Technology When You Least Expect It

Technology When You Least Expect It

KFC sells fried chicken, but now it aims to compete with Sony and Microsoft in the gaming industry. KFC’s “KFConsole” will enter the gaming market later this year. Not only will it play all of the latest games, but it has a compartment to warm your chicken as you play. As surprising as this may be, there are many companies we don’t associate with technology who are building advanced technology infrastructures. 

Technology is vital to every type of company, whether that be selling digital products or using digital technology to improve operations. The business world is becoming increasingly competitive and digital transformation is the secret to push ahead of the crowd. 


UPS is becoming a technology powerhouse with its recent digital transformation initiatives. The company established an “Advanced Technology Group” that is responsible for driving UPS’s digital transformation. The group has deployed drones for use in delivering lab samples and supplies across medical campuses. For its delivery fleet, UPS has attached over 100,000 IoT devices to its trucks. The devices collect over 60 million GPS data points per week. All of that data is fed into an artificial intelligence software that determines the most efficient delivery routes and makes last minute route and load adjustments where needed. With these technologies, among the many others for UPS, the company is establishing itself as more than just a logistics company. 


Nike has established a “Nike Global Technology” team to greatly expand its technology. The company built an ecommerce website that allowed it to reduce its reliance on third party retailers and focus on direct connections with its customers. Connecting to the ecommerce site, Nike also deployed an RFID system to optimize inventory. RFID tags track every product throughout the production process until it is sold to the customer. This provides more transparency into the production line, and using data analytics, allows Nike to better match supply to demand. Now the company knows the exact number of products to produce, minimizing shortages and excess inventories. With more technology projects in the pipeline, Nike is establishing itself as more than just a clothing retailer, but a technology company as well. 


Walmart is competing head-to-head with technology giant, Amazon. In 2013, Walmart started Walmart Labs and acquired several tech start-ups to build and test new technologies for the company. From this, a highly successful ecommerce platform was created to compete in the growing online retail sector. To further innovate, the company introduced Walmart+ — a membership service that promises same day delivery on store items. The new technology also allows customers to use an app to scan their items in store and pay while they shop. Even the biggest retailer in the world recognizes the need for technology innovation in today’s world. 


Any company can build technology infrastructure. One of the best places to start is with cyber physical systems. At A4 Systems, we develop cyber physical systems that transform quality data into primary competitive advantage. We build mission-critical SaaS products for customers to achieve breakthrough performance in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.