Did you ever wish that as a buyer, you could see and experience the tech solutions that could help you run your business — in action? Gathered in one place? Staged in actual business settings so you could see how the technology would look and work — and not just sitting on a shelf or display stand?
That’s the service that Technovation Solutions delivers to businesses.
Technovation runs a center in the heart of Las Vegas that showcases the “customer experience” for technology. Members and partners can show off their technology in a simulated customer setting. Read more about this unique niche business, in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does:
Showcases technology integrated into customer settings. That way, decision-makers looking for tech solutions can experience how the technology will look and be used.
Technovation focuses on business verticals. One of them is travel and hospitality.
Say, for example, that you run a hotel. You are looking for technology for guest rooms and public areas. When you walk through Technovation’s 19,000 square foot space, you get to see how the technology looks, feels and works in that type of business environment. The layout features in-room control systems, room access systems, property management (PMS) and point of sale (POS) systems, and more.
Replicating the customer experience for technology buyers.
“Our layout showcases very ‘real life’ lobbies, guest suites, and food and beverage areas, to set us apart from others who have more traditional EBCs (executive business centers). Our primary focus is not the technology, but rather the integrated solution providing the best customer experience.”
This means that the layouts include offerings from multiple different providers. And some of these technologies even work together with one another to create the full experience the customer would get when walking through that type of business.
How the Business Got Started:
Through a series of meetings with Microsoft’s partners in the hospitality vertical.
“Many of [these tech partners] were sufficiently small that they often struggled to break into the market or get recognition particularly with larger brands. Integrating their product suites and going to market in a fully integrated fashion addressed two issues — the continuing concern brands have about ensuring that all of their systems are integrated and work together efficiently; and secondly, integrated solutions gave these smaller businesses better ‘mass’.”
Two full time, plus some consultants and contract workers.
The business model relies heavily on partners and collaboration. So they’re able to run a relatively large operation with a surprisingly small number of full-time employees. McGregor said:
“We believe that our business model is such that our staffing overhead will remain relatively small even as we grow.”
Signing Microsoft as a ‘Strategic Alliance Partner.’
Having a big name partner like Microsoft has helped Technovation Solutions financially. Just as importantly, it has helped them attract even more partners, platforms and clients.
Location, location, location! Choose a central location.
When the company started, it was based in suburban Las Vegas. But after just a year, they decided to relocate to the Las Vegas Strip. McGregor stated:
“If I could do it all over again, I would have picked a more central location from the start. Being close to the Strip makes it easier for us to bring potential clients in multiple verticals into the Center to showcase partner solutions and has increased significantly the traffic in our Experience Center. With Vegas as the convention capital of the world, we only expect this foot traffic to increase, regardless of vertical.”
How They’d Use An Extra $100,000:
To better serve the healthcare vertical.
There are a lot of ways that technology can improve the healthcare industry, says McGregor. And there are new solutions coming out all the time.
To create a customer experience center around healthcare would take a pretty big investment. McGregor explained:
“That money would allow us to more quickly retrofit some of our 19,000 square feet to effectively present experience and engagement solutions for patients, providers and payors. Additionally, we could showcase the amazing technologies coming to market to accommodate healthcare’s focus transitioning from the provider to the patient through telemedicine, mobile monitoring devices, and so on.”
Hmmm … being mistaken for an actual hotel?
Seriously, though, part of the facility is set up to look just like a hotel (see ‘hotel room’ image above). Technovation Solutions has also provided similar settings for other industries.
“We recently moved into a new location and I suppose the funniest thing about the process has been our desire to be super cost-conscious. We did much of the move and retrofit ourselves — dust and dirt no bar to the process. We were quite the mess and in Vegas heat — probably quite fragrant as well.”
* * * * *
Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.
Images: Technovaton Solutions
It’s a cool type of business. But I bet that it requires a lot of investment. Since their target market is businesses, I guess it is inevitable.
Yes, I’m sure the location alone was a huge investment, but you’re right – sometimes that’s just unavoidable.
It’s wonderful, that now people will be able to @touch@ the technology and to tyr all the innovation by themselves! Great project and hope it will have a great future
Yes, it’s definitely a great concept!
Thank you–we are very excited about the concept and how it is so rapidly catching on. Announcing new partners monthly–FUN and exciting!
McGregor: Do you have a room with podcast equipment?
We have a room that could be available for that but we don’t have a partner who has brought it to the table as yet. Martin–are you interested?