FleishmanHillard today released “Darlings to Damaged? Managing the Technology Sector’s Reputation in an Age of Heightened Scrutiny,” a new report assessing the reputational challenges technology companies face today, as well as potential solutions to those challenges in the future. The report follows FleishmanHillard President and CEO John Saunders‘, recent discussion by the same name at the Collision tech conference in Toronto.
“Technology advancements have enabled life-saving innovations, boosted productivity, reduced the consumption of natural resources and more, but we wanted to take a step back and look at some of the unintended consequences of those benefits, and their subsequent impact on the tech sector’s reputation,” Saunders said. “Consumers are becoming more aware of data collection and how that information is being shared; tech companies are trying to address any impact they’ve had through greater collaboration and transparency; businesses are navigating through the impacts of artificial intelligence; governments are considering new ways of managing the sector through legislation and regulation. Through qualitative and quantitative research, our report explores consumer sentiment and business solutions in this current environment of heightened scrutiny.”
As part of the report, FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence conducted a survey and found that while there has been a lot of attention and conversation around the so-called techlash, 82% of U.S. and 79% of U.K. consumers still generally trust technology companies. That said, there is some generational and country divide. In the U.S., the younger generations are more skeptical, with 26% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials saying they lack trust in technology companies. That’s flipped in the U.K., where the older generations have less trust, with 38% of the silent generation lacking trust versus 13% of millennials.
The research did show a common path forward, with 70% of Americans and Britons saying they’d view technology companies more favorably if they were to take more action to address the consequences of their policies, practices and products. Regulation may also play an important role, with almost a third of respondents thinking that technology companies are regulated too little. Further, it was revealed that some Britons may believe American companies could learn something from the British – 60% of Britons believe that U.K. technology companies are regulated about the right amount, with only 32% saying they’re regulated too little. Fewer Britons, 54%, believe U.S. companies are regulated the right amount, and 39% believe they need to be regulated more.
The report’s findings combine original research with insights from some of the world’s leading thinkers in this space, including the CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, the CIO of Canada, a Harvard professor and many more.
The report explores topics including:
- Consumers’ general level of trust in technology and generational differences;
- Actions consumers expect companies to take to build trust in this space;
- The role of self-regulation, responsibility and shared value in addressing the current reputational challenges;
- The macroeconomic and geopolitical situation more broadly;
- How regulation and legislation might play a role in rebuilding trust;
- What actions should be taken to ensure AI is a benefit to business and society; and
- The convenience of hyper-personalization, weighed against security risk and data protection needs
“As companies navigate the increasingly complex environment, the best approach is to commit to being transparent, and to work collaboratively with government, regulators and academia,” Saunders said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to always doing the right thing, and ensuring you’re operating with the highest ethical standards and in the best interest of your stakeholders.”
FleishmanHillard’s “Darlings to Damaged?” report includes qualitative and quantitative data. FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence conducted a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults each in the U.S. and U.K., 18 years of age and older. The U.S. sample is demographically balanced for age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The U.K. sample is demographically balanced for age and sex. The surveys were fielded online in April and May of 2019.
RBC and Microsoft Launch New Program to Accelerate the Digital Transformation of Canadian Businesses
To help Canadian businesses unlock greater business value and capitalize on advancements in smart technologies and cloud solutions, RBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of RBC’s Go Digital program. The program is designed to remove key barriers which businesses have cited as preventing or delaying their digital transformation. Go Digital offers a suite of turnkey technology solutions leveraging the power and security of the Microsoft cloud and skilled Partner Network, as well as innovation financing and tailored advice from RBC to help businesses embark on their digital transformation journey with greater ease and confidence. The program is currently available to Canadian food manufacturers and will continue to expand to other industries over time.
A recent IDC report found that while Canadian executives acknowledge the importance of embracing new technologies to digitally transform their business, the majority have yet to take action. A similar report found that 29 per cent of Canadian organizations are lagging in digital transformation and have not yet started their digital modernization. The most common barriers identified by Canadian companies include the challenge of finding the right solution, sourcing the right provider and securing capital.
“Technology is disrupting customer expectations and traditional business models everywhere, and businesses need to adapt to these historic changes to differentiate and lead in the market,” said Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “RBC is committed to creating more value for clients and helping them along this journey. That’s why we’re coming together with industry-leading partners like Microsoft to deliver tailored solutions that will help accelerate and simplify their digital transformation.”
RBC & Microsoft design tailored solutions to fuel business growth
The manufacturing sector in Canada accounts for approximately $174bn in GDP, more than 10% of the total GDP of the entire country.1 The adoption of advanced smart factory technologies can help fuel the next wave of business growth by way of significant cost savings, increased productivity and enhanced quality which ultimately results in delivering greater value to customers and employees.
Despite these benefits, mid-market Canadian manufacturing firms are falling behind when it comes to the digital transformation of their business, making Canada one of the worst performers in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development (OECD)2. Fifty-five per cent of manufacturers do not use advanced technologies and one-fifth have no plans to invest in them in the next three years, naming cost and uncertainty as deterrents for digital transformation3.
1 https://canadianvisa.org/life-in-canada/key-industries/manufacturing, Canadian Visa Org, 2019
2 Industrie 2030: Accelerating Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2017
3 2018 Management Issues Survey, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, 2018
Given this significant opportunity, RBC’s Go Digital program is now available to Canadian food manufacturers as part of its initial launch with plans to extend the program’s reach to additional industries.
“This strategic partnership with RBC demonstrates our strong commitment to helping companies across Canada have greater access to digital technologies,” said Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada. “By leveraging the breadth of Microsoft’s trusted cloud platform, tapping into the skilled expertise of our Partner Network and maximizing RBC’s sector-specific business and financial expertise, we believe this program will give organizations in Canada the confidence to truly embrace the next wave of computing, and expand that reach to more businesses across North America in the longer term.”
Optimizing food manufacturing operations powered by Microsoft
RBC and Microsoft co-designed a curated suite of technology and innovation financing solutions tailored to food manufacturers. Leveraging a group of industry-leading partners from Microsoft’s Partner Network, RBC’s Go Digitalprogram offers access to digital solutions that are powered by artificial intelligence, cloud business applications, data analytics, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT). These solutions include, but are not limited to:
- Environmental monitoring (i.e. temperature, humidity, air quality) leveraging the scale and intelligence of Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled sensor technology to reduce waste, drive efficiency and realize cost savings;
- Food transparency and traceability leveraging blockchain technology to meet regulatory requirements and standards, from farm to table;
- Production variability monitoring using Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Azure IoT capabilities to reduce equipment downtime, increase output forecasting accuracy and improve quality control; and
- Cloud-Based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) leveraging Dynamics 365 to address food safety and compliance, quality and production, recipe development and management, and food recall traceability.
SOURCE Royal Bank of Canada
Resulticks Welcomes Sophie Pibouin as Executive VP of Sales of the Americas
Real-time omnichannel marketing solutions provider Resulticks has announced the expansion of the company’s leadership team with the hire of Sophie Pibouin as Head of Sales, U.S. Resulticks’ AI-powered platform provides users with segmented data and consumer behavior analytics, allowing marketers to create highly targeted and individualized campaigns across telecom, healthcare, banking, hospitality and other diverse industries.
Sophie Pibouin brings a global perspective, deep understanding of the market and unparallel expertise in propelling business growth. With two decades of executive experience including roles at IBM, SDL, Chronicle Solutions and CA Inc., she has led the strategic evolution and exceptional expansion of Fortune 500 and VC-backed high-tech companies, achieving record increases in sales and uplifts in competitiveness.
“The addition of Sophie to our executive team comes as we see strong opportunities across the region, which will play a significant role in Resulticks’ forward growth strategy,” said CEO and co-founder Redickaa Subrammanian. “Bringing deep marketing and global technology experience that complements our existing capabilities, she is well-positioned to be an integral asset to our U.S.-based clientele.”
In her new role, Sophie will lead efforts to expand Resulticks’ U.S. footprint and identify new opportunities for accelerated growth.
“I am delighted to be joining a rapidly growing organization that is delivering a holistic solution to its users,” said Sophie Pibouin, Resulticks Executive VP of Sales of the Americas. “Resulticks’ all-in-one cloud-based platform helps marketers understand and reach their audiences in a truly integrated way, and I am eager to bring that value to even more U.S.-based brands.”
Prior to joining Resulticks, Sophie was the Worldwide Sales Leader at IBM Watson. A graduate of the University of Flaubert in France, she is based in New York City.
5-Star Destination, Tokyo Station Hotel, Adopts Bebot, Bespoke’s AI-powered Travel Concierge
Bespoke, creators of the world’s first AI-powered chatbot developed for travelers, today announce Tokyo Station Hotel, an independent 5-star hotel in Tokyo, has adopted Bebot to serve guests. Through Bespoke’s unique travel-focused AI, Bebot provides hotel guests with an intuitive, responsive and friendly channel to ask any questions that arise during a hotel visit. Guests can make requests for recommendations, reservations and services, or ask specific questions related to their travel experience – all through chat. With Bespoke’s recent launch into the US Market, Bebot is now available for US-based hotels and travel destinations.
Bespoke’s world-leading, unique travel-focused AI is augmented by on-the-ready, seamless, human chat to continuously improve, teach and optimize their AI technology, providing customers and travelers with a no-compromise, reliable source of information. Bebot’s advanced AI was developed to provide travelers with essential information and tips in an intuitive and familiar, yet powerful chat service – providing essential and inspiring tips and information to improve guests’ visits, while relieving hotel staff.
“Tokyo Station Hotel is one of few independent 5-star hotels, and we’re honored they choose Bebot to serve their guests,” said Akemi Tsunagawa, founder and CEO of Bespoke. “Our unique AI was developed from the ground up to serve the specific needs of travelers providing them with the timely info, tips and guidance they need to have a comfortable stay wherever they go.”
In addition to providing information about services, rates, amenities, menu options and directions, Bebot provides travelers with vital details about nearby attractions, destinations and more. Travelers access Bebot by scanning a QR code found on a placard or by visiting a url provided by the hotel – no additional downloads are necessary.
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