“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” – Steve Ballmer.
The former Microsoft CEO may struggle to live down this 2007 statement but it does demonstrate how quickly disruptive technology can redefine the business landscape. If the head of a tech giant can be blindsided like that, how are smaller Irish firms meant to keep up in this fast-moving, digital age?
One new trend that looks set to redefine the way that Irish SMEs do business is the rise of smart business technology.
The benefits of adopting smart technology in the workplace are obvious. It can increase efficiency, reduce costs, streamline processes, reduce energy consumption and allow you to make data-driven, strategic decisions. The only surprise is how easy it now is to turn your business into a smart business.
One company that is leading the charge for smart business technology on these shores is Magnet Networks, which has just introduced the first integrated, smart system for businesses in Ireland. This allows Irish SMEs to control all aspects of their business premises remotely from a single mobile app.
Smart Business by Magnet Networks allows business owners to use features like intelligent intrusion control, video surveillance and energy management from anywhere in the world.
Magnet Networks’ Managing Director, Stephen Brewer, says that this new offering represents the next stage of evolution for Irish SMEs.
“Connectivity is the cornerstone of everything that we do,” Mr Brewer explains. “Every single business is improving their connectivity and relying on connectivity to give them more for their business. What Smart Business represents is an added layer that makes their connectivity work harder for them.”
Magnet Networks have partnered with the Cork-based company, Smartzone, to bring Alarm.com’s technology to the Irish market for the first time. Alarm.com are a pioneering company in the smart technology sector, servicing over five million homes and businesses worldwide.
That partnership has given Magnet Networks access to Alarm.com’s innovative systems and devices, but also allowed them to leverage the invaluable experience gained from operating in the smart technology sector for almost 20 years.
One of the main benefits of Smart Business by Magnet Networks is that it is a one-stop solution, with a single app and a single vendor providing all your smart tech solutions. You can tailor your smart business package to your needs, but how can smart tech benefit your business?
Video surveillance allows you to access live cameras remotely, identify people in the vicinity of your building, or sound an alert to deter intruders. It makes it easy to watch video streams in real time or review recorded footage from the app.
Taking smart security to the next level, intelligent intrusion detection allows you to add sensors to doors or perimeters within your business. This alerts business owners if a building or area is accessed outside of normal working hours or by an unauthorised person. It can also measure football in a business, which helps you to optimise staffing schedules or work rosters for retail staff.
Access control can record anyone who enters your building and log the entry times, but business owners can also put their building into lockdown at set times.
Energy management is a huge thing for businesses, not just from an environmental point of view but also from a cost-saving perspective. It allows you to set lights to automatically turn off when a room is not in use, schedule the power to go off at a set time, or remotely turn off non-essential lights or power.
Smart tech can also aid with stock control, helping you to manage your inventory and replenish stocks in a timely manner. In retail environments, fridges with integrated thermostats can be monitored to ensure that optimum temperatures are maintained or to alert the owner if there are any unwanted fluctuations.
Making the change to smart business doesn’t require a major disruption or extensive changes to your premises. Technology now makes it easier than ever to update your existing infrastructure.
“We can retrofit smart technology into any Irish business,” adds Mr Brewer.
“It uses existing connectivity and the devices are retrofitted to where you need them in your business. The one thing about this is that it is simple to do and it’s set up within hours. The longest we would need to be on site is about four hours, and that’s for a full solution.”
The cost of making the change is also less than you might expect.
“There are grants available and, if a business is eligible for a grant, we’d encourage clients to apply for that. There’s a €250 up-front cost and then you have a monthly maintenance cost that starts at €29.99 per month.”
Turning your business into a smart business can start with a simple phone call to Magnet Networks. Its specialist consultants can then go out and assess your site, advise what tech you need to implement your business goals and suggest a bespoke package that is specially tailored for you.
To find out whether your company could benefit from Smart Business by Magnet Networks, go to the Magnet Networks website.