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Virtual Reality auf der SXSW 2018 © Effektrausch

Achieving corporate change with VR and AI

fischerAppelt hosts panel on corporate transformation and virtual reality in German Haus

The Hamburg-based fischerAppelt agency demonstrated how new technologies can help companies achieve change, to the delight of visitors to ““German Haus””:“ at SXSW. The house is a hotspot of the native tech, creative and music scene at SXSW which is abuzz with ideas for corporate development against the backdrop of digital transformation. Several rounds of discussions about artificial intelligence,” block chain or virtual reality”: scheduled in Austin should give companies ideas for their own development. fischerAppelt and its client, Merck KGaA, showed how companies and their employees can reposition themselves. A jointly-developed virtual reality experience made the pharmaceutical and chemical corporation’s transformation into a “vibrant science and technology company” palpable. Users learn about Merck’s new corporate and visual identity through virtual reality technology – whether catching microbes or riding on the curiosity rollercoaster. Users become immersed in worlds under the microscope and morph into become harbingers of this reorientation.

Technologies for cultural and strategic change

The virtual reality experience in German Haus indicates the unwavering power of technological interfaces for achieving cultural and strategic change although the first wave of the Silicon Valley hype has probably ended. Katrin Menne, Head of Brand Management at the Darmstadt-based Merck, said. “In our experience, every employee regardless of whether they have an affinity to technology can relate to a virtual reality experience. Thus, it is a proven key of communicating our transformation.”

The use of artificial intelligence for achieving corporate change was the topic of a discussion by Matthias Wesselmann, Member of the Board at fischerAppelt, Katrin Menne and Conrad Fritzsch, Head of New Agency Model at Mercedes Benz, and Prof. Peter Gentsch, partner of the Digital Devotion Group, in German Haus as part of the “New Technologies and Industries” track at SXSW

Boosting creativity with artificial intelligence

All employees must think and act in terms of data to allow technologies like artificial intelligence to unfold their impact fully in a company, said Gentsch. Ultimately, artificial intelligence is not just any tool, and can boost creativity in an organisation. Fritsch also echoed this view, adding: “Artificial intelligence can see things that human being cannot see.” Fritsch is an expert on digital marketing, and noted: “In the automobile industry, for instance, artificial intelligence may prevent accidents because blind spots become visible. The technology also helps employees with creative processes because it is better at certain things than people.”

German companies must think more in terms of artificial intelligence like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, all the panellists agreed. At stake for companies like Merck and Mercedes Benz is changing culturally and strategically from product to service provider and putting customers’ needs at the centre of activities.

Guest commentary

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More SXSW highlights

Germany’s NDR television is shooting a documentary about Kathrin and André Kistner and their Qualitize start-up while at SXSW. In January, the company won the “Hamburg Startups SXSW-Pitch” and scooped a ticket to Austin, Texas. The 15-minute report will be broadcast later in March 2018. Pitches on Sunday (March 12) in German Haus focused on “New Media, New Work & Lifestyle”. The Hamburg-based Nordantech won over the jury with its project management software. Jonas Steeger, co-founder of Nordantech, was delighted with the win comprising a media package by Heise and t3n worth EUR 15,000 and six-months’ free use of the StartupSpot’s jobs board. More information can be found on Hamburg Startups SXSW2018 Tagebuch (diary).

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