A hi-tech company enabling office computing and productivity solutions for SME clients wanted to create a new generation of reference solutions for the small and medium office.
Create a 360 digital solution enabling new use cases with a sharply defined user experience.
With many new technologies such as biometrics, VOIP and Remote Support were shaping a new generation of office work environments, making the current offerings woefully insufficient and non-competitive. However, decisions to buy or replace office productivity products are notoriously driven by cost. Any new solution needed to clearly demonstrate significant value-add to justify the purchase. In other words, the pudding had to be the proof.
The solution space given the constraints were to:
- Make minor improvements to aesthetics
- Remove some legacy technologies to manage cost or
- Make incremental improvements to performance.
THE WAY FORWARD
During the beginning of the project, the most important decision was to start from the user rather than the purchasing manager. Once the end user came into focus, it set a clear vision and direction for the product. It became clear that new business models could be enabled with new technologies such as VOIP and remote support, both for the purchaser and the channel. Now that the central aspect of the strategy, a partnership with industrial design firm was put in place. With this came rapid prototyping capability.
A significant amount of work was done to gather direct user feedback to help create use cases for small and medium offices and user personas right at the beginning to ensure the end user the target. The new product experience had to be seamless, cater to existing behaviours of a typical office user and had to avoid any steep learning curves. Based on user research done at the beginning of the project, a range of product concepts were designed. Using industrial design capabilities, select product concepts were converted into prototypes to gather further user feedback and hone in on the perfect offering. All elements of the total product offering ranging from the industrial design, aesthetics, branding and post-sales support were addressed. The reference product achieved the perfect balance of novelty and familiarity, leading to very innovative product.
The project outcome not only enabled the company to showcase new technologies in a traditional market, but also drove a new generation of business models. Over the following year, this work led to establishment of an entirely new line or profits for the company and its channel partners
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