A new report by Deloitte’s Center for Government Insights, “Smart Medicaid: Leveraging Cognitive Technologies to Improve Health and Program Efficiencies,” examines how smart technologies could be applied to Medicaid agencies to help promote independent living, improve customer service and program administration, and target interventions with patients who need them most. “A smart Medicaid system could […]
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Building Intelligence company 75F announces the 75® Smart Node™ Equipment Controller, a first-of-its-kind product design combining onboard OLED display, eleven I/O interface ports, daisy-chained 24V power, wireless-mesh networking, and software-defined hardware capabilities. The Smart Node is part of 75F’s vertically-integrated suite of smart building products for HVAC and lighting automation, delivering energy-efficiency, indoor air quality […]
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A few weeks ago the World Climate Conference was held to discuss sustainability targets for lower energy consumption and less pollution. Few organisations have embraced the goals but Festo, at its Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Germany, has already shown its support for them in the Industrie 4.0, energy efficient, IoT-enabled factory
Energy efficiency often starts from the ground up in manufacturing environments and, for Festo, a major decision was to develop an energy efficiency module that is a plug-and-work solution for the pneumatic circuit as a whole. The module is able to summarise, evaluate and analyse data by using artificial intelligence (AI). The data collected can therefore be pre-processed inside the unit and/or completely transferred into a cloud. A decentralised automation platform usually collects data from different Festo devices and combines them on a valve terminal with Codesys controller on board.
In the Festo Technology Plant at Scharnhausen, this type of installation has been retrofitted to all older machines since 2015 – and is a must for all new machines. The target was to make them energy transparent and to optimise air and current consumption by dedicated switching-on and off cycles depending on several criteria – thus avoiding that energy peaks are just added without any benefit, or leakage causing high extra cost. Data had been fed via object linking and embedding (OLE) for process control (OPC) unified architecture (UA) into the on-site manufacturing execution (ME) system from SAP by its plant connection module (PCo), and further to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with SAP HANA cloud. Now the new solutions allow – in conjunction with other actions taken like solar panels or re-use concepts for heat – saving of up to one-third of energy compared to the old plant. Amortisation is expected to be around two years.
In the latest use cases, the data from such energy efficiency modules is brought via OPC-UA and a Festo CPX-IoT Gateway to cloud or IoT platforms like Siemens MindSphere or Rockwell Factory Talk. Festo also provides its own cloud for deeper analytics of all its pneumatic and electric drive components and mechatronic sub-systems as a long-term target. Data is also fed into SAP HANA, Festo’s on-site option in the Scharnhausen factory.
The required apps are developed by Festo, and in the case of external cloud providers, are then installed in the MindSphere environment (using Siemens MindConnect LIB) or the Rockwell Device Analytics (via Shelby Appliance or Team ONE tools). The app for the Festo energy efficiency module inside these clouds or IoT environments allows easy visualisation, quicker set-up and parametrisation of the product and online visualisation during machine run-time. The data analytics support advanced diagnostic and condition monitoring concepts and could lead into predictive maintenance systems by combining data from different sources inside the cloud.
Today, a cloud based visualisation makes many things easier, but a high degree of expertise and IT knowledge is needed to make the devices communicate to clouds offered by the market today. In total, the Festo energy efficiency module reduces energy cost, and […]
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We are excited to announce the launch of new ARIN in the Caribbean 2018 activities and open registration for our first two events in the following locations:
Similar to our ARIN on the Road events, these are one-day programs featuring information on our services, as well as how we can help you and your organizations design, secure, and maintain robust networks and contribute to Internet numbering policy development for the region.
ARIN in the Caribbean events are free to attend and offer a great environment to learn and share. The program includes presentations on timely topics such as obtaining IPv6 addresses from ARIN and transfers of number resources. In addition, there will be presentations on current policy discussions, ARIN technical services, and best practices for building resilient Caribbean networks.
The agenda for our upcoming meetings will cover the following topics:
- ARIN’s Mission and Core Functions
- ARIN Technical Services
- Policy Development at ARIN
- ARIN and Caribbean Network Autonomy and Resilience
- IPv4 Services – Waiting List, Transfers, and more
- IPv6 and ASN Services – Obtaining Resources, Creating Networking Plans
- ARIN Q&A – Open microphone to answer your questions!
Each day will conclude with an open microphone question and answer session, followed by a drawing for a $100 USD Amazon gift card for those who complete a short survey about the event.
Space is limited at each event, so if you are interested in attending one of our upcoming events please register on or before 2 February 2018!
If you are not available to join us in Grenada or Barbados, please visit our brand new ARIN in the Caribbean page for a list of other planned ARIN in the Caribbean events!
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By Jon Collins
Barely a day goes past in the tech press without some mention of the importance of digital transformation to businesses; each accompanied by a caveat that nobody really knows what it is. Without engaging further in this debate, what are the absolutes and what really matters?
1. That it’s all about the data. Everything.
How ever we phrase things, the singular, most significant change that technology has brought over the past 100 years is the ability to generate, store, process and transmit inordinate quantities of data. Whatever ‘revolution’ or ‘wave’ we might want to say we are in right now, be it digital, industrial or whatever, there is only really one — the information revolution.
Despite exponential appearances (and resulting perceived impetus for dramatic change), this trend continues with a certain linearity: even as we double the number of pixels on a sensor for example, or transistors on a processor, our abilities increase at a more steady pace. In business terms, the challenges of integration, capacity planning or service level management are the much the same now as they were a decade ago; we are simply working at a higher level of resolution.
2. That technology is enabling us to do new things
This still leaves room for breakthroughs, when technology passes certain thresholds. We saw, for example, the quite sudden demise of the cathode-ray television in favour of LCD screens, or indeed that of film versus digital cameras. What we see as waves are quite often technologies passing these thresholds — so, for example, the Internet of Things is a consequence of having sufficient connectivity, with low-cost sensors and ‘edge’ processing. We may be seeing another approaching with machine learning and AI.
It’s useful to compare these moments of “release of innovation” with the previous point, that many consequences are subject to evolutionary, not revolutionary impact. This dichotomy drives much technology-related marketing: a new advance can have significant specific impacts even if it does not change the world; however it will be presented as enabling the latter, even if it will only really achieve the former. Case in point — digital cameras have not made us better photographers, and nor has CRM made organisations better at customer service.
3. That we tend to do the easy or cheap stuff, as consumers and businesses
Many innovations happen through ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’. We can spend our lives putting together complex business cases that demonstrate clear ROI, but even as we do we know they are really lip service to due diligence. In work as at home, a great deal of technology adoption happens because it makes our lives easier — those explaining the extraordinary rise of Amazon, Facebook and so on emphasise ecosystems, platforms and networks and treat our own laziness and desire for a simple life as an afterthought. In business meanwhile, money saving is a far greater enabler to technology adoption than the potential for business growth.
The CBA factor is of inordinate importance, and yet gets little mention: it’s like we are embarrassed to admit our own weaknesses. Interestingly, its corollary (that of “Resistance to Change”) does get a mention when looking to explain large project failures. But here’s the fact: many of the great technology advances occur because they are easier, and they stumble when they are not. The fact people still like books or printed reports can be explained as much through ease of use, as through the need to hold something physical. The perceived need for ‘transformation’ comes from the idea that against such inertia, some big, aspirational change is necessary.
4. That nobody knows what the next big thing will be
As my old boss and mentor once said however, innovations are like route markers — it’s important to see them as points on a journey rather than a destination. However, doing so goes against two major schools of thought. The first comes from technology vendors who want (you) to believe that their latest box of tricks will indeed bring nirvana. And the second, from consulting firms, whose thought leadership role diminishes significantly if their advice is framed in terms of observational mentoring (a good thing) as opposed to somehow holding the keys to the kingdom.
There is no promised land, and neither is there a crevasse we will all fall into, but we still persist in looking through the wrong end of the telescope, framing business needs in terms of solutions rather than putting the former first. Sometimes this is done so subtly by marketers it can be difficult to spot: back in the days of “service oriented architecture” for example, it took me a while to realise that its main proponents happened to have a specific product in mind (an “enterprise service bus”). Doing so isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s worth following the money.
5. That we are not yet “there”, nor will we ever be
As a species, particularly in times of great change, we need a level of certainty at a very deep, psychological level. And it is messing with our ability to act. It’s too easy to pander to the need for a clear answer, buying into current rhetoric with a hope that the latest advance might really work this time. All sides are at fault — those purveying solutions, those buying them and those acting as trusted third parties — but who wants to hear anyone say “it’s not going to work”?Each time round the cycle, we come up with new terms and subtly change their definitions — industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing might mean the same, or very different things depending on who you ask, a symptom of our desperation to understand, and adapt to what is going on (after all, haven’t we been told to ‘adapt or die’?).
Interestingly, the companies that we applaud, or fear the most, may well be those who care the least. Amazon, Uber, Tesla, the rest of them don’t know what’s around the corner, and what is more they don’t see this as a priority — they simply want to still be in the game this time next year. Rightly so, as they are were born into uncertainly, forged through some indecipherable and unrepeatable combination of factors. Why did Facebook succeed when Myspace, Bebo or any other high-valuation predecessor did not, for example? Above all, these organisations have an attitude to change, a mindset that sees uncertainty and therefore responsiveness, as a norm. Jeff Bezos’ articulation of Amazon’s “Day One” approach to business strategy offers a fantastically simple, yet utterly profound illustration.
6. Responsiveness is the answer, however you package it
Where does this leave us? The bottom line is that “digital transformation” is the latest attempt to provide a solid response to uncertain times, and as such remains empty words for many. It isn’t actually relevant what it is, other than a touchstone term which will soon be replaced (you can thank the marketers for that). So debate it by all means, just as you might once have debated business process management, or social networking, or hybrid cloud, or whatever tickles your fancy. As you do so however, recognise such procrastination for what it is.
And then, once you are done, take action, over and over again. Transformation doesn’t matter, unless we are talking about the transformation of mindsets and attitudes, from build-to-last to do-it-fast. That’s why agile methodologies such as DevOps are so important, not in themselves (yes, that would be putting the cart before the horse again) but because they give businesses an approach to innovate at high speed. As we continue on this data-driven journey, as complexity becomes the norm, traditional attitudes to change at the top of business, or indeed our institutions, become less and less tenable. The bets we make on the future become less and less important; what matters more is our ability to make new ones.
Terminology matters not a jot. But are you and your colleagues, at whatever level in your organisation, prepared to change? If the answer is anything other than yes, you have a bigger challenge on your hands than understanding the latest set of buzzwords.
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Cradlepoint, the provider in cloud-delivered 4G LTE network solutions that provide a pathway to 5G, announced a new subscription-based solution pricing model, the next step in its Elastic Edge™strategy for software-driven and cloud-delivered wireless wide-area networks (WANs).
The new model is based on a series of all-inclusive NetCloud Solution Packages, which simplify the way customers buy, deploy, manage and evolve their Cradlepoint network, facilitating rapid deployment, time-to-value and customer success. Each subscription package is tailored to specific market needs and combines NetCloud software and services, fit-for-purpose endpoint hardware, and comprehensive 24×7 support.
Cradlepoint is launching the first new offering under this model this week at the National Retail Federation show in New York City, N.Y. The NetCloud Solution Package for Branch provides 4G LTE-optimised SD-WAN functionality with extended wireless LAN coverage for small footprint retail and pop-up stores and other types of branches.
Buy network solutions as cloud-delivered services
With NetCloud Solution Packages, Cradlepoint becomes a first-mover in transitioning enterprise network solutions from a hardware-first approach, which is inflexible and resource-intensive, to a software-first and cloud-delivered subscription, reflecting the shift that is underway within IT infrastructures.
Now customers can buy a complete Cradlepoint network solution as subscription service and gain benefits that are typically attributed to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), including an easier and more efficient buying and deployment experience, faster ROI, and vendor-aligned interest in their success.
NetCloud Solution Packages are aligned with the three market segments that Cradlepoint participates in today – branch, mobile and IoT networking. The offering consists of all-inclusive Essentials packages and optional Advanced software upgrades.
NetCloud Essentials Solution Packages are available one-, three-, and five-year terms and include:
NetCloud edge routing, security, and cloud management features tailored by Cradlepoint to meet the requirements of each market segment
Choice of fit-for-purpose endpoint hardware and integrated 4G LTE modems, backed by a lifetime warranty
Cradlepoint 24×7 support with phone, live chat, and Knowledge Base access.
At any time, a customer can add advanced software features by purchasing an Advanced subscription package, which is also available in one-, three-, and five-year terms.
“IT infrastructure is evolving from the buy-it-and-build-it approach, to consume-as-a-service”, said George Mulhern, Cradlepoint CEO. “Cradlepoint NetCloud Solution Packages acknowledge this trend and represent the next step in our Elastic Edge strategy for bringing the simplicity, elasticity, and economic advantages of software and cloud services to wireless wide-area networking—creating customer value across the entire lifecycle.”
Software-defined wireless branch networking
At the National Retail Federation show in New York this week, Cradlepoint is launching its first new products under the NetCloud Solution Package subscription model, which are targeted at the branch market. The AER2200 Edge Router and AP22 Access Points are designed for retailers and other “lean IT” organisations in the midst of digital transformation that need a more agile and extensible solution to connect—and protect—the growing number of people and things in their stores and branch offices.
It brings the flexibility and reliability of software-driven wireless connectivity to small-footprint sites within industries such as quick-serve restaurants, professional services, field services, construction and convenience stores.
The new NetCloud Solution Packages for branch offerings include:
AER2200 Edge Router: The newest member of the all-in-one […]
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NEC Corporation announced the presentation of technologies and solutions for working together with telecom carriers in the co-creation of new business models and the implementation of 5G solutions at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, from February 26 to March 1, in Hall 3, stand #3M30.
In today’s business and social climate, telecom carriers are constantly being required to process greater volumes of data at increasingly faster speeds, while also ensuring that transmissions are secure. At the same time, the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics are placing even greater demand on carrier resources.
At MWC 2018, NEC is demonstrating solutions and technologies that help address the needs of both telecom carriers and businesses alike through its “5G. A Future Beyond Imagination,” concept, which positions NEC and telecom carriers as service enablers for the co-creation of new business models for a wide variety of vertical industries, including the security, agriculture and transportation fields, that maximise resources and reinforce earnings.
At the NEC booth, the company’s cutting-edge portfolio of AI technologies, “NEC the WISE,” will be introduced, as well as NEC’s series of biometric authentication solutions, “Bio-IDiom,” which includes some of the world’s fastest and most accurate facial and fingerprint authentication technologies. This is in addition to highlighting NEC’s participation in the FIDO Alliance, which aims to standardise Fast IDentity Online (FIDO).
Moreover, NEC will demonstrate its advanced solutions for being a leader in mobile backhaul, network optimisation through traffic management solutions (TMS) and edge computing, as well as software-defined networking (SDN) / network functions virtualisation (NFV) that contribute to the growth of telecom carriers.
For more detail on NEC’s participation in Mobile World Congress 2018, please click here.
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For many industries, from transportation to utilities, manufacturing and more, field workers are pivotal to the success of business operations, the satisfaction of customers, and the growth of the bottom line.
Field workers are now at the forefront of digital transformation where artificial intelligence (AI), smart mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and business process management (BPM) technologies have created new opportunities to better streamline and transform traditional workflows and workforce management practices.
To better understand how these technologies are being applied and the impact they are having in the enterprise, Red Hat commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to survey 300 IT decision makers from organisations in the U.S., Europe and Asia that employ a significant field workforce. The survey examined investment trends, current and future adoption patterns, use cases and implementation challenges.
According to the results, strong technology investment is expected by respondents with an average increase of 25% through November 2018, reflecting the importance of technology in transforming field service operations. Top business factors identified as influencing this investment include increasing field worker productivity (46%), streamlining or optimising field operations and processes (40%), and improving customer service (37%).
When we consider the current trends that are broadly driving conversations in the tech industry, AI is one of the leading topics. While still an emerging category—currently implemented by only 24% of respondents—we believe the technology has great potential across a variety of industries and use cases. It comes as little surprise that an additional 30% of respondents plan to implement AI in 2018, aligning with an average anticipated increase in investment of 26% for certain respondents over the same period.
The AI umbrella encompasses a number of specific technologies for those respondents that have either implemented already or plan to implement to address more specialised uses cases, including:
Predictive analytics (55%)
Machine learning (46%)
Chatbots or virtual digital assistance (45%)
Robotic Process Automation (44%)
Despite being more established technologies, mobile, BPM and IoT seem to defy their relative maturity in the market with respondents indicating double-digit growth across the board in both investment and implementations through November 2018. While 67% of respondents have already implemented mobile apps for field service operations, an additional 19% plan to implement new mobile apps, supported by a 20% average expected increase in investment by certain respondents.
The outlook for BPM and IoT is similar. Respondents expect implementations to grow from 61 to 81% for BPM and from 53 to 73% for IoT, fueled by 20 and 24% average expected increase in investment by certain respondents, respectively.
However, along with the appetite for technology investment and implementation growth, respondents are keenly aware of the technical challenges their organisations face in developing and implementing applications for field workforce management. Access to timely and relevant data is critical for field workers in remote locations, harsh environments, or areas of low network connectivity, as is the ability to protect that data as it flows between the field and back-end systems.
As a result, securing data access was the top challenge identified in the survey at 34%, followed by:
The pace […]
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By A.R. Guess
by Angela Guess A new press release reports, “Actian, the hybrid data management, analytics and integration company, today announced new multi-platform editions of the industry leading Actian Zen Embedded database solution family designed to address the demanding scale-down and scale-out requirements of data-centric IoT solutions. This innovative offering provides the industry with the first enterprise-ready […]
The post Actian Transforms IoT With Next Gen Embedded Database Platform appeared first on DATAVERSITY.
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Antenova Ltd, manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules, is showing a brand new pair of high performing 4G/LTE antennas which are suitable for PCBs as small as 60mm, at the consumer electronics show CES. The two antennas can also be used in 3G and MIMO applications.
The two antennas are similar – the difference being that Inversa is built for the USA market while Integra is for European and Asian markets.
Both antennas are available in left and right versions to provide more options for placement on the PCB, and can be used singly or in pairs for MIMO. Both use beam steering to ensure good isolation and cross correlation, and achieve high performance.
Inversa, part numbers SR4L034-L /SR4L034-R, measures 28.0 x 8.0 x 3.3mm and covers the USA bands 698-798 MHz, 824-960 MHz, 1710-2170 MHz, 2300-2400 MHz and 2500-2690MHz.
Integra, part numbers SR4L049-L/SR4L049-R measures 23.0 x 8.0 x 3.3mm and covers the bands 791-960 MHz, 1710-2170 MHz, 2300-2400 MHz and 2500-2600 MHz, used in Europe and Asia.
Antenova has designed these antennas for use in small trackers, OBDs and other similar devices where space is limited. For more details, antenna samples and evaluation boards, please click here.
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