The All New SIMStation – The Basic Idea
Innovation does not evolve out of nothing. It is the product of a development that mostly involves many people, aspects and factors and itself influences a lot of distinct levels. Innovation can only succeed if one acknowledges successes and lessons learned, but also challenges and failures, draws conclusions from them and looks ahead in a goal-oriented way. In this sense, innovation demands a conscious dialogue between past, present, and future. And it needs one thing for sure: time. Because as all forms of movement, also progress only takes place step by step. This sometimes requires patience, sometimes persistence, sometimes even stagnation. Like many others, we too had to realize that it occasionally takes a moment of rest and distance to get a view, a sense of the new.
Accordingly, we took a break in summer 2020 as part of a company retreat - time for reflection and reorientation. Especially in respect of the COVID pandemic and its challenging circumstances, this was an important and necessary decision. One insight gained in this process, which only seems all too obvious, was that we are all living in a time of change - as a society, but also as company, as employees, as people. Our objective from this insight: to see change as an opportunity for the company, as an impulse for innovation. And we gave this general objective a certain name: The All New SIMStation. An idea whose relevance and meanings can now be measured by the degree of its practical implementation.
The New Environment as an Incubator
Today, one year later, it is time for us to look back and ask ourselves to what extent our demand for change and innovation has been fulfilled.
I discover a first answer to this question while writing this blog post; I discover it when I look up from my screen and let my gaze wander through the still brand-new looking office. The open design. The bright rooms. The productive atmosphere. Quite obviously, the move to the new company headquarters brought with it important positive impulses for change. A well-known saying thus proved true: Sometimes it takes a new environment to get new thoughts. The experience of innovation took place in the new offices, working rooms and construction halls in several ways.
For one thing, it simply gave us more space: both literally and metaphorically - more space to work, screw and develop, more space for thoughts and inspirations. On the other hand, the move and the circumstances also established completely new team procedures (keyword: Corona test roads), new working models (keyword: home office) and new ways of cooperation, of mutual consideration. In this sense, the new headquarters is not only our professional home - fortunately also for many newly acquired colleagues! - It is also an essential part of the All New SIMStation as a place of exchange and dialogue. (By the way: If you want to have some more information about our new headquarters, you are going to find them in the blog post by my dear colleague Andreas!)
New Forms of Communication and Interaction
What applied to us as a team - finding stable ways of cooperation, communication, and interaction - naturally also applied to the contact with our customers, partners, and distributors. While in 2019 it was still the most normal thing in the world to conduct business appointments in person, attend congresses and trade fairs, and integrate system installations on site, in 2020 the world looked a lot different, as we all know. Faced with the need to find new forms of communication and interaction, we made a virtue out of necessity. This was done, for example, through the systematic expansion of digital channels; an expansion of communication that went far beyond the holding of online meetings, which have become so common to all of us. From webinars and online courses to diverse streaming offers and remote integration methods, we have been able to successfully extend our digital possibilities and learn to use them specifically as a service offering. Today, we have reached the point where we can carry out almost all processes relating to SIMStation customer care online, from consulting and training to integration and support.
Previous structures and processes could thus not only be compensated, but also improved. The new digital channels have proven to be more flexible and even cost-effective. Not to be mentioned: From an ecological point of view, such forms of online-based cooperation also have a positive added value (keyword: CO² emissions). A win-win game. All this was reason enough for us to consistently develop this digital communication service further and to turn a long-cherished wish into reality: namely, the launch of the new SIMStation website. In addition to the modern design and a broader range of information, www.simstation.com provides its visitors with a multilingual and intuitive user interface and offers a variety of individual interaction options, e.g., through separate areas for customers and distributors. The combination of all these approaches represents an indispensable functional extension of SIMStation: in form of the communicatively flexible All New SIMStation, which enables us to maintain a constant dialogue with all our customers, partners, and distributors.
New Generation of Software and Hardware
Lots of news, right? Yes, but there are still more to come. The title "All New" of course also applies to the SIMStation product lines. The bright example: The All New SIMStation Pro Gen2. The new generation of the mobile AV system for professional recordings and video-supported debriefings contains all the advantages of its predecessor and expands them with selected hardware components. This made it possible to implement valuable functions such as Dante® Network Audio. Also, universal system compatibility with the SIMStation Enterprise could be achieved. In combination with the completely new user interface of the SIMStation Software planned for autumn, the SIMStation Pro Gen2 thus represents a convincing AV system solution for simulations whose structure, sequence and use must be highly flexible and/or mobile. This, the technical innovation process of the All New SIMStation, also takes place as a dynamic one: As a dialogue between our knowledge and experience, our intensive exchange with customers and the resulting technical and design requirements.
The All New SIMStation thus reveals itself as a complex interplay of many distinct factors that unfold in a dialogical interaction with each other. New surroundings meet new circumstances, new opportunities arise from new structures. Surprising perspectives follow personnel expansions, reflected experiences lead to new insights, technical innovations reveal new possibilities. This also brings us back to the beginning of this post: Innovation does not evolve out of nothing. And it affects many levels and various aspects.
In the next few blog posts, we will present the various facets of this exciting process to you in more detail. The best thing about this: We will certainly not run out of material! Because innovation is a development that never ends. It can only exist if it constantly reinvents itself. And this is precisely the dynamic claim of SIMStation. The claim of the All New SIMStation.