Andrea Foord

We’re dreaming of a bright Christmas

By Andrea Foord, Head of Marketing , Retail & Supply Chain, BT Global Services

There are less than one hundred days to go until Christmas 2014 and all that entails. The shopping, perhaps, is the seasonal ritual we look forward to the least, and we all have our ways of making the ordeal more bearable. Sometimes it’s a posh coffee in a quiet café, sometimes it’s a ‘one for them, one for me’ present-buying strategy, and sometimes it’s working out the balance between the serenity of online shopping and the hustle and bustle of the high street.

If you’re a retailer, you’ll be on the lookout for new developments that will make the whole experience more exciting; those elements that will provide the ‘wow’ factor. We’ve compiled our list of the top five technologies that we think should be on every retailer’s Christmas list. [Read more...]

Andy Rowland

Utilities: Be equipped for success

By Andy Rowland, Head of Customer Innovation Global Mining Oil & Gas, Automotive & AMEA, BT Technology, Service & Operations

The utilities sector is a dynamic arena. Smaller energy companies are gaining a growing share of the market at the expense of leading suppliers, and the water industry is changing forever as the floor opens up to competition in 2015. The question is, what part can technology play in improving both the top and the bottom line?

The top line is closely linked with customer sentiment, and this is something that technology can dramatically improve. By monitoring social media, companies can quickly respond to and manage feedback. Big data tools can be used to help organisations interpret all kinds of customer information, as well as helping to keep a close eye on key competitors. [Read more...]

Nicola Millard

How autonomous customers challenge utilities companies

By Nicola Millard, Customer Experience Futurologist BT

Customers never contact you to say thank you. Some would say that’s ungrateful of them but, when it comes to water and power, we expect things to work at the flick of a switch or the turn of a tap.

In fact, utilities are services that we only realise we have, when we don’t! The product is either all or nothing. It can’t really be physically differentiated (peppermint water on tap anyone?) In fact the only thing we tend to notice is the money that gets taken from our accounts on a very regular basis. [Read more...]

Jeremy Ridgway

UK branches have reached their technology tipping point

By Jeremy Ridgway, Director of Keyfact

2014 will go down as the year when key players on the financial high street finalised their “branch of the future” models. The previous decade saw all manner of branch pilots, from broadcasting Bluetooth messages inviting people into a branch (HSBC) to using retina-recognition technology to recognise and greet customers by name (Nationwide). Barclays, Lloyds TSB and others used Brickstream “computers with eyes” to capture and assess the movement and behaviour of branch visitors, and a lot of money was spent tweaking branch designs, choreography and merchandising. [Read more...]

Internet of Things and healthcare

BT Cloud Contact: changing healthcare for good

When it comes to healthcare, organisation and speed are crucial because patient wellbeing is at stake. There’s no time for inefficiencies; this sector needs to work in a productive and streamlined way to give patients the best care. Collaborative technology is one route forwards because it makes location and distance irrelevant.

Kent Community Health NHS Trust used cloud power to deal with their dispersed estate: a scattering of offices across the county, all with different ways of working. This created mountains of telephone numbers and made coordination between teams extremely difficult. Moving people and assets around was not an option, so they needed an alternative solution. [Read more...]