The CMS software 22Miles, now based in Atlanta, has announced an interesting distribution partnership with a company that designs and makes analog signs for workplaces - marrying printed material to digital via QR codes and the 22 Miles platform.
ecoPUK manufactures laser-engraved bamboo and acrylic sign panels used to do things like locate meeting rooms and hot desk areas in workplaces, with staff scanning the QR codes on the sides to launch information on smart phones, using a browser or custom native app.
Amid growing customer demands for streamlined enterprise visual communications that prioritize both sustainability and employee experience, says 22Miles in PR, the partnership between ecoPUK and 22Miles is both natural and timely.
In flexible workspaces, employees need the ability to reserve and locate rooms and hot desks, check into reserved spaces, incorporate remote collaborators into meetings, and access technical support quickly and easily. While always-on digital room signage meets that need, it carries a significant cost in terms of both initial purchase price and energy usage over its three-to-five-year lifespan. ecoPUK offers a sustainable alternative to traditional room signage that can last up to a decade.
Manufactured from sustainable materials such as bamboo or recycled acrylic, ecoPUK panels are laser-engraved with custom branding and a QR code. They are also equipped with an NFC tag. When powered by the 22Miles content management system (CMS), these static panels enable instant access to dynamic experiences on personal mobile devices. With a simple tap or scan, users can access a browser-based or custom native app to:
- Check room availability and resources.
- Reserve a space.
- Send meeting invitations to colleagues, including videoconferencing information for remote participants.
- Automatically check in to a reserved space via SSO/AD integration.
- Make tech support inquiries in real time.
The roots of this are with a large client that has a Net Zero Carbon Footprint commitment. "This year, 22Miles and ecoPUK installed nearly 500 signs as a proof of concept. The customer swiftly ordered 250 more, expanding the project to encompass both U.S. and EU offices, with potential to incorporate another 6,000 across their global offices. For this project, panels are deployed both outside rooms for space reservations, and inside rooms for digital help guides, videos and instant help desk access. This continuously expanding project demonstrates that ecoPUK panels, powered by the 22Miles CMS, can provide a multifunctional digital experience alongside significant cost and energy savings."
It's interesting to see the pendulum for workplace communications swing back, at least in this case, to analog from digital. A LOT of workplaces converted room signs that just said, for example, LINCOLN or ROOSEVELT in print, to digital tablets that provided the name, but also lots of other information pulled from the central room booking system or calendars.
I think it is safe to suggest that marketing signs with QR codes pre-pandemic would have been greeted with giggles, but QR codes finally had their moment when COVID came along ... and it helps that scanning QR codes is far easier with phones than it used to be. It also helps that consumers are more accustomed now to NFC, and that contemporary phones widely support that.
It is likely most people would still prefer a digital screen to this set-up, but the 22Miles-ecoPUK solution would save a larger company a pile in hardware costs, ongoing support and licensing costs, and would not add to energy bills (which are climbing).