How the 'X','Y' of Location is Improving the Workplace Experience
We sat down and chatted with Tim Vanevenhoven, from the Vertical Product and Solutions Marketing team at Aruba, and dove into the importance of location when it comes to the workplace experience. Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and their Meridian product line provide some of the best solutions when it comes to location services available on the market today and are growing their partner ecosystem to create new use cases with the power of location.
With workplace experience being a top initiative for leading corporate companies and the exponential growth of location aware mobile applications, we're seeing that these two are coming together sooner, rather than later, at the most innovative campuses.
We believe that a 'campus app' is all about engagement, and drawing employees into an app environment where access to centralized information and features have them returning to or using the app at least once a day.
Let's see what Tim has to say!
Tell us a little about Aruba Meridian technology.
As a network infrastructure company, we can provide the 'x','y' on a map. Knowing this location-based information in context to your surroundings helps provide information to mobile apps and partners that can create real-time experiences for their end users.
Our building in Santa Clara, for example, is a living laboratory. We regularly give tours to demonstrate the latest and greatest available technology, and have hand-crafted experiences in our Executive Briefing Center that leverage an individual's location to personalize in-the-moment interactions.
At the end of the tour, customers often tell us, “I want that!” So for us to be able to have a platform/an ecosystem of partners to offer the solutions we're showcasing makes us more successful as a company.
Having a customizable, and scalable platform that integrates with different providers and solutions to meet the needs of the customer is key.
Ok, so how does this translate to the workplace?
We’re seeing a lot of growth in workplace experience.
Using location services (like wayfinding and a blue dot you-are-here experience), companies can shape the workplace experiences to meet the needs of their employees in real-time, like connecting with co-workers, wayfinding to get to meetings on time, checking the daily cafeteria menu, or receiving emergency notifications that make people physically in the building aware of high-stress situations that affect the campus and what to do about.
At Aruba we believe in creating experiences that are relevant. One of the key ingredients is ‘location’, which helps make an experience more contextual. For example, if I’m looking to book a conference room - I don’t want any conference room - I want a conference room that is near me now and available in that exact moment.
What trends are causing this shift?
We have a lot of customers who are trying to find new ways to use the Aruba infrastructure not just for connectivity, but to improve the employee experience. Hiring and maintaining talent is getting harder and harder, so companies are looking for new solutions that will help with retention and recruitment. It's this new idea of having the ‘intranet’ in the palm of your hand in the form of a mobile app.
Also, a lot of people today are having app fatigue. It's a common scenario where you find and then install one mobile app for this, and another mobile app for that, resulting in a number of infrequently used apps taking up space on your mobile device. So, when it comes to smart campuses, having one mobile app, that an employee can install for holistic access through the digital front door of the campus is what our customers are looking for.
Based on my interactions with customers, I believe there is a huge demand to have a smart digital workplace, this "office experience app". Before we know it, a mobile-led workplace experience solution will be the defacto standard and both customers and employees will expect that you’re going to have this mobile experience available and ready-to-go.
Other than the workplace, where else do location-based mobile apps make sense?
One of the trends I’ve been seeing is customers in different verticals are using location to create different use cases.
- An interactive experience for guests at a smart hotel.
- A resourceful and helpful experience for patients or visitors to a smart hospital.
- An immersive experience for students on a university or college campus.
- A personalized or promotional experience for a customer in a retail setting or brick and mortar store.
Across multiple vertical markets, companies are using our infrastructure to provide relevant, customized experiences for the customers within their space. They’re even using the network to understand the movement and behavior of the people in their space which provides venue owners additional value and insight from a location perspective.
Having location-aware Aruba Wi-Fi Access Points, plus the option to strategically use discrete Bluetooth beacons, we’re able to provide that indoor experience for users of a campus app in any space.