Importance of Communication

Communication enables teams in mission-critical moments to be empowered and coordinate an effort to solve any situation. Check out Colin Lecher’s article “Verizon throttled California fire department during wildfire crisis” below to see the importance for all levels of government to maintain control of their communication channels.

“Bowden writes that the resulting throttling from Verizon “had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services,” as responders were unable to properly track and route firefighting resources. The company continued to slow data speeds even after being informed it was “actively impeding” responders’ ability to fight the blazes, Bowden writes. Ultimately, the fire department had to sign up for a new, more expensive plan before speeds were restored.”- Collin Lecher, Verizon throttled California fire department during wildfire crisis. View the full article here.

Fast & Easy Friday Digest 8/3/18

Here is a collection of articles from this past week that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

Internet of Things (IoT) Movement and Us Today

This article describes what the Internet of Things Movement is and where it has taken us today. In addition, it dives into IoT’s next steps to maintain a safe world and efficient world in the future. “The Internet of Things movement (IoT) is a movement that has started ever since there were computers and the internet. IoT connects the internet to a variety of devices that do not normally have the internet to enable them to do a variety of additional tasks or processes that were previously unimaginable and not done.” Check it out here.

 

Five IoT Predictions For 2019

In this article by Daniel Newman, five predictions that will impact both consumers and business are predicted on what will happen in 2019. “Vehicles, wearable gadgets, RFID sensors, and software are advancing past basic function and the network is growing to include even more advancements each day. I have more connected gadgets in my home this year than I did last and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’d also bet that these advancements will be even more commonplace in our homes, businesses and on the road in 2019.” Check out the full article here.

 

IoT Security Warning: Your Hacked Devices Are Being Used For Cyber Crime Says FBI 

Privacy and security are of the utmost concern for businesses and consumers alike. With billions of devices connected and the number of connected devices expected to grow in the future, it is important for networks and devices to remain secure. In this article by Danny Palmer, the dangers of unsecured devices are discussed. “Internet of Things devices including routers, IP cameras and even smart locks and connected doors are being targeted by cyber criminals who are looking to exploit them as a gateway for hacking and other cyber attacks, the FBI has warned.” Check out the full article here.

Internet of Things (IoT) Movement & Us Today

The Internet of Things movement (IoT) is a movement that has started ever since there were computers and the internet. IoT connects the internet to a variety of devices that do not normally have the internet to enable them to do a variety of additional tasks or processes that were previously unimaginable and not done.

Billions of devices are being connected to the internet from light bulbs that can be controlled by mobile phones to airplanes that can send diagnostic information while in flight there is something that in all parts of life, for consumers and for businesses that are connected to the internet.

Consumers and Businesses

Consumers can now experience connected devices in all parts of their home, and life. For example, waking up in the morning can activate a host of devices to start doing a variety of process that is enabled because of the internet. A timer in the mainframe of your house can activate an alarm clock to wake you up, turn the lights on, and even activate a coffee machine to have fresh coffee by the time you get to the kitchen.

Businesses across all verticals can experience benefits from the IoT movement. IoT has enabled remote monitoring of devices to enable the reading of sensors in hazardous locations from safe locations. Machine to Machine communication is possible due to the IoT movement. Machines are able to communicate with one another allowing autonomous actions.

An estimated 23 billion devices around the world are connected to the internet currently with and an estimated 75 billion devices to be connected to the internet by 2025 (Statista). This poses potential problems, with more devices connected to the internet and more devices to be connected in the future, infrastructure needs to be flexible and scalable to meet the demand for wireless connectivity. Additionally, both the devices and the networks they operate on a need to remain secure to provide protection and security to all threats.

Scalability

Advances in wireless infrastructure have enabled the current 23 billion devices to connect to connect to the internet. The future development of 5G wireless will enable more devices to be connected at the same time and will enable faster connects than currently available through LTE connections. Broadband wireless infrastructure in areas that are unable to be reached by fiber or cell service are currently able to match the demand for connectivity and is a scalable option for future growth. The growth in popularity of smart cities will enable more devices to be connected as fiber and wireless infrastructure increases.

Security

Many IoT devices capture large amounts of data from users or sensors, and this is streamed over the wireless connection. Security is a must to protect the sensitive information of users. As processing power increases and chips decrease in size IoT devices will be enabled to run additional programs to protect user data. Networks, both wireless and hard lined, enable higher broadband speeds and capacity. Network security through programs, AI, and monitoring will be essential to enable the safe usage of IoT devices.

Conclusion

IoT has enabled billions of devices to be connected to the internet and has allowed advancements for consumers and businesses to evolve. The infrastructure that supports these devices must remain flexible, scalable, and secure to meet future demands. As devices evolve, expand, and further develop they must enable their own security measures to ensure the protection of sensitive data created by end users.

Fast & Easy Friday Digest 7-27-18

Here is a collection of articles from this past week that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

3 Ways First Responders Can Take Advantage of 5G and IoT

In this Article by Lindsay Notwell, three advantages of 5G are discussed that will benefit first responders “As first responders depend more on the Internet of Things technologies to carry out missions, new challenges for interoperable data communications are bound to emerge. The saving grace, however, may be that the IoT data flood is perfectly timed with the arrival of 5G networks, the fifth generation of cellular technology that promises to deliver speeds 10 times faster than 4G LTE and cut latency to milliseconds.” Check it out here.

Smart City Projects to Resolve Urban Areas’ Issues

Smart Cities are innovating to solve a variety of problems, remaining future-proof is key to a lasting investment. “Cities are getting more crowded. Already, more than half the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number is expected to increase to two thirds by 2050. With pressure increasing on public services and infrastructure, cities have been looking for innovative, future-proofing solutions.” (Albawaba). Read more here.

 

House of Representatives Passes Precision Agriculture Bill

Juan Tomas discusses a recently passed bill by the House of Representatives to provide funding and establish a task to develop broadband wireless for agricultural applications. “The legislation stipulates the creation of a task force to evaluate best ways to boost precision agriculture in American farms” Check it out here.

Fast & Easy Friday Digest 7-20-18

Here is a collection of articles from this past week that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

Taking the Temperature of IoT for Healthcare

Fredric Paul discusses the current state of IoT in Healthcare in this post. “The Internet of Things (IoT) is full of promises to transform everything from transportation to building maintenance to enterprise security. But no field may have more to gain than the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers and device makers are all looking to the IoT to revolutionize the gathering of healthcare data and the delivery of care itself.” Check out the full article here.

5 Use Cases for Smart City IoT

In this article by Matt Leonard, five common applications are discussed about the capabilities of smart cities “Cities across the world are running internet-of-things pilots to gain insights that will them run more efficiently. A new white paper from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies  takes an exhaustive look at the promise of these burgeoning technologies.” Check out the full article here.

Adaptive Technology Programs Turn Robotics and IoT to Help People Who Have Disabilities

David Kawamoto discusses some of the trends that states are funding to help citizens. This article further explores ways that IoT and Technology of Things movements are able to help people in the future. “Smart technologies, such as robotic telepresence and the Internet of Things (IoT), are capturing the attention of adaptive technology programs in state and local governments, as well as educational institutions, according to experts.” Check out the full article here.

Fast & Easy Friday Digest 7-13-18

Here is a collection of articles from this past week that recap the newest trends, advances, and news happening around the web in telecom, IoT and much more.

5G Forecast Force Owners to Prepare for Next-Gen Wireless

In an article by Kyle Campbell the future of 4G and 5G is explored. “An upcoming sea change in the wireless industry promises to optimize everything with a digital pulse, from phones, tablets, and watches to cars and even entire office towers. As carriers prepare the first wave of their fifth-generation, or 5G, cellular technologies, property owners are making sure their properties are ready, too, with extensive in-building networks.” Check it out here.

 

Five Key Trends in Telecom and Their Impact on Businesses

Craig Wigginton shares five trends from 5G to shifting consumer behaviors that will impact business. “Connectivity is an inseparable part of our daily lives and the telecom industry continues to evolve with the consumers’ needs and habits. Today, the industry is faced with a changing revenue stream with the revenue yield on data services continuing to decline as consumers use more and more data, with static or declining monthly bills. Hence, it is critical for the industry to identify rapid investment opportunities across the telecom portfolio—including fifth-generation wireless network technology (5G), Internet of Things (IoT), cross-industry partnerships (such as mHealth and mPayments), as well as a host of other growth opportunities.” Check it out here.

 

Why Image and Text Recognition Maybe Today’s Most Powerful RPA Tool

Peter Church discusses how technologies in image and text recognition are able to increase productivity among workers in today’s workforce. “This emerging form of technology uses artificial intelligence in order to recognize and identify different forms of data, including the actions taken by a user, the way someone interacts with different software, or just analyzing different data sources.” Check it out here.

Scientel Solutions Helps Veterans Raise Over $37,000

Scientel Solutions hosted a golf fundraising event to raise money for veterans in the Aurora/ Naperville communities

Aurora, ILL., May 25, 2018 – Scientel Solutions LLC held their first annual Golf Charity Fundraiser to raise money for Veteran Charities.

As part of its celebration in the groundbreaking of its new HQ, Scientel continued its engagement with the local community through the first annual Scientel Open: Putting for Veterans, which was held on Monday, May 14. Scientel Solutions hosted the event at the White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville, IL raising over $37,000 in proceeds to benefit the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council (AVAC), and Naperville Responds For Veterans (NRV). This exceeded the initial goal of $30,000.

“Because of the unending love that Scientel Solutions has for veterans, we have the opportunity to get two more service dogs that we would not have been able to get without Scientel Solutions and this event. We are in the process of getting another [a third] dog service. We have been able to reach out to the Aurora VA to help three more veterans in need of service dogs,” said Joe Toma of AVAC.

“Our Mission is to assist Veterans and their families in need, especially those with low and moderate income, by raising donations of money, building materials, and professional labor, and coordinating the process of repairing, building, and donating homes. About 90% of the money received goes back out, directly helping veterans,” said Brendan McCormick of NRV.

The sponsors for this years event included Scientel Solutions partners and local companies in the Aurora and Naperville area. They are Motorola Solutions, MB Financial, Trimarco Radencich, Cordogan Clark & Associates, Nokia, Rich Foundation, OnLight Aurora, Wild Tuna, Fox Valley Orthopedics,CD Rigdon & Associates, Fusion Partners, La Quinta de Los Reyes, State Farm, APEX, Brown Rudnick, RevMD, Griffin Williams LLP, M&M Bank, Digimite, Marcus & Millchap and Scientel Solutions. 100% of sponsor proceeds were donated to the charity and Scientel Solutions funded the entire event for the benefit of AVAC and NRV.

About Scientel Solutions

Scientel Solutions is a universal integrator working beyond systems to bring solutions to life by offering design, installation, and maintenance support for telecommunications and emerging technology, in addition to leveraging existing infrastructure to help organizations transition into the future.

Media Contact

Andrew Korman

Marketing & Sales Operations Manager

akorman@scientelsolutions.com | 773-741-1906

Aurora HQ

Scientel Solutions Announces Ceremonial Groundbreaking

AURORA, Ill.May 10, 2018 — Scientel Solutions LLC held their ceremonial groundbreaking in Aurora on May 9th, 2018 on the site of where the company will open a new headquarters.

Nelson Santos, President and Co-founder of Scientel Solutions, was joined by Mayor Richard Irvin at the ceremony.

“This project is very special to us, it is our world headquarters. Over the past five years it has been a growth experience for Scientel, we opened our first office in Europe a little over a month ago, we have several offices throughout the United States and Canada, and this is where it all happens,” said Santos.

“We love that you are relocating your corporate headquarters to the City of Aurora, you are investing in our community, and you are doing exactly what you said you were, giving back and that’s what’s important,” said Mayor Richard Irvin of Aurora.

Currently being developed and designed by Cordogan Clark to build the future of Scientel Solutions’ new headquarters, the design features a retail space, double level Highrise to accommodate current employees and Scientel’s rapid growth over the past several years, and a telecommunications tower to host services for a variety of clients.

The new headquarters will support a total of 70 employees. Scientel is seeking to fill more than 30 new positions through the transition to Aurora in a variety of technical, engineering, and administrative roles.

“Having done business in over 120 different countries now its seldom that I ever observe leadership that has been displayed by Mayor Irvin and Nelson. There’s many concepts of leadership and a lot of ways of reflecting upon it but the grit, determination, and the commitment to progress of economic development has really been astounding,” said Trevor Belcher, Executive Vice President of Scientel Solutions.

In anticipation of the new headquarters, Scientel has been involved in a multitude of job and resource fairs throughout Aurora, been a keynote speaker at Waubonsee Community College, is sponsoring Vets Week in Aurora, and is hosting a Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council and Naperville Responds for Veterans charities.

About Scientel Solutions

Scientel Solutions is a universal integrator working beyond systems to bring solutions to life by offering design, installation, and maintenance support for telecommunications and emerging technology, in addition to leveraging existing infrastructure to help organizations transition into the future.

 

 

Journey of a Network Engineer

Network DriveA lot of technology newbies want to be Network Engineers right out of the gate these days but there are valuable lessons that you can learn from starting out at the Desktop Support role and working your way up. The rewards of being a Network Engineer is great but if you don’t understand how a computer functions and talks to a Server, Domain Controller, DNS Server, etc. then how are you supposed to troubleshoot a potential network issue? I’d like to share some insight and take you through some life experiences I learned along the way to becoming a Network Engineer today.

Building Blocks for Success

To begin with, how many people who are Network Engineers have built a desktop from the ground up? I don’t mean popping a disk in and going through the pre-directed menus to set your preferences on time-zone, computer name, etc. I mean truly crack the case open and understanding the components that make up a computer. The RAM, hard drive, power supply, types of PCI expansion slots, and Video Card. Most Engineers that I meet and talk with start studying Cisco Day 1 and try to get certified to get a job. While there is nothing wrong with this there are valuable steps that are missed by not understanding how a desktop works, how a server works, how storage stores files, and how the network can affect all of this communication.

At the end of the day Network Engineers must be able to build and maintain the highway that all the components talk with. I like to use the analogy of a highway; I am going to build a highway, but to build that highway I must understand what is going to be moving over that highway. What if there are problems with certain cars that go down that highway? How do I fix their problems? Without knowing something about how that car drives on the highway and where it’s trying to go I am unable to fix any problems.

My Career

Let me take you back early in my career. Coming from a generation that started out with Windows 3.1 and having to understand that drivers for components really meant something as to how the computer functions you must really understand what you are doing or there is no boot process taking place. I used to think to myself this is horrible and why couldn’t the process of building a PC be any easier. What I didn’t realize at the time was that all the processes I was going through was a life learning experience in troubleshooting. It took patience (lots of patience) because with different processor chipsets you had different challenges. Hard Drives for example use to have pin connectors (Exhibit A) that were bridged together to specify if a hard drive was the primary, secondary, or stand alone.
(Exhibit A)

Then there was the process of building the machine with an operating system once it would boot properly. I remember the days that all you needed to install the operating system was to have DOS installed….yes DOS. Once DOS was installed then you had a set of Diskettes to load the operating system. Once everything moved to Windows 95 (A, B, or C) and before CD Drives existed the entire operating system (OS) was loaded with 25 Diskette drives….one after one asking for the next one to be inserted! You could only hope that one of the diskettes was not corrupt along the way!

Life Lessons Learned

So why am I telling you all of this? Well I want to share this because I think the time spent forcibly learning and installing all these components has stuck with me through the years. The tasks you think are the worst or the most cumbersome at times are the ones that later in life you look back at and realize are what has helped you the most in your career.

As younger generations enter the work force the pace is moving faster with everything expected to arrive instantaneously. The challenge for Network Engineers today is to solve the problem in minutes… not days or weeks. The progression of learning from the ground up builds a foundation of understanding how everything works in a connected World. No matter what desktop your talking about, server platform, Internet connection, storage platform, all the base connectivity with how each layer interacts between one another is still the same with some minor differences here and there.

What it means to be a Network Engineer

To be an efficient Engineer, a sound understanding of the interaction between the server platform, Internet connection, storage platform, and all the base connectivity are fundamental. An efficient Network Engineer can answer these essential questions:

1. What happens when one desktop can get to a network share, but others cannot?
2. What happens when all users can get to one website, and others cannot?
3. How do you approach figuring out the solution to the problem?

Having the comprehensive knowledge and ability to troubleshoot is what sets apart a Network Engineer. The time spent learning and developing skills to understand and troubleshoot the little things is what makes a World Class Engineer. In addition to being a World Class Network Engineer, it will make your job a LOT easier in the long run. Now I’m not saying that everything is going to be easy to figure out but as you figure out how to troubleshoot issues you will start to remember things you encountered along the way and everything will start to add up.

Disclaimer

I don’t want everyone to think that they MUST work in Desktop Support and then work their way up, but I just wanted to say that in my career I started out in Desktop Support, worked my way into understanding Servers, then built Servers (File Servers, Fax Servers, Domain Controllers, Print Servers, etc), after which I started my certifications into Microsoft (MCSE NT 4.0). From Microsoft I started learning about storage; specifically high end storage with Fiber Channel (McData Switches). I also mastered how mass storage drives worked on the network with Clarion, LSI Logic, and others.

After all this experience, I then decided I needed to progress to the network side to see what makes all this work; that is when I decided to start my career into Cisco. Understanding how all these components work with one another made learning networking very simple as a natural progression for my career. What was even easier was the ability to troubleshoot issues when they popped up which I attribute all my previous hands on experience with various systems that run and function on a network!

Final Takeaway

What is your takeaway from all of this? It’s not how fast you can get your Cisco Certification or industry Networking Certification and getting a job working in networking as a Network Engineer that will make you valuable. It’s the understanding, communication with the customer, and troubleshooting experience you bring to the table plus being able to get a network, email, Internet, or users back online with little hesitation. As a Network Engineer there shouldn’t be a DMARC for where you stop troubleshooting. Step out of your comfort level and troubleshoot whatever comes your way if the opportunity presents itself. You’ll be glad you did later down the road. Whatever you do don’t stop learning!

How Duplication Will Increase Efficiency and Enhance Innovation

A process is only as good as its ability to duplicate. This is especially true when it comes to the lifecycle of business. For example, if I was in the business of making sandwiches, I would want a process set up that would allow the max number of sandwiches to be made. I would want to run tests and analyze what would be the most efficient way to make the best sandwich possible, then duplicate the same way of making that sandwich to ensure peak performance.

This would mean I would have a predetermined amount of ingredients that would stay consistent for every sandwich. If I reinvented the wheel every time I made or sold a sandwich, my business would fail because I couldn’t make enough or have a consistent product for my customers.

In the world of Project Management, duplication should be the peanut butter and jelly of your business, or the ham and cheese if you prefer. Reinventing the wheel every time a new customer or project comes on board will not only create more work for the PM but also doom the project to fail. This may not be an immediate or painless demise either. It would be a slow and painful disease that spreads throughout the organization. Don’t start to panic yet, this disease is completely preventable! Creating an environment of duplicatable processes is the vaccination.

Your next thought may be, well how do I obtain such a vaccine? Well, this is where it gets a little tricky. You must create your own. I will first say that I’m no expert in the field of change or duplication and I don’t have a magic mix of ingredients. However, I can tell you how I have successfully created an environment of duplication.

The Solution

My first step was to create an environment of innovation and collaboration within the members of my team. Change is more likely to take affect and be carried out if all members of that change have some skin in the game. I spent several weeks speaking with each member of my team one on one as well as creating group sessions. We would discuss things like: What is going well with the current process? What isn’t going well? Why do you think those things aren’t going well? What do you think we could do differently to make things work better?

Change is more likely to take affect and be carried out if all members of that change have some skin in the game.

After taking all that information, I used it to assign tasks to every member of the team. Writing new policy documents, fixing old ones, anything to keep them as involved in the process as possible. Once we were able to get all the ground work laid, I made it their responsibility to ‘keep making more sandwiches’ in a matter of speaking. When someone new comes in, I ask one of the other members to train them. We would then evaluate the process while training new hires and perpetually improve the process through fresh input. The processes are flexible and allow for continuous innovation, which is carried out by the positive attributes of the team along with its new members. Our key to having the best business practices is that we remain open to improving and innovating. Once the team works, the dream works! Just continue to train to repeat the same process that was already established to work, some situations might require minor adjustments but for the most part things should be streamlined.

 

The Results

Let me just end with a small disclaimer, creating an environment of duplication DOES NOT mean to remove growth or innovation. It is possible to duplicate a process while still innovating new ideas. An environment of duplicating processes should make the day to day activities more streamlined to open the opportunity for growth and innovation, not hinder it. Creating a process of duplication has allowed our support team to save over 40 man-hours every time we start supporting a new customer and helped us to expand our project base by approximately 20% in the past year. On that note, I encourage you to look at your processes or ‘the sandwich’ on your plate. Is it a well-executed sandwich that you could pass to your teammate and have them make the same one? If not, maybe it is time to start creating an environment of duplication within your organization.