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April 25, 2013 | Tom Ballard

EC Conference Follow-up #2: Mobile Megatrend

Enterprise Center-tekno(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of two follow-up articles on presentations made at the April 17 “Technology Transfer Conference” hosted by The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga.)

Each of us intuitively knows that mobile technologies and data are significantly impacting our lives, but the attendees at last week’s “Technology Transfer Conference” in Chattanooga were exposed to a list of amazing facts by keynote speaker Imran Akbar.

The Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Networks and Communications for Motorola Solutions identified a series of megatrends that are impacting the industry sector during his luncheon speech at The Enterprise Center-sponsored event.

“One big megatrend is mobile broadband,” Akbar said, noting that there will be more than two billion smartphones deployed globally by 2015.

“By 2020, every person in this world will be online,” he added. The implications are staggering, including the ability to target personalized coupons to a customer based on where the individual is located in a retail store.

Have you noticed that many retailers are adding free WiFi in their stores? Akbar explained the reasoning, and it’s something called micro-locationing. “We’re investing in it in a big way,” he said.

The technology allows the retailer to know where any customer is standing in their store within a range of three feet if the individual has registered on the store’s WiFi network, either on the current visit or a previous one.

“They could push you a (specific) coupon based on where you are located in the store,” Akbar explained.

As reported in a previous article, he talked about the number of cities vying for Google broadband. “Chattanooga does not need Google fiber,” he said. “You already have it.”

Akbar noted that “another megatrend is social media. It’s no longer a fad. Eleven million messages are sent every 60 seconds.”

He said that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, explaining that one quintillion is a “one and 18 zeroes.”

As company executives try to respond to these rapid trends, Akbar again urged them to “understand your customers.” Saying there are few Steve Jobs and Henry Fords, he said the best approach is to focus on the customer experience and ways to enhance products.

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