Siemens uses SMS, digital signage screens to get CEO interacting with 10,000 staffers

January 10, 2011 by Dave Haynes

This is an interesting spin I’ve not seen before that integrated mobile technology with digital signage for a corporate communications exercise.

Siemens stuck its US CEO at a cafeteria table and did a “Fireside Chat” via live video streaming with 10,000 employees, in 50 locations, and across 4 timezones.

Staff interacted with Daryl Dulaney by sending SMS text messages and photos using Aerva‘s Text2Screen, Picture2Screen and AerWave digital signage technologies.

Increasingly, senior management has the challenge of integrating cultures and employees, sometimes from disparate industry divisions, subsidiaries, new acquisitions and even departments, to operate like one large, cohesive and productive team. Siemens USA used the unique format of a “Fireside Chat” with CEO Dulaney in a 50-location broadcast where employees were able to ask questions, make comments, and post pictures to screens that were updated live in all 50 locations.

As the CEO congratulated the company for awards and accomplishments, employees communicated with the CEO using Aerva’s technologies and allowed the CEO to answer questions and expand on comments and ideas that came in from all locations.

Aerva’s Text2Screen technology allowed employees to ask questions and send comments via text message from their handsets to the CEO. In addition, Aerva’s Picture2Screen technology allowed employees to post pictures (using camera phone, email, etc.) which were then broadcast to all locations, lending a face of camaraderie in a very large corporate organization. Aerva’s AerWave digital signage technology allowed customization of the screen layout to display the company branding and scheduled simulcast timings, and provided a mechanism for CEO Dulaney to take questions and answer them in real-time.

Aerva technologies created a unique way for the CEO to have a conversation with 10,000 employees, across 4 timezones, and in many subsidiaries and industry groups. The live broadcasts were well received by everyone and in conclusion, when CEO Dulaney asked the audience if they should do this again, the overwhelming response received by Text2Screen was a resounding YES.

Aerva and (Siemens’ agency) Ogilvy worked together to organize this nationwide event for Siemens USA. At a time when integrating the workforce and inculcating a cohesive culture is a ticket to corporate productivity and fiscal success, technologies like these can provide companies of any size with interactive and collaborative experiences at both major events and small gatherings.

One question: If it was a fireside chat shouldn’t there be a video Yule log on that screen in the back?

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