learning

Field services operations bullish on emerging technologies, finds Red Hat global survey

By Zenobia Hegde

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 […]

The post Field services operations bullish on emerging technologies, finds Red Hat global survey appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

AI Investment Up, ROI Remains Iffy

By George Leopold

Real-world applications for artificial intelligence are emerging in areas such as boosting the productivity of dispersed workforces. However, early adopters are still struggling to determine the return on initial AI investments, according to a pair of new vendor reports.

Red Hat released research this week indicating that AI deployments have yielded some tangible results in areas such as transportation and utilities that rely heavily on field workers. A separate forecast released Wednesday (Jan.17) by Narrative Science found growing enterprise adoption of AI technologies but little in the way of investment returns.

Chicago-based Narrative Science, which sells natural language generation technology, found that 61 percent of those companies it surveyed deployed AI technologies in 2017. Early deployments focused on business intelligence, finance and product management. “In 2018, the focus will be on ensuring enterprises get value from their AI investments,” company CEO Stuart Frankel noted in releasing the survey.

Early adopters are also encountering many of the hurdles associated with a “first mover” advantage. “More and more organizations are deploying AI-powered technologies, with goals such as improving worker productivity and enhancing the customer experience that are not only laudable, but achievable,” Narrative Science concluded. “A focus on realistic deployment timeframes and accurately measuring the effectiveness and [return on investment] of AI is critical to keeping the current momentum around the technology moving forward.”

Meanwhile, the Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) survey also found an uptick in AI deployments, with 30 percent of respondents planning to implement AI for “field service workers” this year. Other applications include predictive analytics, machine learning and robotics.

While issues such as securing data access and a lack of standards persist, Red Hat found that field workers are “now at the forefront of digital transformation where artificial intelligence, smart mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and business process management technologies have created new opportunities to better streamline and transform traditional workflows and workforce management practices.”

A predicted 25 percent increase in AI investment through November 2018 is seen transforming field service operations, Red Hat noted in a blog posted on Thursday (Jan. 18). Early movers cited increase field worker productivity (46 percent), streamlining field operations (40 percent) and improving customer service (37 percent) as the top business factors for investing in AI.

Along with a lack of standards, respondents said deployment challenges include keeping pace with technological change and integrating AI deployments with legacy systems. The survey notes that industry groups are focusing on standards and interoperability among IoT devices along with data security while improving integration technologies.

Earlier vendor surveys also have identified barriers to implementation ranging from a lack of IT infrastructure suited to AI applications to a lack AI expertise. For instance, a survey released last fall by data analytics vendor Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) found that 30 percent of those it polled said greater investments would be required to expand AI deployments.

Despite the promise and pitfalls of AI—ranging from freeing workers from drudgery to displacing those same workers—early AI deployments appear to underscore the reality that the technology remains a solution in search of a problem.

Recent items:

AI Seen Better Suited to IoT Than Big Data

AI Adopters Confront Barriers to ROI

The post AI Investment Up, ROI Remains Iffy appeared first on Datanami.

Read more here:: www.datanami.com/feed/

Cybeats raises seed round of investment led by iNovia Capital to create ‘immune system’ for IoT devices

By Zenobia Hegde

Cybersecurity company Cybeats, which provides continuous cyber defence solution for Enterprise IoT infrastructure, announced it has raised a seed round of investment from iNovia Capital, Maple Leaf Angels (MLA48 II), and cybersecurity industry insiders Dr. Richard Reiner, Brian O’Higgins, and Brian Bourne.

“iNovia is excited to invest in Cybeats and its brilliant team, alongside a great group of investors. IoT and cybersecurity is a space that we have been looking into for a while, we believe Cybeats’ technology is solving a real problem, with the potential to become a global leader in the space”, says Magaly Charbonneau, principal at iNovia Capital.

“Maple Leaf Angels is pleased to participate in this round with iNovia, Richard and other angels, through its MLA48 Fund II. The cyber security problem is a growing global issue, particularly in IoT devices. We believe that Cybeats has the right team and technology to tackle this problem,” said managing director, Prathna Ramesh.

Brian Bourne added, “The Cybeats team has built a unique, efficient and highly effective solution to the IoT security problem. They have developed their technology with a keen eye to the needs of enterprise and I am excited to be involved with such a talented team.”

“IoT essentially equips the internet with arms and legs, and brings about a whole new level of concern with safety and security. New technology is needed to address the problem, and Cybeats is right on course to deliver solutions” said Brian O’Higgins.

New chairman for Cybeats

Cybeats is also announcing that Dr. Reiner, a renowned serial cybersecurity entrepreneur and executive with a long string of successful exits, is joining as chairman of the company. Dr. Reiner brings to Cybeats many years of experience at the cutting edge of the cybersecurity industry – his insights will enable Cybeats to better identify business opportunities in the IoT cybersecurity market and to deliver better products faster.

“Cybeats solves a critical problem for enterprises deploying IoT technology, and for the manufacturers of these devices”, said Dr. Reiner. “IoT devices, until now, have been vulnerable and easy targets for hackers. Cybeats protects IoT devices throughout their lifecycle, so enterprises can benefit from the value of IoT technologies without increasing their risk profile.”

The funding will be used to scale Cybeats’ sales team, to further develop new Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities for the Cybeats platform, and to expand the company’s services into APAC and EU markets. Cybeats builds an immune system-like cybersecurity software for Enterprise IoT (EoT), Industrial IoT (IIoT), and Critical Infrastructure IoT devices, such as those used in energy grids.

Taking an “inside out” approach to cybersecurity, Cybeats’ software is embedded into the devices to provide continuous protection, allowing devices to detect the most sophisticated threats instantly and gather data to help security professionals neutralise them. Cybeats’ Cloud service then analyses data from the infected device, and provides a full threat diagnosis and treatment plan.

With an estimated 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming an integral part of our world. But with the increased opportunity the IoT brings, so too come a multitude of new threats to cybersecurity […]

The post Cybeats raises seed round of investment led by iNovia Capital to create ‘immune system’ for IoT devices appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

Osram Lasers promote adoption of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles

By Zenobia Hegde

At this year’s North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobili-D 2018, Osram Opto Semiconductors is demonstrating how its high-power infrared pulse lasers are helping speed the adoption of autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

AutoMobili-D is a dedicated expo focused on the rapidly evolving global automotive and mobility landscapes. Attendees can experience Osram’s highly efficient 905 nm lasers in action in booth #AD14 at AutoMobili-D from January 14 to January 21.

Pulse laser diodes from Osram Opto Semiconductors have been featured in cars for more than 10 years for time-of-flight (TOF) measurements in adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems and automatic braking systems.

At AutoMobili-D, Osram will showcase its laser and LEDs in a number of innovative applications for autonomous vehicles and ADAS, including:

An industry-first long range infrared 4D camera concept from Vergence Automation uses 190 Osram infrared LEDs. 4D imaging, when applied to autonomous vehicle use, will be a boon to computer vision, machine learning, and deep learning.
The GazeT Driver Monitoring Global Shutter Image Sensor Demo System from ON Semiconductor uses Osram’s 940 nm infrared LEDs.

Rajeev Thakur

Osram lasers dedicated to LIDAR applications are based on the company’s extremely efficient, high-power infrared pulse laser with 905 nm wavelength. The laser’s short pulse length allows systems operating at high optical power levels to realise large detection ranges, while still being safe for the naked eye.

“Osram is pleased to be working with leading companies to enable widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles and ADAS, which will change the future of driving,” said Rajeev Thakur, regional marketing manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Joining forces with companies like Vergence Automation and ON Semiconductor is a testament to Osram’s leadership in the development and future of autonomous vehicles.”

“Osram is a great technology partner for developing our 4D camera that utilises a patented 4D pixel to perform 3D image creation,” said Jamie Retterath, chief product officer at Vergence. “The 4D pixel has the potential to displace TOF for all future 3D imaging applications.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

The post Osram Lasers promote adoption of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

Five ways remote access will transform everything from cashpoints to living rooms

By Zenobia Hegde

As a digital economy breaks down boundaries between industries, supply chains, employees and customers, we will see new remote access technology creating interconnectivity between companies, workers and consumers in 2018. Company support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to cars and set-top boxes, delivering connected customer support across millions of IoT devices from the road to the living room. Workers will increasingly ‘remote into’ devices in other departments, divisions or training centres, creating cross-departmental collaboration, learning and oversight, says Adam Byrne, COO at RealVNC.

Future remote access technology will even enable remote human intervention in vehicles, creating interconnected transport ecosystems where everyone from technicians to fleet managers can ‘remote in’ to cars to fix faults, warn drivers, reduce emissions or even view police car chases in real-time from any location.

Below RealVNC outlines five ways remote access is set to transform our lives:

Bank managers will help you from within cashpoints

2018 will see the transformation of the cashpoint into a smart, all-seeing, all-doing ‘bank in a box’ that enable people to obtain audio or video support from bank managers, deposit coins and even make ‘cardless’ withdrawals without ever entering a branch.

The key will be the creation of ‘smart’ cashpoints that replicate bank branches, by using the remote access technology that IT help desks use to allow bank staff to ‘log in’ to ATMs and guide customers through transactions in real-time. Crucially, banks will be able to see inside the ATM and fix faults or remotely update and even upgrade cashpoints from any location.

Banks are particularly sensitive to the loss of an older customer demographic because these are also the wealthiest customers and they are the most resistant to automation and branch closures due to the loss of human interaction. Financial institutions face the dilemma of ensuring that branch closures do not impact a lucrative market segment that attaches considerable importance to customer service and human interaction. Remote access technology will now enable banks to automate services without losing the human touch.

Trainees and support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to training centres and even living rooms

As the digital economy increasingly pulls down the barriers between geographies, sectors and people, we will begin to see companies and consumers using remote access technology to deliver real-time, remote customer support inside everything from data centres to living rooms.

Already, some pioneering enterprises are reaching out into customer homes by enabling staff to ‘remote in’ to TV set-top boxes and deliver real-time customer support from any location. Other companies are conversely allowing customers to ‘log in’ to training servers in other countries and receive virtual training from any location in the world.

The same is happening for workers. Some enterprises will allow real-time interconnectivity between tens of thousands of employee devices by enabling employees to ‘remote into’ everything from ‘smartboards’ to tablets across departments in real-time, creating cross-sector training and collaboration and allowing companies to oversee and enforce policies from anywhere, on the move.

Vehicle fleets will be remote-controlled

The combination of remote access technology and live telematics data means […]

The post Five ways remote access will transform everything from cashpoints to living rooms appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

Deep Integration: Comcast Bolsters, Scales Smart Home Technology

By Alex Silverman

Comcast is taking its quest for home automation domination to the next level, enabling a slew of new smart home functionality that it introduced to the media Wednesday morning at CES. The tech, which the company is extending to 15mln homes, links all of Comcast’s Xfinity services—X1 video; xFi WiFi, Xfinity Home security and Xfinity Mobile—to create a comprehensive, easily accessible household-management system.

The MSO is leveraging technology to let customers use either their X1 voice remote or any internet-connected device to control virtually any function around the house. In fact, the system will even enable a situational series of commands throughout the home. For example, a user can set up an “I’m Leaving” scenario that, when triggered, turns off all the lights, locks the door and arms the home security system simultaneously. Leave the house without locking up? The system will prompt the user via their mobile device to do so remotely. Beyond that, the system will eventually recognize patterns through machine learning and actually suggest other options to make a user’s life easier.

“We really see this opportunity around the notion of the digital home to be part of our customers’ lives every day, and our ability to really tap into these different products and bring them together in a more integrated and seamless way,” said Comcast evp, Xfinity Services Matt Strauss. “Where today we typically sell on price, in time, our ambition is to sell on experience. The more products and services you take from us, the better that experience.”

Comcast evp and chief product officer Chris Satchell said the company plans to work with any and all smart device manufacturers to integrate their IoT-based products into the Xfinity system. It will certify those devices with a “Works with Xfinity” stamp of approval. As customers add devices to their network, the system will suggest new automation scenarios and potential synergies between devices. Satchell suggested this “deep integration” is a departure from a current IoT pain point.

“A lot of people want to sell you devices, and that’s great; they’re phenomenal devices,” Satchell quipped. “But the problem is they leave it up to the customer. They say, ‘Buy our smart stuff and magic will happen.’ How does magic happen? ‘I don’t know. That’s up to you. You’re the customer.’”

Satchell pointed to the company’s partnership with Tile, a company that manufacturers tracking devices, as an example of third-party device integration. Using the Xfinity voice remote, a user can simply ask for the location of whatever object the Tile is attached to, which will instantly be displayed on the TV screen. Other brands Comcast has partnered with include August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron and Nest. Comcast introduced a wide range of features for both xFi and Xfinity home that give customers greater control over their networks and homes.

Device Intelligence, for instance, is designed to simplify the process of adding smart devices to the network by identifying the specific type of device (i.e. 3rd Gen Apple TV, Nest thermostat) and offering troubleshooting steps. Another feature called Away Mode doesn’t let any new devices join the network—even with the correct login information—when a user is out of the home. In the event someone attempts to access the network, the system will notify the customer on their mobile device.

Secure Connect Mode allows customers to accept or deny requests to join the network. On the physical security side, the system can alert customers about unusual times of entry. Satchell said users can also request to be notified if there is no entry by a certain time, notifying parents in the event their child doesn’t make it home. Users with cameras hooked up to their system can remotely view entry attempts and any other disturbance on the property.

The post Deep Integration: Comcast Bolsters, Scales Smart Home Technology appeared first on Cablefax.

Read more here:: feeds.feedburner.com/cable360/ct/operations?format=xml

Toshiba Unveils Microsoft Azure IoT Certified Intelligent Edge Device

By A.R. Guess

by Angela Guess According to a recent press release, “Toshiba Client Solutions Co., Ltd. today announced dynaEdge™ a high-performance Windows 10 based mobile edge computing device that is certified for Microsoft Azure IoT services to provide a next-generation Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge platform. Using Azure Cognitive Services and Machine Learning, Toshiba’s dynaEdge enables workers […]

The post Toshiba Unveils Microsoft Azure IoT Certified Intelligent Edge Device appeared first on DATAVERSITY.

Read more here:: www.dataversity.net/feed/

Avnet introduces IoTconnect software platform and smart connectivity solutions

By Zenobia Hegde

Avnet, a global technology distributor, announced its IoTConnect cloud-based software platform and a portfolio of smart, market-ready connectivity solutions built around the platform to help organisations jump-start development of IoT-enabled systems and services. Avnet will showcase the IoTConnect platform and a selection of innovative smart solutions at CES 2018, January 9-12 in Las Vegas, booth 2609, at Tech East, Westgate.

The highly scalable IoTConnect platform utilises Microsoft’s enterprise-grade Azure hybrid cloud computing service to enable the seamless distribution and analysis of data across cloud and on-premise systems. Azure’s powerful security and connectivity protocols give IoTConnect users the flexibility to develop and deploy apps and solutions using their choice of tools, applications and frameworks.

In collaboration with 14 leading suppliers across its comprehensive IoT partner ecosystem, Avnet has also developed a broad selection of smart, market-ready connectivity solutions that leverage the IoTConnect platform to tackle business challenges common to many industry verticals, including manufacturing, medical, environmental, construction, retail, food processing and smart city.

These digital solutions – Smart Factory, Smart Asset Monitoring, Smart Connected Worker, Smart Building, Smart Healthcare, Smart Retail, Smart Office, Smart Fleet Management and Smart Warehouse – can be deployed out of the box or tailored to meet segment-specific requirements. Avnet’s smart solutions combine advanced software capability with state-of-the-art silicon component technologies to transform real-time operational data into insightful information enabling more informed, strategic decision-making.

“Avnet recognises that concerns such as security risk, unexpected downtime, low efficiency and information latency frequently hinder organisations’ ability to capture the full potential of digitisation,” said Lou Lutostanski, Avnet vice president, Internet of Things. “IoTConnect, supported by Microsoft Azure, not only helps mitigate these risks, but enables enterprises to generate intelligence that will make their organisations more productive, secure and competitive in the digital age.”

“Built on Azure services, Avnet’s versatile IoTConnect platform and its new Smart Industry solutions include powerful analytics, cognitive services, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Rodney Clark, vice president, IoT, Microsoft. “With these repeatable Edge to Cloud solutions both partners and customers will be able to take full advantage of the digital transformation opportunities IoT represents.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

The post Avnet introduces IoTconnect software platform and smart connectivity solutions appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

BT and Symantec partner to provide best-in-class endpoint security protection

By Zenobia Hegde

BT, one of the providers of communications services and solutions, and Symantec, the cyber security company, announced the availability of new endpoint protection solution for BT’s business customers.

Symantec’s best-in-class endpoint security technologies have been added to BT’s broad portfolio of security products and services to help customers battle the rapidly changing threat landscape with a consolidated, intelligent security infrastructure.

With advanced technologies such as machine learning, memory exploit mitigation, file reputation analysis, and real-time behaviour monitoring, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 provides real-time threat protection, even against unknown threats, so called ‘zero-day’ attacks and ransomware.

Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security, said: “The ongoing migration to the cloud and digital transformation further raises the importance of endpoint security. By adding Symantec endpoint protection to our already broad security portfolio, we are further extending our ability to help our customers stay secure in the face of growing cyber threat. It is an integral part of our shared commitment with Symantec to help organisations of all sizes stay secure as they build on their digital future.”

Mike Fey

Mike Fey, president and COO at Symantec said: “Enterprises are facing a perfect storm with a growing attack surface, intensifying regulatory scrutiny and an increasingly sophisticated cyber kill chain. Today’s attacks are multi-faceted, multi-staged and the endpoint is one of the most critical vulnerabilities.

Responding to this rapidly evolving threat landscape requires an integrated cyber defence strategy, with best-in-class systems that can work together, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. In continuing to grow the Symantec capabilities offered within BT’s security portfolio, BT’s business customers will be able to build and benefit from the most comprehensive security platform in the market.”

Symantec Endpoint Protection joins nine Symantec solutions available to BT’s customers. Customers can deploy and manage Symantec products from a unified management console.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

The post BT and Symantec partner to provide best-in-class endpoint security protection appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/

Scaling a small data team with the power of machine learning

By Zenobia Hegde

In an effort to continue to grow their business in existing and new markets, DAZN – a live and on-demand sports streaming service – wanted a fast, low-maintenance way to enable their small data team to run predictive analytics and machine learning projects at scale.

The company wanted to find a way to allow data analysts who were not necessarily technical or experienced in machine learning to be able to contribute in meaningful ways to impactful data projects. Ultimately, they wanted to support an underlying data culture with advanced analytics and machine learning at the heart of the business.

The situation

Until recently, the sports entertainment industry was dominated by cable or satellite TV systems and companies; if a customer wanted to watch a particular sporting event, he had little or no choice in how to do so. Now that consumers are breaking free from traditional TV, they are increasingly turning to specialised services streaming exactly the content they’re looking for, whether live or on-demand. And while they are willing to pay for these services, it means that entertainment companies – in the absence of the a fore mentioned virtual monopoly of TV broadcasts – are held to increasingly higher standards when it comes to quality and offerings.

In other words, because customers can turn elsewhere, entertainment companies have had to up their game, so to speak. Today, that means bringing innovation by way of predictive analytics and machine learning to optimise every aspect of the business, from marketing to customer service to product offerings. To do this efficiently, they must also bring this innovation at scale, hiring fewer people to do more such that insights grow exponentially along with the amount of data being collected.

The need for Big Data with a small staff

DAZN knew that in order to accomplish their goals quickly, they would need technologies that were simple and in the cloud. They turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Dataiku in combination for their simplicity in setup, connection, integration, and usability, and they got up and running in under one hour.

With AWS and Dataiku, the small data team built and now manages more than 30 models in parallel, all without needing to do any coding so that the processes are completely accessible to non-technical team members.

They use these models as the basis for a variety of critical processes throughout all areas of the business, specifically:

Content attribution to determine what fixtures are driving sales, enabling contextual information on key fixtures in each market.
Advanced customer segmentation to identify user behaviours, particularly regarding content and devices on which customers use the product.
Propensity modeling to identify customers that are likely to churn, enabling improved customer targeting for retention activities.
Survival analysis to understand customer stickiness, enabling calculation of expected revenues to understand customer return on investment.
Natural language processing on social networks for market research

Results of more effective team members = More data science

AWS and Dataiku have noticeably shifted the data culture at DAZN and have brought innovations in advanced analytics and machine learning into the spotlight throughout […]

The post Scaling a small data team with the power of machine learning appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Read more here:: www.m2mnow.biz/feed/