Upping your remote tech game with AI

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can enhance laptop performance and collaboration without requiring any special expertise.

Small businesses are experiencing one of the most challenging times in recent history, with the pandemic forcing many to pivot their operations or hunker down and hope to survive until things "get back to normal." 

According to a recent Mckinsey report, digital tools are becoming increasingly important as businesses focus on recovery. In an SMB Group survey this year, 76 percent of respondents agreed that "Digital technology is changing the way they do business." When asked which technologies are critical to future growth, 65 percent cited voice-enabled applications and 63 percent cited artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The future is AI

AI technology can help learn and respond to the work patterns of a small business and its remote staff, automatically improving application performance, battery run time, and audio settings, for example, in the background. When applied to customer-facing applications, AI increases efficiency, anticipates customer needs, and improves customer experience.

A wide range of AI-based solutions address some of the common challenges of working remotely. For example, one of the big downsides of remote working is the management of employee productivity.

AI "assistants" like Microsoft Viva, for example, integrate with email and calendar apps and help manage productivity by identifying action words in messages and suggesting time slots for catching up on email, building skills, and collaborating with peers. These can play an important role in helping remote workers maximize their time without extensive intervention from management. 

Smart AI solutions can help workers find the right time to schedule chats amid busy schedules and back-to-back video calls. Some even recommend ways to coordinate multiple calendars and help align multiple stakeholders on key projects.

AI is not out of reach for SMBs

Many small businesses have reservations about AI. It seems expensive. It seems like it will replace humans. It's too complex to implement, anyway. The fact, however, is that AI can deliver competitive advantages right now. And you don't have to be a machine learning expert to use it, either. 

In addition to the productivity tools we mentioned, many hardware products like laptops and desktops are coming pre-built with AI capabilities. These devices can help form a solid foundation for all the software and applications needed to run a business. Dell Optimizer, for example, adjusts settings and improves system performance automatically based on how workers perform their duties.

Optimizer is available as a free download for Dell Latitude, OptiPlex, and Precision models running Windows 10 64-bit and later. It comes pre-built into new Dell Precision workstations, as well. 

According to Dell, Optimizer analyzes each user's unique patterns and applies that knowledge to deliver practical benefits such as:

  • Connecting to the strongest WiFi signal and switching seamlessly as availability changes.
  • Eliminating background noise and enhancing audio quality by emphasizing only the digital signals that represent the user's voice.
  • Identifying most-used apps and optimizing computer resources so they run more quickly and reliably.
  • Charging quickly and automatically adjusting screen brightness and background processes to extend useful battery life. 
  • Locking the system automatically whenever the user steps away in order to prevent tampering.

These applications of AI help create a more productive environment for small business workers both in and out of the office, and when they're back on the road, too. Reach out to a Dell Small Business advisor to learn more about optimized hardware and software.