5 minute read
New technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) offer limitless opportunities for businesses. We’re in an age where 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the way we live and work. These are exciting and challenging times because today, more than ever, a culture of innovation is the key to business success.
But to implement these technologies, businesses must ensure they have the one key building block that underpins them all: connectivity. Advanced, secure connectivity is the driver of business in the 21st century, making every other innovation possible.
Innovation is not just about new products and services but also about the way we work. Remote working is here to stay, and businesses that embrace it will gain a competitive edge, increase profitability and drive innovation. Plus, of course, connectivity that’s responsive and secure is the key to successful remote working.
So, what does the future of connectivity look like? Here’s a walkthrough of some of the most important tools and technologies that can help create a truly connected business.
The foundation of any connected business is broadband. Speed, of course, is important but it’s just one part of the connectivity solution your broadband should offer. Complete connectivity provides:
VPN networks to connect multiple sites and allow employees to access your business network safely and securely.
For businesses with multiple sites, upgrading your network to a Software Delivered Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) can give you stronger, more seamless connectivity. It offers a smarter and more responsive network with better control over your traffic, more reliability for out-of-office and hybrid workers, as well as allowing you to take advantage of next-generation as-a-service offerings on the cloud.
SD Wan in action
Housing specialists, Places for People, came to Vodafone to implement SD-WAN solutions that would help make them more responsive and better able to deliver their connectivity strategy. They believe that moving to a cloud-based network has made them more efficient, agile and responsive to the needs of employees and customers.
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions help businesses digitally transform their business, utilising the potential of connected devices.
By making objects or devices ‘smart’ through a SIM-enabled device, it allows them to transmit data over the internet which can then be turned into actionable insights. Smart roads, smart cars and smart domestic appliances are just the start. IoT will lead to complete connected cities actively responding to data in real-time to manage air quality, noise pollution, street lighting and traffic congestion.
IOT in action
At COP26, the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow, Vodafone demonstrated a Smart Building that monitors air quality, temperature, lighting, and occupancy, reducing energy usage by up to 30%. Vodafone believes that using IoT and other technologies can help reduce customers’ emissions by 350 million tonnes by 2030.
Up to 10x faster than 4G, 5G makes every aspect of your business move more efficiently. With 5G for businesses, you can enjoy instant connectivity, uninterrupted data use, and faster download speeds on your wireless devices – making it easier than ever to work smarter with more connected devices.
There’s no question that 5G will have huge applications in all business sectors and drive innovative new products and services. Vodafone is now offering businesses access to our innovation hubs where they can discover how 5G could work for them.
5G in action
Vodafone has launched Britain’s first commercial standalone 5G network with Coventry University, allowing medical students to take immersive, real-time tours of the human body using Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This could open the door to breakthrough healthcare services including remote diagnostics and even remote surgery.
While VR creates a new 3D environment, usually experienced through a headset, AR uses a normal device such as a smartphone to enhance the real world around you through digital elements that you can see, hear and even feel.
In the world of training, learning and development, businesses have begun to innovate by using virtual reality (VR) and AR technologies to create truly immersive experiences.
Recently, Vodafone Germany collaborated with Nreal, a provider of augmented and mixed reality glasses, to provide kitchens across the country with an augmented reality cooking experience.
Using AI, companies are automating processes to reduce downtime and minimise errors in a wide variety of sectors from manufacturing, production and warehousing. These technologies have massive potential to reduce costs, make operations more flexible and upskill employees.
Each year, more than 30 tonnes of strawberries are consumed by tennis fans at Wimbledon. Through Vodafone's IoT technology, Hugh Lowe Farms can efficiently grow the highest quality crop, meeting demand for over 1.5 million strawberries per year.
With the deployment of new IoT technology and software, such as MYFARMWEB™, the farm can collect data to support better soil and crop health, more effective water use, and precise fertiliser and pesticide application. By optimising farming practices, greenhouse gases are reduced and farm productivity is increased. Vodafone estimates that IoT technology could help the agricultural sector save 2.4-4.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
Vodafone can provide help and guidance if you want to explore the potential of these technologies to enhance innovation in your business.
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