Is Jawbone set to transform after a series of setbacks?
With the rise of fitness apps and trackers, such as Fitbit, Xiaomi, TomTom and Samsung, Jawbone has been left behind in the market, amongst the ongoing battle with Fitbit, claiming the company infringed on its patented technology, with previous employees breaching their contracts through joining Fitbit and revealing information regarding Jawbone’s technology, which has since been copied and developed.
Through a series of setbacks, with poor consumer sales, decreased revenue and negative reviews, Jawbone is aiming to revolutionise its business strategy through the potential market of clinical services and digitisation of services within the health sector, in order to keep up with modern living and services which patients now expect to receive.
Despite Fitbit’s previous attempts to acquire Jawbone, similar to its acquisition of Pebble, the company refuse to become part of a bigger brand and become in a league of their own once more. However, in order to change their business strategy, the company is in need of investment, from which previous investments have all but dried up. Nonetheless, a number of investors have been willing to see the technology be developed and come into fruition, with many supporters from the medical sector who want to see the industry transform and be more welcoming towards technological change and innovation, allaying fears of potential breaches as new technologies, such as cloud data and analytics will aim to decrease potential risks.
Jawbone’s aim to move its focus from a consumer led business, to a business to business led one will enable the bands to be sold to a niche market, such as clinicians, doctors, consultants and health providers and enable to provide a unique service tailored to fit this market, rather than seek to drive off competition and fight with bigger brands who now have larger sales and customer base.
The move is in spite of the departure of Jawbone’s Chief Financial Officer Jason Child, who previously cemented the company into the public market and developed the company’s consumer base. This has also seen the company undergo both internal and external pressure to redevelop its services and products. With a change in business strategy and focus on a new niche market, it will be interesting to see how Jawbone will now develop its products and model to become successful once more.
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Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”