On October 30, 2018, the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber held their second annual South Sound Summit event. This year’s South Sound Summit took place at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, and addressed pivotal components that businesses from around the South Sound should utilize in order to advance in their industries. This half-day conference provided business owners and community leaders with different elements, activities, and seminars dedicated to helping benefit businesses of all kinds throughout the Puget Sound.

During “Influencers of the South Sound,” local organizations heard from area leaders during TED Talk-style lectures as they shared insights on how to disrupt the market and stay ahead of their competition through innovation and vision. Comcast’s Steve Scheer was one of the leaders who spoke, addressing the topic of digital transformation in today’s economy.

“We were thrilled and had great feedback from our participants, whether they were speakers or people who attended,” Tom Pierce, President and CEO of the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber said. “Steve came and talked about their Internet Essentials program, the digital divide in our communities, and what they’re doing about that. It was a great message.”

Steve Scheer
Steve Scheer addressing the topic of Digital Transformation in our South Sound Communities. Photo courtesy: Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

On stage, Scheer broke down the reason why digital literacy is imperative to businesses and their employees during this day and age, when our economy is so technologically driven.

“This is an exciting and transformational time for all of us. Especially in the business community,” Scheer stated at South Sound Summit. “We’re seeing businesses that want to enhance their operations through cloud-based services and new technology. They’re really looking to improve the employee experience, using technology to help employees to work faster and smarter, but also providing them the option to work in multiple different places. We’re seeing businesses are really driving to improve the customer experience. Customers are demanding a much more frictionless and easy environment to do business with us. We have to make it easy for customers to do business with us.”

Over the last several years, Comcast Business in Tacoma has grown its offering to enable businesses across the entire South Sound Region to embrace what many in the business community call, the Digital Transformation. This trending wave of digital adoption offers opportunities for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of tools that will help them take that next step. Whether its things like operational enhancements or improving the customer experience – there are tremendous competitive advantages that businesses of all sizes can gain by embracing this new technology.  By doing so, it allows organizations to move faster and gain an advantage over their competitors.

“As a business, we have invested over 7 million dollars into Pierce County over the last five years,” Steve tells us. “This has been a very proactive investment. By expanding our network and making it easier and less expensive for many organizations to get access to Comcast’s network and business tools, it’s really helping to make it easier for these local businesses to begin their digital transformation. From small mom-and-pop style shops to large enterprises, we act as a technology partner for them all, and we are to be their partner in developing and implementing their digital transformation strategy.”

Scheer also noted that it is not only about preparing businesses to embrace technology, but also the people living in Pierce County to embrace technology and find success in the digital economy. He emphasized this as an important thing to note, and that the more we can train the local workforce with the digital skills and aptitude they need, the greater impact they can have on local businesses and the economy overall.

“We believe in closing the digital divide for all people so they have a chance to be able to compete and thrive in this new technology-driven economy,” Scheer explained. “We believe the best way to close that divide for people is to invest in them and make it better for low income families, and we just announced we’ll be doing that for low income veterans, to get them access and education so they can compete in today’s economy.”

South Sound Summit
Over 500 business owners and community leaders attended this year’s 2nd Annual South Sound Summit. Photo courtesy: Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Comcast has been developing and implementing programs in order to help benefit businesses and families right here in Pierce County, as well as throughout the country. Their Internet Essentials program has been working to bridge that digital gap by connecting low-income families, students, and as of last month low-income veterans, to the power of Internet at home. During this day and age, the Internet is a necessity for people to not only to thrive in our economy, but also to be successful in school, continued education, and as a way to stay connected with the world around them.

“Internet Essentials helps people get access to the Internet, but also provides additional training, and creates better digital literacy,” Scheer says. “In Washington State, we have hundreds of thousands of people that Comcast has been able to help out, among 6 million people we’ve helped across the country through the Internet Essentials program. It is one of the best things we do as a company that many people don’t even really know about.”

“When you think about the explosive growth we’re seeing here in the South Puget Sound, it’s amazing,” Scheer said at South Sound Summit. “What I really enjoy about business now is that it’s more dynamic than ever before. We’re happy to be playing a role locally to help stoke that flame of innovation and enable businesses and the workforce to embrace a new age of technology.”

For more information, visit Comcast’s website to learn more about their Internet Essentials program and their effort to address digital transformation in our communities. Organizations interested in learning about the Comcast Business services offered throughout Pierce County can find more information here.

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