After attending several conferences and webinars over the past few weeks, it has now become obvious that technology is growing at rates far beyond what would have been imagined some 30+ years ago, except by James Cameron when he created the Terminator franchise along with the famous catch-phrase, “I’ll be BACK!”. It is astonishing as to how many different types of machines and devices are either in production or about to be released in the not too distant future. For those of you that aren’t as geeky as I am, here’s just a small list of devices and applications on the market plus what we are hearing about on a regular basis:

  • Robots (not Schwarzenegger look-a-likes) that are able to perform functions such as building homes (see links at the bottom of this blog), automated arms that can deliver drinks at a bar, hamburger/pizza makers and just about any automated task that we can think of today
  • Bots (software that can execute commands including via the Internet) including Siri, Cortana and the Echo all of these operate hands-free via mobile devices or devices laid out in the home
  • Self-Driving (Autonomous) Car and Trucks are definitely here and forgetting some of the safely concerns for just a minute, these are being utilized in farms to help pull crop and destroy weeds simultaneously, speeding up time to market many times over an over.
  • Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) which can take cameras and technology to places that we would never imagine, think of crowd control/law enforcement, life preservers, event recording and even crop dusting!
  • IoT (Internet of Things/Everything) where basically anything with power can have sensors/modems placed inside of the device to report information back to you or your company and either run business analytics or more likely, also include cameras (yes like in your refrigerator to see what’s in there instead of getting off the couch to look) to help improve our lives.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of other applications that are out there as I’m just picking off the top but all of this does come with a substantial downside and no I’m not talking about Cyberdyne Systems as portrayed in the Terminator series. What I’m referring to are two major issues that we have to start concerning ourselves with today:

  • Job Displacements as we deploy all of these “Bots” to conduct what a typical Task Worker performs, we have to be able to retrain those workers to perform different functions otherwise we are looking at major unemployment rate increases over the next 10+ years as these technologies evolve. This of course has huge implications to Taxes as those might have to be increased to cover the shortages in our workforce if we employ robots over humans (another Schwarzenegger reference squeezed in).
  • We also need to consider training our children and grandchildren on how these new technologies will be working for their families in the future as they need to be competent in Computer Programming or Coding, which many states are now offering as a Foreign Language so our students don’t fall behind the curve. See what Texas is doing specifically in this are here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/coding-new-foreign-language-requirement-helen-mowers

Obviously I used the Terminator references as a bit of “Tonge-in-Cheek” but at what point does this go overboard and have both positive and negative implications in our current and future lives? I welcome your comments by posting comments on this blog or at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com and as Arnold says so eloquently, “I’ll be BACK!”

I'll Be Back

Videos on Robotics Below

Boston Dynamic Video, Next Generation Robot: https://youtu.be/rVlhMGQgDkY

Robot Bricklayer – Builds Homes in Two Days!: https://youtu.be/dYleuh3nzXI

 

 

Posted by: mobilitycloud | August 15, 2016

Being Proactive – Hit the Winning Ball Now

MarleneMBryan

Go For It

“Go for it.” “Dig!” This was my high school volleyball coach yelling at us in practice. She always reminded us to Be Proactive. We shouldn’t wait for the ball to get to us before we move. We were to anticipate where it was going and move towards that area. She encouraged us to get in the right position in order to get to the ball first. Our volleyball team was not the best in the area. Frankly, we were dead last! But her lesson stuck with me over these years.

A few years later, I encountered this concept of “Be Proactive” again when I was introduced to Stephen’ Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. With this principle Covey encourages us to Be Proactive about the scripts that we use for our lives and take responsibility for them. He also encourages us to engage with others…

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Posted by: mobilitycloud | August 8, 2016

Peyton Manning Talks Goals & Tech at CompTIA Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the CompTIA/ChannelCon (https://www.comptia.org) Event last week in South Florida and for a Football and Tech Geek, it offered the best of both worlds. First things first and let’s talk Football, which is right around the corner, finally!

One would have to be right when questioning why have Peyton Manning as your keynote speaker at a technology conference, well he certainly is not technical by any stretch but does bring a tremendous amount of competitive drive and focus on the will to win, which translates nicely in the competitive business world. Peyton spent quite a bit of time discussing his career from college to professional football and describing all the obstacles along the way, detailing how much he did to overcome his serious neck injury and how he had to evolve his game specifically to help his Denver Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

There were many lighthearted moments when Peyton either stepped away from the podium to describe his first collegiate huddle as well as commenting on his many commercials that he continues to be featured in. My favorite moment came early in the session when he referenced that he owns several Papa Johns franchises and that with the recent changes in Colorado law (do you really need to look this up?) that pizza/snack sales have continued to grow tremendously, so he appreciates all that extra business.

Peyton was also very proud to discuss his PeyBack Foundation, which he set up early in his career to help raise funds for disadvantaged youth to help kids develop leadership skills and help find growth opportunities for children at risk. A large portion of the keynote address revolved around assisting our youth in learning how to best complete in this new and evolving marketplace and yes IT plays a huge part in those efforts. I’m going to do a separate blog on Kids and Education in a few days as I also attended sessions at this event on future “disruptive” technologies as the IT industry is changing so rapidly that we need to start thinking about what our kids need to learn in the coming years so they are not shut out of this new world order that maybe here in a decade or less.

Here is a link on the PeyBack Foundation, so kudos to Peyton and his Team not only being a Two-Time Super Bowl Champion but also being a class act by giving back to his community. Thanks Peyton!!!

http://www.peytonmanning.com/peyback-foundation

Peyton Manning Speaking at CompTIA/Channel Con Below:

Peyton Manning CompTIA

Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 29, 2016

Will Technology be “Smarter” in 2020?

I recently had the privilege of attending a Tech Summit held at Synnex where they brought together some of the biggest technology providers, Avaya, Dell, Microsoft, Google and Red Hat, to give us their perspective on where technology is taking us and what we should all being doing to prepare ourselves for the wave of network architecture, lovingly called the 3rd Platform. Essentially it revolves around the explosion of Mobility, Big Data, Social Media and Unified Communications which is being fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT) and the plethora of devices that are having these low-cost chips/sensors installed in them.

The industry analysts and pundits have decided that 2020 (probably because they prefer to start with a new decade) will be the next big inflexion point that we need to be ready for as the predictions is that IoT will grow from 15B devices generating about $1.5 Trillion in 2015 to over 30B devices and $3 Trillion in revenue in 2020.  What makes this interesting is that these numbers have also been shared by Cisco and Citrix, which I had also posted in this blog in previous weeks. It’s not often that these or any other large organization will agree on anything (especially on how to execute) but this does give us a clear warning of what is about to be driven to by our insatiable appetite for connectivity.

The featured sponsor of this particular event was Avaya and what I found most interesting was that there was absolutely no mention of telephony, which is how most of us (including this grizzled 30+ year telecom veteran) know Avaya from and instead they presented us their view of how this future network will becoming vastly smarter by taking advantage of the intelligence of IoT devices that will be surrounding us just around the corner. Besides some of the obvious devices that we have already started to see leading us to a smarter digital world are cameras, door locks, audio speakers/microphones to provide alerting and/or lockdown capabilities in case of incidents (which we have seen way too often lately) which can be deployed instantly. The applications and verticals are virtually endless as this can be utilized for Public Safety, Education, Healthcare, Hospitality, Banking or Transportation just to name a few possibilities.

What was also interesting in how Avaya plans on implementing and managing all of these types of devices is via SIP which can also be managed by unique profiles and will also be integrating Software Defined Networking (SDN), which Cisco and Citrix/NetScaler are also using SDN to allow these devices to connect via the Internet and not require MPLS as mentioned in my previous blogs. For those of you who are starting to see the barrage of devices starting to cascade your networks including BYOD, the timing just might be right to start determining how your organization will be meeting the challenges of this type of scale, sounds daunting doesn’t it?

Finally with all of these devices viewing/measuring/detecting/analyzing/uploading all of these analytics, where does that leave privacy and security concerns with all of this data? We’ll probably leave this for another blog but that is something that has to be addressed as you put your plans together. I welcome your feedback or ideas and suggestions as 2020 is not that far away and would like to be able to assist you or your organizations efforts, so you can contact me at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com.

IoT Metrics Slide – Provided by Avaya

IoT

Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 15, 2016

Do Customers Buy Technology Solutions or Business Outcomes?

I don’t normally provide feedback on courses that vendors offer but I have to give some major props to Cisco for a recent class that I took called Selling Business Outcomes (SBO). Your first reaction is probably “they are showing how to sell Cisco technology”, which actually was not true but more on how to work with clients to help understand how to align business outcomes with their business goals and objectives.

The SBO course is centered around shifting from a traditional vendor sale that is more product and feature driven to one that is focused on becoming a solution provider and ultimately a trusted advisor for the client. As part of the course you are also asked to utilize concepts that are not new to most of us, KPI’s, CSF’s (Critical Success Factors) and probably most importantly asking questions to understand what the client’s key stakeholders are looking for in terms of what success looks like for their department if the proper business outcomes are delivered.

There is obviously a whole lot more that was contained in the coursework that is extremely relevant towards today’s technology which as we know has moved significantly over to Cloud, Mobility, Analytics and everybody’s favorite (which is probably how you are finding this Blog), Social Media. As a student for this course I had to sign an NDA which prohibits me from sharing specifics on what SBO contained but I can say that whether you are certified with Cisco or not, I would highly recommend taking the course to give you a view as to what Cisco believes that we should all be collaborating on in terms of delivering meaningful business outcomes that will positively impact their business.

Speaking of certification, I am proudly displaying my Cisco Certified Business Analyst logo to recognize this achievement and look forward to assisting those who are looking at technology solutions that deliver business outcomes for their organizations at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com. Thanks!

CCI_BS_300px

Posted by: mobilitycloud | July 5, 2016

Does Your WAN Get You Down? Try Citrix NetScaler!

I’m operating once again under the premise that this is an Election Year and don’t do Paid Political Announcements but ran into another scenario where I was introduced to a new resource at an old friend (Citrix) who gave me something worth sharing with my followers. As someone who spent over 30 years in the Telecom/Datacom side of the house, I must admit that this old dog learned a new trick when it comes to clients that are running multiple types of networks such as MPLS, Internet/DSL/Cable and even 4G LTE or Satellite connections (quite popular when having to connect internationally) to reach all of their different sites across their respective networks. I think that most of us know Citrix in terms of how they have helped introduce Virtualization across Desktops, Servers, Applications and of course any Mobile Device that we all carry, but I would be willing to bet that most people are not aware of how they can now Virtualize your WAN Network to offer similar efficiencies in your network and that can apply whether or not you are actually already using Citrix inside of your infrastructure or not!

This is not exactly a new technology but what Citrix has done is migrate an acquisition from a short time ago called CloudBridge, which offered Software Defined Networking and merged it into their NetScaler offering to help optimize the amount of bandwidth needed into a single logical network versus the different connections that you might have in place today. This is becoming even more important as we starting layering large amounts of VoIP or Skype traffic on these networks (we have all had a bad experience or two using VoIP, let’s be honest out there) and by utilizing NetScaler, you are able to Virtualize your WAN and here’s the cool part, you can reduce your MPLS Network costs by up to 75% with minimal change to your existing network! I must admit that this has a bit of “WOW” factor for someone like me who worked in the networking business for a long time and certainly thought that this was worth sharing with you all.

I’m including some additional bullet points below on NetScaler/SD-WAN with a graphic supplied by Citrix plus a link to a video at the bottom of the page which is also a brief description on NetScaler (fka CloudBridge) so feel free to drop me a line at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com if you or your company are interested in learning more. Thanks!

Citrix NetScaler/SD-WAN Graphic

Citrix NetScaler

Use cases:

  • Optimize application performance and reliability
  • Users in the enterprise complaining about application performance, responsiveness, or network outages
  • Scale bandwidth without increasing MPLS
  • Logically bond multiple, distinct WAN connections into one virtual link
  • Encrypt paths between devices to provide end-to-end security
  • Send packets based upon application needs and link performance

Virtual Wan Benefits:

  • Dramatically lowers costs for expanding capacity
  • Delivers superior user experience through improved quality for all application types
  • Utilizes backup links
  • Ensures availability of high-priority applications
  • Easily manages and monitors WAN performance
  • Securely connects the cloud to the branch location

Citrix Video on Benefits of CloudBridge/NetScaler Offering

https://www.citrix.com/products/netscaler-sd-wan/

 

Even though this is an Election Year, I don’t normally throw out Paid-Political Announcements on vendors but when someone provides a true value proposition that I can share with my clients, then I’ll go ahead and make an exception, in this case for Barracuda Networks.

My only interaction with Barracuda goes back a few years ago as an anti-spam provider perspective, which is when I first heard about them and what I just learned recently from their local Channel Team is that they do a whole lot more. So besides fighting off those nasty or unwanted messages with their Spam Firewall along with Web Filters they help keep your environment safe from the bad guys and simplifying your IT World. Where Office 365 is concerned I learned that Barracuda is helping protect those headed to the Cloud for their e-mail (which is exactly what Microsoft is promoting and preaching to us) as Office 365 does not offer all the layers of protection that you might need, so pay close attention here.

Barracuda advises that if you are using native Office 365 without additional protection that this can expose your organization to significant increases in spam, viruses, malware and damaging phishing attacks. Administrators also need the ability to archive/backup/retain lost/deleted e-mail files to help insure compliance with your security requirements.

All of this applies if you are using any of the Cloud providers such as Azure, AWS or Google so if you are currently using or considering using Office 365 for your e-mail needs, please reach out to me at Glen.Benjamin@direclogix.com. I’ll coordinate a call with our Support Team to understand your messaging requirements so we can provide you some options specific to security/backup/archiving for your organization.

Video from Barracuda Essentials for Office 365:

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 23, 2016

Meet Your New Referee,They Are NOT On The Field!

As both a Tech and Sports Geek, I took notice of an article in a recent Sports Illustrated magazine that discussed how integral that replays have become in football and basketball (as well as baseball and who can forget Mac-Cam? for tennis lines calls?) to determine if the Referee’s “got it right” or not. The article (which I listed the link below) references how a college alum convinced Mark Cuban (who leads the NBA in fines year after year for arguing with Refs) to spend $5M to help build a Sports Media and Technology center in Cuban’s name, which has led to about 30 5K/3D cameras being placed around the basketball court and soon football stadium at IU. Why you ask would be the need to install of this equipment at arenas, ballparks and stadiums, it is simply to “get it right”!

Fast forward from just a few years ago where instant replay was in its infancy and now can have a referee or “Eye in the Sky” (usually someone at league HQ) look at multiple replays to determine if the call was correct or needs to be overturned. Now taking it a step further a company called FreeD along with Intel are partnering with other companies to utilize a 360 degree view of the action so you can rotate all of the different views combine into a single view by rotating your screen. The improvements in the technology are also speeding along how fast it takes to create these shots, originally started at 20 minutes and now it is down to 2 minutes and likely down to just seconds in the very near future.

This obviously requires an enormous amount of technology infrastructure including large storage area networks to capture about 30 cameras shooting 5K images during a 3 hour event, so Cuban’s initial investment will be a spit in the bucket compared to what this will eventually cost sports leagues, content providers and programmers. We as sports fans and consumers however continue to demand that the leagues “get it right” so if there is a way to not only insure that the game is being officiated correctly as well as our Daily Fantasy Stats are accurate and the right teams advance and play in their respective championships, I say that we are all in favor “right”?

Somehow I think that we should nominate Mark Cuban and John McEnroe to be co-commissioners of this new entity called “Get It Right 360” and also include in memorial Earl Weaver, Leo “The Lip” Durocher, Lou Pinella and all those other grizzled managers who baited umpires and referees with their tongues and threw bases farther than anyone has done before.

Listed below are links to the Sports Illustrated article plus another link to videos created by FreeD to give you an idea of where your next referee/umpire/linesman may be seated!

Replay Revolution: How to remove human error from officiating

Improving replay technology could change the way sports are officiated

http://www.si.com/tech-media/2016/06/14/mark-cuban-nfl-nba-officiating-replay

See FreeD in action:

SI_Robots2

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 13, 2016

Let’s go mobile at the Red Hat Summit

I’m passing on what Red Hat is planning on presenting at their Summit at the end of June for Mobility and IoT, which looks really good. Be sure to stop by their booth if you plan on attending. Glen

**************

Excited about attending the Red Hat Summit, I take a quick look at the sessions on the Mobility & IoT Track.  These sessions cover the spectrum by introducing the attendees to innovative soluti…

Source: Let’s go mobile at the Red Hat Summit

Posted by: mobilitycloud | June 10, 2016

HPE Discover – HP Elite X2 to X3 -Hands On

As part of HPE Discover, I was able to return to some of my old roots (more to follow below) and get to see some of what HP Inc. has on tap right now plus what they plan on introducing late summer.

First they showed us the HP Elite X2 1012 2 in 1 (but wait there’s more!) model that is a combination of a Tablet and Detachable keyboard that looks eerily like a Microsoft Surface Pro however it comes with all the great bells and whistles of an HP Elite Product, including 115,000 hours of testing, Mil-Spec Certifications, HP Sure Start/BIOS and Field Serviceability. As someone who has used a Microsoft Surface Pro3, I can validate that HP Elite X2 gives you the flexibility to use the use this device in either a Data Consumption (Tablet only with a rugged kickstand) or Data Creation (with attached keyboard) modes but I will say that the keyboard for the X2 is very much like a standard HP Elite keyboard and much more rugged than the Surface Pro version, so it gets the edge for me.

Next HP showed their featured new product, the HP Elite X3, which takes connectivity to a whole new level. They are taking a 6″ Windows Smartphone and combining that with the ability to put it in a small docking station that will connect to a monitor/keyboard/mouse and still allow it to make/receive calls while in the docking cradle to maximize productivity. Speaking of making and receiving calls, HP will allow you to capability to use 2 different SIM Cards so you can have both a Business and Personal profile on the device with 2 different phone numbers, which looked quite cool but do I need another phone number in my life, we’ll save that for another day.

What might be the best feature they showed us was allowing the X3 to wirelessly connect to a notebook which is really a terminal that has no OS or storage and allow you to extend the X3 Smartphone to a full-sized notebook and give you all the functionality that we all depend on and use the processing power contained in the X3 which includes virtual applications by using HP Workspace, so nothing is ever left on the notebook/terminal and if you are running a pure virtual app, then the Smartphone is basically acting like a Thin Client with nothing left behind their either, so a very nice design if I must say so myself!

One final commentary on the Smartphone/Docking scenario was something that I worked with Celio with their RedFly Mobile Docking Station along with Citrix to promote Mobility while I was at Sprint. The RedFly was a 9″ Docking Station prototype that offered the ability to connect via Bluetooth to Smartphones way back when and gave us a glimpse of what was to come just 6 years later. A big shout to Adam Marano who was leading the charge with Citrix Mobility and his two kids, Callie and Alden plus my granddaughter Alyssa, who was featured at the end of our goofy video, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” which Adam put together to promote the Citrix/Sprint alliance and I lovingly called “SprinTrix”. Our kids have grown up quite a bit as well as the Mobility world, so it’s fun to watch where this started just a few years ago.

I’m including a few pictures of the HP Elite X3 from the event plus links to HP Elite X3, Celio Redfly and 5th Grader Videos for your viewing pleasure. So now the big question, are ready for Mobile yet?

HP Elite X3 YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCJ9pYuxDNc&feature=em-share_video_user

Celio Redfly YouTube Video (December 2009): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbgfWN1sSo8&feature=em-share_video_user

Citrix Mobile Solutions and Celio Redfly – Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7wkPH2fWow

Pictured (Left to Right) HP Elite X3 in my hand, X3 in Dock, X3 Notebook/Terminal

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