Technology Integrator

Page 1







his month, we're infusing a playful and creative spirit into our exploration of technology and business. Our aim is to delve into how businesses are captivating consumers through innovative technological avenues. Many of us have fond memories of playing games, and some of those experiences have left a lasting impression. Do you find yourself reaching for your phone during moments of boredom at work? Perhaps indulging in your favorite smartphone game? Engagement is crucial in today's fast-paced world where few can endure boredom for long. Mundane tasks can fray our nerves, but companies are increasingly finding solutions through gamification in business. Reading a book can feel like a daunting task in today's distraction-filled environment, requiring significant attention. With attention becoming a scarce commodity, companies and organizations are exploring new avenues to engage people both in the workplace and with their brands. Every company, whether offering a product or service, seeks to connect with its audience. That's why gamification among brands is gaining traction and is poised for further growth. This issue delves into the concept of gamification and its diverse applications across various industries. We explore how gaming companies are leveraging brands to enhance their own visibility, whether through product launches within games or incorporating gamification elements to attract business. What makes this topic particularly fascinating is how gamification is forging emotional connections with people. We're excited to unveil dimensions that may not have been previously explored. Technology is a captivating realm, offering endless possibilities and angles that intersect with various industries. In this edition, we delve into leading industry verticals such as retail, e-commerce, gaming, education, automotive, and the virtual world in general through our cover story. The internet's evolution towards greater immersiveness and interactivity is opening up incredible new opportunities for organizations and brands to connect with their customers. As technology continues to evolve, we anticipate even more innovative topics that warrant further examination and understanding. It's through these explorations that humanity continues to thrive, enriching the lives of everyone around us.

Vivek Sharma Founder

Vivek Sharma Founder Adil Siddiqui Head of Media Srijith K N Assistant Editor Sidra Kamal Content Contributor Roshni Menon Content Writer Faiz Ahmed Graphic Designer Priyanshu Ranjan Sales Head Sidharth Bhardwaj Media Sales Manager Gladwyn Pereira Sr. Media Sales Executive Zain Fazal Sankay Media Sales Executive Trishla Bhattacharya Media Sales Executive

Published by: Integrator Media (OMA Group Company) OMA House, P.O. Box: 3314, Sharjah, UAE. Tel: +971 6 573 0000 |

For Inquiries: Mobile: +971 56 404 0503 Disclaimer: While the publishers have made every attempt possible to get accurate information on published content in this magazine. They cannot be held liable for any errors herein.







Game On! Enhancing Customer Retention Strategies Through Tech Gamification



Exploring the Impact of Gamification in Businesses

50 AMD Reveals Next-Gen Desktop Processors for Extreme PC Gaming and Creator Performance

51 Amazon Reveals

Alexa’s Most Used Features in the Middle East



Dahua Technology Unveils Cutting-Edge Experience Centre in Dubai

08 Entering into a


Gamified World

10 Is Gamification

Transforming Businesses in the Middle East?

35 Leveling up Customer Engagement: The Gamification of AI Chatbots in Transforming Industries

6 Tips for eCommerce Retailers to Level up App Engagement with Gamification


44 Sustainability in the

Global Consumer Electronics Industry Through AI and Robotics

52 Enhancing Customer Engagement Through Gamification and Prepaid Rewards

54 Digital Coins and Tokens: the Dawn of Gamified Currency



Tech Companies Embracing Gamification for Enhanced Operations


Introducing VEO: A Community Lifestyle Gym by Emaar Hospitality Group FEBRUARY 2024







ideo games have been hooking users since the 1980s, evolving alongside the rise of subscription-based models and in-app purchases. In today's competitive landscape, where consumers are bombarded with choices, businesses must innovate to not only attract but also retain their clientele. Effective customer retention strategies have become paramount, considering that acquiring a new customer cost more than selling to an existing one. This begs the question: What should businesses focus on to establish a successful venture? The answer lies in increasing customers' lifetime value through strategic approaches like gamification. Games are fun – and gamification has become a serious loyalty strategy that achieves results beyond fun and games. A key component in many successful customer engagement strategies today, gamification is becoming a bigger focus of loyalty programs because of its broad appeal and relevance across industries.


design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals." It involves incorporating elements such as points, badges, leaderboards, and challenges into non-game contexts to enhance customer engagement. Fundamentally, gamification taps into human desires for competition, achievement, and reward, offering a fun and effective way to interact with users. From loyalty programs to training modules, gamification offers versatile applications across industries.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND ENGAGEMENT Gamification leverages psychological principles to drive engagement. Concepts like reinforcement, social proof, and intrinsic motivation are harnessed to create immersive experiences that captivate users. By providing clear goals, immediate feedback, and a sense of progression, gamified systems trigger a dopamine rush that keeps participants coming back for more.



Gamification, as defined by Gartner Research's 2022 report, is "the use of game mechanics and experience

Gamification, coupled with emerging technologies, can positively impact digital experiences. They include artificial


suggesting products they are likely to be interested in based on their past behavior. 2. Implementing a Loyalty Program Customers gravitate towards buying from brands that offer loyalty programs. When you provide extra perks such as points or discounts, it can help you attract the attention of your users. You may run these loyalty programs around some important events. It will keep your audience hooked. Example: A mobile banking app offers a rewards program where users earn points or cashback for making purchases using their linked debit or credit cards. The app tracks spending habits and rewards users with points that can be redeemed for gift cards, travel vouchers, or statement credits.



3. Ensuring Mobile Compatibility With the majority of users accessing the internet and social media via mobile devices, ensuring mobile compatibility is essential for customer retention. Implementing gamification programs that are compatible with mobile devices can enhance user engagement and retention. Example: A cloud storage service like Google Drive ensures that its mobile app is compatible with various operating systems (iOS, Android) and devices (smartphones, tablets). Users can access their files, photos, and documents from anywhere, using any device with an internet connection.

By: Roshni Menon Content Writer

intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, internet of things, and more. Emerging technologies can support any digital strategy framework by differentiating your brand from your competitors, creating unique value propositions, and enhancing your customer experience. For example: It personalizes journeys, provides feedback, and incentivizes engagement. By integrating dashboards, reports, and leaderboards, users track progress dynamically.

HOW TO APPLY GAMIFICATION TO CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGIES? Here are some of the prominent ways in which gamification enhances user engagement: 1. Understanding Customer Preferences Conducting surveys to understand customer needs and desires allows businesses to deliver tailored gamified content that aligns with their interests. Example: An e-commerce platform like Amazon analyzes user browsing history, search queries, and purchase patterns to provide personalized product recommendations. Using machine learning algorithms, Amazon tailors the shopping experience for each user,

4. Integrating social media Keeping customers informed about loyalty programs is crucial. Utilizing social media platforms to share gamified content expands your reach. Additionally, incentivizing customers to promote your brand further can lead to additional perks, fostering loyalty. Example: A food delivery app like Deliveroo integrates social media sharing features that allow users to share their meal orders and delivery experiences with friends on platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, thereby increasing brand visibility and attracting new users. 5. Keep it Simple It's never a good idea to overcomplicate things, especially when it comes to customer retention. It should be easy to sign up and use any loyalty program, and there shouldn't be any complicated requirements. Example: An online banking platform that offers a straightforward and intuitive user interface for its mobile app. Users can easily sign up for an account, navigate through various features such as sending money, paying bills, or tracking expenses, and access customer support when needed, all within a few taps. Engagement, experience, and retention are very crucial aspects of any business. This is an achievable feat, especially with gamification best practices. It's essential to carefully implement these strategies in the interest of users to achieve sustainable growth in the tech industry.








he conceptualization of gamification involves incorporating gaming elements into various projects to enhance their appeal, making the process more engaging. Coined by Nick Pelling, a game designer, this term gained prominence during his work on developing a game-like interface for vending machines and ATMs. Within the realm of technology, leading companies have embraced gamification not only for their employees but also in their products, ensuring sustained consumer engagement. The ensuing data presents how major tech corporations have transitioned into the gamified era.

By: Sidra Kamal Content Contributor

GOOGLE Gamification success is evident in the example of Google through its incorporation of the concept into its logo—a symbol that most brands are hesitant to alter to preserve their identity. Google routinely modifies its logo to commemorate global events. That is not just educational gamification, but once people click on it, most of the time, it turns into a playable interactive logo.

MICROSOFT The integration of multiple gamification features within Microsoft has found widespread adoption among numerous companies. For instance, Microsoft Teams boasts an active leaderboard, enabling players to track their progress and compare it with their colleagues. This helps boost employees’ productivity and creates a sense of healthy competition among them.

SALESFORCE Salesforce Trailhead, an online learning platform of Salesforce, is used within the company to enhance employee motivation and productivity. The employees, also known as Trailblazers, earn badges and points to increase their Trailhead rank. While being competitive and earning points, they are also gaining knowledge and getting skilled in becoming Salesforce Dot Com experts.

SIEMENS Siemens introduced the game Plantville, where players assume the role of a plant manager facing operational challenges. This immersive experience imparts insights into sustainability, productivity, time management, and efficiency to employees.





Initially investing in social media training programs, Cisco encountered unsatisfactory outcomes. Subsequently, the company gamified these training programs, introducing ranking positions such as Specialist, Strategist, and Master. The result was a significant uptake, with nearly 13,000 courses completed and 650 employees obtaining certification.

Gamification in Fitbit is focused on consumers. When it comes to health, sometimes people can get lazy, and it is the company’s motive to ensure that consumers remain firm in their decision to live a healthy life. Fitbit sends interesting challenges to their consumers, such as completing at least 10000 steps in a day or competing with another friend. Users of Fitbit can also compare their stats with other users, bringing in a sense of competition among them.

SAMSUNG Samsung implemented gamification, known as Samsung Nation, to attract customers and turn them into loyal customers. Customers get rewards and badges whenever they review a product, help other customers by answering their product queries, or just by engaging within the Samsung community. As a result, they can win various Samsung products. Since the launch of Samsung Nation, the website has gained a 66% increase in traffic, 500% growth in product reviews, and a 30% increase in comments.



The implementation of gamification in the tech sector serves diverse purposes. Some companies employ it to boost employee productivity and motivation, while others focus on cultivating customer loyalty. Irrespective of the objective, the aforementioned case studies underscore the efficacy of gamification in achieving corporate goals.











ell, by now you might know that gamification isn't just about gaming anymore. It's making waves in education, healthcare, architecture, tourism, and beyond, showing how gaming can boost economic activity in all sorts of ways. And in the Middle East, places like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the charge in this digital revolution. It's not just about gaming; it's about a whole new cultural and economic vibe that's taking hold. According to a report from the Boston Consulting Group called "Game Changer," a whopping 60% of folks in the Middle East are proud gaming fans. That's way higher than the global average of 40%. And this isn't just some random stat; it's proof of a cultural shift that's changing the game in the region. Another report from the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers says that gamification has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing workplace learning, and its impact is evident across the oil and gas industry. What makes gamification so effective is how it connects with people on an emotional level. By adding things like points, leaderboards, and special challenges, loyalty programs can go from being just transactions to something that really tugs at your heartstrings. One good example is Ford, which, through gamification, was able to empower its workforce and generate a much higher level of customer service orientation. They trained their staff in new vehicle models, configurations, and financial details, and saw a 417% increase in learning engagement. Hence, various factors are driving the growth of gamification among businesses in the region: sales engagement, human resource-related productivity, interactive marketing, customer retention and loyalty, product development, etc. All these then lead to an increase in revenue for businesses. Every industry seems to be taking elements from different gaming aspects or elements, and in the region, businesses continue to recognize the need and benefit of digital transformation, so they tend to see gamification as an important tool to enhance their penetration and increase their revenue. At the heart of all this






is collaboration with the gaming industry and the development of software related to enhancing this experience.

GAMIFYING SAUDI ARABIA The Middle East's gamification market is on the rise, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar adopting gamified approaches in marketing and learning. Leading this transformative charge is Saudi Arabia, contributing a formidable 45% to the region's gaming sector, boasting a valuation of a staggering $1.8 billion. The kingdom has pivoted decisively towards mobile gaming, which now constitutes an imposing 65% of market revenue. The mobile app development market in Saudi continues to evolve, and companies entering this market look at gamification as a key ingredient to resonate and engage with the techsavvy audience of Saudi Arabia. In a strategic symphony, Saudi Arabia unfurls its National Gaming and Esports Strategy, envisioning the development of 30 games and the creation of a colossal 40,000 jobs by 2030. The Saudi Esports Federation, a linchpin in this narrative, infuses vitality with a generous funding injection of $488 million. This commitment goes beyond mere investment; it signifies the cultivation of an ecosystem for innovation and employment on an unprecedented scale. The appointment of Prince Faisal bin Bandar,



the federation's president, as the vice president of the Global Esports Federation adds a royal stamp to this gaming renaissance. With giga projects in Saudi up and running, there has already been a big emphasis on gamification, back in February 2022, when NEOM launched its first subsidiary, NEOM Tech & Digital Company. The subsidiary’s development of the “3D cognitive digital twin metaverse platform” called XVRS will give users a “gamified experience with distinctive exploration and entertainment features, an instant language translation tool, a social platform that fosters interaction, and a full-fledged digital marketplace,” according to the company leadership. NEOM plans to spin off many more subsidiaries in the future as development on the mega-city continues.

GAMIFYING UAE In February 2019, the Ministry of Community Development and Telecommunications and the Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) jointly launched KidX, a digital platform for children. The platform targets children and adolescents through an interactive digital environment using games and virtual reality technologies to raise children’s awareness of the UAE government and encourage them to express their views on the services, as well as deal with smart government and smart cities. The UAE is crafting its own narrative on the global gaming stage. Abu Dhabi Gaming and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre's Gaming Centre roll out enticing incentives, beckoning global gaming behemoths like Ubisoft and Tencent to establish their regional headquarters. Dubai's ambition reverberates through the halls of power with the launch of a groundbreaking gaming program, envisioning the creation of 30,000 jobs in the next decade and aspiring to secure a spot among the top ten gaming cities globally. Dubai's Programme for Gaming isn't just a blueprint; it's a manifesto for economic transformation, seeking to bolster the industry's GDP contribution. The stakes are high, the ambition boundless, as the UAE positions itself not just as a regional hub but as a global force in the gaming industry.

HUB OF INNOVATION As the Middle East embraces gaming and gamification, it's not just about creating an industry; it's about sculpting an identity, a future where gaming is the pulse of innovation, a driving force propelling economies and cultures into uncharted territories. The Middle East isn't merely a market; it's an arena where the convergence of technology, culture, and ambition is scripting a saga that resonates far beyond the gaming realm, heralding a bold leap into the future.





In a time when AI has elevated the value of data, data centers and enterprises alike need to store more data in less space. The Mozaic 3+ platform brings together several industry-first innovators that overcome the challenges of increasing areal density, leading to unprecedented space and power savings.




n a digital era where data reigns supreme, Seagate Technology is taking a leap forward with the launch of Mozaic 3+—a groundbreaking hard drive platform featuring Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) technology. This innovation propels areal densities to unprecedented levels, reaching 3TB+ per platter with plans for 4TB+ and 5TB+ in the near future. Powering Seagate’s Exos product family, the Mozaic 3+ platform introduces industryleading capacity points, including the release of Exos 30TB+ products—set to revolutionize hyperscale cloud storage. This advancement allows companies to store more data in the same footprint, effectively doubling capacity from conventional 16TB drives. What sets Mozaic 3+ apart is its ability to enhance storage efficiency while addressing industry challenges. With a focus on sustainability, the platform delivers a 40% improvement in per terabyte power consumption and a 55% reduction in embodied carbon per terabyte compared to traditional drives. Seagate's CEO, Dave Mosley, emphasizes the significance of areal density in a datadriven world. He notes that as AI applications demand larger data sets, areal density becomes increasingly crucial. The Mozaic 3+ platform is not just about HAMR technology; it integrates industry-first innovations to scale areal density effectively.




Superlattice Platinum-Alloy Media: Mozaic 3+ employs a pioneering iron-platinum superlattice structure, enhancing magnetic stability for precise data writing and unprecedented bit stability. 2. Plasmonic Writer: A revolutionary writer, incorporating a nanophotonic laser, ensures reliable data writing on the media surface, contributing to the platform's unique implementation of HAMR. 3. Gen 7 Spintronic Reader: Mozaic 3+ includes one of the world's smallest and most sensitive magnetic field reading sensors, incorporating quantum technology for efficient data reading. 4. 12nm Integrated Controller: The platform features an in-house developed integrated controller, a system-on-a-chip, delivering up to 3 times the performance compared to prior solutions. Industry experts, like John Rydning from IDC Global DataSphere, recognize the critical role of areal density improvements in expanding hard drive-based mass storage, especially in data centers. Seagate's breakthrough is poised to deliver higher capacity hard drive products for years to come. Beyond data centers, Mozaic 3+ storage technology is set to impact various markets, including enterprise, edge, NAS, and video and imaging applications (VIA). Seagate anticipates strong demand, with data center customers expected to complete the qualification of Mozaic 3+ and move into volume production by the end of the quarter.









n the vibrant city of Cairo, Digitech, a subsidiary of the renowned Noventiq Group, embarked on a transformative journey to revolutionise its operations in Egypt and align with the Noventiq standards of excellence.

CLIENT BACKGROUND Before its acquisition by Noventiq, Digitech had relied on a manual, Excel-based approach to managing its business processes. This legacy system hindered efficiency and scalability, making it imperative for Digitech to embrace digital transformation.





Transition from Manual to Automated Processes: Digitech's primary challenge was to seamlessly migrate from manual, Excel-based processes to a fully automated system. Localization and Compliance: Operating in Egypt presented dual challenges of complying with local regulations and adhering to Noventiq's industry standards. Training and Empowerment: With no prior experience in system automation, Digitech's team required extensive training to equip them with the necessary skills for the transition.


THE SOLUTION Digitech partnered with Catalyst, a leading NetSuite Solution Provider, to design and implement a comprehensive solution that addressed the company's unique needs. The focus was on achieving localization as per Egyptian regulations while upholding Noventiq industry standards and best practices.

GO-LIVE MILESTONE After months of meticulous planning and implementation, Digitech achieved a successful Go-Live, marking a pivotal moment in their digital transformation journey. This milestone signified Digitech's embrace of automation and a transformative shift in its business operations.




Armed with a fully automated system and a future-ready infrastructure, Digitech is poised for sustained growth and continued innovation. The success story in Egypt serves as a testament to Digitech's commitment to excellence and sets the stage for further advancements in the everevolving landscape of digital transformation.



Seamless End-to-End Automation: Digitech achieved seamless end-to-end automation across its operations, eliminating manual bottlenecks and enhancing overall efficiency. Streamlined Billing and Compliance: Integration with e-Invoicing streamlined Digitech's billing processes, ensuring compliance with Egyptian tax authorities, and reducing the risk of errors. Scalable and Replicable Solution: With subsidiaries in multiple countries, Digitech now has a scalable and replicable success story that can be applied to future expansions into other regions.

RESULTS ACHIEVED Digitech's digital transformation journey yielded transformative results: Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Automation • significantly boosted operational efficiency, enabling Digitech to focus on innovation and client satisfaction. • Secure and Stable Operational Environment: Localization efforts ensured compliance with Egyptian regulations, providing a secure and stable operational foundation. Replicable Success in Multiple Markets: The success in • Egypt lays the groundwork for Digitech to replicate the achievements across its global subsidiaries.




Catalyst, a Silicon Valley-based technology consulting firm with a global presence in over 15 EMEA countries, empowers organizations to thrive in today's dynamic landscape. We specialize in Business Applications, Business Platforms, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Adoption, guiding our clients through successful transformations and ensuring their digital landscapes remain secure.







By: Nauman Moghal Business Head, GameCentric

A GAME-CHANGER FOR DEVELOPERS AI's ability to spot patterns and analyse the gaming industry landscape introduces a paradigm shift in how developers approach game production. By employing reinforcement learning and pattern recognition, AI becomes a guiding force in understanding player behaviour, innovative gameplay, and adapting to the ever-changing gaming environment. This analytical prowess is not just about understanding the players but also about shaping and evolving the very essence of game creation itself. Developers now find themselves liberated to focus on the imaginative aspects of game design, leaving the technical intricacies to AI-driven solutions that identify patterns, adjust to surroundings, and accelerate the game development cycle.



KEEPING GAMERS INTRIGUED The dynamic duo of reinforcement learning and pattern recognition isn't just theoretical; it's a practical solution to the perpetual challenge of keeping gamers engaged and appropriately challenged. Rapidly assessing player behaviours allows for the adaptation and evolution of character behaviour over time, ensuring that the gaming experience remains a fluid and responsive narrative that captivates players and keeps them on the edge of their seats.

AI'S IMPACT ON GAMEPLAY The revolution doesn't stop at game creation; it extends to the very core of gameplay. AI is not just responsible for delivering realistic designs and interactive avatars; it's the driving force behind tailoring experiences to the unique play style and skill level of each player. Whether adapting difficulty settings, personalising challenges, or creating individualised narratives, AI ensures that every gaming session is a bespoke adventure.



rtificial Intelligence (AI) has undeniably claimed its spot as the buzziest of buzzwords, permeating across various industries. Unsurprisingly, the gaming realm is no exception to this AI revolution. This isn't just a trend; it's a massive change shaking up the gaming world in 2024. Set aside your preconceptions about gaming – AI is doing more than just making things look cool or telling stories. It's rewriting how games work. Picture gaming as a dynamic playground where AI takes the reins, not only shaping landscapes, characters, and more but actively engaging with players. This isn't confined to the screen; it's a transformative shift that influences how we perceive gaming. 2024 is game-ready for a wave of innovation that will reshape the gaming experience for all audiences!

In this new era of AI-driven gaming, both individuals and brands stand to benefit immensely. Players are no longer passive participants; they are active contributors to the gaming narrative. Through the innovative approach of Gaming-as-a-Service (GaaS), AI becomes the backbone of a personalised gaming experience, assisting players in levelling up and enhancing their journey. Brands have found a new playground in the virtual realm, leveraging AI not only to enhance in-game experiences but also to craft immersive marketing experiences within games. Within the strategic framework provided by gaming giants, the collaborative nature of AI-driven gaming is fostering a sense of community and engagement, amplifying the overall impact on both the gaming industry and its stakeholders. As we stand at the cusp of this gaming revolution, propelled by the extraordinary capabilities of AI and the strategic insights of gaming giants, one thing is certain – the future of gaming is not just an evolution; it's a revolution that transcends boundaries. The adventure has just begun, and the possibilities are as limitless as the virtual worlds AI is helping to create.







amification - the application of typical elements of game playing, such as point scoring or competition with others, applied to other areas of activity. You may have heard the phrase ‘gamification of life’ once or twice before, and whilst it has started to permeate our lives, we see it employed from a business and marketing perspective more than ever before.

INCORPORATING GAME DYNAMICS INTO OUR LIVES Have you ever downloaded an app that rewards you with points, achievements, or badges for achieving fitness goals? Congratulations, you've experienced gamification firsthand. Beyond simply tracking steps or completed workouts, these apps introduce gamelike features in the form of goals or achievements that motivate individuals to maintain an active lifestyle. Mundane activities are transformed into exciting challenges, creating a positive feedback loop that encourages continued app usage. Users find joy in hitting daily step goals or completing challenging workouts, and the reward system fosters a sense of accomplishment. This strategic use of gamification not only keeps users engaged but also contributes to the overall well-being of individuals who might otherwise find traditional fitness routines monotonous.

EXPERIENCES MATTER The retail sector has keenly observed the success of gamification in engaging consumers. Taking inspiration from the gaming world, businesses are creating personalized and competitive shopping experiences. Loyalty programs, a classic example, incorporate point systems and exclusive rewards, transforming the act of shopping into a rewarding and



competitive venture. Brands, by infusing gamification elements, can elevate customer engagement and foster loyalty, meeting the growing consumer demand for an experiential journey rather than a mere transaction. This encourages repeat business and turns shopping into a leisurely experience where consumers actively seek to unlock exclusive benefits.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES ELEVATE ENGAGEMENT Beyond traditional advertising methods, brands are capitalizing on emerging immersive technologies such as 3D graphics, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality. These technologies provide a dynamic and interactive platform for engaging customers, far surpassing the impact of traditional commercials. Interactive and visually stimulating experiences allow brands to forge deeper connections with their audience. Using the example of cosmetic stores and augmented reality - brands now offer virtual try-on experiences, allowing customers to visualize products in real time before making a purchase. This immersive engagement enhances the customer's shopping experience and builds brand loyalty. There is a customer affinity for AR, but this comes with limitations as there is a steep hardware requirement. That said, removing the tech from the equation reveals an appetite for AR and it is definitely an upward moving trend with business and customers alike as tastes are shifting towards experiences rather than pure transactions. The metrics suggest that traditional brick and mortar retailers will have to adapt sooner rather than later and that seems to be the way things are headed based on forecasts from analysts and industry experts.



ELEVATING CONSUMER INTERACTION ONLINE AND OFFLINE Businesses are tapping into the upward trend of shared experiences, intertwining their brand narratives with the user's personal story. From a strictly online perspective, social media challenges that reward customers for sharing their purchases or achievements on their platforms not only amplify brand visibility by increasing views and impressions, but also create a sense of community among customers. Community is a driving force in real life interactions, as common ground builds a sense of social resonance. Similar interests foster a connection with the brand as it connects customers to one another in a sense, creating a space for shared experiences, commentary, and conversation. The integration of multiplayer games into business strategies is another way gamification is reshaping the business industry. Brands are recognizing the potential of turning customer interactions into collaborative experiences. The proof is in the pudding, according to a study by techreport: 90% of survey respondents admit • that gamification increases productivity. 67% of students agree that • gamification improves productivity. • In North America, the gamification sector is worth $3.8 billion. 70% of 2000 leading companies • globally use gamification. As brands continue to innovate in this space, the gamification of business is set to redefine customer engagement, de-emphasizing transactional experiences and rather focusing efforts on creating a journey of shared experiences and cultivating lasting relationships with consumers. In the next 5-10 years, I expect that brands and businesses alike will find new ways to innovate with AR and VR technology as they seek to transform consumer engagement by gamifying our lives.








he soaring popularity of mobile gaming is truly a phenomenon to behold. Some global estimates show mobile users are spending four to five hours a day in apps, much of it in games. One count of 2022 worldwide game downloads stood at more than 55 billion. The lesson is clear. Gaming resonates with users. Gamification can take many forms in apps and campaigns, from simple visual cues to rewards and points. What is important is that elements are blended into a coherent and enjoyable user experience that keeps people coming back for more. What follows are some guidelines that will allow you to get the most from gamification and thus make your app stand out from the pack.



Just as your app is designed around use cases and commercial objectives, so should your gamification strategy begin with the simple question: what do we hope to achieve? Explicitly stated goals will focus on design and development. App gamification should guide users to exhibit particular behaviors. So, what are they? What outcomes are you aiming for? And what actions do you want to encourage in users to deliver those outcomes?





To ensure you use the right gamification elements, you must know what makes your users tick. Even if you have a strategy in place, there is no point in moving to the design phase without getting to know the people that will download, install, use, reuse, and (you hope) recommend your app. Talk to those people, research the market, and understand as much as possible about what drives them.



Now the work begins. Depending on your objectives and the insights you have gathered from your potential users, you will incorporate a variety of elements that make your app fun. App builders can include points and reward systems, which make it easier to track a user’s progress while elevating the overall experience. Users can earn points that can be used to unlock rewards that can be utilized for future in-app purchases. This provides them with a tangible sense of achievement and motivation. Additionally, progress bars, levels, and badges provide users with a visualization of how close they are to achieving specific goals. Visual cues keep a user engaged and, again, instill a sense of accomplishment and motivate them to aim for the next level. Challenges, missions, leaderboards, quizzes, in-app currencies, and other surprises all build up a sense of competition, progress, and fun. Think of these elements as the building blocks of gamification – the bricks of fun that create a meaningful sense of progress, competition, achievement, and social interaction.



People like to know what they have achieved so far, and what they still have to achieve to qualify for the next reward. So, keep users informed, and do it in a way that is eye-catching to ensure that the information provided becomes something they want to experience again. Every point and reward should come with instant fanfare – something that grabs the senses and lets the user know right away that they have “scored”. Pop-up messages, sounds, and other acknowledgments follow the rules of gaming, where players are constantly hearing trumpets and bells and seeing splashes of “Super job!” or “Well done!” to let them know they are heading in the right direction.



Gamification is not a one-sizefits-all proposition; this is why one of the steps here is to get to know your audience. But once you get into implementation, you must experiment with different features and rewards to see if your research was right. Once you release a gamification feature, monitor user engagement, and use retention metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy. Adjust as necessary; then sit back and watch engagement soar.





Personalization is now the hallmark of effective eCommerce apps, and this desire to feel special translates over to when your users play games too. Personalized experiences are the obsession of the modern app designer, and with the right data and analytics, this can be a reality. The goal should be to group users based on their preferences and interests. The challenges and rewards that are offered to each group can then be aligned with their preferences, leading to yet more engagement.

GAME ON Gamification is the best way for your retail app to stand out in markets of millions, or even billions, of annual downloads. If users get bored, there are always more apps to play around with. And if, like many regional organizations, your app is a core engagement channel, then your brand can be punished by that boredom.









793, Sudbury, New Hampshire, USA — (according to some) a merchant hands over a copper token to a customer and tells them it can be presented for a discount on their next purchase. This oft-repeated tale is widely considered to be the origin story of the loyalty scheme. And today, the idea has spread across the world to tens of thousands of marketing and sales teams eager to build relationships and inspire brand ambassadorship. In 2021, Research and Markets gave a projected value for the global loyalty management market of US$13.8 billion by 2026. In 2020, a year before the estimate was published, the market was valued at US$4.02 billion. If these figures are accurate,





we are looking at a CAGR of almost 23%. And nowhere does the loyalty scheme find a more natural home than in the digitized workflows of ecommerce.

functions that allow customers to refer others easily, such as unlocking special codes that can be shared with friends for an introductory discount.



Digital platforms can manage schemes more consistently and smoothly. It could be a pointsbased program, a perk-oriented tiered system, or a value-driven scheme that individualizes rewards based on historical shopping preferences. You could opt for subscription loyalty programs, granting benefits for a fee (Amazon Prime, for example) or you could go for dual-shelf edge pricing where datasharing members get a different price than non-members. Platforms never miss a beat. They will, 100% of the time, apply the rules accurately to bring superlative customer experiences. The UAE and its Gulf neighbors have shown remarkable resistance to the global inflation spiral. But storms that pass us by can still make us brace for impact. Consumers that are cautious are consumers that are not spending. Now is a great time to consider softening the rules within loyalty schemes — lower entry barriers by reducing subscription prices; make it easier to transition in the tier system; or award more points for repeat purchases.

Once you hit your stride, transactions will mushroom, engagement will surge, and you will be left with an ocean of data that should not go to waste. Do not be content with the obvious information bobbing like markers on the surface. There is little value here. Go deep and probe for the nontrivial, previously unknown, actionable insights — the insights that can make the difference in understanding what makes your customers tick. Then pour that knowledge back into the loyalty scheme. In other words: “Mine your own business.” Segment your base; target with relevance and impact; shine for your customers. In case it was not immediately apparent, we are now talking about artificial intelligence and its increasingly popular subbranch, machine learning. ML-powered recommendation engines (“People who bought this item also bought…”) are just one feature that can boost the buying propensity of a repeat customer.



The marketing function has a huge role to play. It is important to get the word out, not just that your loyalty scheme exists but about what benefits it brings to the customer. The best programs span multiple brands. So don’t be afraid to team up with others for the ultimate customer experience. And be sure to let customers know they will have access to these other brands. Also let the customer know how easy it is to sign up and how easy it is to redeem their entitlements. The only way to keep this promise is through our caped hero, technology. The word “frictionless” is often used to describe the optimal digital experience. Allow mobile apps to connect the region’s digital natives to mobile payments. Automate the registration of rewards and the application of discounts. Leverage gamification principles to boost engagement. Stir in social media

The well-designed loyalty scheme is not just for lean times. Strong customer relationships, like all other relationships, endure through good and ill. But this endurance supposes that retailers keep their eye to the horizon and their ear to the ground to anticipate what their loyal customers will want tomorrow and the day after and the year after that. It would be a mistake to see customers as natural flip-floppers. They are looking for trustworthy companies with which to build meaningful relationships just as much as those companies are on the hunt for long-term customers. Individualized messaging can rekindle engagement, and make an existing customer remember what was great about your brand when they first made a purchase. Recommend, nudge, reward, repeat.











enerative artificial intelligence (AI), in isolation, is neither an alternative nor a replacement for current search technologies. Nevertheless, AI-driven search engines can help reshape how users interact with search capabilities through natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML). Gartner estimates that, by 2027, generative AI models will underpin 60% of NLP use cases, a major increase from fewer than 10% in 2022.

REVOLUTIONIZING THE FUTURE OF SEARCH WITH GENERATIVE AI Generative AI can enable a broad range of search-related tasks, including the following: Summarization — Generating summaries • to be returned in response to searches. Classification — Capturing and attributing • metadata to digital assets and their parts. Query parsing — Reformulating user • queries for processing against the index. Response quality — Checking the relevance • of responses against the initial query. Generative AI has the potential to transform enterprise search from a transactional to a conversational experience. AI foundational models, when used in conjunction with search technologies, can also power semantic, conversational search. Semantic search analyzes the relationships between words as well as words themselves during indexing and query to deliver more relevant search experiences. This has the potential to democratize access to information, where the users’ intent is better understood, and vital information is delivered to their fingertips. As a result, it enables them to make business decisions or perform tasks in a more productive manner. Most businesses today are drowning in a massive sprawl of information, which is difficult to navigate and find. There are a variety of custom and bespoke tools that have been deployed with limited success. The potential to bring a conversational experience to organize and discover information, often in real-time, can be of enormous value for businesses across the globe.



benefit from it. Knowledge industries such as information technology, life sciences, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, media and entertainment will be some of the early adopters. For example, generative AI-powered enterprise search can enhance the clinician experience in healthcare, enabling care teams to access critical medical information at the point of care. Deploying generative AI use cases also involve a level of sophistication in leveraging large language models with high degree of cognition, cohesiveness and knowledge grounding. There are a number of SaaS solutions emerging that promise to make enterprise deployments more seamless to implement.

ENABLING TRUST AND SECURITY Security and governance are crucial for businesses before adopting any new tool or technology. To enable trust and security while using generative AI search, CIOs must take the following steps: Prioritize generative AI providers that • provide data privacy guarantees around IP protection. Work with providers to deploy approaches • such as prompt engineering and/or finetuning to reduce hallucinations. Choose providers that more closely • integrate with enterprise data stores and can demonstrate robust access control, content rights and language understanding. Deploy solutions for explainability and • content moderation to reduce harmful output and to demystify the black-box nature of these models. They should also conduct adversarial testing across a range of scenarios before deploying Generative AI apps in production. Create a mandatory training program • for employees on the benefits and risks of Generative AI applications, including intended usage scenarios and how to provide user feedback.

IMPACT ON INDUSTRIES Enterprise search is a horizontal use case and organizations in every industry will







By: Dr. David Santandreu, Acting Director of Academic Development and Head of Educational Program Development, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)


he educational sector is undergoing a radical transformation fuelled by advancements in emerging technologies. The convergence of generative AI (GenAI), blockchain, quantum computing, and cloud computing is reshaping the landscape of learning and teaching. This article presents seven predictions for the evolution of the educational sector in 2024.

1. PERSONALIZED LEARNING WITH GENAI Artificial intelligence (AI), specifically GenAI is set to revolutionize personalized learning experiences. GenAI has the ability to understand individual student needs and predict preferences (knowledge tracing/predictive modelling). By analyzing vast amounts of data, it can generate customized learning paths, provide feedback, suggest content and activities that cater to each student's unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses. At Ferris State University (Michigan, USA) two (non-human) AI students will enrol and participate in classes this spring semester, and complete assignments alongside their classmates. This novel experiment will help the university better understand the student experience.

2. CHATBOTS FOR LEARNING, TEACHING, AND ACADEMIC ADVISING Carefully selected specialized chatbots can help enhance student learning (and teaching) in various disciplines allowing quick access to



solutions, explanations, answers, advice, and information, 24/7, thus improving learning outcomes, retention, interest in the course(s) and engagement, and academic performance. Deloitte’s DARTbot is for instance supporting 18,000 audit and assurance professionals, providing them with intelligent responses to support their daily tasks and decisionmaking processes.

3. BLOCKCHAIN FOR ACADEMIC CREDENTIALING AND VERIFICATION Blockchain technology is poised to improve the way academic credentials are managed and verified. In 2024, we may expect to see an increase in the adoption of blockchainbased systems by schools and universities for storing and verifying educational records, like UAE PASS. This decentralized approach not only enhances the security of academic credentials (including microcredentials for local and international students) but also simplifies the (manual) verification process for employers and institutions.

4. QUANTUM COMPUTING IN TEACHING The integration of quantum computing into the educational sector is anticipated to accelerate advancements in scientific research and complex problem-solving. It will also contribute to economic growth and jobs. Commercializing quantum technologies is predicted to generate AU$2.2 billion for the Australian economy and 8,700 jobs by 2030. In 2023, the city of Taipei (Taiwan) announced that it would issue quantum computer science teaching materials to high schools and vocational high schools to provide students with career training. Subjects like physics, information science, engineering (e.g., electric vehicles), biostatistics, bioinformatics, chemistry, and mathematics will witness a surge in breakthroughs as quantum computing becomes an integral tool for data analysis, simulations, drug development, and optimization in academic research.

5. CLOUD COMPUTING REDEFINING ACCESSIBILITY Cloud computing may play a pivotal role in democratizing education, making it more accessible to students across the globe, if they



have access to Wi-Fi/internet. With cloudbased platforms, students can access online learning materials, collaborate with peers, and participate in virtual classrooms from anywhere. This shift towards cloud-based education not only breaks down geographical barriers but also ensures inclusivity, seamless collaboration and resource-sharing among educators and students, without the need to be physically present in the same classroom. As a result, the educational experience becomes more inclusive and flexible, accommodating diverse learning needs, including special needs.

6. VIRTUAL WORLDS, SPATIAL COMPUTING, AR, XR, MR, AND VR The integration of spatial computing, augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR) technologies will bring a new dimension to the learning experience. In 2024, we can expect to see wider adoption of AR, XR, MR and VR in educational settings, providing students with immersive simulations (e.g., medical or aerospace) and interactive experiences, allowing them to communicate with smart artificial agents.

7. COLLABORATIVE LEARNING/ TEACHING PLATFORMS Collaborative learning platforms such as UAE-born School Hack leverage advanced analytics to enhance the effectiveness of team-based learning. These platforms can not only facilitate real-time collaboration among students (active learning) but also provide educators with insights into team dynamics, team conflicts, and individual contributions. By analyzing data on participation, problemsolving approaches, and teamwork, educators can tailor their teaching strategies to foster a more collaborative and effective learning environment.

CONCLUSION The year 2024 promises a strong shift in the educational sector, driven by the integration of GenAI, blockchain, quantum computing, and cloud computing. As we embrace all the advancements, it is imperative for educators, institutions, and policymakers to adapt and leverage these technologies to ensure a future-ready and inclusive educational landscape.








echnology and artificial intelligence (AI) have become integral to our daily lives, reshaping industries and revolutionizing human experiences. AI chatbots are becoming increasingly important in today's industries, as they redefine the way operations are run. The world of customer service has witnessed a significant transformation, driven by the remarkable potential of AI-powered chatbots. This technical shift has rewritten customer experiences and engagement by meeting their preferences and interests. It is predicted that by 2027, many organizations will rely primarily on chatbots for customer assistance. In the Middle East, it is estimated that around 85% of all consumer



interactions will be handled by technologies like chatbots by the year 2025.

CHATBOTS BEYOND FUNCTIONAL ROLES In the past, chatbots could only provide customers with basic assistance due to their reliance on rules-based reasoning. They would identify specific trigger words and phrases in a customer's query and respond with pre-scripted statements. However, this approach had limitations since chatbots couldn't learn from customer interactions, which made it difficult for them to understand precisely what the customer required. As a result, chatbots were only effective in answering straightforward queries.



ABILITY OF AI BOTS TO EXHIBIT HUMANLIKE CHARACTERISTICS IN FUTURE Interacting with a conversational chatbot feels more natural and organic because it can understand synonyms, emotions, and context better. Moreover, these AI chatbots are known for their empathetic responses, which enable them to identify and respond to the emotions that humans display during conversations. The chatbot system can recognize a broad range of emotional states, from happiness to despair or frustration, by analyzing the tone, choice of words, and facial expressions. This reaction not only enhances the user experience but also enables users and robots to communicate more effectively.

EVOLVING ROLE OF AI IN CHATBOTS Nowadays, AI chatbots have become vital tools in modern marketing, seamlessly integrating with fullfunnel conversational marketing strategies. These advanced chatbots play a crucial role in every stage of the customer journey, from initial awareness to postpurchase engagement. During the initial awareness stage, AI chatbots interact with website users in real-time, providing them with immediate information and support. In addition to facilitating smooth processes during the decision and conversion stages, AI chatbots are essential for maintaining client retention post-purchase. They offer continuous assistance and gather insightful feedback to improve user experiences.

ASSESSING VALUABLE USER DATA THROUGH CHATBOT INTERACTIONS In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses from various industries constantly seek innovative ways to connect and engage with potential customers. Chatbots are an effective tool, providing companies with a unique opportunity to customize their interactions and engage effectively with their target audience. Additionally, chatbots help streamline the customer acquisition process, making it more efficient and effective.

PRIVACY AND PROTECTION OF CUSTOMER DATA Contemporary AI-driven chatbots now leverage advanced language processing, enabling effective interactions in multiple languages. Modern chatbots offer real-time translations, enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. For example, Unifonic's software solutions operate seamlessly in English, Arabic, and Urdu, showcasing the flexibility of AI in breaking language barriers, which is crucial for an inclusive customer experience. Today's AI chatbots have already shown significant improvements in human-like communication. With advanced language processing algorithms, these chatbots can understand the user's inquiry and provide appropriate responses with a natural conversational tone.

It is important to integrate AI chatbots into operations with proper awareness and understanding of the potential ethical issues that may arise. AI technology suppliers must provide information on how their systems handle ethical issues and what measures should be taken when implementing them. This is primarily because chatbots can gather information about customer preferences, behavior, and interactions, which can provide numerous useful insights. Chatbots are significantly transforming the customer service industry by providing companies with the opportunity to offer clients seamless, personalized, and effective customer assistance.




Jeremy Denisty Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Imagin3 Studio










recently Jeremy

Denisty, co-founder and managing



Imagin3 Studio, an innovation advisory




driving digital innovation across various sectors such as Web3, NFTs, Community, the Metaverse, and Artificial Intelligence. Jeremy, who co-authored the book "Virtual Economy" with Dado Van Peteghem, discussed the potential developments of the next decade while grounding them in present realities. In the following questions, we explore the concept of gamification and its potential applications across different industries in the region.






Explain to our readers what the gamification of business entails, including its various applications across


industries? Gamification traces its roots back to the gaming industry, which has experienced remarkable growth over the past


two decades. It's intriguing to observe how individuals across different age groups, from children to adults, immerse themselves in gaming for hours, drawn by the engagement and interaction it offers. This phenomenon is attributed to gamification, which enhances engagement, interaction, and loyalty among players. Consequently, there's immense potential for businesses to leverage these techniques to foster better customer engagement, an aspect many brands currently struggle with. Gaming is one of the most successful and fastestgrowing industries with a report suggesting that young Americans spend 12 hours a week gaming. For example, Roblox boasts 70.2 million active daily users who spend on average two and a half hours per day on the platform, which shows how gaming has evolved from a hobby to a way of living, connecting, and consuming. Those new generations of customers are getting accustomed to fast-paced, increasingly engaging, and rewarding experiences, which is what they expect from the brands they consume. In our book, The Virtual Economy,

interaction and feedback collection, offering incentives

we talk about the Magic Triangle and how brands must

for completing surveys. This gamified strategy not only

create value by focusing on building better EXPERIENCES,

entertains users but also provides valuable insights to

LOYALTY, and COMMUNITIES. This is exactly what games

enhance overall business operations. Going even further, Starbucks introduced Starbucks

are about.

Odyssey in late 2022. This new layer of the loyalty program How can customers interact better with brands?

offers members the chance to participate in Starbucks

The biggest impact of gamification for brands lies in the

“journeys”, such as watching a video on the history of the

ability to nurture more loyal customers. Loyalty programs

brand or trying their limited-edition Christmas drink, and

have historically rewarded customers transactionally,

rewards participants with “digital stamps”. Those stamps are

based on their referrals or a set number of purchases.

either redeemable for unique benefits -one of them a trip

A great example of a brand leveraging gamification

to Costa Rica to visit a coffee farm, or tradable with other

techniques to grow a loyal fan base is Starbucks. Starbucks

members on a marketplace. More than $200,000 of sales

introduced a sophisticated points-based and benefits

have occurred on the marketplace between members, with

system through its Starbucks Rewards app, akin to some of

Starbucks grabbing a 7.5% royalty fee, making Starbucks

the most successful Triple-A games. This digital alternative

Odyssey one of the first “loyalty-to-earn” programs,

surpasses traditional loyalty cards, fostering customer

delivering direct benefits to members, and the brand.

loyalty and contributing significantly to the company's

engagement, loyalty, and customer experience but also

revenue. As a result of their successful loyalty program shift, Starbucks reported a $2.65 billion revenue increase, with over 25% growth in membership, and 40% of sales at US Starbucks leverages this approach to enhance customer


serves as a creative method of collecting and utilizing data for continual improvement. However, gamification is not only limited to increasing customer engagement and building more brand loyalty but

stores attributed to the membership program.


This innovative approach not only enhances user

also to improving internal operations.


Why brands are introducing gamification into their

offer entertainment during stationary moments, it may


take several years before such features significantly

Engagement in the workplace has increasingly become

influence the gaming industry. The automotive sector

a challenge for brands and companies. A recent Gallup

must address various challenges, particularly in self-



driving technology, before we witness substantial

employees has risen each year since the 2020 Covid

impacts on gaming. However, once these challenges

pandemic. Only 32% of respondents felt engaged in their

are overcome, in-car gaming could liberate countless

work, and 18% felt actively disengaged.

hours spent commuting, potentially transforming how





This lack of engagement has significant consequences for companies, whether through a lack of productivity or

individuals engage with gaming and other activities while on the move.

through increased recruitment and training costs derived from a higher employee turnover rate. Gamification could

Looking ahead, do you foresee car companies launching

be seen as an appropriate solution to solve this problem.

cars through gaming platforms, and how might this

It appeals to our competitive nature and fosters deeper

impact automobile enthusiasts?

engagement. Gamification integrated into business

Car manufacturers, much like luxury brands and retailers,

practices introduces a competitive and fun aspect that

recognize the importance of fostering emotional

motivates professionals to outperform colleagues or their


competitors within their industry.

generations. They aim to avoid being perceived as mere





As an example, gamification can be used to create more

commodities and instead seek to create meaningful

effective employee training programs. Training programs

engagements. Understanding that gaming platforms

are loaded with information that usually takes a while to be

offer rich opportunities for emotional interaction; car

completely acquainted with.

companies are increasingly leveraging these platforms

Companies can learn from popular Triple-A games such as Call of Duty and develop a leaderboard and badge

to connect with younger audiences and cultivate lasting brand loyalty.

system that encourages employees to finish modules and learn new skills that will benefit them. In other words, allow

How do you envision the future of gamification in both

them the ability to “level up” their stats, gain XP points,

the workplace and consumer-brand interactions,

and be rewarded when they complete certain classes and

considering the influence of Generation Alpha and


emerging technologies like VR and AR? Gamification draws heavily from the principles of

Aside from the retail sector, in which other industries do


you envision the application of gamification techniques?

highlighting the motivational power of small incentives

The application of gamification techniques extends to

in situations with known probabilities of outcomes.

virtually every industry that interacts with customers.

Individuals, fundamentally motivated by the prospect of

Whether it's retail or any other sector offering products

rewards, find their behaviors influenced by gamification

or services, there's a universal need to enhance customer

elements, offering brands a cost-effective tool to shape

engagement and loyalty. Therefore, gamification is

consumer engagement and commitment.

pertinent for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business









Beyond Gen Z, Generation Alpha is the only generation


born into the internet and gamified experiences. Growing

bolster customer engagement through innovative loyalty

up playing games such as Roblox and Minecraft that

programs and engagement strategies.

leverage reward systems, Generation Alpha anticipates a similar dynamic in the workplace, emphasizing

How do you anticipate the integration of in-car gaming experiences to influence both the automotive and

gamification's lasting impact and relevance. With the latest technological advancements, such

gaming industries?

as VR and AR, gaining popularity in workspaces with a

The prospect of in-car gaming experiences impacting

generally young workforce, gamification will continue to

both industries is intriguing. While it's true that current

shape companies and allow customers to connect with

in-car gaming experiences, like those in Tesla vehicles,

brands at a more relatable level.





TECH COMPANIES EMBRACING GAMIFICATION FOR ENHANCED OPERATIONS Integrator Media had an exclusive interview with Mohamadsami Shaikh – Consultant, Growth Advisory, Information & Communications Technology, Frost & Sullivan

Can you provide an overview of how gamification is currently being utilized in the technology industry to enhance business operations? Gamification has become a versatile tool for enhancing various aspects of business operations in the technology industry. While initially, it has significantly improved the efficiency and engagement of processes within the education, retail and banking sectors, gamification today has become an important part of optimizing several pr ocesses within tech companies, too. We are witnessing technology firms incorporating gamification across multiple operations, ranging from recruitment and onboarding to upskilling, as well as customer-facing processes such as marketing and sales enablement. Nevertheless, the goal of gamification remains consistent: to provide engaging experiences that enhance both internal and external engagement and productivity. What recent trends have you observed in the adoption of gamification strategies among technology companies? We are noticing a shift in the use of gamification for processes. Earlier gamification was used for internal processes like training and recruiting. However, given its success, tech organizations have now extended these experiences to more customer- facing processes – that is training and engaging with the customer. This significantly raises the engagement and feedback from customers. Several tech companies today allow their customers to learn and explore their products and services in the



form of a guided gamified process that is self-paced and rewards the participants through social media shareable badges and certifications. This unlocks an achievement sentiment for the user. We see large tech companies like Microsoft and Salesforce do this for their products and services. IBM for example, through its “Innov8” game has revolutionized business process management (BPM) training by introducing a gamified approach. By transforming complex BPM concepts into a captivating game, Innov8 provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience. Players navigate virtual business scenarios, identifying inefficiencies and making strategic decisions to improve processes. Through gamification, IBM immerses participants in a simulated business environment, allowing them to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills.



Are there specific sectors within the technology industry where gamification has seen more rapid adoption? Within tech companies, gamification is mostly used for upskilling existing software development teams. The teams are constantly exposed to changing technologies and must quickly come to the curve of using them, while this could get tiresome and boring, gamification has made this task more engaging by incentivizing team members to learn faster and even reward top performers. Gamification has also made the recruiting and onboarding process more efficient and engaging, we see tech companies use gamification to shortlist candidates based on how candidates interact with a short, gamified experience, while the candidates experience an engaging process the recruiters are able to get a ranked list of candidates who best performed, thus speeding up the entire recruitment lifecycle. Similarly, once onboarded, employees are exposed to gamified tasks that help them better understand the organization, its products, and its services. ‘The Siemens’ “PlantVille” is a fitting example of a gamified recruitment and onboarding process. This virtual game simulated the experience of managing a manufacturing plant, providing job applicants with an immersive and interactive platform to demonstrate their skills. Through challenging scenarios and real-time decision-making, candidates showcased their problemsolving abilities while enjoying a gaming experience. Siemens' gamified recruitment approach not only attracted top talent but also allowed the company to assess candidates in a more engaging and authentic setting. By leveraging gamification, Siemens revolutionized its hiring process, making it more exciting, interactive, and effective in identifying the best candidates for their team. How can gamification be applied to improve employee engagement within technology companies? A successful gamification experience unlocks participant’s emotions and showcases the best activities an audience can complete that have a positive impact






on mutually shared goals. As participants engage with a gamification program, they receive instant feedback on their performance and are directed towards subsequent steps to attain new achievements. Engagement delivered through gamification tends to stick, based on a survey 85% of employees are shown to be more engaged when gamification solutions are applied to their workplace scenarios. This becomes immensely helpful for critical tasks that may seem boring for employees. Cybersecurity compliance and training is one such task that is of utmost importance, given the value of data and information held by any organization. While there are applications that monitor cybersecurity threats, most risk for an organization comes from its internal teams, hence compliance and understanding becomes extremely important. We are starting to see tech organizations, especially those that hold a lot of sensitive user data use gamification to ensure cybersecurity compliance of their employees. This makes the process more engaging for users and rewards them for their timely completion and adherence. Cisco’s gamification initiative is another notable example to improve enterprisewide employee engagement. Cisco leverages gamification to help its employees improve their social media skills. The initiative employs three tiers of certification and four tiers of sub-certification as incentives that participants can achieve through this process. Employees within the company can engage in social media training programs tailored to their specific roles, enabling them to acquire and apply relevant skills. For example, it teaches the HR team to efficiently use social media techniques to identify candidates on



LinkedIn, whereas it also trains sales team members to convert potential clients on Twitter and Facebook. As employees learn new skills, they level and earn badges and other benefits. We also see tech companies like SAP drive successful sales engagement through gamification, to prepare their sales team to counter and face customer rejections, SAP internally launched “RoadWarrior” the program that trains sales representatives to face challenges by putting them in front of a simulated customer. What are some common challenges or risks that technology companies may face when implementing gamification strategies? While gamification can have several positive outcomes it needs to be done right. Most organizations who plan to leverage gamification to improve employee engagement or optimize a process tend to miss the first and most critical step which is aligning business objectives and priorities. This step is crucial to the process and requires thorough analysis and a well-planned approach. Businesses often proceed with developing a gamified program without a thorough grasp of their objectives, user expectations, and how gamification will drive desired user behavior to meet those objectives. Ignoring this step often leads to the business and user not meeting expectations. We also come across cases where the organization deploys a gamified process at a very high or superficial level. In such cases enterprises start using the rating system without thinking of how it could help them achieve their goals. They focus on achieving high results and forget that gamification should bring more meaning and fun into the workplace. In certain instances, this can result in the misapplication of gamification, as employees might resort to cheating to achieve superior outcomes or may not approach tasks with the necessary seriousness. What do you see as the future trajectory of gamification in the technology industry? Gamification in the tech industry has a lot of scope for further development and improvement. While it has delivered several success stories by engaging audiences ranging from internal employees and external customers, tech companies can still further leverage gamification to bring out better results. We believe technologies such as AI and AR/VR will further enhance delivery of gamified experiences to unlock new engagement potential across several processes. For the conclusion: The future of gamification in the technology industry holds promise for creating more engaging, immersive, and impactful experiences across various domains, from education and healthcare to business and entertainment. As technology continues to advance and societal needs evolve, gamification will remain a versatile and powerful tool for driving behavior change, fostering learning and creativity, and shaping the way we interact with digital systems and environments.




TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS Integrator Media had an exclusive interview with Majda Lahlou Kassi, Vice President and Head of Ericsson West Africa & Morocco. With your background in technology, sales, strategy, and operations, how do you plan to drive Ericsson's technological initiatives? With my background spanning technology, sales, strategy, and operations at Ericsson, my focus is on driving the company's technological initiatives in West Africa. Having travelled extensively to engage with customers directly, I have always prioritized understanding their needs and enhancing network performance to deliver impactful solutions. Believing in Africa's immense potential, I am dedicated to driving forward Ericsson’s ‘Africa in Motion’ initiative. Through this initiative, we aim to leverage our best talent and expertise to empower sustainable growth, economic development, and connectivity across Africa. Drawing from experience, we are confident in identifying and seizing opportunities for success while navigating the current challenges. We aim to ensure widespread connectivity through strategic partnerships and innovative technologies like 4G, 5G and mobile financial services, especially in rural areas. By fostering digital literacy, promoting financial inclusion, and collaborating with stakeholders, we strive to empower communities, accelerate Africa's digitalization efforts, and support its journey towards achieving technological and sustainable development goals. How does Ericsson plan to support the digital transformation of networks in the region? At Ericsson, we are committed to supporting the digital transformation of networks through 5G. Our global network platform connects developers to global capabilities, fostering the creation of new applications. With global 5G population coverage projected to increase from 45 percent to around 85 percent in 2029, we believe that 5G should go beyond the capabilities of 4G, and our approach is to make these capabilities accessible for others to integrate into various applications and devices. We also have opened a













5G Core Excellence Center in the Middle East and Africa, showcasing the real-world applications of 5G, including fixed wireless access, cloud gaming, and enterprise offerings. We are dedicated to addressing pressing global issues while also enhancing communication infrastructure's accessibility and affordability for sustainable economic growth. To meet Africa’s increasing broadband demands, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) emerges as a pivotal technology. While 4G FWA is an initial steppingstone, 5G’s potential is increasingly coming to the forefront due to its capability to deliver fiber-like speeds. This advancement complements traditional fixed broadband infrastructure within the region. Notably, several key African markets, including Angola, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, have already launched 5G FWA services. This shift can be attributed to its cost effectiveness, rapid deployment capabilities and inherent flexibility. How does Ericsson align its technologies and solutions to support sustainable activities and goals in Africa? Ericsson firmly believes that sustainability is at the foundation of our business success. Through ‘Africa in Motion’, we aim for a sustainably developed Africa. Achieving sustainable high-speed connectivity in Africa requires leveraging global collaboration and technological advancements such as 5G, AI, and IoT. These emerging technologies serve as critical means for decarbonization efforts. ICT solutions have the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15% by 2030. When it comes to our solutions, the intelligent RAN energy-saving software as well as our triple-band, trisector 5G radio technology has shown significant energy reductions. We also promote waste reduction through smart product design and comprehensive take-back services, addressing e-waste. Last year, Ericsson and Free Senegal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a proof-of-concept (PoC) project that provides a digital education ecosystem for schools in Senegal. As part of the PoC, a few schools will be connected with FWA technology, and also provided with laptops, learning content, and teacher training to support the development of the ecosystem. The project will demonstrate how FWA, by utilizing existing mobile radio networks, is an effective solution to connect schools and bridge the educational divide. Another initiative is our collaboration with Smart Africa Digital Academy to enhance critical digital skills of senior public sector officials. 100 policy makers and regulators across 19 African countries attended virtual workshops in emerging technologies over a three-month period. Ericsson’s goal is to achieve Net Zero in our own operations (f leet, facilities, business travel and commuting/teleworking) by 2030. We aim to generate



value for the future and continue to develop innovative solutions that extend broadband access to over a billion people in Africa, all while addressing sustainability and energy and carbon emission challenges. The extension of Ericsson Expert Analytics with advanced troubleshooting capabilities is interesting. Can you share more about how machine learning and AI tools will benefit telecom networks in the region? The extension of Ericsson Expert Analytics, featuring advanced troubleshooting capabilities driven by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, marks a pivotal advancement for telecom networks in the region. This technology takes troubleshooting to the next level by integrating embedded intelligence and built-in domain knowledge, making incident identification and resolution more practically seamless. With ML-based anomaly detection, the system provides actionable insights, resulting in faster and more accurate issue resolution during network events. This enhances the reliability of telecom networks and ensures a proactive approach to addressing challenges in real-time. The application of AI in network analytics is a transformative force in the regional telecommunications landscape. By leveraging AI's unique automation capabilities, Ericsson contributes to the ongoing evolution of telecom networks. This includes managing and automating complex network data, predicting patterns and issues, and ultimately boosting network performance. How does Ericsson plan to stay ahead in terms of technological innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of telecom services? Our strategy to stay ahead in technological innovation involves a holistic approach focused on expanding our enterprise business, fostering cultural transformation, and fortifying our leadership in mobile networks. Leveraging our proven technology, we're committed to broadening our portfolio and unlocking new avenues of growth. Public-private partnerships will continue to be instrumental in our sustainability and digital inclusion efforts. Our emphasis on the Global Network Platform (GNP) accelerates the development and availability of network services and APIs, enhancing accessibility for users and fostering collaboration with CSPs, application developers, and enterprises. Additionally, our dedication to tackling global challenges such as climate change and inequality remains steadfast. The recent establishment of the 5G Core Excellence Center demonstrates our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and the advancement of 5G technology. As we have just concluded a transformative year, Ericsson remains focused on connecting communities, driving innovation, and leading the charge towards a sustainable and digitally inclusive future.



SUSTAINABILITY IN THE GLOBAL CONSUMER ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY THROUGH AI AND ROBOTICS Integrator Media had an exclusive interview with Ammar Aboulnasr, Founder and CEO, Basatne International LLC.

In your experience, how have you seen the consumer electronics industry evolve since the founding of Basatne International in 2009? We have witnessed a significant drive toward sustainability and a circular economy. New consumer electronic devices are being designed to enjoy multiple lives and minimize waste. This trend has driven a substantial need for companies like Basatne to efficiently facilitate collection, testing and refurbishing of used consumer electronics. What technological trends do you believe will have the most significant impact on the consumer electronics sector in the coming years? Right to Repair regulations have driven electronic device manufacturers to redesign devices to ensure the useful lifespans of products are maximized. There has also been a trend toward universal solutions such as Apple’s recent move to the USB C charging connector that maximizes reusability.



With operations in Canada, the United States, and the UAE, how do you navigate and adapt to the diverse markets and regulatory environments in these regions? We have assembled an amazing team of employees who are dispersed across many parts of the world. This diverse expertise enables us to remain informed and sensitive to both regulatory issues and social trends that drive business. From humble beginnings in Canada to our new AI enabled robotics solution in Dubai, we continue to invest and enjoy success globally. We are committed to identifying and disrupting marketplaces where technological advancements can positively impact behaviors and the environment. Can you share insights into the challenges and opportunities that come with managing a global presence in the consumer electronics industry? Keeping track of and complying with all regulatory controls is probably the most challenging as we are committed to

conducting business in the most ethical manner and with the highest quality. This philosophy creates opportunities for Basatne as clients prefer to do business with companies like us that can be relied upon to deliver results and promote transparency. How do you see the integration of AI and robotics influencing the future of reverse logistics and diagnostics in the electronics industry? Basatne’s significant investment in and commitment to AI and robotics can be seen in our newest services business called Ardroid. We recognized an underserved market throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in terms of escalating consumer and enterprise awareness toward ensuring their electronic devices enjoy multiple lives. In order for these regions to accelerate adoption of turning over their used devices, Basatne has built an infrastructure and the logistics capabilities in Ardroid that provide assurance to businesses and consumers that personal data is completely destroyed, and all devices are handled properly through their ultimate end of life. Ardroid’s automation ensures the highest quality results, removes subjectivity, and increases production capacities exponentially over existing manual solutions. The results are realized in the reduction of devices that end up in landfills or that litter the drawers of homes throughout the region.



How do you see the relationship between consumer electronics and B2B sectors evolving? Basatne and Ardroid will continue to invest in systems and processes that facilitate the collection and redistribution of used consumer electronics with the goal of making it easy and beneficial for our B2B clients. The benefits to businesses of working with Basatne and Ardroid include realization of: • The value of their used devices as a credit toward the purchase of replacement devices • Their sustainability and carbon emission goals Recognition by employees and customers that they • are doing the right thing for the environment. Basatne has invested in Ardroid and Nformed. How do these ventures complement the core business? Basatne is a distributor and wholesaler – it has been from the beginning and will remain dedicated to that business. Ardroid has been established by Basatne as a Services arm that focuses solely on the process of testing the functionality of consumer electronics, cosmetically grading them, and refurbishing the devices to extend their useful life when necessary. Nformed is an online marketplace data collection platform that feeds information into both Basatne and Ardroid, that is critical for decision making. All three business units serve independent but often overlapping clients.






AI SUPERPOWERS The Integrator had an exclusive interview with Talus Arukalil, Regional Manager MEAI at PNY Technologies Middle East, to delve into their current offerings in the regional market and explore how their generative AI solutions are revolutionizing the PC experience. With a focus on GPUs, storage, and AI-configured data centre ecosystems, PNY stands out as a leader in driving technological advancements in the region.



What is PNY currently offering in the regional market to enhance PC experience with generative AI? PNY is a global technology leader dedicated to consumer and business-grade electronics through its production capabilities and partnership with other manufacturers. PNY started as a DRAM manufacturer in 1985, the company adapted and evolved with a large range of component ecosystems in consumer and professional solutions, providing value-add to its partners. Now, PNY is building capabilities to design and integrate large-scale AI deployments with NVIDIA technology as the center. Access to various technologies through PNY provides new opportunities to its business partners as well. From GPU to Storage, AI-configured data center ecosystems, and gaming machines to multi-dimensional entertainment systems, PNY has proved its dominance and aims to continue its winning strategy in the IT component industry. Which industry according to you is being impacted the most by it? How do you think the gaming industry is responding to these changes? I would like to share about the benefit of new technology for PC industry and existing user experiences. As the computing is getting more powerful, the classification between Gaming & Office PC is narrowing down. A gaming PC's advantage for normal usage lies in its powerful hardware, including high-performance components like CPUs and GPUs, which deliver faster multitasking and smoother performance in everyday tasks. Additionally, their larger storage capacities, upgradeability, advanced cooling systems, and customization options contribute to a more versatile and enjoyable computing experience, making them well-suited for demanding normal usage scenarios. PC powered with GPU will have large advantage in all GEN AI applications is opening to an opportunity for RTX PC segment. Let's talk about the expanded family of the NVIDIA Ada Generation GPUs – can you provide us an overview of the features and capabilities of the new GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs? NVIDIA RTX Super is a series of graphics cards introduced by NVIDIA as an upgrade to existing RTX lineup. These GPUs feature improved performance and efficiency compared to their non-"Super" counterparts. The RTX Super cards are equipped with ray-tracing capabilities and enhanced AI processing power through NVIDIA's Tensor cores, enabling features like DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) for improved performance in games. Overall, NVIDIA RTX Super cards are designed to deliver superior gaming performance and visual fidelity. We see higher demand from gaming and other system integrators for SUPER series. What enhancements and supercharged features does it offer for gamers and creators? NVIDIA RTX Super graphics cards elevate the gaming



Talus Arukalil Regional Manager MEAI, PNY Technologies

experience by delivering unparalleled performance, allowing gamers to achieve higher frame rates and smoother gameplay in even the most demanding titles. With advanced features like real-time ray tracing and DLSS, RTX Super cards provide stunning visuals and lifelike effects, immersing players in rich and dynamic gaming worlds. Their superior streaming and content creation capabilities make them a versatile choice for gamers who also engage in content creation or streaming, ensuring they can share their gaming adventures with the highest quality visuals possible. Could you talk about PNY – NVIDIA relations and your plans for the region? PNY is in global collaboration with NVIDIA for more than 20 years to deliver cutting-edge graphics solutions engineered to elevate computing experience to new heights. Our lineup of GeForce GPUs, Quadro, Tesla graphics cards, and NVIDIA-powered AI solutions is designed to meet the demands of gamers, professionals, and enthusiasts & enterprises alike. With a commitment to innovation, performance, and reliability, PNY ensures that you can unleash your creativity, tackle complex tasks, and immerse yourself in immersive gaming worlds with confidence. Our extensive collaboration with Nvidia spans across a spectrum of offerings, ranging from GPUs to AI solutions. This partnership presents a remarkable opportunity for PNY and our partners to broaden our business horizons and capitalize on diverse market segments.







ahua Technology Middle East & North Africa announced the grand opening of their stateof-the-art experience centre in Dubai on Tuesday following a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was attended by Brigade Mohammad Karam, Head of Dubai Police Traffic Department. This innovative hub, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East, stands as a testament to Dahua's unwavering commitment to unity, growth, and breakthrough technology, according to the privately held company founded in China. “Dahua's revolutionary experience centre marks a significant upgrade, symbolising the company's dedication to providing superior products and services tailored specifically for the Middle East and North Africa. In line with Dahua's philosophy of collaboration, this centre aims to foster robust relationships, ensuring shared success with partners and customers in this dynamic new era,” said Yacob Bai, CEO, Dahua - MENA. “We celebrate Dahua Innovation Centre where we can brainstorm, join forces, and deepen our partnerships. Together, we aspire to step into the future and craft a prosperous tomorrow for both Dahua and our valued partners. We believe in smart growth fueled by unity and collaboration. This 'New Era' is all about



working together to achieve remarkable things. Everything is upgrading.” Equipped with advanced technology and located in Jumeirah Lake Towers, the Dubai experience centre offers an immersive platform for customers and partners alike. It serves as a tangible manifestation of Dahua's continuous innovation, allowing visitors to experience firsthand the value brought by the company's industry-leading solutions across various sectors. Open to all Dahua customers and partners from this week, the centre provides a unique opportunity to explore Dahua's comprehensive solutions portfolio directly. “As we inaugurate this inspiring space, Dahua extends a warm invitation to partners, customers, and industry enthusiasts to join in this journey of success and growth. The New Era signifies a commitment to upgrading everything, and Dahua is excited about the prospects of achieving remarkable milestones together,” added Bai who heads the regional operations for Dahua that provides solutions in domains as diverse as security, smart parking, traffic management & smart city parking, banking and retail and even smart energy and new electricity systems.






ommScope announced that the Wi-Fi Alliance® has selected a member of the RUCKUS® Wi-Fi 7 AP family for its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7™ interoperability certification test bed. The device is the only commercial access point in the test bed to deliver unmatched interoperability for the platform across Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 devices and bring advanced Wi-Fi® performance to the next generation of connected devices around the world. “RUCKUS Networks, CommScope has a legacy of setting the standard in Wi-Fi innovation. We’re proud to build on our longstanding relationship with Wi-Fi Alliance to contribute our RUCKUS Wi-Fi 7 AP platform as the commercial reference access point in the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 test bed. Our role in this certification helps to ensure that consumers across the globe receive the most reliable, consistent and secure Wi-Fi experience for the most demanding applications. Above all, this speaks not only to quality and reliability of our devices—from the test bed to the field—but also the extent of our leadership in shaping the interoperability of future Wi-Fi devices worldwide,” stated Bart Giordano, SVP and president, Networking Intelligent Cellular and Security Solutions, CommScope. “We are happy to have a RUCKUS Networks Wi-Fi 7 commercial AP platform as part of our testbed for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 program. We look forward to the rapid adoption of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 7 across home, enterprise and industrial environments, and take pride in facilitating interoperability among the entire Wi-Fi 7 worldwide device ecosystem. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices, such as those from RUCKUS Networks—a longtime member of Wi-Fi Alliance—help deliver a good user


experience in the enterprise,” stated Kevin Robinson, President and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Intel-powered devices with marketleading Wi-Fi solutions play an important role in a time of unprecedented demand for capacity, reliability, and performance in the enterprise. With significant advancements in wireless features and performance delivered by Wi-Fi 7, many enterprise verticals will enjoy accelerated connectivity, high reliability, wired-like responsiveness, and enhanced privacy and security with strong interoperability between Intel Wi-Fi 7 devices and the RUCKUS Wi-Fi 7 AP,” stated Eric McLaughlin, vice president, Client Computing Group and GM, Wireless Solutions Group, Intel.







MD announced new products expanding its desktop portfolio, delivering premium experiences to gamers, content creators and everyday users through extraordinary performance and the power of personal AI processing. AMD is introducing the new AMD Ryzen™ 8000G Series desktop processors, including the Ryzen™ 7 8700G, with the world’s most powerful built-in graphics. AMD is also bringing the power of a dedicated AI neural processing unit (NPU) to desktop PC processors for the first time with the introduction of Ryzen™ AI to unlock more AI capabilities for consumers and improve productivity, efficiency, and advanced collaboration. Building on the unprecedented longevity of socket AM4, AMD is introducing new Ryzen™ 5000 processors, offering users even more choices when it comes to building a system for productivity, gaming, or content creation. The new offerings include the new Ryzen 7 5700X3D, leveraging powerful 3D V-Cache™ technology to provide gamers with a massive boost in gaming performance. “AMD continues to lead the AI hardware revolution by offering the broadest portfolio of processors with dedicated AI engines in the x86 market,” said Jack Huynh, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics



Group at AMD. “Last year at CES, we introduced the first dedicated AI engine in an x86 processor for the mobile market. This year, we are expanding our AI leadership to desktop computing through our Ryzen 8000G Series processors. We’re excited to lead the AI PC era together with our close OEM and ecosystem partners.” AMD OEM partners including ACER, ASUS, Lenovo, HP and Razer are introducing more AMD Ryzen™ 8040 Seriespowered handheld gaming systems, gaming laptops and personal laptops, with incredible performance for gamers, professionals and consumers of all types, and unlocking AI-ready capabilities for content creation and everyday productivity. “Lenovo and AMD have a long-standing partnership that continues to deliver to customers the power and flexibility they have come to expect,” said Jun Ouyang, Lenovo’s vice president and general manager of the Consumer Business Segment, Intelligent Devices Group. “This partnership has continued with the expansion of our product portfolio to include the Lenovo Yoga Pro 7 (14", 9), Lenovo IdeaPad 5 2-in-1 (14", 9) and Lenovo IdeaPad 5 2-in-1 (16", 9) all powered by new Ryzen 8040 processors to support the creative and productivity pursuits of today’s brightest thinkers and doers.”





wo years since its launch, Amazon Alexa has offered homes around the Middle East seamless, hyperlocalised experiences in Khaleeji Arabic, catering to the unique lifestyles, preferences and needs. Middle East customers rank among the most engaged users worldwide, for the second year in a row, with 14 interactions a day per customer. In 2023, Alexa’s monthly active customers in the region increased by an impressive 40%.

SMART HOMES TAKE CENTRE STAGE Smart Home automation emerged as the most used segment for Alexa usage in the Middle East, with customers increasingly relying on Alexa to control their connected devices. In 2023 alone, Alexa has turned lights on and off over 24 million times in homes across Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Air conditioners rank as the secondmost frequently used smart appliances, with over 8.9 million actions recorded year-to-date in these two countries. On average, Middle East customers have 11 smart appliances connected to Alexa, demonstrating the growing adoption of voice-enabled home automation.

NEW FEATURES AND PRODUCTS In November 2023, Amazon introduced its Echo Show 8 (3rd Generation) in the UAE and KSA. Designed for even more personalized, proactive, and intuitive Alexa experiences at home, it features a new industrial design, intuitive home screen experience, upgraded processor, spatial audio, and a built-in smart home hub. Additionally, Amazon launched the all-new Echo Pop in July 2023 in the UAE and KSA. Echo Pop is a new addition to the

Echo family with a loveable semi-sphere form factor and comes with the new Lavender Bloom and Midnight Teal color options, and the standard Glacier White and Charcoal color options. Alexa has also introduced a suite of new features designed to enhance user experience and cater to diverse preferences. Dynamic Language Switching (DLS) enables Alexa to respond to Arabic or English commands without the need to change device settings. The Smart Home Dashboard provides a centralized control panel for managing smart home appliances directly from Echo Show displays. Customers who prefer textbased interaction can chat with Alexa via the mobile app, Type with Alexa.

LOCALIZATION WINS OVER MIDDLE EAST CUSTOMERS Dr. Raf Bin Ameen Fatani, Regional General Manager, Alexa, MENA: “We are humbled with the feedback received from our customers in the Middle East region, and remain committed to delivering innovative, localized experiences that positively impact customers’ lives across the region. We are deeply grateful for the enthusiastic embrace of Alexa by our customers and look forward to continuing to innovate and deliver even more delightful experiences.”








amification goes beyond mere entertainment; it taps into the psychological aspects that make games engaging. By incorporating elements like competition, rewards, and social interaction, businesses can create an environment that is not only enjoyable but also fosters a deeper connection with their audience. Prepay Nation understands that by aligning our prepaid products with these dynamics, we can offer businesses the tools to make their interactions more enjoyable and meaningful. For example, offering mobile data as a reward or incentive directly aligns with the personalized and rewarding aspects of gaming, creating a positive association with the brand. In the dynamic world of business, gamification is rewriting the rules, turning daily interactions into thrilling experiences that resonate with fun, competitiveness, rewards, and social connection. Injecting a dose of healthy competition, Badges & Points become the currency of engagement, fuelling a pursuit of excellence that keeps a community buzzing with excitement. Leader boards take the gaming experience to new heights by showcasing achievements and fostering a sense of rivalry. It's not just about winning, it's about shared goals and victories, weaving interconnectedness amongst people. Game mechanics have proven effective in diverse sectors, enhancing engagement and outcomes. For instance, in education, incorporating elements of competition and rewards can motivate learners. In wellness initiatives, gamified challenges can encourage healthier habits. Or a retail giant gamifies its loyalty program, letting customers earn points for purchases and challenges, redeemable



for prepaid mobile top-ups, priority service and exclusive sales and discounts. In a corporate setting, an employee recognition program leverages gamification, granting badges and points for outstanding performance, with rewards including personalized incentives like mobile data packages, fostering a positive work culture and teamwork. Prepay Nation recognizes the adaptability of our prepaid products in these contexts. For education, prepaid mobile data can be offered as rewards for completing learning modules, while in wellness, mobile top-ups can be incentives for achieving health goals. The versatility of our offerings makes them valuable assets in the implementation of game mechanics across various sectors. In the fiercely competitive retail industry, gamification has become a strategic tool for customer acquisition and retention. Prepay Nation's approach aligns seamlessly with this trend. Our targeted promotional campaigns allow businesses to create personalized incentives, such as offering top-ups or gift cards, to attract and retain customers. Member-get-member programs leverage the social aspect of gaming, turning customers into advocates who, in turn, bring in new business. Instant campaign launches provide a quick and efficient way for businesses to stay ahead in the competitive landscape, without the need for extensive partner sourcing or setup costs. The future of gamification in business: Looking ahead, the future of gamification in business holds significant promise. Techniques like social sharing, community-building, and multiplayer games are expected to play a pivotal role in encouraging increased customer interaction. Prepay Nation envisions an environment where prepaid products

contribute to these strategies by providing digital value and incentive bundles. For example, offering exclusive multiplayer game perks or creating a community around our products can enhance customer interactions. The focus is on creating not just transactions but ongoing relationships, fostering loyalty and prolonged use. Businesses that incorporate gamification can benefit from the following benefits: · Reducing Acquisition Costs: With targeted promotional campaigns it allows businesses to reach their desired audience effectively, minimising the cost of customer acquisition. The variety of incentives, from mobile data to gift cards, provides options of immediate gratification to suit different customer preferences. · Boosting Engagement: The perks associated with prepaid products, such as high-value top-ups

and rewards, create excitement and encourage users to actively engage. Member-get-member programs leverage social dynamics, turning existing customers into advocates who contribute to organic growth. · Quick and Simple Reward Redemption: The seamless process of redeeming rewards enhances user satisfaction. Quick and simple redemption processes contribute to a positive user experience, reinforcing brand loyalty. · Boosting Loyalty, Revenue, and Daily Activity: Introducing a range of rewards with digital value, including incentive bundles, encourages sustained interactions. This not only boosts loyalty but also translates into increased revenue for businesses. By fostering daily activity, prepaid products and customized rewards and recognition become integral to users' routines, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.










nnovation and technology are constantly evolving, and the intersection of cryptocurrency and gamification has opened doors to a fascinating realm of possibilities. This dynamic fusion not only reshapes the landscape of digital currencies but also promises a revolution in the financial industry. In the past, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology were mostly accessible to the wealthy. But the gatekeeping of digital currencies is long gone, and it's high time we embraced the new era of gamified currency, where engagement, excitement, and innovation come together.

GAMIFICATION IN CRYPTOCURRENCY: EXPERIENCES BEYOND TRANSACTION Cryptocurrency, once limited to the reach of tech enthusiasts and early adopters, is now poised to reach a broader audience through the incorporation of gamification elements. Traditional transactions are






engagement and loyalty. One of the challenges in widespread cryptocurrency adoption has been the need for more understanding among potential users. Gamification provides a solution by turning learning into a game. Interactive tutorials, quizzes, and simulations make the process of understanding digital currencies not only educational but enjoyable. Gamification introduces novel ways to encourage responsible financial behavior. Users can set and achieve financial goals, earn rewards for making sound investment decisions, and even participate in virtual trading competitions. These gamified features inspire users to approach their financial journey with strategic thinking and discipline. Cryptocurrency is inherently social, and gamification amplifies this aspect. Community challenges, collaborative trading competitions, and social leaderboards bring a sense of community among users. The result is a more connected and engaged user base, resulting in the growth and sustainability of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.



RENOWN CASE STUDIES OF GAMIFIED CRYPTOCURRENCY Several projects are already at the forefront of the gamified cryptocurrency movement.

DECENTRALAND (MANA) Decentraland combines blockchain technology with virtual reality, allowing users to buy, sell, and develop virtual land. The gamified aspect comes to life as users navigate through this virtual world, interacting with others and engaging in a decentralized economy.

AXIE INFINITY (AXS) Axie Infinity introduces the concept of play-to-earn, where users can earn cryptocurrency by playing a blockchainbased game. Players collect and battle fantasy creatures, and the in-game rewards are tangible assets on the blockchain. evolving into interactive and rewarding experiences, capturing users' attention and sparking a newfound interest in the financial sector. Cryptocurrency wallets are undergoing a metamorphosis with gamification. Imagine a wallet interface resembling a gaming dashboard with avatars, badges, and personalized themes. Users can embark on quests, unlocking new features and earning rewards as they navigate the world of digital finance.

IMPACT OF GAMIFICATION ON CRYPTO ADOPTION Gamification aka adding fun and interactive elements in various aspects of businesses and beyond, brings fun and challenge to the world of digital coins and tokens. Users are no longer passive participants but become active players in a gamified ecosystem. Achievements, challenges, and rewards create a sense of accomplishment, fostering increased user

THE FUTURE OF GAMIFIED CURRENCY As the synergy between cryptocurrency and gamification continues to evolve, the future holds exciting possibilities. Enhanced user experiences increased financial literacy, and a more inclusive financial ecosystem are on the horizon. OMA Emirates, a prestigious name at the forefront of banking and financial services, recognizes the transformative power of gamification. Their bespoke loyalty and gifting solutions are a testament to that. By embracing innovative approaches, the financial industry can not only adapt to the changing times but also lead the way toward a more engaging and user-centric future. Speaking on OMA’s initiatives to stay ahead of the latest trends in the fintech industry, CEO Niranj Sangal said, “The journey has just begun, and the fusion of gamification and digital currencies is set to redefine the way we perceive and interact with finance. OMA is proud to be pushing boundaries to achieve the greater good.”







maar Hospitality Group, a leading hospitality brand with iconic luxury and lifestyle hotels and residences around the world, is pleased to unveil its own lifestyle gym brand, VEO. Launching in April, VEO will be the newest community space for people passionate about wellness and fitness, opening in some of Emaar’s iconic properties across Dubai with a plan to expand further. VEO promises to be the premier destination for elevating wellness and fostering a sense of belonging, transcending the experience of a standard gym. VEO stands out with its community-centric model, personalised fitness programmes, and strategic locations, creating a unique blend of accessibility and innovation for an enriched wellbeing experience. Fuelled by the drive to rise above and break the mould, VEO aims to foster physical and mental wellness for every individual to thrive not just in their workouts but in every facet of their lives. Beyond workouts, VEO cultivates connections, transforming fitness into a shared lifestyle and creating an inviting, family-friendly ambience for seasoned pros and aspiring newcomers.



Built from the ground up to embody the service excellence that Emaar residents and guests expect, VEO will maintain the highest standards of quality, boasting cuttingedge equipment, modern amenities, and lifestyle services so that members can integrate wellness into their daily lives. Featuring professional coaches with industry-recognized certifications and endorsements, VEO ensures the delivery of exceptional fitness programs for every individual. Starting in April 2024, VEO will initially open in The Lakes, The Meadows, and Souk Manzil at Downtown Dubai, a series of Emaar’s vibrant communities. Each branch is meticulously designed to seamlessly integrate with the unique rhythms of daily life, providing members with convenient access to cutting-edge facilities. Upon the launch, VEO will be hosting a myriad of classes to support modern lifestyles, including kickboxing, yoga, CrossFit exercises, and sound healing. Members can access VEO through monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly memberships, fitness class packages, and personal training programs.





a Ville Hotel & Suites announces its achievement of being awarded the prestigious Gold Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp 2023. This recognition, awarded to properties adhering to Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (DTCM) sustainability requirements, highlights the hotel's commitment to energy and water efficiency, waste management and staff education. Among 270 participating properties, La Ville Hotel & Suites stands out as one of only 11 recipients of the Gold Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp. Certified by Green Key for four consecutive years, the hotel has been a leader in eco-friendly practices since its establishment in 2017, excelling in energy efficiency, waste management and social responsibility. La Ville Hotel & Suites introduced innovative programmes, emphasising kitchen practices to reduce food waste through enhanced planning, recycling cooking oil and dehydrating food. Eco-friendly waste collection in rooms encourages guests to segregate items for recycling.

Sustainable energy practices include the use of electric vehicles for valet services, guest encouragement to reuse towels and linens and the replacement of conventional bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. La Ville also makes impactful strides in adopting eco-friendly materials, eliminating plastic from various aspects and actively working towards a plastic-free buffet. Recycling is a cornerstone of La Ville's sustainability, with a meticulous segregation process to ensure sustainable processing of recyclable waste. La Ville Hotel & Suites sets a remarkable standard for the industry, showcasing an unwavering commitment to sustainable practices. As a trailblazer in eco-conscious hospitality, the hotel's dedication not only demonstrates the feasibility of sustainable operations but also emphasises the crucial role hotels can play in fostering a relationship between high-quality accommodations and ecological responsibility.







iyadh Air and Almosafer announced a partnership during the Saudi Tourism Forum in Riyadh, to further accelerate the growth of an internationally competitive tourism sector in the Kingdom. The newly signed agreement makes Almosafer the first travel partner of Riyadh Air in the Kingdom. The digital airline and the global travel agency will work together to test and innovate tech solutions to further support and boost business efficiency, as Riyadh Air prepares for take-off in 2025. Almosafer customers will enjoy a hassle-free travel experience and enhanced connectivity through exclusive deals and packages on Riyadh Air's extensive network.



As a catalyst for Saudi Arabia’s National Transport and Logistics Strategy, Riyadh Air targets to connect travellers to over 100 destinations by 2030, marking a new era of growth in the Kingdom’s aviation history. Muzzammil Ahussain, CEO, Almosafer, said, “As a digital-first company, Almosafer develops and incorporates industry-leading digital solutions to redefine superior travel experiences for customers everywhere. We are excited to partner with Riyadh Air to further scale up innovations and best-in-class services for domestic and international travellers and guests. Riyadh Air is a digitally native airline and by harnessing Almosafer’s strengths as the leading travel platform in KSA, we aim to accelerate our shared vision of elevating Riyadh and Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map, and spotlighting the cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and modern attractions these destinations offer.” Vincent Coste, COO, Riyadh Air: “Riyadh Air is aiming to connect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to over 100 destinations by 2030, and by partnering with Almosafer, we will be able to provide travellers with a rewarding booking experience including tailored travel and accommodation choices. As we focus on shaping the future of flying and showcase the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural attractions to tourists from around the world, our collaboration with the leading travel partner in the Middle East will maximise customer satisfaction through a choice offering of convenient and seamless digital-first travel solutions.”

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.