay attention to three aspects namely security software, security hardware and internal network of company’s systems. Companies often update one or two of these aspects which leaves them at the risk of improper integration of security networks. The outdated versions lead to vulnerabilities in the system which can be exploited by hackers.

It is advisable for the businesses to focus on proper cybersecurity strategies to prevent data breach instances.

For more information about ways to secure data, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

 

Understanding The Difference Between AI, Machine Learning & Deep Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Deep Learning are commonly used interchangeably. However, in technological context; Machine Learning and Deep Learning are subsets of AI. In order to understand the difference between these terms, it is important to know the actual meaning of individual term.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence is a term that defines the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems. The processes include learning, reasoning and self-correction. AI is broadly classified as weak (narrow) AI and strong AI. Weak AI systems are designed to do a particular task. The most common example of weak AI is the virtual personal assistants. On the contrary, strong AI systems are equipped with generalized human cognitive abilities. These systems are able to find a solution to any problem independent of human intervention.

Machine Learning (ML): ML is an application or subset of Artificial Intelligence. Under this application of AI, a machine is programmed to access and manipulate data. The machine can analyze the data to identify patterns and learn from these patterns. This allows the machine or computer system to modify decisions as per any change in data without explicit programming. Machine Learning is driven by algorithms and stat models. The common usage of Machine Learning can be found in apps such as email filtering, optimization, internet fraud detection, etc. Machine Learning methods are widely grouped as supervised and unsupervised ML.

  • Unsupervised ML: These methods group interpret data based only on input data. Clustering methods are an example of unsupervised ML.
  • Supervised ML: Supervised ML methods use both input and output data to develop a predictive model. Classification and Regression methods are listed as supervised ML.

Deep Learning (DL): It is a broader subset of AI. Deep Learning involves collection of large unstructured data and combing through it to generate classified structured information. The basic difference between Machine Learning and Deep Learning is that ML is task oriented learning, whereas DL is more general. It is used to derive meaning or identify patterns in unstructured data. This, in turn, helps in spotting large scale trends or irregularities. Some common applications of Deep Learning include self-driving cars, fraud news detection, natural language processing, visual recognition, etc.

For more information about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375-9654.

Trending Technologies In IT Industry

As technology is evolving rapidly, it has enabled a faster change and greater progress in the IT industry. The disruptive technological trends like interconnected humans, robots, devices, content and services driven by them have become an integral part of modern IT applications.

Some of the major technology disruptors revolutionizing the IT industry are:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): It is an emerging form of automation technology that uses software with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. RPA is used to perform high-volume repetitive tasks that awere earlier done by humans. The RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications like humans do.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT enables devices, home appliances, cars, etc. to be virtually connected and exchange data over the internet. The connected devices share data that they collect and take instructions from multiple sources which may or may not be in close proximity. Proper use of IoT technology can enable optimized traffic system, efficient waste management, energy use, etc.
  • Cloud Computing: The major part of the IT industry relies on cloud computing, making it one of the most trending technologies. The range of cloud solutions & delivery models is widening and it now requires the cloud services to be more adaptable in different areas of activity. Majority of IT service providers are acquiring hybrid cloud solutions to speed up the service delivery.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain technology has potential applications in almost every field. We have already witnessed use of blockchain applications in healthcare, IT, real estate, law enforcement, cryptocurrency, banking, etc.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI are computer programs that perform highly intelligent tasks, such as recognition of images, speech, patterns and complex decision making. Machine learning is a new branch of AI that is creating and enabling smart business operations with greater accuracy.
  • Data Security: Cybersecurity is increasingly evolving due to technological advancements. As the threats are constantly arising and the hackers are finding better ways to illegally access information, technologies are required to enhance data security by incorporating hardware authentication, cloud technology and deep learning. This makes data security an emerging technology as it will constantly evolve to defend against intruders.

Implementation of modern technology in business operations, marketing, customer care, etc. can increase productivity of an organization. For more information about various trending technologies and how they can be applied within your organization, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

What Is Hybrid Cloud

Cloud computing offers an array of benefits to organizations and thus, it has become a popular choice for data storage and computing. Depending upon individual business requirements, organizations can choose between private cloud and public cloud solutions.

Private Cloud: It is a model of cloud computing where IT services are provisioned on-premises over private IT infrastructure for dedicated use by single organization. It is managed by internal resources of the organization.

Public Cloud: In public cloud model, computing services are offered by a third party over public internet to multiple client organizations as per their capacity or usage requirement. It is managed by the service provider and organizations have to pay according to the storage or bandwidth consumed by them.

However, a new term ‘Hybrid Cloud’ has emerged in recent years. A hybrid cloud combines the services of a private and public cloud to allow seamless sharing of data between them. The organizations can run their workloads partially on private cloud and rest in public cloud. This prevents public or third party service providers from gaining access to entire data of the business.

Working Of Hybrid Clouds

  • Private and public clouds work independently in a hybrid cloud setup.
  • The resources are abstracted and pooled into private and public clouds by virtualization.
  • These abstracted resources are then allocated by automation.
  • Management tools provision new environments.
  • A hybrid cloud functions properly when APIs, VPNs or WANs connect the private & public clouds as seamlessly as possible.
  • The interconnectivity between public and private clouds is the underlying concept for a functional hybrid cloud.

Benefits Of Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

  • It is a cost effective approach. Organizations can use private cloud for managing regular workloads and pay for extra usage on public cloud only when there is a need for scalability arising due to an occasional increase in workload.
  • The approach helps in separating sensitive or critical workloads from regular data. Organizations employing hybrid cloud approach have the benefit of storing critical financial data, customer information, etc. on their private cloud while utilizing public cloud to run general applications.
  • Public cloud resources can be used for allocation to short-term projects, instead of spending money on buying on-premises hardware and infrastructure for temporary use.
  • The availability of private cloud resources facilitates testing of applications as it grants back-end access to the developers.
  • Hybrid cloud infrastructure integrates the public cloud computing and private cloud which allows the organization to have control over security and regulations.
  • It offers excessive flexibility. A hybrid cloud setup can be scaled up to the use of public cloud or scaled down to private cloud as per the demand.

For more information about hybrid cloud, call Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Guide To Technology Buzzwords

Rapid advancements in every field are giving birth to numerous new technology buzzwords regularly. Basic understanding of these technological terms assists you in keeping abreast with the current changes.

Stay ahead of upcoming trends with this guide on important technology buzzwords:

  • 5G: It is defined as the next generation of cellular network technology and is one of the most trending buzzwords. It offers faster speed & reliable connections on mobile devices and even home networks.
  • 8K: A beginning to new era of picture quality. It refers to TV’s overall resolution of 7,680 x 4,230 pixels and is a step up from the current 4K resolution that will elevate home entertainment experience.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): It is a term used to define machines that display human like intelligence by using machine learning to perform tasks such as cooking, driving, etc. They have the ability to make decisions through capturing & analyzing data in their environment.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): A VR encompasses user’s senses to create a digital world through headsets or eyewear. It has become a promising trend in gaming & entertainment industry.
  • Augmented Reality (AR): In this technology, real world objects are superimposed with computer generated images like graphics, sounds and touch feedback.
  • X Reality (XR): It is a cross over between both augmented and virtual reality with widespread applications in architecture, medicine, healthcare etc. It allows content creators to create common content for users of AR & VR headsets.
  • Organic LED (OLED): An organic light-emitting diode emits visible light in response to electric current so that pixels can light-up independently. The result is that OLED screens display pictures that are brighter and have better contrast levels.
  • Wearable: They are smart electronic devices with micro-controllers that can be worn as implants or accessories. It stays on the body to perform a particular task like sensing heart rate or keeping a track of your fitness.
  • Eye-Tracking: It is a sensor based technology that makes possible for a device to know where a person is looking. It basically detects reflections in both the pupils and cornea.
  • Ray-Tracing: It calculates the color of pixels by tracing the path that light would take to create realistic lighting effects. Applications include home computer gaming and developing computer graphics imagery for films and TV shows.
  • Biometric: It measures people’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics. The technology uses an aspect of your body like thumbprint or face to authenticate yourself or for unlocking a personal device.
  • Haptics: Technology of adding sensation of touch and feeling to VR via vibration or by exuding pressure to make virtual objects seem real and tangible.

For more information on latest technology trends and how to incorporate them in your business, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654. We are located in Dallas, Killeen, Atlanta and Austin.