Business Info - issue 151

01732 759725 17 magazine pick up an eraser, it erases and you don’t have to be fooling around in menus or remembering ‘Oh yeah, I have a pen right now. I can’t use my finger’. That kind of goes away. The technology is made to be used by humans in a really natural, interactive way. That is our focus – the user experience.” As an example, she cites SMART Ink software, which gives users the reassurance of knowing that when they open a PDF they will be able to ink into that PDF at the exact zoom level they are working at and that when they change the zoom or when they change applications, the ink adapts accordingly as if it was written with a pen on paper. “Some of the other technologies just haven’t figured out that we’re humans fundamentally and what we're here to do is collaborate; the technology has to enable that,” she says. Another attraction is the commitment SMART makes to ensure its products, designed to be long-lasting, remain at the leading edge of interactive technologies throughout their lifecycle. “At SMART we really invest in keeping what we call equity across different versions.When we build our products, we build them with as much technology as possible. And because they are designed to last longer than a traditional IT cycle, maybe as long as three IT cycles, we know the Android operating system or the specs and speeds will change. So how do we make sure that it can be upgraded as the tech cycles are upgraded?” New versions Earlier this year, SMART introduced brand-new versions of all three of its core product lines: the 6000, its premium line; the MX, its main seller; and the GX, its competitive offering. With screen sizes from 24in to 86in, these series provide a solution for pretty much any corporate collaboration space. According to Pipchuk, certain models have also found favour with home workers, notably the 55-inch MX Pro Series SMART Board and the SMART Podium 524/624 24-inch interactive display, which, when used as a primary monitor in a home office or linked to a large SMART Board, enables instructors and professionals to write notes or draw with a cordless pen onto digital content while presenting. “We have what we call a Podium product, which a lot of designers, a lot of engineers and those who have to write over content really like to use. It’s an at-home podium that professors use a lot in higher education. It has both a video in and a video out so you can bring anything that you want from your computer, and you can add the inking and collaboration and send that video out with those enhancements to large groups. “Then, we have our 55-inch business MX, which we recommend for home offices. They can be on mobile stands so you can move them around and they can really help those who want to work from home and do interesting demos. Because we have so much experience in the education space, we know humans can take in deeper, more complex information when there is a visual aspect. Not just writing on a screen, but actually seeing how someone writes on a screen gives us more fulsome information. An audio-visual experience can really enhance collaboration for those who do teaching from home or who have really complex things that they have to work on with others.” A unified commercial engine In addition to the strengths of its product line and an extensive reseller network, Pipchuk says SMART has been transforming its sales and marketing processes with the introduction of a Unified Commercial Engine. “Data shows us that buyers want fewer and fewer interactions from salespeople and want to do more and more things digitally, so we have made a lot of progress on creating a digital engine that helps a group of buyers – because in enterprise it’s never a single person but a group of people – through the buying process when they want less and less personal interaction. “We have a brand-new organisation, a very specific engineer-to-sales pod, that looks at the entire commercial process and we’re spending a lot of money on systems to help us integrate with resellers of our products so that we have a full loop through the channel and back to the end customer.” In the meantime, says Pipchuk, SMART will continue to leverage its experience in the education sector to help businesses manage the whole ‘back to office’ process. “Organisations are struggling with what that means and how that's going to look. I think we offer a lot of opportunities because we've seen it with education, where we went very quickly from Covid to ‘back to school’ to what hybrid learning is like. Now we’re seeing enterprise going through the same process.” INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS