Interception of Social Media Stream Reveals Virtual Reality Trends from SXSW

by Phylicia Teymer

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This weekend, I listened vicariously via Twitter for the experiences of many who witnessed a variety of virtual reality (#VR) developments and testimonials (so far) at SXSW in Austin, TX. While trending tech topics set to impact the near future, considered by some as The Fourth Transformation – such as Internet of Things (#IOT), Artificial Intelligence (#AI), block chain, drones/robots, and 3-D printing – one topic continues to pique my interest – virtual and augmented reality.

Gone are the days of its consideration as a ‘gamers-only’ technology. Experts estimate this VR/AR market will be worth $120 Billion by 2020. The realization of the possible benefits in harnessing VR/AR capabilities in our schools, workplace, and beyond has only recently began to sink in – and so have the questions which arise from its consideration as a future communication platform.

Below, I’ve listed a few key industries and ways that VR and AR – which puts users in the center of a simulated 3-D experience – will continue to change our lives.

Human Resources

  • Learning & Employee Development – Do you need to learn skills such as how to mediate an employee conflict or how to help a customer repair a specific device? It’s possible with VR. Some companies, such as Home Depot, have already begun using VR to assist its Supply Chain team to design palettes. If you need a way to provide an immersive skill learning experience – VR could be the way to create it for your employees.
  • Interviewing – You may have heard about participating in a video-conference interview, but what if you could be virtually transported into an interview room to meet with a company? It can be done – and could save companies thousands in travel/lodging expenses with VR.

Marketing

Consumer thoughts are conveyed in multiple ways – including your eye and body movements. Our traditional online buying behavior provides a few pieces of information – but with VR (partnered with cognitive capabilities), not only could buyers encounter more personalized and immersive buying experiences – marketers could learn much more about a specific buyer’s behavior – such as their likes, dislikes, must-haves, and what outfits garner the best user response when tried on virtually to their body-type. Personally, I wish this would be made widely available as soon as possible – from both a buyer and marketer stand-point.

Education

With learning skills and procedures – experience is everything. In the medical field, among others, seconds count and precision matters. With VR, medical students and practitioners can learn, rehearse, and simulate life-saving procedures and surgeries through immersive 3-D experiences, which could reduce the amount and cost of using cadavers and save more lives afterward.

Travel

I’ve fantasized about this idea for a while, given that most of the population has limited funds for multiple long-distance vacations and travel. Imagine, being able to not only go on virtual tour of a potential vacation destination before you buy it – but going on mini virtual vacations (or meditations) around the world, learning new languages, and meeting new people, all from the comfort of your home. Expedia has already started to provide early VR experiences, such as their recent option to visit Queenstown. Let’s go.

Fitness

You may have been on a treadmill or elliptical with a TV or a ‘trail system video series’. It’s nice when compared to looking at a wall or out a window, yet that’s fitness 1.0 in our tech era – You are now able to choose multiple locations to go walk/run – and be immersed into a 3-D experience that will respond real-time to your movements in front of your eyes. Holofit has a great start in applying this idea to fitness – although it may take some time for it become more affordable for mass consumers.

Recent studies have shown that VR changes how we perceive and learn about the world around us, particularly spatial, however, as VR continues to evolve and includes more of the body’s senses and movement – the easier it will be to more fully submerge into a virtual reality with enhanced learning capabilities.

The Future of Saving Lives With Artificial Intelligence

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by Phylicia Teymer

*Click to listen to audio version.

600,920. 1.7 million. 15.5 million.

The numbers listed above represent the names of loved ones. Each life impacted by a disease that shatters the beautiful fragility of life. Cancer, can bring tears from memories of those lost to it, fear to those who’ve heard its name, and hope to those who’ve won their battles.

According to the American Cancer Society, in the US, 600,920 lives are expected to be lost to cancer in 2017, with an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases to be diagnosed this year. For each of those 15.5 million living Americans who’ve had a history of cancer, there’s a story to be told and a life to be celebrated 1.

For a nation that honors those who’ve fallen and celebrates its heroes, we have many to honor, and a hero whose strength is in the data and knowledge amassed through past and present health battles with cancer, it’s Watson Health.

Watson Health, infuses IBM Watson technology, a form of artificial intelligence. What does that mean and why does it matter? Imagine a technology, that can understand, reason, and learn on a massive scale and apply it to healthcare – and its potential impact on lives saved. In 2013, Watson had already ingested 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, more than two million pages from medical journals, and had the ability to search through up to 1.5 million patient records for further information to give it a scope of knowledge that no doctor could ever match.2

What do I imagine in the near future? I see artificial intelligence technology assisting healthcare professionals through:

Health and Cancer Diagnostics:

Ability to assist doctors by analyzing a patient’s records and current symptoms – and analyzing it against massive medical evidence and other patients’ records who’ve experienced similar symptoms to determine diagnoses earlier and make more effective treatment recommendations.3

Potential Cures for Diseases:

While I can’t say it will cure cancer and other diseases for sure  – I can say it will more quickly enable and empower our medical professionals with compounded knowledge from medical evidence and patient data that no one human could ever interpret and analyze on their own in their lifetime. It could also evaluate chemical compounds that comprise medications and could assist in the same way. It will move us more quickly and efficiently in the direction of finding a cure faster.

Think of the lives that could be saved through the help of artificial intelligence by being able to recognize, diagnose, and treat symptoms faster and identify diseases earlier. It is and will continue to empower doctors, patients, and families. While some fear of artificial intelligence becoming smarter than us – we need it to be in order to help save more lives and bring us closer to a cure for those diseases that take those we love the most away.

Sources:

1 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2017. http://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf

2 Steadman, Ian. Wired. 11 Feb 2013. “IBM Watson is Better at Diagnosing Cancer Than Human Doctors.” http://www.wired.co.uk/article/ibm-watson-medical-doctor. Date accessed 28 Jan 2017.

3 Upbin, Bruce. 11 May 2017. “IBM’s Watson Now A Second-Year Med Student”. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/05/25/ibms-watson-now-a-second-year-med-student/#2babf0d52ef6. Date Accessed 28 Jan 2017.

Executive Leadership Shares Wisdom, Transformational Insights at IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference

By Phylicia Teymer 

This past week I had the tremendous opportunity to attend the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (IBM PWLC) on behalf of our IBM Emerging Leaders Program. Throughout the week I was granted the chance to not only shadow IBM’s Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist, Martin Fleming, I was also given first-hand career advice from multiple executive leaders. In understanding the benefit of sharing knowledge and expertise, I will highlight key “nuggets” of wisdom I received (via panel & in-person), in addition to the significance behind my excitement around IBM’s transformation to a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company.

Martin Fleming & Phylicia Teymer

For background, IBM PWLC is designed primarily to help inform and enable executive business partner (BP) leadership on our key solutions and capabilities available or in development for new market & revenue opportunities. Via listening to multiple leadership panels & from personal discussions I gathered the following key tips to excel in my career and in life:

  • Don’t be afraid to take a role that scares you! As Ginni Rometti has said before, “Growth and comfort do not co-exist.
  • Trust your instincts & always maintain integrity.
  • Challenge yourself to speak in public.
  • Be confident.
  • When building a team, think B R O A D E R and BIGGER than yourself.
  • When submitting proposals for innovative ideas always: Know your audience, do your homework, show supportive material/data, know what will make it successful, and share how you plan to accomplish it. Show the VALUE of your idea and how it will positively impact your audience.
  • In “growth hacking“, creatively innovate quickly & keep costs low.
  • As someone who wants to get into a role which will impact the ways we go to market and connect with customers I was told to build my “thought-leadership” through my writing abilities (journalism), create content, and exemplify my ability to critically think on the subject of leveraging social media to connect with customers, supplement content, & build brand awareness.

While at the conference my thumbs  were moving at lightning pace as I tried to share as many insights via #IBMPWLC on Twitter (via iPhone) in addition to writing them in my handy, “THINK”, notepad. A key quote, among many, really resonated with me.

“Be disruptive or be disrupted” mentioned by Senior Vice-President of IBM Systems, Tom Rosamilia. CLICK TO TWEET

Change is constant, one either embraces it or fails to adapt and evolve.  As we’ve seen with the rise of Uber in the transportation industry, or with AirBNB in the hotel/lodging industry, it’s important to be able to drive transformation to the routes that the markets are shifting towards. We’re in the “age of the customer”, which is why I am excited to see IBM’s commitment towards our ongoing transformation as a cognitive solutions & cloud platform company. We’re in the cognitive era. I fully believe our ability to bring the power of cognitive analytics & computing capabilities to consumers in ways that will educate, empower, and improve business processes will be the ultimate game-changer for all those who take action to harness the power of data.

Join the conversation on Anchor.FM – “What’s your definition of being “disruptive” in business? https://anchor.fm/w/99F3B8

Emerging Leaders with Sandy Carter at Women in Channels luncheon

Social Excitement Builds For IBM Connect 2016

By Phylicia Teymer

The end of January is quickly approaching and my excitement builds as we inch closer to the beginning of one of my favorite conferences of the year, IBM Connect! It’s a few special days filled with a wealth of information, meaningful conversations, and connections (no pun intended).

I’m fascinated with the advancements in collaborative technology, and passionate about how work cultures can evolve and organizations can thrive through the process of its consideration and usage. Each year I anticipate hearing our customers’ unique success stories, in addition to hearing what’s new & coming down the pipeline for our enterprise social solutions. I’m also thrilled to taste the additional pretzel cookie with the elusive new ingredient, AND the roller coasters at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

This year we’ll help bring another realm to life at IBM Connect – on social media! Our social amplification team is looking forward to keeping our Connect family in-tune to all that’s happening around the conference (in addition to IBMgo livestreaming during the opening general session). We’ll attend as many sessions as we can to help bring you those “quotable nuggets” on Twitter, short video highlights, and a Twitter Chat (Live from Orlando) you can join on “The Future of Work: 2016 Enterprise Social Trends”. You can join and stay in the conversation on Twitter by following us @IBMConnect and using #IBMConnect in your tweets and posts. We are socially listening and do provide your feedback to our events team to ensure we provide a quality conference experience.

If you’re there you’ll probably spot me running about, as I’ll show my brand spirit in YELLOW. When you see me, please say hello. Here’s to another year of fun and excitement – See you in Orlando!

2016 Goal Highlights: Connections, Growth, & Excellence

By Phylicia Teymer
 We may not know the precise details of what our future holds, but we do determine our actions to achieve goals which aim to yield the outcomes we desire. Every moment of each day presents an opportunity to focus on accomplishing our goals, step-by-step, until complete. I usually begin with my ultimate lifetime goals, then work backwards to determine how and what needs to be done to reach them (and adapt along the way).

Below I’ve highlighted a few of my key goals for 2016 as not only a daily “focus” reminder, but to also help inspire others & foster meaningful conversations. I’ve kept these a bit high-level, however, as many who know me well would accurately predict, I personally have a detailed list for each of these.

Sleep & Daily Meditation

In the past, I’ve under-estimated the power of “digitally unplugging” to recharge & sync my mind & body. To stay up-to-date in an “always-on” world of virtually connected people & devices requires a lot of mental energy & focus. This year, I aim to get at least 6 hours of quality sleep & 20 minutes of meditation a day. That’s a lot in my life, given I haven’t meditated much at all in the past, and I used to think I could conquer the world with little sleep and still remain healthy. TIME is a precious commodity. It has to be prioritized. My moments will be spent on what matters most (which means I also have to learn how to say “no”, too, which is harder than it sounds).

Build Connections & Network

The power of a connected community is vast. It’s about WHO and WHAT one knows. I don’t know everything or everyone, however, I do know what I want to learn. Given the power of social media & community organizations, I can find others who are up for exchanging knowledge and expertise (or at least a small conversation) for mutual growth.

Eat Healthy, Increase Fitness Goals

I can dream BIG, yet if I’m not healthy enough to accomplish or enjoy the small & large victories along the way, then what’s the point? Somewhere among tackling my many goals, I forgot about how my body is an engine that needs continual quality energy from food to keep going. In order to teach me a lesson, my body said, “Fine, you can exercise all you want, but if you don’t consistently feed me, I’ll show you! Let’s slow down your metabolism, and hold on to everything you eat. You’ll learn soon enough.” My body was right, I learned. This year I aim to drink at least 8 8 oz. glasses of water a day, and 5-6 small meals/snacks a day. I aim to increase my current fitness level to at least 50 minutes of moderate/intense activity 5-6 days a week in which I’ll incorporate some new fun activities such as cardio bag boxing, trampoline workouts, and tabata cycling. This year I want to run a 5K, 10K, & half-marathon (and maybe a marathon if my doctor approves).

Quality & Excellence in Work and Life

I strive to do the best I can in all areas of my life which comes with challenges as I continually push out of my comfort zone. I want to lead change and motivate others to work together to achieve beneficial organizational goals. I want to create new processes to further enhance the way social media are utilized within our organization. I will continue to build my experience & expertise around how social media make a fundamental impact on organizations’ brand, customers, & bottom line. I will be vulnerable and understand that large accomplishments do not happen without a great team working together.

Invest in Self-Improvement and Knowledge Acquisition

I will continue to read numerous articles (books & magazines), and listen to different podcasts aimed towards self-improvement in particular areas surrounding my professional and personal life. Some of my favorite magazines include Popular Science, Fast Company, Inc., Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Time, and Consumer Reports. This year, however, I also want to increase my knowledge of computer science & experience with cyber-security through a local educational charity called Cyber Discovery Group.

Give Back

I want to volunteer throughout the year to make an impact on people’s lives and the environment. I’ve considered different ideas, such as reading with children at a local school, time with elderly at nursing homes, delivering flowers to patients’ rooms at a local hospital, providing knowledge around social media marketing to a local small business, or spending time to clean up a school or park of trash & litter (decisions, decisions). While I don’t have a lot of spare time, I do feel it’s important to give back to the community in whatever way possible, even if it’s only a few hours a month on a weekend.

Here’s to 2016! I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts and/or suggestions.

It’s time to enjoy the journey.

How To Create Your Own Personalized Greeting Card

By Phylicia Teymer

It’s the holiday season! The time of year where you may be looking forward to what’s in your mailbox (not bills, or junk mail). It’s typically a great experience when you discover a special holiday card handmade just for you. It definitely is for me! I’d like to share how you can make your very own personalized greeting card to bring a smile upon your friends’ and family’s faces this year.

 What you will need:

  • Scissors (Creative Edge Scissors & Precision Cutter optional)
  • 4 contrasting pieces of paper/cardstock (typically to fit season/occasion – Cut the pieces of paper to the following dimensions: 6in x 5in / 5in x 4 in / 4.5in x 3.5in / 3.5in x 2.5in)
  • Message Stamps (Choose a few to match occasion)
  • Crafter’s Tape
  • Ink Pad (Black/Your Preference)
  • Add-ons (Bows/Flowers/Gems/Your choice)
  • Envelope

Watch my How To Video: 

  1. Cut cardstock to appropriate dimensions.
  2. Apply crafter’s tape to back of cardstock & adhere together
  3. Apply stamps to front of card.
  4. Include any additional add-ons (use crafter’s tape, if necessary)
  5. If you have an envelope, you may apply stamps to front.
  6. Add address, postage stamp, and MAIL!

New Apps Bridge Consumers and Brands, Disrupt Business Models

By Phylicia Teymer

Many of us have heard about numerous companies with new and disruptive business models which are taking down large competitors, one-by-one. Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider, yet owns no real estate.1 Uber is the world’s largest taxi company, yet owns no vehicles.1 I’ve recently discovered a new mobile app, Adictik, (@adictikworld) which allows brand fans to create their own personal ads using companies’ logos for sharing. The concept of this app is huge! It’s yet another business model and concept which will change an industry: The advertising industry. It could potentially reduce the need for brands to continuously use an advertising agency, by harnessing what makes businesses thrive, it’s customers. 

Prior to covering why Adictik is an app concept to take note of, let’s review what many of these new business models have in common.

  • They directly connect a company to its consumers, where the consumers are also the suppliers. 
    • Uber – I love using it when traveling! It allows you to drive and/or request transportation to wherever you may want to go. It provides the communication application to connect the drivers to the riders. Why should Uber own cars, when the consumer can provide a car, get paid, and also pay for its insurance? The old business model (traditional taxis) help drive its business because Uber is typically cheaper, and you don’t have to call or go through middle management to get a driver. You, as the consumer, have a sense of control as you can request Uber when you need to at the click of a button. You, as a rider, even have driver info, stats, reviews, and route within reach.
  • A mobile application is the key platform for connecting with and meeting their consumers’ needs. 
    • Airbnb allows you to put your home & or bedrooms up for rent (additional income opportunity), and it also connects you, via its mobile app, to help you find short-term rentals near you. Why go to an overpriced hotel, when you can find someone nearby sharing their space. I’ve personally seen this living in Augusta, GA, where many people here rent their homes during “the large golfing event (wink)” using Airbnb. Some even have clauses in long-term rental agreements which say that tenants must move out for a week or two during the golfing event, in which they move others in for a much higher rate during that period. That’s a different example of disruptive. 
  • Customer reviews provide an additional aspect to decision making, added sense of security. 
    • Whether you’re requesting a driver, or deciding to stay in a stranger’s home, you value others’ input. New apps understand the value of a customer reviews, and have incorporated them within their apps. They help provide you with more information so you can make an informed decision and feel a bit more safer and satisfied with your choice.

With those key business commonalities mentioned, what is it about Adictik that has me so excited? It’s an app that shows me that companies VALUE their best brand advocates, their customers (YOU and ME)! Each of us have those brands that we may LOVE. This app allows you to use your picture with approved company logos of your choice! This is a symbiotic business relationship opportunity. Without customers, businesses would fail to exist. You and I, as customers, drive the business. Why wouldn’t brands leverage their biggest advertisers – their customers? Adictik recognizes this, and makes it easier for you, the brand fan, to show your love, while the brand benefits from your enthusiasm.

Made using Adictik in one of my favorite clothing brands, Desigual.

Made using Adictik in one of my favorite clothing brands, Desigual. Thanks for the RT, @Desigual_USA!

How could this change the advertising industry?

  • Low-cost promotion – A company can provide its logo to the app, Adictik, and let your customers’ imaginations come to life. As a company, you’ll get nearly free “earned” advertising from enthusiastic customers sharing their photos with your logo. You can then choose from those photos (& tweets/posts), which ones you may want to use to further promote your brand. Of course, you may have to deal with the occasional risk of someone posting a “bad” photo w/ company logo on it, yet who wants to go through the hassle of being personally sued?
  • Organically increase brand awareness – When you, as a company, allow an easy way for customers to advocate and share their excitement for your brand with their networks – It increases brand awareness in ways that you can’t “buy”.
  • Discovery – Through customers sharing their personal photo ads, as a company, you can learn more about who your customer is. Do you notice a diverse audience, a particular environment, or any continual identifiers? It’s a great way to explore who your current audience is.

These are only a few ways that the concept of this app, Adictik, will change advertising as we know it today. There may be enhancements to the app as it currently stands, but it’s definitely a great step in the direction towards bridging advocacy and personalization through businesses and their consumers.

Low Cost, Organic Brand Awareness, Discovery

1 Goodwin, Tom. “The Battle for Customer Interface.” TechCrunch. 3 March 2015. 4 November 2015. http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/03/in-the-age-of-disintermediation-the-battle-is-all-for-the-customer-interface/