May 19, 2020

Google Glass vs. Samsung Gear S: Which Wearable Tech will Sell Best at Christmas in Europe?

Technology
Samsung
Retail
Google
Annifer Jackson
3 min
Google Glass vs. Samsung Gear S: Which Wearable Tech will Sell Best at Christmas in Europe?

Wearable technology is set to become the hot seller in Europe over the Christmas period.

Samsung predicts that in the UK alone, €132.08 million of wearables will be sold over the festive season, a huge increase of 182 percent on 2013. This translates to the sale of more than one million devices in core areas like watches and fitness gadgets.

Germany’s wearable technology market is forecast to be the most valuable in Europe at €465.69 million, with the UK the second highest. These two industry leaders combined with Spain and the Netherlands will generate €1165.43 million in wearables this year.

Broken down into types of wearable technology, the smartwatch is set to vastly outsell smart glasses. Samsung forecasts that around 400,000 smartwatches will be sold across the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, comparing to around 30,000 smart glasses.

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus vs. Apple iPhone 6: Which will Win the Christmas Sales War?

Google Glass certainly will not be judging the success of its European Christmas based on units sold however, for it costs at least four times the amount of a high end Galaxy Gear – roughly €1275 compared to €320 – and for now Google is limiting who can buy it. The new Samsung Gear S will be on sale in the UK on November 7 for £329. 

Samsung predicts revenues of €32.25 million on smart glasses across the four countries in question, with smartwatches expected to bring in €79.96 million.

Fitness and activity trackers are actually expected to be the most popular this Christmas across Europe, which would be good news for the Microsoft Band if it were on sale here.

Microsoft Band, the first device powered by Microsoft Health, helps consumers achieve their wellness goals by tracking heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality. It also provides email previews and calendar alerts.

Across the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, around 1.05 million such health and fitness devices are predicted to be sold, which amounts to €81.41 million in turnover. Microsoft will have to wait until next to tap into this lucrative seasonal burst in spending.

READ MORE: When will the Apple Watch and Microsoft Band be On Sale in Europe?

Samsung is certainly confident of a strong Christmas in wearable sales. Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung UK & Ireland, commented: “The wearables market has exploded over the past 12 to 18 months with some incredibly exciting and innovative products entering the market.

“As the benefits wearable technology can offer become better understood, it is natural that the sales within this sector will grow and we are delighted to see predictions of 121 percent growth and sales reaching €395 million in the UK alone by the end of this year.”

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May 28, 2021

Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work

Automation
UiPath
technology
repetitivetasks
Kate Birch
4 min
As a new report reveals most office workers are crushed by repetitive tasks, we talk the value of automation with UiPath’s MD of Northern Europe, Gavin Mee

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.

  1. 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
  2. Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
  3. Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
  4. 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
  5. 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.”

 

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