Deutsche Telekom and BMW launch in-car high speed internet across Europe
Leading German telecoms and car making companies DT and BMW are joining forces to connect mobile devices and cars.
As of this month, users of BMW ConnectedDrive can now book a Wi-Fi hotspot using Deutsche Telekom's HotSpot Drive portal. The mobile hotspot makes it possible to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the high-speed Internet at the same time, without any need for them to have their own SIM cards.
Once set up, the system lets users surf across borders all over Europe – and even further afield. Depending on their needs, they can choose from among various different data passes and acquire them with ease after completing a one-time login process. The offering was developed in cooperation with BMW ConnectedDrive. The moving Wi-Fi hotspot was first integrated into new BMW 7 series models in October 2015. Other models are soon to follow.
The Wi-Fi hotspot is not the only way Deutsche Telekom is hitting the road at high speed. Starting this summer, Deutsche Telekom will be fitting BMW ConnectedDrive systems with LTE technology. A wide variety of services will be provided in BMW vehicles via ConnectedDrive, making car journeys both safer and more enjoyable. There's now a fast data connection available for the solution in more than 50 countries using mobile telephony.
Reinhard Clemens, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and T-Systems CEO said: "What we're doing is taking the best network and putting it inside the car. Telecommunication and IT are now providing the basic technology for digitisation of the motor vehicle. As an experienced automotive industry partner, we are proud to be part of this cooperative initiative."
For the first time, an eSIM is now permanently embedded into the cars. Once installed, it can be updated from outside over the air whenever required. Deutsche Telekom sees the eSIM card as a substantial opportunity and has been heavily involved for many years in international committees dedicated to developing an open eSIM standard.
eCall now for motorbikes too
An LTE mobile communications module providing the necessary connectivity is now set to make travel on BMW motorbikes even safer. Under the name BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide, the system will in the future make connected services available on the motorbike's central display to optimize the way journey-related data is presented to motorbike riders. The relevant networking technologies will be developed jointly as part of the partnership with Deutsche Telekom.
In combination with a navigation system, it is also possible that the system might give advance warning of any tailbacks hidden behind a curve in the road, for example, or provide other safety-related information. From 2017, BMW motorbikes will be offering an eCall system for the first time. Just as with BMW cars, if a motorbike accident should occur, data relevant to the emergency services are sent to the BMW call center to help them take appropriate action. On top of this, a voice connection with the driver makes it possible to pass on further essential information on the situation immediately.
Read the July EURO 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”