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Strategic AR Investments Fuel New Opportunities

Feb. 11, 2021
Honeywell and Evergy Ventures make strategic investments in augmented reality firm Librestream.

Augment reality (AR) and remote collaboration provider Librestream secured a strategic investments from Honeywell and Evergy Ventures to facilitate deeper learnings for Librestream and enable the groups to work together advancing transformation initiatives across industries.

“While Industry 4.0 initiatives traditionally focused on digitizing factories and facilities, the business impact of remote workforce digitization is drawing increased attention at the executive level,” says Librestream President and CEO John Bishop, in a statement. “Honeywell and Evergy Ventures recognize both the vital importance of workforce transformation as a fundamental part of their strategy and our expertise in remote expert assistance. We will draw from their experience and leadership positions to inform and accelerate our growth strategies.”

The energy sector is undergoing profound transformations enabled by new emerging technologies, explains Dennis Odell, vice president of Evergy Ventures. “We invest in companies that make this transformation more accessible, efficient, and valuable for our utility and customers,” said Odell, in a statement. “This strategic partnership gives us a direct line of sight into the market and into a solution that is hugely transformative, drives operations and maintenance efficiencies, increases safety and can be deployed at scale.”

Charlie Neagoy, senior vice president of customer success at Librestream tells IndustryWeek, it is important to note that the long-term success of digital transformation strategies relies on alignment with corporate objectives. “This insight, identified by LNS Research, found that 86% of digital transformation initiatives are led by a C-level executive. We recently conducted a survey on AR in the field service industry with Worldwide Business Research (WBR), and found that 61% of executives view AR as critical to their strategy,” says Neagoy. “Our experience with our customers reinforces this, as we saw customer license growth of over 830% between 2019 and 2020, indicating expanded deployment across use cases and business units.”

The WBR survey revealed positive leadership attitudes toward AR, high adoption and investment growth as well as the importance of integrating the solutions at scale throughout enterprises. The survey also uncovered the most challenging factors to manage when developing an AR strategy within a business, explains Neagoy.

“These included collecting and implementing technician feedback (53%), managing the scaling of the technology after a pilot (50%), and change management/training (45%). Bringing in any new technology can provide a challenge as it changes the way employees are used to doing a job, however, with a clear focus on the benefits they provide and on-going training, these challenges can be overcome,” says Neagoy. “We work closely with customers to develop, execute and measure deployment plans that take these factors into consideration with programs that can include user surveys, situation-based training, and usage analysis.”

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Technology Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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