AT&T Invests $3.8m In Gamification

| About: AT&T Inc. (T)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is investing $3.8 million with Los Angeles-based startup research and technology institute GameDesk. The modern loyalty and gamification measures require an update to address the digital lives of customers and employees. AT&T's 2013 reported earnings are up 14.3% from last year with an estimated 48 cents per share, up from earnings of 42 cents per share. Projected earnings are at $2.37 per share with revenues projected to $126.9 billion this year. The investment initiative will enable embedding academic materials and assessments into interactive digital games and simulations to a national audience.

" AT&T's $350 million commitment to a program called "Aspire," which provides grants to schools, non-profit organizations and researchers for ventures aimed at increasing the country's high-school graduation rate. AT&T says it has spent $100 million on the program over the past four years, but it recently scaled up its investment, pledging an additional $250 million in funding over the next five years. But like its high-tech and telecom rivals, AT&T is weathering a sea change in its increasingly digital industry. As its classic landline business dies off and its wireless business grows, the company needs workers with a new set of technical skills." AT&T statement by CNN.

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The Global Gamification market is expected to grow to 99 percent from 2012-2016. The industry is expected to reach $2.8 Billion by 2016. The growth of the Global Gamification market is driven by many factors such as the market's ability to optimize in consumer engagement. There are several disruptive technologies that have emerged over the past few years - gamification, 3D video, IPTV, multiuser gaming, and augmented reality.

AT&T Aspire recently announced the $250 million expansion to contribute to companies that use technology to connect with students in new and effective ways, such as with interactive games, Web-based resources, and social media. AT&T draws 90% of its revenue from the United States. Gartner predicts that by 2014, more than 70 percent of global 2,000 organizations will have at least one "gamified" application.

Nike+, a suite of green web and mobile apps recently released was developed to transform the way people approach environmental stewardship. Organizations are leveraging gamification to advance sustainability. Gamification is still in its formative years. Investors and stakeholders realize the potential. The challenges amongst all companies is increasing user engagement, making the customer more interactive and status recognition.

Why Invest in Gamification
Gamification is a way of using game mechanics (e.g., competitive challenges, recognition and rewards) to improve a business process, with the goal of fulfilling business objectives. Organizations have invested considerable sums of money in creating IT systems that enable effective business processes. However, these systems don't motivate people to perform at their highest levels or fulfill underlying business goals; they are aimed merely at process execution. With the use of gaming principles, an intuitive design and an environment of healthy competition, however, it's increasingly possible for process-enabling applications to motivate user behavior in a positive way. For example, most people are inspired by a challenge or the promise of a reward, and they feel gratified when they win something - whether it's a few dollars in gift cards or a million-dollar jackpot. These basic human tendencies can be channeled into behaviors that are rewarding not just to the users (be they employees, customers or business partners), but also to the company, itself. For most companies, it makes business sense to invest in strategies and process enablers that reinforce behaviors that help meet corporate objectives rather than merely executing processes.

AT&T Inc. is a U.S. telecommunications services provider, and the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier in the United States. AT&T provides telephone, Internet, and computer telephone services to over 95 million customers in 22 states in the U.S. AT&T operates across four segments: Wireless, Wireline, Advertising Solutions, and Other. In fiscal year 2010, AT&T recorded revenue of $124.3 billion and net income of $19.8 billion. AT&T continues to invest heavily to improve high-speed internet and video offerings as consumer demand for these services continues to rise. AT&T's increased investments is evident in its $4.4 billion initiative to build a fiber-optic network to offer IP-based video, broadband Internet, and VoIP services over a single line.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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