Ocular, creates digital experiences that touch
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Proud of the many customers who did not give up, we let them have their say in the series 'Entrepreneurial Heroes of Titeca' , because, even when things are tough, we must above all 'do and die'!
How are you doing?
We asked customer-entrepreneur Nicolas Vanden Avenne, business manager of Ocular from Zwevezele, a technology company active in the creation of digital experiences...
"Very good. Currently we are busy developing a new product, which we will launch very soon (end of August). Exciting! Everyone has been working intensely on this for the last few months, and we are looking forward to it with great enthusiasm."
What effect did the lockdown have on your activity?
"A year ago our computer system was hacked. In response, we had resolutely decided to transfer all programs to the cloud, with the result that by the start of the lockdown we were able to make the switch to working from home without any difficulty.
On a strategic level, we had planned in the beginning, to spread out the work for the orders that were still in the pipeline until the major leave. That way we could minimize temporary unemployment for our employees."
What opportunities did you see for Ocular?
"We develop all kinds of applications in the field of interaction technology andcontext-aware software for museums, visitor centers, commercial spaces, exhibition stands and training centers, among others.
Through corona, our clients suddenly faced a new challenge: how to guarantee social distancing in their business? Our developers found a way to combine the technology we already had in house - a camera, a mobile TV screen, and the associated electronics - into a single user-friendly tool: 'the interactive visitor counter'. A quick-win, which we were able to take away from our clients immediately. The success of this user-friendly tool also opened the doors internationally to the Netherlands, Croatia, and Germany."
Planning for a digital future?
"Since the pandemic, the combination of a physical point of sale, such as a store, a showroom or a trade fair stand, with a digital channel is becoming an important factor. Video conferencing is now widely accepted as an alternative to losing valuable travel time to physically visit the customer.
With this shift in mind, Ocular has now developed a new software to virtually visualize the showroom/exhibition booth. Our intention is to create an optimal experience for the customer where we integrate the physical and online worlds. This creates an additional link in the sales process to complement the physical conversation.
The concept of virtualizing the showroom, had been in Ocular's 'creative-idea-box' for quite some time. Due to the many cancellations of fairs and networking events, the opportunity to do something with this idea suddenly became a reality.
In any case, I am convinced that the accelerated shift in terms of digitalization that we are all now experiencing by necessity will continue in the future."
What is your entrepreneurial tip?
"In today's economy, it is crucial to be flexible and agile and constantly adapt to new business realities. Resilience, is a necessary quality to survive as an entrepreneur. From our biggest challenges, we extracted the most growth in hindsight, and we are proud of that."
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