Tagstand introduces New Wave of NFC Technology
Written by Pooja Thakkar
Near Field Communication (NFC) doesn’t really need any introduction in much of the world since the technology has been around for quite some time now in European and Asia-Pacific countries that can support a major contactless infrastructure for a variety of applications, including advertising and transit transactions. If you have been to London, for example, and used the Oyster card or traveled to Hong Kong and used the Octopus card, you can appreciate the convenience and simplicity this technology provides. Hands down, the most popular tech application for NFC in the US is Google Wallet.
But US consumers are now warming up to NFC applications for use beyond just making payments. NFC support has expanded into all sorts of uses, from parking meters to check-ins. The technology is already integrated into Google Nexus S, Galaxy S II, Nokia C7 and slew of other Android and BlackBerry devices. Rumor has it that the iPhone 5 is going to boast NFC support as well.
A report released by ABI Research suggests that NFC smart posters (advertising spaces for interactive electronic media content) and mobile marketing will account for 70 percent of NFC tag uses by 2016. These tags are used in every non-payment, non-device iteration that NFC has to offer, including NFC stickers or smart posters.
Retailers and Marketers Turn to Tagstand for NFC Deployment
An increasing number of retailers and marketers are taking advantage of mainstream presence of NFC to roll out frictionless NFC experiences like smart posters, e-coupons, and digital tickets with the help of San Francisco-based Tagstand, one of the country’s largest NFC solutions providers. Tagstand is bringing this magical technology to life with its custom NFC tools and software solutions.
Founded by young entrepreneurs Kulveer Taggar, Omar Seyal and Srinivas Panguliri, Tagstand has expanded from being a NFC tags-selling company to a complete end-to-end NFC service provider within a short span of time. The Y Combinator-backed startup also raised $1.1 million during a funding round in October 2011.
At the request of its users, Tagstand has built an impressive tool called Tagstand Manager that allows developers to program and manage NFC-equipped stickers from the web. So the startup serves as a platform for both tag procurement and management. (Note: Tagstand is one of the top Google results for “NFC Tags”)
With Tagstand Manager and an NFC-equipped phone, you can check into Foursquare and interact with almost any real-world objects such as posters, clothes and shop windows. Tagstand believes that this interaction is only going to increase in unimaginable ways.
There are a variety of technologies available right now to marketers for driving digital interactions in a real-world environment, including Bluetooth, QR codes and SMS. However, NFC beats them all when it comes to simplicity, portability and context; Tagstand has so far been successful in getting this message across to the users.
Program Your Stickers
Tagstand has created smart tag stickers associated with custom, shortened URLs which link to intended content or services. After receiving the stickers users can log onto the site’s dashboard and program them (even once the stickers are deployed in the field) from a web interface. The site also provides analytics to track sticker usage.
Accelerating Global Adoption of NFC
The company has hundreds of businesses, developers and hobbyists placing multiple orders per day for hundreds of dollars worth of NFC tags at a time. Most of this growth has been international where NFC has a stronger presence.
For example, Tagstand helped Nokia implement a network of over 20,000 tags across 1,000 retail locations in India. This remains the largest ever NFC tag deployment in the world.
Tagstand also worked with Adshel to launch the largest NFC campaign in Australia for a supermarket chain called Coles with 50 sites in Melbourne.
Tagstand went on exploratory trips to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, India and Malaysia to see how NFC was being explored in those countries and then applied the information gathered to its expansion in the US. With the growing number of NFC-enabled phones in the US, Tagstand believes the market is ready to interact more with the technology in 2012.
It looks like there are good times ahead for NFC with Tagstand already accelerating the global adoption of this technology.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.