AI Ops: Let the data talk
The catalysts and ROI of AI-powered network analytics for automated operations were the focus of discussion for service providers at the recent FutureNet conference in London. Blue Planet’s Marie Fiala details the conversation.
By Marie Fiala – Do we need perfect data? Or is ‘good enough’ data good enough? Certainly, there is a need to find a pragmatic approach or else one could get stalled in analysis-paralysis. Is closed-loop automation the end goal? Or is human-guided open loop automation desired? If the quality of data defines the quality of the process, then for closed-loop automation of critical business processes, one needs near-perfect data. Is that achievable?
These issues were discussed and debated at last week’s FutureNet conference in London, where the show focused on solving network operators’ toughest challenges. Industry presenters and panelists stayed true to the themes of AI and automation, all touting the necessity of these interlinked software technologies, yet there were varied opinions on approaches. Network and service providers such as BT, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, Telia, Telus, Turk Telkom, and Vodafone weighed in on the discussion.
On one point, most service providers were in agreement: there is a need to identify a specific business use case with measurable ROI, as an initial validation point when introducing AI-powered analytics into operations. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Skills, Technology
Protecting your business from cyber threats
The phone rings — there’s been a breach. Ciena’s chief security architect Jim Carnes explains how to integrate security into each aspect of your business to mitigate this stressor – and stop fearing that call.
By Jim Carnes – It’s Friday afternoon (it always happens on Friday afternoon) and the phone rings — there’s a breach. Your internet provider has called and malware associated with the latest botnet has been detected coming from your corporate network. The incident response plans are triggered and everyone goes into high alert, looking for the source.
The common thought trajectory goes something like: How could this happen? We use the latest and greatest security products. Did someone open a phishing email? Did a hacker breach our firewall or was a vendor compromised? There goes my weekend.
How can we stop fearing that Friday afternoon call?
Integrating security into each aspect of your business could mitigate this stressor. When people, processes, inventory and technology are coordinated, the fear and uncertainty of security breaches is replaced with straightforward and seamless responses that protect your Friday evening dinner plans.
The conversation should always begin with your business. You need to understand the processes, the people and the vendor and partner relationships. Understanding how the critical aspects of the company function and interact will often point to gaps in security.
Are the tools that facilitate secure business processes in place? Look for:
- Single-sign solutions to ease integration of people and technology
- Multi-factor authentication solutions that ease the password management burden on users (compromised passwords are responsible for nearly half of organizations that are breached according to the 2017 Verizon DBIR)
- Product suites that integrate business processes and technology solutions
- Secure supply chains that enumerate the risks to both hardware and software solutions while protecting them (a white paper published by the SANS Institute offers guidance on combating supply chain cyber risk)
Whether your business is delivering software, hardware or services, the development of those solutions include security from the start. The ability to clearly articulate the purpose of the system, how it will be used, who will be using it and what value it provides will help begin the conversation. Articulating these key factors will help define the threat environment, the adversaries and the controls necessary to mitigate the attacks.
Mitigations will therefore have context and be able to address real threats, rather than generic ones. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Skills, Technology
The benefits of an integrated C&L-band photonic line system
Network providers are looking for new alternatives to unlock additional network capacity. Ciena’s Kent Jordan explains how upgrading to the L-band can help – if done in the right way.
By Kent Jordan – The photonic layer is the foundation for high capacity networks. Whether the network application is to increase connectivity between data centers, deliver bandwidth-intensive content, or to move business applications into the cloud, the photonic layer provides the mechanism to efficiently light the fiber by assigning and routing wavelengths across the optical spectrum. However, today’s photonic layer systems utilize only a portion of the usable spectrum within the fiber, and operators are increasingly looking at expansion into the L-band to increase capacity.
There are a few factors driving the desire for L-band. First, and foremost, is traffic demand. Networks with high bandwidth applications and sustained bandwidth growth are quickly faced with capacity exhaustion. Once existing capacity is consumed, lighting additional fiber pairs is required. If the cost of laying or leasing new fiber is too prohibitive, then alternatives to unlocking additional capacity are needed.
The L-band is one such solution, and it can be used to double the fiber capacity. But, for operators to consider deploying L-band solutions, they must be simple to plan and deploy, and the upgrade to L-band must not impact existing traffic in the C-band.
Building the foundation for a scalable network infrastructure isn’t just about knowing what building blocks to use. It also includes selecting the appropriate architecture and understanding how the pieces fit together, so when it is time to increase capacity, there aren’t any surprises, performance hits, or suboptimal capacity limits. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Skills, Technology
How local productivity growth affects workers near and far
One city’s boom can be felt across a nation
Chicago Booth – When big cities experience an economic boom, you expect an upsurge in wages and growth in those areas. But there’s some nuance: according to Chicago Booth’s Richard Hornbeck and University of California at Berkeley’s Enrico Moretti, one area’s surge particularly benefits low-skilled workers locally—and high-skilled workers elsewhere.
Using total factor productivity (TFP) as a measure of local productivity growth, Hornbeck Amount and Moretti analyzed two decades of data from major US cities to quantify the direct effects on people living in booming cities and the indirect effects on people elsewhere. Allowing for trade-offs between salary and cost-of-living increases, as well as unequal distribution of benefits across different groups, the researchers find that low-skilled workers gained the most from local productivity growth.
But gains extended further afield: a boom in San Diego or Los Angeles, say, was also felt in other cities. And high-skilled workers gained more from productivity growth in other cities. more>
Posted in Business, Economy, Education, Healthcare, How to, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Chicago Booth, Economic development, Finance, Health, Insurance
Perceptible differences that drive top-line growth
Siemens – 150 million times a day…
…someone, somewhere in the world, chooses a Unilever product.
Unilever’s brand portfolio spans 14 categories of home, personal care and food products and includes world favorites such as Lipton, Knorr, Dove and Omo. The company employs 179,000 people in 100 countries worldwide. Its products are sold in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Africa in roughly equal distribution.
Innovation is critical to sustaining Unilever’s growth. “We see product innovation as one of the key drivers of top-line growth,” says Huw Evans, R&D director of information in Unilever’s Home and Personal Care Division. Unilever defines product innovation this way:
“Product innovation means providing the consumer with a product that delivers a perceivable benefit that is differentiated from those of our competitors and that differentiation drives the choice to purchase and use that product,” explains Evans.
“You can change products to improve their price differentials, for example, but if the consumer is not really experiencing a difference, then we wouldn’t classify that as innovation. Innovation is about consumer-perceptible benefits that drive choice. To help achieve this Unilever invests €1 billion every year in research and development, which includes support for five major laboratories around the world that explore new thinking and techniques to help develop our products.” more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economy, Education, How to, Net, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Consumer goods, Health, Internet, PLM, Product lifecycle management, Siemens