DMI Digital Leader — Bryan Hardman, Herschend Family Entertainment

Digital Leader -- Bryan Hardman, Herschend Family Entertainment

Mobilizing the Guest Experience at our Nation’s Top Theme Parks and Attractions

Tell us about Herschend Family Entertainment.

Herschend Family Entertainment, based in Atlanta, operates theme parks and attractions around the country including Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, and Dollywood in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. We’re considered the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. Our team of more than 10,000 employees operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties spanning 23 locations in six states. We’re proud to be named one of the 2020 top places to work in Atlanta by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

What prompted you to select DMI as a mobility solutions partner?

DMI came highly recommended from another theme park for mobile app development. Though we had been using off-the-shelf mobile app technology for several years, in 2017 it became apparent we needed to develop features unique to our properties. We wanted to develop our own apps as opposed to custom development within the SaaS product we were using. DMI has now successfully built iOS and Android apps for Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, as well as the Harlem Globetrotters which our company acquired in 2013.

How have the apps worked and describe their most valuable features?

The apps have been extremely well received and we’ve continued to invest and enhance them every year. Through this project we’ve been able to successfully deliver mobile features to our guests that include wayfinding, live show schedules and ride wait times. We also now have the ability to send messages, promotions and real-time safety information in case of severe weather causing certain attractions to have to close.

 

Why do kids particularly enjoy the Harlem Globetrotters app?

The Harlem Globetrotters app is innovative and indeed a fan favorite. Fans can learn about the players, find stats, game day information and even transform themselves into a Globetrotter with help from augmented reality! Photo filters transform guests into basketball stars and fans can test their skills in a basketball shooting challenge. The apps deliver alerts about special promotions and links for fans to purchase Globetrotters gear including player jerseys, basketballs and novelty items.

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

Our ultimate goals is to roll out the same mobile app platform that is now in our two largest properties to all of our properties including our smaller amusement parks, aquariums and water parks. Additionally, the Dollywood app currently serves the theme park. We’d like it to eventually serve the entire Dollywood brand experience including the resort, waterpark and dining destinations so all are connected.

Describe your overall experience partnering with DMI.

Working with DMI has been great. In fact, we would rank DMI among our very best partners. From the account side, to project management side to the development side, it’s been stellar. The team gets it. Over the years we’ve worked with a lot of vendors. Without exception, DMI is fantastic to work with. They anticipate our needs, keep it simple and come up with great ideas!

Improve Health Outcomes Through Digital Patient Engagement

It is widely accepted that patient engagement is an important focus for our NHS. It is critical to achieve better health outcomes for patients. Studies suggest that patients who are well-informed, educated about their condition, and involved in their healthcare decisions not only have greater satisfaction of care, but also have better outcomes. The benefits lead to healthier lifestyle habits and adherence to treatment plans. Patients who are active participants in their own health care have fewer unplanned hospital readmissions, medical errors, and delays in care.

COVID-19 has shown the importance of NHS services being able to engage patients remotely, but has also highlighted the inadequacies of some virtual channels for engaging patients, including:

  • Misinformation and confusing guidance.
  • Patients being directed to different government websites, which are often difficult to navigate, and sometimes have conflicting information.
  • 111 call centres unable to cope to with the peaks in call volumes.
  • Virtual channels are often inaccessible to elderly and vulnerable patients.

That said, the current trend for non-physical engagement is here to stay beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online survey posted between March and April targeted at healthcare professionals reported a change in routine hospital care to virtual communication. Diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension were the most impacted conditions due to reduction in access to care. 80% reported the mental health of their patients worsened during Coronavirus.

It is important routine care continues despite the pandemic, to avoid a rise in non-COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. But with the uncertainty of identifying regional spikes and lockdowns being implemented, the ability for local health systems to plan and respond to routine care will lead to more unpredictable peaks in health services when lockdowns are eased.

Digital technologies can help the NHS in how to deal with this unpredictable pent up demand. Some solutions include:

  1. Virtual Data Assistants – A chatbot that patients use to ask questions about NHS information. In Scotland, NHS 24 launched a chatbot to give the public accurate and up-to-date facts about Covid-19 as well as help and support them if they have symptoms or need specific services such as mental health support. The bot responded to more than 40,000 queries in its first 30 days, using clinically approved information from NHS Scotland.
  2. Patient-centric websites – A responsive website leads to a better user experience. Most modern health information websites, such as the NHS website, has a wealth of data. Information about local services, symptom checkers and living well suggestions. Users searching for information want to see what information is available and be able to explore the relevant publications quickly and easily.

The ability to analyse the patient experience and data they are searching for will support the NHS in having access to additional insights that will enable better care planning and anticipate regional peaks in routine care for chronic or mental health conditions.

  1. Virtual appointments – These allow for remote video consultations between clinician and patients. We have seen a significant increase in recent months in the use of virtual consultations for routine care appointments, as well as for counselling and mental health consultations. They have proved to be an effective medium for supporting independence and self-confidence among young people aged 12–18 years.

In a 15-minute virtual appointment once a week, nurses supported participating patients to improve their continence and self-care. Participants reported that they felt more confident talking about personal issues online rather than face-to-face. They also valued the privacy that online consultations allowed feeling more confident, speaking to a nurse on their own about personal concerns, without the need of a parent being present.

Converging Data and User Experience

At DMI, we believe that at the centre of every successful technology product is a converged data and user experience strategy. This means that data is captured, exposed, and leveraged where relevant to meet the patients’ needs. When user experience research and design is incorporated into technology, innovative ideas come to light. Understanding user needs and journeys at a more fundamental level allow for new opportunities and ideas to emerge.

If you would like to know how DMI can support your digital health patient engagement please contact the healthcare team at [email protected].

-Assad Tabet, senior client partner 

DMI Digital Leader — Matias Páez Molina, Devgurus

Digital Leaders Header - Matias

Welcoming devgurus to the DMI Global Team

DMI is excited about the acquisition of devgurus. What’s been the response from your team?

We’re thrilled to support DMI’s Commerce Group in becoming being a predominate provider of commercetools solutions as a result of this acquisition. We look forward to helping DMI’s customers achieve brand value by creating more sophisticated shopping experiences across new channels including apps, video and social media. From a cultural perspective, the union of DMI and devgurus just makes sense. Both companies share a passion for cutting-edge technologies and superior customer service. It was our intention to join forces with an established global leader in digital transformation and we’ve certainly found that in DMI.

How would you describe devgurus?

Devgurus is a services company that empowers our customers across the globe with modern technologies that form the building blocks of the new digital commerce age. Founded in 2015, we help retailers and manufacturers meet their rapidly shifting ecommerce needs across all touchpoints, including mobile, online, IoT, kiosk and in-store to ultimately create uniform and user-friendly shopping experiences. Our developers are experts in design architecture and digital experiences in the cloud.

How has Covid-19 accelerated change within ecommerce?

As a result of the pandemic, many businesses are experiencing surges in their online sales, thus expediting the already existing widespread disruption within the ecommerce industry. According to a study from Digital Commerce 360, only 36% of retailers are taking a “wait-and-see” approach to COVID-19, while the rest are being proactive. We think a proactive approach is smart. Now is the time for companies to “future-proof” their ecommerce architecture to create optimal customer experiences.

How does commercetools help retailers quickly become more responsive to their customers across all channels?

Commercetools is widely considered the world’s most flexible microservices-based platform. It empowers enterprises to connect to their back-end systems such as CRM, ERP and OMS and integrate complex product catalogues, thus alleviating common retail pain points including time-to-market delays, product data importing challenges and high-demand scalability. Commercetools’ API-based enterprise platform enables retailers and brands launch enterprise commerce initiatives in weeks rather than months.

Tell us about the recent recognition from industry analysts.

For us, it came as no surprise that commercetools was recognized as a Leader in both the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce and the 2020 B2C Commerce Suites Forrester Wave™. This publicity, together with the platform’s existing achievements, have been instrumental in introducing commercetools to new customers and ultimately helping these organizations tap into new revenue streams. Our team of developers looks forward to helping DMI’s customers also achieve significant digital commerce ROI.

Top 4 Benefits of DMI’s Workplace Shield – Back to Work Safely

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and the way we work for the foreseeable future. Many workplaces and employees are uncertain about going back to work, how to enforce social distancing rules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and how to keep workplaces clean and safe.

Enter DMI’s Workplace Shield. This secure mobile application was developed to address multiple risks and challenges associated with the workplace in this uncertain time by providing social distancing monitoring, contact tracing and room sanitization checklist reporting.

Here are four benefits of the new solution:

No new investment in hardware. Workplace Shield provides mobile device monitoring that helps ensure six feet of social distancing between individuals in any workplace, as recommended by the CDC. The DMI solution is unique in that, unlike other solutions, an alert generates even if the person entering the six-foot safety zone is not using DMI’s application. However, what’s not unique is the hardware it runs on. Nearly everyone has a mobile device these days, so no new investment is required on the part of the employee or individual.

Lightweight, but powerful, app. Workplace Shield has a number of solutions and features that make it robust but easy to use. For example, the Workplace Sanitization Reporting Solution empowers enterprises with a mobile checklist that delivers visibility into the daily status of workplace cleaning protocols. The digital checklist has an easy-to-configure dashboard allowing for management visibility into overall workplace sanitization readiness. The dashboard delivers real-time reports on the rooms and areas confirmed to have been cleaned, alerts for rooms that still need to be cleaned, as well as reporting capabilities that deliver an historical view of workplace cleaning protocols over periods of time.

Customers have visibility into protocols too. In addition to the digital checklists, all the checklists are customizable and printable. That offers a level of comfort for customers who can see the checklist if workplaces post it at the entrance or other visible areas.

The 30,000-foot-view. DMI’s solution also delivers contact tracing for all employee-to-employee on-site interactions in the event of a of COVID-19 diagnosis. DMI’s solution is fully anonymous, with no information or location data stored centrally or with a third-party supplier. But, leadership at a higher level is able to see an overview of the organization on the dashboard and pinpoint any COVID-19 hotspots or areas that need additional cleaning protocols.

Overall, DMI’s Workplace Shield is a robust solution during the COVID-19 pandemic that can help  employers, employees, and customers feel safer about an environment and cleaning protocols that are in place.

Varun Dogra, DMI’s Chief Technology Officer 

DMI Digital Leader — Laura Schmidt, eCare21

Digital Leader Award- Laura Schmidt

Accelerating Patient-First Mobile Telehealth Services

DMI is excited to be an eCare21 partner. Describe your company’s innovative telehealth services.

The U.S. healthcare system faces complex clinical and financial challenges, which have only been heightened due to Covid-19. Studies show telehealth solutions reduce patient risk in contracting Covid-19, and at the same time, reduce patient hospitalizations from other chronic conditions. eCare21 is proud to offer a secure, patient-centered mobile telehealth platform that empowers virtual healthcare delivery across the continuum of care. Our solution facilitates proactive patient engagement and has been recognized a top caregiving industry app. What’s more, our platform generates fully-compliant clinical documentation for insured patients helping to ensure medical providers receive reimbursement for the patient care they deliver remotely.

Tell us about your clinical background and role at eCare21.

My background is in nephrology focusing on kidney health and disease prevention. I served for over 20 years as a staff nurse, clinical manager and director of education. Currently, as eCare21’s Vice President of Clinical Services, I’m able to leverage my medical background working directly with our clients and their staff to develop and deploy these cutting-edge technologies and obtain customer feedback. I’m also excited to soon earning my Doctorate in Public Health, with my dissertation on digital health. It’s an interesting and rewarding space to be in and a field I would have never envisioned being involved with 10 years ago!

What patient conditions are best suited for being managed remotely?

Chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and asthma require round-the-clock patient data monitoring. Tracking these chronic populations remotely in real-time supports medical care providers in achieving optimal outcomes. Remote Patient Monitoring also empowers clinical staff at hospitals, medical centers and doctors’ offices to conduct timely interventions to prevent complications and hospital admissions before it’s too late.

How do eCare21’s partners work together to facilitate telehealth?

The eCare21 Virtual Care Solution, powered by Dell Technologies, is a low-cost, off-the-shelf smart device solution that delivers real-time Remote Patient Monitoring and telehealth capabilities. Specifically, the solution monitors glucose levels, blood pressure, physical activity, medication adherence, weight ranges, sleep stages and other key health indicators. Patient health information is stored securely in the cloud and is made available to authorized stakeholders, including clinicians and designated family members, regardless of location. We’re also excited to partner with DMI to create a procurement portal for our customers to select their required technology configuration. DMI will also provide Managed Mobility Services (MMS) including device shipping to health care providers, asset tracking and logistics. DMI’s status as a seven-time MMS Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader is a key reason we selected your company as a valued partner.

 What does the future hold for telehealth?

Whether healthcare organizations are ready or not, the era of virtual care has arrived with telehealth at the forefront. The requirement for social distancing has fundamentally impacted the way hospitals and medical practices manage patient care. Even providers who previously did not offer telehealth services are now gearing up to implement the technology in some form, a move that is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Sweeping CMS regulatory changes declaring that providers can now bill for telehealth visits at the same rate as in-person visits will only increase telehealth adoption exponentially.

DMI Digital Leader — Adrien Levinger, The Webster

Optimizing the Omni-Channel Shopping Experience for a Luxury Fashion House

Tell us about The Webster brand.

The Webster is a luxury multi-brand fashion house that operates eight physical U.S. boutiques in South Beach, Bal Harbour, Houston, Costa Mesa, New York City, Los Angeles, Montecito, an outlet at Sawgrass Mills and online store.  Each boutique has its own unique vibe and energy. Brands within our boutiques are merchandised as if customers have entered a dream closet. Our creative curation is what we are most proud of, positioning heritage brands with emerging brands together by color and emotion. It is the style of merchandising that sets us apart, as it is our unique interpretation of the season’s best pieces instead of the traditional mono-brand retail style.

Could you share more about the brand’s fascinating history?

Absolutely, Laure Heriard Dubreuil opened The Webster’s flagship location in 2009 on Collins Avenue in South Beach, Miami at what was the historical The Webster Hotel. The 20,000 square-foot Art Deco building was built in 1939 by architect Henry Hohauser. Dubreuil, who grew up in Paris and worked as a top merchandiser for Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent before founding The Webster, kept the name but reimagined the three-story interior as a women’s and men’s luxury retailer designed with intimacy to resemble a residential space.

Describe your role with The Webster.

As the Webster’s eCommerce Director, I manage all aspects of our online retail business including content strategy and development, promotional campaigns, online marketing, website design, web analytics and web technologies. My background is in engineering and IT services but curiously my career took a brief detour when I worked for a time as a fashion photographer. I feel that this experience positively informed my career trajectory, as I probably have a more sensitive eye aesthetically than a typical engineer.

What sort of work has DMI been doing with The Webster?

DMI is supporting us with enhancements to our User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) for the purpose of optimizing our conversion rate. DMI first conducted an audit of our current website, identified friction points and worked diligently to mitigate each friction point one-by-one. The team also reworked the navigation in the menu, particularly on our mobile site, and worked on the customer return experience as well as the mini-cart. Considering we just began collaborating with DMI last December, I feel a great deal has been accomplished in a short amount of time which I truly appreciate.

What is it like to collaborate with the DMI team?

It’s been fantastic. I really like the DMI spirit. The team is always very responsive and I receive excellent input and advice. Pablo Pazmino is excellent at his job. Since we embarked on this project, the whole world has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and shopping in our physical locations is limited. Fortunately, The Webster’s eCommerce is now is much better than it used to be. I like to think the work we did with DMI contributed to these positive changes.

Adapting to Succeed in the Low-Touch Economy

The global pandemic has changed the way we work, socialize, and do business—and some of those changes are here to stay. Consumers want more convenient ways to accomplish everyday tasks, and the winners in this new low-touch economy will be the companies that adapt quickly.

At DMI, we have helped clients across industries transform aspects of their business to meet the growing demand for added convenience. Here are some of the ways we’ve helped organizations adapt:

HEALTHCARE

The fully-native, custom-designed mobile app we created for a hospital network enables providers to deliver telemedicine care and gives patients a single, user-friendly interface for appointment scheduling, viewing results, ER visit check-in, bill pay, and more. DMI’s mobile managed services, which recently surpassed IBM to be ranked #1 in the world by Gartner, provides durable hardware and seamless integration into the hospital network’s existing ecosystem.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

We worked with an event management company to create virtual experiences for an annual international art fair, which was canceled due to the pandemic. The robust web and mobile experiences mimicked the in-person experience of visiting art galleries, attending VIP and public shows, and connecting with gallery staff to purchase works of art. This virtual art fair had phenomenal participation, with attendees from around the world enjoying a totally new way to experience art.

TRAVEL

For a major international airport, we created a mobile app to enhance the passenger journey. Before arrival, the app provides details on ground transportation, weather, and flight status. At the airport, users receive flight status updates and can access useful information like the distance to their departure gate, baggage claim details, and nearby shopping and dining options. They can also pre-order food from restaurants, saving time and allowing for increased social distancing. Using iBeacon technology throughout the airport, the app delivers personalized assistance with wayfinding, plus location-based offers.

WELLNESS

We built a platform that enables leading gym chains to provide members with in-home fitness experiences, from live-streaming and on-demand classes to personal progress tracking. The platform, which can be seamlessly integrated into existing gym management systems, allows for content delivery over multiple channels—mobile apps, web, and native software development kits. In addition to keeping current members engaged remotely, it allows gyms to provide flexible, a la carte offerings.

CONSUMER PACKAGED GOODS

To make grocery shopping more efficient and personalized, we created a mobile app that lets users enter a shopping list and supermarket location and then rearranges the items into the order in which they’re displayed in that store. Shoppers receive personalized offers and can take advantage of touchless checkout. Retailers can leverage customer data to send more relevant, contextual offers in the future. This award-winning solution has led to larger purchases, greater loyalty, reduced overhead costs, and increased staff efficiency and customer satisfaction.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Within our own company, we created an employee-centric HR tool for keeping a remote workforce engaged. This mobile app enables remote performance reviews, including self-evaluations, manager and peer feedback, and individual goal-setting. Results have been very positive, with increasing employee satisfaction and improved team collaboration.

 

Transformation can be challenging, but it’s vital for long-term success—embracing change pays off in the end. As consumer demand shifts in the emerging low-touch economy, DMI is ready to help organizations prepare and adapt.

-Milan Kmezic, vice president, mobile strategy 

4 Reasons Why Medical Providers Should Embrace Digital-Physical Convergence

Healthcare companies have almost limitless opportunities to use digital tools to improve business outcomes. But it’s all beside the point if these tools fail to improve the lives of doctors and patients.

That’s why DMI recommends digital-physical convergence — using human-centered strategies to deploy digital technologies where they do the most good in the real world. This is especially important in the realm of medicine, where doctors face unique career pressures and patients crave more convenience and improved care.

These for points underscore why medical providers need to converge digital technologies with the lived experience of patients and clinicians.

Healthcare Markets are Getting More Competitive

Human populations grow slowly — if at all — in many communities. Growing numbers of physicians are reaching retirement age and multiple studies have forecast massive shortages of doctors in the coming decade. Today’s medical schools barely keep up with current demand.

Meanwhile, healthcare companies are expanding their presence in more communities. These trends have more medical providers vying for a finite pool of patients and doctors. Rising competition obliges providers to find digital technologies that help them attract and retain physicians and patients.

Doctors are Getting Fed Up and Burned Out

Multiple surveys and studies have noted widespread evidence of burnout among physicians, who feel overstressed by paperwork, bureaucracy, computerization and other aggravations that distract them from patient care. One survey noted that nearly one-half of doctors would not recommend the profession to young people.

These data suggest healthcare companies should pay more attention to the wellbeing of their physicians — or face losing them to the competition. That means creating a deft, user-centered technology strategy that focuses on making it easier for them to do everyday tasks like sharing medical records and entering data into EHR systems. Companies need to rationalize their application portfolios and simplify the experience of using medical technologies.

Patients Want a More User-Friendly Experience

Smartphones and mobile apps have become so ubiquitous that patients expect more mobile options in their interactions with doctors and medical providers. At the same time, increasingly busy lifestyles have patients seeking medical care when it’s more convenient to them — before and after the typical 8-to-5 clinical hours.

These trends underscore the consumerization of healthcare. Patients want the same kind of service they get in other sectors of the economy. Medical providers need to provide more telehealth options and to develop intuitive, easy-to-use apps that streamline their interactions with patients.

Automation and Intelligence Make Convergence Inevitable

Machine learning algorithms can help medical providers develop voice interfaces that add vocal commands to their mobile apps. Pattern-matching algorithms make it easier to analyze X-rays and other medical imagery. Robotic process automation can speed up data entry while intelligent process automation can add complex business logic to the apps doctors and patients depend upon.

The opportunities are so immense that all medical providers will feel the pressure to embrace these tools. Some will do better than others.

At DMI, we believe success requires converging next-gen technologies with the everyday lives of doctors and patients. Technology solutions must have an intense focus on the user experience — anticipating people’s needs and using their feedback to build responsive, easy-to-use tools that remove obstacles and improve their wellbeing.

The Right Partner for Digital-Physical Convergence

DMI’s experts in digital strategy, system design and user experience have developed a sophisticated framework for helping medical providers converge the digital and the physical. This convergence framework ensures that our technology solutions address the real-life needs of the people they serve.

We use Agile and DevOps methodologies to accelerate time-to-value and ensure that user feedback drives each iteration of the software release cycle. And our business consultants ensure that everything we do aligns with clients’ precise business requirements.

Healthcare companies can either elevate the wellbeing of patients and clinicians or cede market share to competitors who do it better. We give our clients the best tools to make that happen.

-Andrew Brockett, senior director, digital technology office

Don’t Let Design Patterns and Dependencies Upend Your Shift to Cloud Commerce

Decisions about design patterns and dependencies can have a profound impact on the success of your move to cloud commerce.

That’s because the inherent flexibility of cloud commerce enables rapid iterations on tight timelines. This lets you disrupt your market with new services or quickly adapt to new competitive challenges and changing marketplace realities — but to accomplish this, you need to manage dependent systems and applications very tightly.

Reaping these advantages requires a careful balance of creativity and consistency in commerce system design and dependency management. The design must account for dependencies such as third-party apps and data sources that need to come together to deliver an engaging, cohesive customer experience.

Here’s why you don’t want to overlook these often-overlooked variables in your journey to cloud commerce:

Standard Patterns Enable Fast, Nimble Designs  

When you’re building a cloud commerce platform, your development teams must decide how to pull together all the platform’s components, such as APIs, microservices and SaaS tools. It’s not easy because you have so many options to choose from. This quandary extends to system design patterns — the processes your system architects and coders follow when pulling platform components together.

Meanwhile, your teams will build quickly in time frames as short as two weeks. Achieving speed and flexibility requires defining standard, consistent design patterns, aligning your teams with them and making a commitment to automated testing. That, in turn, enables you to build a cohesive, well-designed cloud commerce system and deploy predictable releases. By contrast, leaving design patterns up to individual teams and coders tempts each one to choose a different pattern, which will yield a confusing, convoluted cloud solution.

This is all a part of assessing your current application landscape and choosing a cloud architecture that fits best with your assessment.

Dependencies Shouldn’t Stall Your Progress

Cloud commerce leans heavily on third-party applications and data sources that must be coordinated systematically. Thus, as you develop your system you need to define dependencies up-front and establish processes that are integrated into the structure of your cloud commerce project and migration.

Imagine, for example, that you’re integrating a third-party content management system like Joomla and a popular customer-relationship-management service like Salesforce. These dependencies are sophisticated pieces of software whose unique quirks have to be accommodated in your system design, while all changes must be coordinated across teams.

You’re not in full control of your fate in a cloud commerce environment. Proper planning on dependencies and dependency management is fundamental to addressing this new reality.

A Savvy Partner for Cloud Commerce Development

Mastering the intricacies of cloud commerce requires intense attention to detail in areas like design patterns and dependencies. Success lies in knowing where to focus that attention. Effective dependency management and cross-team coordination can make or break a project of this nature.

At DMI, we’ve helped a diverse range of retailers navigate the twists and turns of online commerce and implement modern technologies that help them stay competitive. Our mastery of customer experience design helps them craft experiences that build strong bonds with buyers.

Our experts guide clients through the entire commerce migration process, from strategy to integration to continuous iteration. These are the skills and experience that will help commerce operations thrive in the 2020s.

Andrew Powers, senior vice president, solutions delivery, digital commerce

Enabling Virtual Clinical Trials

Though all global industries are facing new pressures in light of COVID-19, the pharma and biotech sectors are feeling the pressure acutely — especially in the clinical trial space. For example, according to the WCG COVID-19 Trial Tracker, even with more recent reopening of sites in certain geographies, only 25% are currently open for enrolling patients.

The industry has been slowly moving toward virtual (or remote or decentralized) trials in the last few years. Actually, that is understated when you consider that Pfizer first conducted a remote clinical trial in 2011. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a global health emergency while also facing pressure from the current patent cliff. Together, these forces are driving an accelerated move to virtual trials.

Is now the time for pharma to embraces changes and moves rapidly to virtual trials? What will that take?

Transformation Requires Focus

Yes, pharma can be slow to change, but pharma is also an industry that recognizes the importance of specialization and partners. You can see this mindset playing out now with the emergence in recent years of service providers focused specifically on helping pharma enable virtual trials.

As the COVID-19 epidemic reveals the viability of remote work, the prospect of virtual trials looks more promising. Data collected remotely can be transmitted directly, and securely, to investigators. While this likely will not eliminate the need for occasional in-person intervention or scale, it does minimize the need and moves us closer to meeting the patient where they are. Applications and devices can be custom-configured, and remotely managed, in short time frames to speed things along and help control costs. In other words, remote device and app control and monitoring provide a means to simplify and accelerate trials, despite a trend of increasing complexity in trial design

The advantages of remote clinical trials provide a strong incentive to master these technical and logistical challenges. Most companies in the industry do not have the expertise in-house to launch and manage virtual clinical trials. The question is whether to build this expertise in-house or partner with a specialized service provider.

A Device Management Partner is Essential

Managing the mobile devices required for virtual trials is a difficult challenge that requires specific expertise. Pools of phones, tablets and wearables must be procured, imaged, secured and supported. At study end, those devices can be collected and recycled or wiped and reimaged for another trial if so desired. These logistics capabilities are core to DMI’s continued recognition as an industry leader. More importantly, given the pace of advancement in mobile technology, we can advise you on the best fit for the purpose of your trial design.

As a top mobile device management provider, DMI offers a full lifecycle of services. When trial subjects or investigators have questions, we can provide 24/7 support to make sure they get answers and minimize impacts on the ongoing trial.

Our focus on Agile deployment processes ensures rapid speed-to-value, and our experience in highly regulated industries means we are experts in a full breadth of compliance issues.  For nearly 20 years, DMI has specialized in device management for the federal government and many industries, including pharma. Currently, we have over 2.6 million devices under management globally.

Are you transitioning from discussion to implementation of virtual trials? If so, you will encounter many areas of complexity; device management need not be one of those.  DMI can engage in discussions with you and demonstrate how our expertise can quickly become your advantage.

 — Joel Spittal, industry general manager, life sciences

Restarting Retail: 6 Ways to Secure a Competitive Edge

Restrictions on retailing are starting to ease as government officials and public health experts gain more insight into the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. As retailers prepare for customers to return, they need to start thinking carefully about how to respond most effectively.

Here are six things retailers can do to hit the ground running and maintain their competitive footing:

  1. Accelerate Timelines

Retailers will emerge from lockdowns with constrained cash flow. Customers may still be leery of leaving home or spending freely. These realities might seem to argue for a take-it-slow, wait-and-see approach.

But what if your competitors retool during the economic downturn and come back stronger when conditions improve? The only thing worse than months of economic misery would be to discover the competition has been eating into your market share.

Development strategies like Agile and DevOps give companies wide latitude to implement new technologies with speed and effectiveness, which can bolster competitiveness.

  1. Build Trust

Do all you can to reassure customers, e