So Many Screens, So Many Opportunities

| Chris Sakalosky, General Manager, Microsoft Midwest District

Microsoft once had a vision of, “a computer on every desk and in every home.” Today that vision has drastically changed thanks to the wide selection of computing devices we have to choose from. You could be reading this blog post on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop or even browsing on your TV. Even cars are becoming connected mediums for consuming and distributing information. Society has unshackled itself from the desk and businesses have a new challenge – facilitating access across multiple devices while deploying format-agnostic content for customers.

So Many Screens, So Many OpportunitiesLogistics, one of the largest industries here in Chicago, provides perhaps the best look at the potential of multi-screen technology for businesses. Serving as a leader since the 1850s, Chicago ranks second in the country for transportation and warehousing, and continues to test the latest innovations and concepts in the industry. Theories and technology tested here help make today’s logistics industry virtually indistinguishable from just 20 years ago, with multi-screen technology leading the renaissance.

Utilizing a connected network of smartphones, tablets, truck mounted computers, and office workstations, logistics now provides real-time information to warehouse managers, load brokers, semi drivers and recipients. For example, the manager for an assembly line may notice they are running low on a specific component needed in final assembly. Utilizing a tablet, he places an order for additional stock – alerting a load broker. Accessing a real-time database of drivers – showing location and status – the broker assigns the shipment to the appropriate driver. In the truck cab, the driver is alerted to the delivery request through its onboard computer, which also provides GPS-guided directions to the warehouse. Upon loading the truck with the requested components, a warehouse operator scans the order with a smartphone, instantly notifying the assembler of the status and anticipated delivery time.

Just a few years ago, this seamless integration between customer, warehouse and delivery provider would have never been possible. Synchronization across multiple platforms, device types and operators now boosts productivity, reduces inefficiencies, strengthens customer relationships and powers 21st century logistics. Multi-screen technology is the future for more than just transportation, with abundant opportunities in healthcare, finance, business operations and all shapes, sizes and types of industry. To help businesses leverage these opportunities, we’ve committed to building an ecosystem unbound by screen size, operating system or audience. Our newly launched Universal Apps sync across smartphones and PCs, and eventually Xbox, while IT professionals can manage various devices and environments through one simple set of tools as part of our new Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Consumers and businesses alike will benefit from succeeding in this new multi-screen environment. And we’re building the best possible solutions to help you better target consumers and enable worker productivity from anywhere, in any situation. Learn more about how Microsoft Cloud is powering the workforce of today and tomorrow, and stay tuned for future posts on the multi-screen environment. Don’t forget to share your business stories in the comments below.

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