Understanding Our App Development Process

Mobile applications are fundamentally transforming the way businesses are run. An effective mobile app can improve productivity and create efficiencies in your current operations. If you are thinking about building an app and figuring out how to get started is slowing down your decision, here’s some insight into our development process that might help.

With more than 300 applications under our belt, we work with businesses to develop custom mobile software solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. From simple systems to fully integrated software, our expertise lies in creating software customized for your business needs. All of our development is done in-house at the FUSION OF IDEAS headquarters in Orange County, Calif.

Check out this short video on the rigorous process we follow to ensure we deliver a build that meets your business and end users’ needs.

Ready, Set, MegaRun!

Known as the pinnacle driving lifestyle adventure, MEGARUN is an eight-day exclusive road rally adventure along the West Coast.

For the third year, FUSION OF IDEAS has developed the event’s exclusive app that is used by the event drivers. The app allows drivers to get real-time updates, view the daily schedule with route information and checkpoints, and see the locations of other drivers through an interactive map.

Targa Trophies first partnered with the FUSION OF IDEAS in 2014 with the goal to move away from paper road maps and schedules to a fully digital experience. This ultimately changed the way participants interacted with the event.

Each year, the app is updated with a new look and new features that are tailored to the event.

MEGARUN’s nine-city tour kicks off Friday, May 31, in Las Vegas and finishes on Saturday, June 8, in Seattle. The MEGARUN formula circles around bringing together the best cars, people, driving roads and adventure destinations into an event experience.

Get a sneak peek of this year’s exclusive app in the video below, and follow along on the tour through Instagram.

 

Why Choose A Custom Mobile App For Business Training?

There is a surge in the number of remote employees in the workforce. According to Deloitte’s 2018 “Global Human Capital Trends” report, 37% of the leaders surveyed said they expect an increase in contractors by 2020, 33% predict a rise in freelancers and 28% foresee growth in gig workers.

As a response to the growing number of remote employees in the ever-changing world of technology, many companies are undergoing a digital transformation, which is the integration of technology into all aspects of a business. And in the digital transformation journey as it relates to business training and education, finding the right software to digitize your existing business training program can be daunting.

With an abundance of software solutions out there, how do you ensure that your employee’s Learning Experience will meet the goals of your organization? And what do you need to consider when implementing new training techniques for your business?

Mobile Application For Training

Most mobile users can agree that most of what is done on our devices, from looking for a nearby restaurant to getting the latest news, is done through apps. That’s because mobile apps are faster, easier to use and more engaging.

The usefulness of mobile apps can be carried into business training and education. Mobile applications are driving the market because they are easy to use and do not require a new IT infrastructure when implementing them into the existing training programs.

A Customized Learning Experience

Mobile apps are remarkably different from traditional business training formats. While traditional learning modules follow a linear learning format, digital learning on a mobile application allows for a personalized experience.

While there are many options for training mobile apps, one size does not fit all. There are pros and cons to each software and you will either have to compromise your program to fit the software or utilize more than one software to fit your needs.

A custom-built mobile application allows organizations to remove, alter or add content to fit the needs of the business. Through a portal, admins can push updates and adapt to varied training needs, including compliance, soft skills, products and change management. Training can be delivered to mimic the organization’s actual work environment, and content branded with company logos and corporate color schemes.

If the idea of a custom application is appealing but the thought of developing an app from the ground up is daunting, consider a customizable content management system (CMS).

A templated application that displays content using a list or menu view, a customized CMS allows you to personalize the fonts, colors, designs, and logos to fit your brand. You can add, modify and remove content to fit your training module. With just one template, you can create various versions of your program, depending on your training needs. And finally, you can create rules to qualify how each course is approached.

On the admin side, you’re equipped with an easy-to-use web admin portal where you can continuously make changes to the content on display. This gives you a streamlined way to create and manage an app without having to hire a dedicated developer. After an initial design and development period of the app, the system is entirely yours to control. The end result, a cookie-cutter setup process with unique, personalized results.

Ready To Build?

If you are ready for a custom application for your workplace training program, a good place to start is with the leadership in the department where the training is coming from, as well as your IT team. Getting your IT involved early in the process will alleviate potential issues when implementing the application into the existing IT ecosystem.

It can also be beneficial to survey past or potential trainees who may be using the app to understand the level of their technical knowledge. The more information available, the more prepared your company will be when speaking with an app developer. Start with your end goal in order to properly communicate direction and insight to the app developer.

Custom applications should be tailored to your business to allow greater efficiency. Employees who use a mobile application will get the maximum Learning Experience, ultimately saving the company time, money and resources.

This article was originally published in eLearning Industry.

The Richard S. Fusco Foundation: Enhancing Lives, One iPad at a Time

Like many cystic fibrosis patients, Richard Fusco spent most of his life in the hospital. In the last three years of life when his health started deteriorating, Fusco depended on an iPad to communicate with his family, stay in touch with friends, and keep himself entertained with movies, books, videos and games.

Fusco’s father, Ralph Fusco, saw how this multifaceted mobile device enhanced the last few years of his son’s life and was inspired to provide the same opportunity with technology to other cystic fibrosis patients. This was the beginning of The Richard S. Fusco Foundation.

The mission of the Foundation is to help children with cystic fibrosis stay connected with loved ones and school through mobile technology. Since it was founded in 2013, the Foundation has formed partnerships with six children’s hospitals across the country to give iPads to their young cystic fibrosis patients.

The first iPad recipient from The Richard S. Fusco Foundation at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
The first iPad recipient from The Richard S. Fusco Foundation at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

Inspired by his son’s zest for life and positive attitude, Fusco partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS to design a vibrant image for the iPad Smart Cover and a second image for the device sleeve. Prior to each delivery of iPads, the images are printed and packaged up to create a surprise and delight moment upon receiving the device.

FUSION OF IDEAS also uses its proprietary laser etching process to customize the device itself with the Foundation’s name on the back.

Each iPad is custom branded with the Foundation's colorful brand.
Each iPad is custom branded with the Foundation’s colorful brand.

“It is pleasure doing business with FUSION OF IDEAS to produce these colorful covers and packages for the iPads that we hand out,” said Ralph Fusco, founder of The Richard S. Fusco Foundation. “More than just a beautiful package, it is a memorable experience for the children when they open the devices for the first time. The joy we see in their faces and the appreciation by their families is what keeps us going, and we hope to provide that experience to young cystic fibrosis patients nationwide.”

For more information about The Richard Fusco Foundation, visit https://www.richardsfuscofoundation.org/

Every iPad given by The Richard S. Fusco Foundation is hand delivered by the Foundation's president, Ralph Fusco.
Every iPad given by The Richard S. Fusco Foundation is hand delivered by the Foundation’s president, Ralph Fusco.
iPads not only allow the patients to communicate with friends and family during long hospital stays, but they also offer an opportunity for the patients to stay on top of their school work.
iPads not only allow the patients to communicate with friends and family during long hospital stays, but they also offer an opportunity for the patients to stay on top of their school work.

These Schools Have an A+ in Branding & Technology

Technology is driving change not just in corporations and private businesses, but also in the education sector. Many schools are taking learning outside the classroom with online programs that allow access to educational materials on mobile devices.

Others are using mobile technology as an incentive or form of recognizing students when they complete a program or hit a milestone. When technology is coupled with a marketing strategy that adds the school brand on the devices themselves, it creates visibility for the school and adds a personal touch for the recipient of the device.

Here are a few schools that have strategically used custom-branded technology to offer a unique value proposition.

Harvard Business School

Harvard University’s business school customized two Apple Watch bands in two colors to give as rewards within its online program. The school’s “VERITAS” shield is etched on both sides of the watch band, and the phrase “HBX Live” is etched on one side of the band as well as the back of the watch itself.

Customized Apple Watch bands for Harvard Business School
Customized Apple Watch bands for Harvard Business School
Logo etched on Apple Watch for Harvard Business School
Logo etched on Apple Watch for Harvard Business School

The Decorating and Staging Academy

The Decorating and Staging Academy used customized Apple iPad Air tablets to enhance the learning experience for its students. iPads are preloaded with specific industry-related apps and protected with a custom Smart Cover printed with the Academy’s logo for brand recognition. A custom branded sleeve encloses the device to create a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience.

Customized iPad Smart Cover and device sleeve for The Decorating & Staging Academy
Customized iPad Smart Cover and device sleeve for The Decorating & Staging Academy

Avenues: The World School

Avenues New York, the first campus of Avenues: The World School in the heart of Manhattan, gives away customized Apple AirPods at special school events. A school that touts bringing together the best of tradition and innovation, it created a design for the branded AirPods that speaks to both the school’s brand and its diversity. The AirPods are used as part of its marketing strategy to garner more brand awareness for the school.

Apple AirPod designed and customized for Avenues New York
Apple AirPod designed and customized for Avenues New York

South Kent School

A private boarding school for boys in Connecticut, South Kent School customized Apple Watch bands with its logo and showcased the watches as part of a presentation at a regional event. The logo, etched on bands in the school’s two colors, helped bring more visibility to the school.

Apple Watch band etched with school logo for South Kent School
A red Apple Watch band etched with school logo for South Kent School
Customize Apple Watch band in black for South Kent School
Customize Apple Watch band in black for South Kent School

5 Ways to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Companies like Apple, Nike or Disney can put their name or logo on any product and customers will flock to it (then keep coming back for more.) But what if you’re not a Fortune 100 company or a well-known brand? In a crowded marketplace, how do you make your brand stand out?

The good news is, you don’t have to be a company at that caliber to have brand recognition. Here are 5 ways that can help your business rise above others:

  1. Create interesting content. Interesting also means original and sincere. If your content is cliché or too sales driven, or if you attempt to mimic another brand, people won’t have a compelling reason to choose your company over the other brand. Also, be bold in your content. When it comes to making a name for yourself, risk often leads to rewards. 
  2. Know your customers. Ultimately, your brand is what your customers say it is, not what you think it is. Know who your customers are and form a connection with them. That connect is based on trust by meeting their expectations. 
  3. Be good at one thing. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. When you think of In-N-Out, you think of burgers. The Southern California chain does burgers well and they stick to what they do best. In the same manner, know what you do best and be good at it. Your customer will remember you for it. 
  4. Deliver on your promise. Having brand integrity is key to a successful business. This is part of building trust with your customers. Nordstrom promises a no-hassle return policy and the company delivers on this promise every day. Their customers are loyal because they know that if they need to make a return, there will be no questions asked. 
  5. Visibility is key. In marketing, it is said that a customer must see your brand seven times before the customer remembers it. Leverage different opportunities to diversify the visibility of your brand to help with brand recognition. Perhaps you surprise and delight your hotel guests by using laptops with your brand at your new guest lobby. Or you donate raffle prizes with your company logo at an industry event. Or you send your clients a custom-branded tablet to help them track your services. There are infinite ways to put your brand in front of your customers.

In the race to get your brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace, it takes a clear objective and a deep understanding of your business, your customers and the marketplace.

Once you have established your brand, let us help you take it to the next level by making it known to your customers, partners and stakeholders. Contact us to get a complimentary mockup of what a custom-branded device looks like with your company logo.

Maximizing Digital Content on Mobile Devices

In today’s digital world, content is king. How does your business distribute important content, such as documents, images and videos, to your stakeholders? Content is futile if it’s not accessible or being utilized properly. And with nearly five billion mobile device users worldwide, mobile devices offer the most accessible, effective way for you to share content.

What is digital content?

Digital content is defined as any content that exists in the form of digital data. Beyond PDF, image and video files, digital content can also be an audio file, an infographic, a case study or client testimonial, or even a dedicated mobile application.

What are the different types of digital content?

Browse the internet for just a few minutes and you will see endless amounts and types of content. Check out this list of 101 different types of digital content you can try for your business.

Why should businesses preload digital content on mobile devices?

There are two main reasons businesses preload digital content on mobile devices:

  • Brand experience. Businesses use digital content to differentiate themselves, elevate their brand experience, and engage with customers. In particular, companies that give mobile devices as corporate gifts benefit from having preloaded digital content. When the recipient sees your company logo and can immediately access relevant information about your business upon turning on the device, it takes the recipient to another layer of the brand experience.
Black Box Corporation used customized Apple iPads with preloaded digital content as employee gifts.
Black Box Corporation uses customized Apple iPads with preloaded digital content as employee gifts.
  • Workflow efficiency. For enterprises with remote employees, a sales team or field workers, preloading digital content on company devices can help employees to enjoy maximum flexibility with increased productivity.

As an example, Atlas Roofing utilizes Apple iPads to help its contractors execute daily tasks efficiently. These iPads are preloaded with Atlas applications and worker tools and personalized with custom home and lock screens, enabling the contractors to access the resources they need with a click of a button.  

Atlas Roofing offers Apple iPads with preloaded, dedicated applications and tools for its contractors.
Atlas Roofing offers Apple iPads with preloaded, dedicated applications and tools for its contractors.

Where does FUSION OF IDEAS fit in?

FUSION OF IDEAS maximizes the reach of your digital content by preloading PDF, image or any other files onto a mobile device without you ever having to touch the device. We can customize your home and lock screen, remove or hide applications, and upload content to digitally personalize the device for your business.

At the end of the day, it’s about ease of use, engaging your user, flexibility and productivity, and accessing the right information anytime, anywhere. For more information about our digital content services, visit fusionofideas.com/branding.

Smart Advertising to Advertisers

Amazon TV Fire Stick
Custom-branded Amazon TV Fire Stick for Newsy

For the first time ever, online video subscriptions, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, have outnumbered their cable subscribing counterparts, according to a report by the Motion Picture Association of America. 

And with the rise in popularity of smart home devices, there are more and more options for smart display devices, such as Amazon Echo Show, Google Home Hub, and the newest player on the market, Facebook Portal and Portal+.

What all this means for advertisers is that there are more ways than ever for your consumers to experience your brand. And to understand the new experience from a consumer’s point of view, advertisers need first-hand experience with these new platforms.

That’s what online news network Newsy allowed its advertisers to do. When Newsy announced the Newsy app on Facebook Portal and Portal+, they partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS to customize Newsy-branded Facebook Portal devices to send to its top advertisers.

In addition to the Facebook Portal devices, the network also customized Amazon TV Fire Stick streaming devices with the Newsy logo that would allow existing and prospective advertisers to experience Newsy on subscription-based video on demand services.

The distribution of the customized devices was part of Newsy’s overall sales strategy to allow its advertisers to experience content in new ways.

“By doing so, the ad buying community was able to see first-hand how our content stands out from other news brands,” said Dominick Borgia Jr., senior account manager at Newsy.

Newsy custom-branded Facebook Portal
Newsy branded Facebook Portal devices were sent to top advertisers as part of the announcement of its app.
Newsy app on Facebook Portal and Portal+
Newsy app on Facebook Portal and Portal+

The Life Mastery Institute® iPad Brand Experience

Mary Morrissey, founder and owner of Life Mastery Institute®
Mary Morrissey, founder and owner of Life Mastery Institute®. Photo credit: marymorrissey.com

Inspirational speaker and best-selling author Mary Morrissey is a dream builder, who empowers others to achieve new heights of “spiritual aliveness, wealth and authentic success.” Morrissey is the visionary behind Life Mastery Institute®, a life coaching certification program that has transformed the lives to tens of thousands of people worldwide. 

Through Morrissey’s certification program, coaches are trained and mentored to learn how to effectively teach others and build their own successful, difference-making life coaching business. Coaches also receive in-depth mentoring, tools and templates for authentic client attraction, heart-centered client enrollment and business-building.

As part of the certification program, the coaches-in-training are given a customized Life Mastery Institute® iPad with books, music, program audios, and teaching tools all preloaded on the device. Each piece of preloaded content is handpicked by Morrisson, who encourages coaches to use the iPad as an all-in-one tool to find the resources they need for their life coaching business.

The Life Mastery Institute® iPad Brand Experience, Created by FUSION OF IDEAS

The Life Mastery Institute® iPad brand experience begins with a printed letter from Morrissey to welcome to coaches to the program. The next layer is the unboxing of a custom blue and gold branded device sleeve that is precisely fitted around the iPad box. Inside the box is the Life Mastery Institute® iPad customized with the logo etched on the back of the device. Through FUSION OF IDEAS’ proprietary laser etch process, the carefully designed artwork on the iPad will not fade, chip or rub off. And finally, the homepage of the iPad is completely personalized for the program with a custom home screen and dedicated apps and content preloaded onto the device.

To learn more about how FUSION OF IDEAS can create a brand experience for your business, visit fusionofideas.com/branding.

Custom-branded Life Mastery Institute® iPad
Custom-branded Life Mastery Institute® iPad
FUSION OF IDEAS mockup for iPad
FUSION OF IDEAS mockup for iPad

5 Must-Have Features for Your Mobile Business App

As a business owner, you see the benefits of having a mobile application to help create efficiencies, cut operation costs and increase mobility.

Before you rush into the development stage, you should clearly identify your primary goals for your mobile solution and secondly, understand the features that you may want to be included in the app.

While most app features are discovered during initial conversations with the developer and discussed throughout the development process, it is still important to know and understand the elements of an effective mobile app.

To help you get started, we’ve put together the top five features of good mobile apps:

1. An Attractive User Interface

Visual design is not only about selecting the perfect images, colors, icons, fonts, but also determining how the appearance of the application impacts the user experience. The architecture and design phase is typically the first phase of every app development process, as it lays the foundation for the look and feel of the app.

2. Ease of Use

Eliminating any barriers to entry when using the app is another important element in creating an effective workplace application. You may lose users if they find your app difficult to navigate. In order to create the best user experience, it’s important to test your app with different user groups to find out how comfortable they feel while interacting with the app’s content across different platforms and environments. The journey throughout each section of the app should be smooth and seamless.

3. Fast and Reliable Performance

Have you ever used an app that loads slowly, crashes or completely shuts down while running? Understandably, most users have little patience for poor functionality and end up uninstalling or abandoning the problematic app. The most successful apps have fast response times and run continuously in the background. This is generally tested during the quality assurance phase in the app development process.

4. Simplicity

While it’s tempting to throw in fancy features on your mobile app, you lose your user when there are too many buttons and clicks in the app journey. Sometimes a simple, templated app, such as FUSION OF IDEAS’ Dynamic Content System (DCS), can be the best choice to meet your business needs.

5. Updated Content

When you have a system for pushing new or updated content and features to your app, you can continue to improve the reliability of the software. For businesses, it’s important to keep policies, sales messages and security issues up to date.

 

While understanding these qualities and features is essential to creating an effective mobile app for your business, it’s even more important to find the right partner to build your software.

The FUSION OF IDEAS dedicated in-house app development team follows a rigorous nine-step process when designing and executing a mobile application. Our number one priority is to create a custom mobile software solution that is tailored to your organization, and we are proud to have developed more than 300 mobile applications for companies of all sizes and budgets.

Contact our app development team to start a conversation about the possibilities of using technology to take your business to the next level.

Wealth Management Firm Invests in a Digital Client Experience

Wealth management group Garrison Murphy Wealth Management (GMWM) has a fiduciary duty to their clients to provide transparency in their investment and wealth management services.

One of the ways they are delivering on that promise is by engaging with their clients via iPads that securely display all aspects of their financial life. This custom-branded iPad with GMWM’s logo serves as a communication tool through which GMWM can deliver advice, content and services. Clients can view and access their financial data and important documents in real time and securely transmit, store and share documents with interested parties.

This open-architecture approach has allowed the firm to break away from traditional, time-intensive quarterly or semi-annual meetings and to foster collaboration between the firm and clients. By going digital, GMWM has seen cost savings from the elimination of printing, binding, and physical storage of paperwork.

“It has been a pleasant experience to work with FUSION OF IDEAS,” said Nickole Garrison, GMWM Vice President and Chief Client Officer. “Until we connected with them, we were unable to find a company who could do the custom etching on our clients’ iPads. FUSION OF IDEAS was not only able to do the etching, but they also helped us find a solution for the custom packaging we were in search of for the iPad boxes.”

GMWM, we are honored to be a part of your digital transformation.

Custom-Branding Beyond Phones and Tablets

Think beyond traditional mobile devices for branding. Pictured here: Fujifilm Instax Cameras

Businesses are increasingly finding value in custom-branding mobile technology. Branded technology can be used as: 

  • a marketing tactic to elevate brand equity;
  • employee rewards or as gifts to clients and vendors;
  • a theft deterrent for company devices by having the company logo printed on them.

As one of our core services, customization is our business. We have partnered with more than 2,000 brands to create customized solutions, with phones and tablets being the most popular tech devices for custom branding. In the past few years, mobile accessories – such as device cases, speakers and headphones – have gained traction, particularly during the gifting season.

Our capabilities do not stop there. With laser etching, color printing and StealthArmor (our proprietary protective film) solutions, there is no limit to what we can customize. New products present different specifications, dimensions and materials, making for an exciting challenge for our design and production teams.

As people and businesses continue to move toward mobilization and personalization, we challenge you to think beyond traditional mobile devices and see how customization can take your business to the next level.

Amazon Echo Show
Amazon Echo Show
JBL Flip 4 and Clip 3 Bluetooth speakers
JBL Flip 4 and Clip 3 Bluetooth speakers
Google Home
Google Home
YETI Hopper personal cooler and Rambler wine tumblers
Amazon Echo Dot and urBeats3 by Dr. Dre earphones
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon Fire TV Cube

DCS Promotion Ends Jan. 31

Do any of these apply to you or your business?

*You have field employees and need a mobile solution that offers real-time, two-way communications.

*You have an e-commerce company and want to boost your online presence.

*A trade show or special event is coming up and you are seeking a user-friendly mobile application to share relevant content with attendees.

*Your business needs an app solution for information sharing that doesn’t break the bank.

 

If you said yes to any of the questions above, our Dynamic Content System (DCS) is for you. Take advantage of our half-off promotion for DCS application development. We proudly build all of our applications in-house at our Lake Forest headquarters, and when you work with us, there are never hidden charges. Contact us today to find out how this content delivery solution can enhance your business. Special pricing ends Jan. 31.

Contact us today to get started or email our app development team for a live demo.

And That’s a Wrap!

From Apple Watch and Apple gift cards to Amazon Show, Bose Quiet headphones and Yeti coolers, we saw an array of corporate gift requests come through over the holiday season. On top of brand customization, businesses opted to add extra touches such as personalized gift tags, custom set-up boxes and custom gift wrap to create a memorable unboxing experience for the recipients.

  • A custom sleeve is the most popular custom option for corporate gifts as they are precisely cut to fit snugly over the original manufacturer packaging. Sleeves are customized using our color printing process and come in various finishes, including matte, satin, UV glass or spot gloss.
  • Custom gift wrap is individualized with the company logo or artwork. Each piece of gift wrap is precisely cut to the perfect size for the gift, which is hand wrapped and finished with a matching bow.
  • And finally, custom set-up boxes have become the standard for the ultimate, executive-level gifting experience. Creating a luxurious unboxing experience for a single device or for neatly housing multiple products, each set-up box is custom designed according to the device(s) size and company brand.

Check out a few highlights from our 2018 Corporate Gifting Program:

Bowl Swag for the Books

Bowl games have a long history of making the holiday season merrier and brighter for college football fans, especially when your team is in the playoffs. For the players involved, there is a great sense of pride that comes with playing in the biggest game of the season. And of course, there is bowl swag.

The Pac-12 Conference events team partnered with FUSION OF IDEAS the last two football seasons to create memorable gifts for the Pac-12 bowl teams as a reward after a long season of hard work. Both years, the gift of choice was a customized Apple TV gift set that included a fully branded Apple TV, remote, and iTunes gift card, which were shrink-wrapped and packaged with coordinating crinkle paper inside a customized Pac-12 shipping box.

The one-of-a-kind gift, which took a popular Apple technology and made it personal with custom branding and packaging, was a unique and thoughtful way for the Pac-12 organization to show appreciation to the players.

Playing the most important game of your season is already a dream come true. Add in cool free stuff and it’s easy to see why athletes love this time of year.

These iPads Transform Lives

“My daughter is nonverbal and she finally has a device where we can download the app that helps her communicate with us at home. It’s the biggest blessing and an amazing gift! People take their spoken language for granted and do not realize just how hard it is for a nonverbal child. This iPad can break those verbal barriers for our family!”

These were the words from a family member of one of 57 kids who went on the Kidd’s Kids 2018 trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Founded by late radio host and television personality, Kidd Kraddick, Kidd’s Kids provides hope and happiness by creating beautiful memories for families of children with life-altering and life-threatening conditions.

Every November, the organization sponsors a group of children and their families on an all-expense paid trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” where they can forget about doctor appointments and their illnesses, and enjoy a magical day with their families.

At the start of this once-in-a-lifetime trip, the kids were gifted with a personalized Apple iPad that is preloaded with all relevant and contact information for their trip.

Here are the words from another family:

“We were so grateful to have the iPad for my son’s 11-day hospital stay. He loves being able to keep in touch with family and friends using the FB Kids Messenger app. He also likes it for drawing, watching shows and playing games.”

This is the eighth year that FUSION OF IDEAS has gratefully donated our app development and customization services to this amazing cause. Together with Best Buy, we were onsite to help hand out the iPads to the kids, and see the delight on their faces when they were presented with the customized devices.

“The donation of the iPads from Best Buy and completely personalized by FUSION OF IDEAS provides entertainment, educational tools and memory-making apps the Kidd’s Kids otherwise would not have,” said Kelly Kemp, executive director of Kidd’s Kids. “We know how grateful all the kids are especially when they are back in the hospitals for days or weeks at a time. It’s a blessing and a partnership we are so very grateful to have for our Kidd’s Kids.”

For more photos from this year’s Kidd’s Kids trip, check out their album on Facebook.

Best Buy and FUSION OF IDEAS help hand out iPads at the Kidd’s Kids trip in Walt Disney World ©Kidd’s Kids
Fifty-seven Kidd’s Kids got their own customized iPads on this year’s trip ©Kidd’s Kids
The iPads are used by families after the trip for learning, therapy and communications. ©Kidd’s Kids

La Prairie Turns to DCS for Employee Training

La Prairie, a luxury skincare and cosmetic brand best known for its iconic Skin Caviar, was seeking a solution that would provide a cost-effective way to educate and train its retail beauty advisors nationwide. The Swiss company turned to an easy-to-use mobile app that allows for content to be updated regularly and pushed out to the remote team. The app model, Dynamic Content System (DCS), has become an invaluable resource for La Prairie’s education team to cut costs on travel for training.

DCS is FUSION OF IDEAS’ version of Content Management System (CMS). Essentially a templated mobile application, DCS is much like CMS in that you can easily create, display and manage content. Think of it like an user-friendly app that is customizable, yet simple.

In the case with La Prairie, the DCS app features a product catalog and embedded videos, current promotions, tutorials and the company’s history. Because La Prairie’s products are typically sold at department store cosmetic counters, its reps are on the sales floor and not behind a desk. It is important for the app to be accessible on a mobile device, such as an iPad. New content is updated and pushed out on a regular basis so La Prairie’s beauty advisors are always equipped with up-to-date information.

Limited-Time Promotion

DCS is an easy and more moderately priced app solution for e-commerce, information sharing, trade show or events, or employee onboarding and training. For the first time, FUSION OF IDEAS is offering half off the regular price of our DCS application development. This promotion will only be offered for a limited time so contact us today to see how DCS can enhance your business. Check out the La Prairie video below or email our app development team for a personal demo.

Top 5 Business Gifts Your Employees and Customers Want

The top 5 most wanted tech gifts this holiday season.

Remember the cellophane wrapped gift baskets filled with mementos and sweets you used to get every holiday? While they are still around – and still appreciated by many – technology has taken over as the preferred business gift of choice.

Technology spending for the 2018 holiday season is projected to reach a record-setting $96.1B in revenue in the U.S., a year-over-year increase of 3.4 percent, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Businesses who choose to give a tech gift are taking it up a notch with customization. Customized tech boosts brand recognition and repeat exposure, among many other benefits. Compared to traditional advertising, corporate gifts showcasing your company brand can be a cost-effective advertising method for your business. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the recipient receiving the same gift twice!

Here at FUSION OF IDEAS, orders for holiday gifting are in full swing. Here are the five most popular tech gifts we are seeing:

  1. Apple iPad Pro – The latest iPad Pro, with an all-screen design and Face ID, is currently the most full-featured iPad on the market.
  2. Apple Pencil 2 – To go alongside the new iPad Pro, Apple revamped the Apple Pencil, an effective and accurate tool for handwriting, sketching and illustration.
  3. Beats by Dre – This popular headphone collection comes in several varieties and offers powerful audio performance.
  4. Amazon Echo Show – The new Amazon Echo Show features a vibrant 10.1” HD screen, built-in smart home hub, and improved speakers.
  5. Apple AirPods – Apple AirPods continue to be the most popular tech gift not just for the holidays but all year-round thanks to their instant setup and truly wireless features.

For more customizable corporate gift ideas, visit www.fusionofideas.com/gifting.

In the News: AGC’s Constructor Magazine

There are three main factors that drive the demand for mobile technology in the construction industry: leadership request, an increasingly mobile workforce and the growing need for real-time information. According to a recent study, more than 80 percent of construction professionals surveyed said that mobile capabilities are “very important” in improving their workflows.

Read on to get insight from our CEO, Russ Taylor, in AGC’s Constructor Magazine on how the construction industry is maximizing mobile technology to create efficiencies in the workplace, and how they are integrating technology into existing processes.  

Read full article here: Tech Brief: The iPad is the New Hammer

Does Your Retail Business Need a Mobile App?

The rapid growth of mobile technology combined with changes in modern retailing trends is making a large impact on consumer buying habits. Did you know that 80 percent of a mobile consumer’s time on his or her device is spent using apps?

Today’s retailers are not just building their marketing around the products or services they are selling, but also around customer’s interests and habits. Many have developed a mobile strategy as part of their marketing to reach consumers on their preferred platform.

A retail mobile application should go beyond just an online shopping experience. For retailers, mobile apps can shape the in-store experience, empower the purchasing process, and create interesting and dynamic ways to interact with the customer. And for B2B retailers, a mobile app can revolutionize the way your sales team shares content.

Is your brand using a mobile application? If not, here are six signs that you may need a mobile app to help boost your branding and engagement, cut costs, improve productivity, and generate new revenue. Connect with us today and let us help you find a custom solution for your business needs.