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Innovation in a time of change

Innovation is one of the great buzzwords of our age, but is often intangible in its application. You can discuss it, you can sense it, but it's hard to pin down until it's in the rearview mirror.

But not in 2020. Innovation is palpable as necessity breeds rapid solutions to problems, we have long known were there, but we just hadn't been required to solve yet. 2020. The year when change finally happened overnight.

On the one hand, there are those who manage the change as simply and efficiently as possible. Ride the wave and make sure you're still afloat when it passes. On the other, there are the true Changemakers. Those who rise to the challenge and use it as a moment of invention. To not just manage the change, but put the energy toward creating something new, something additive to their business and the community around it.

Technology has been a lifeblood this year, as the debate ends over whether internet access should be an essential utility. It has enabled so much business continuity and social connection, in ways that will forever change how we think about what's possible. The 'business as usual' before will never return, replaced by a better way of thinking about what is required to participate in work and family life.

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Conferencing goes mainstream

There's no better example of what's changed than seeing tools like Zoom move out of the boardroom and into mainstream consciousness. Turning on a camera as part of a remote business call was something people had to be required to do rather than being their standard preference. But the desire for greater connection and collaboration helped people to see how much closer we feel when we can see each other and react to non-verbal cues.

On the social end, this has blossomed into friendly happy hours and dinner parties, or sharing the most precious of moments remotely for weddings and funerals. But it has also given innovative businesses and educators opportunities to not just survive, but even thrive through these digital communication platforms.

Beyond the school environment where the embrace of digital classrooms has been swift, everything from martial arts to fitness and even music teaching has been able to continue for those savvy enough to get things up and running for their clients. Some personal trainers have even found new clients – people who are too embarrassed to train in public or large groups but want the support. A whole new class of customer that doesn't want to go back to some other way of doing this – private remote classes are exactly what they've been waiting for.

We've also seen new hackathons emerging through remote tools, embracing the advanced breakout room features of video conferencing to create ad hoc teams and develop new ideas in the moment. Again, it may well be that a lot is lost when a hackathon can't take place in person, but many people who could not attend a normal event – whether due to distance or other personal limitations – has been able to participate in these events thanks to the crisis delivering a moment that will come to help redefine expectations and new norms.

Whatever the conferencing technology, everyone has come to discover the limits of the technology they use to engage remotely. So, ensuring the tools in your possession are up to the task is critical to turning the crisis into an opportunity to connect in new ways.

Eyes, ears, heartbeat

For those aiming to thrive in the moment, whether socially or in business, it's been a case of ensuring you have good quality gear bringing the remote connection to life. A good webcam gives those you connect with good quality eyes to engage with, good microphones and headphones ensure the ears and well serviced, and good computers and networks are the heartbeat that closes the distance between us.

As a pioneer for working-from-home for over 10 years, Dell has the infrastructure to support their customers. Recently, Dell partnered with American Express in the Stand for Small coalition dedicated to small businesses, from remote workforce guidance to special discounting, and financing.

Dell is well placed to support anyone looking to get just the right technology if they're in need of new solutions. They offer a wide range of laptops that includes workstation performance through hybrids and 2-in-1 designs that add versatility when you're needing to shift work styles to break up the day in a smaller home office environment. Plus, all with great quality webcams built in to deliver crystal clear HD pictures, and great partnerships with companies like Jabra and Logitech to offer some best in class headsets to ensure those conference calls are boardroom quality (even if you're just catching up with friends).

Learn more about Dell and its latest laptop innovations that are the perfect fit for people during these rapidly changing times.