Tag Archives: Productivity

3 Ways AI Projects Get Derailed, and How to Stop Them

The rate of companies implementing AI is continuing to skyrocket. Don’t fall victim to wasted time and a blown budget.
By Don Roedner – In the blink of an eye, AI has gone from novelty to urgency.

Tech leaders are telling companies they need to adopt AI now or be left behind. And a recent Gartner survey shows just that: AI adoption has skyrocketed over the last four years, with a 270 percent increase in the percentage of enterprises implementing AI during that period.

However, the same survey shows that 63 percent of organizations still haven’t implemented AI or machine learning (ML) in some form.

Why are there so many organizations falling behind the curve?

We meet with companies every week that are in some stage of their first ML project. And sadly, most of the conversations go more or less the same way. The project is strategic and highly visible within the organization. The internal proof of concept went off without a hitch. Now, the team is focused on getting the model’s level of confidence to a point where it can be put into production.

It’s at this point – the transition from proof of concept to production software development – that the project typically runs into big trouble. When we first meet with data science teams, their budget is often dwindling, their delivery deadline is imminent, and their model is still underperforming.

Sound familiar? The guidelines below might help your organization get its AI model to production on time without blowing your budget. more>

Optimizing the Digital Transformation Process

By Stuart Carlaw – When looking at optimizing the digital transformation process in industrial and manufacturing verticals, the task is complex, fraught with risk and subject to increasing pressures in abundance. ABI Research has outlined a number of best practices that fall within a two-step process that will help in “de-risking” the transformation process.

Probably the most profound challenges for anyone looking to implement a technology-driven transformation process is clearly understanding where you are currently in terms of solution maturity and what the end vision should be. Once you know where you are, then you can realistically look to where to target for advancement.

The Industry 4.0 Maturity Model by ABI Research has been designed to provide companies with a quick snapshot of their maturity level and should be viewed as a tool to help align corporations objectively about not only where they stand in the spectrum of industrial development but also where their vision should be aligned regarding future projects.

Once an organization has a good perspective of where it sits on the maturity scale, the job of avoiding common mistakes becomes a far easier prospect. The chances of chasing unrealistic technology goals and making poor decisions based on stock price rather than operational viability become far less when leadership is honest and aligned around a clear understanding of state zero represented in today’s modus operandi.

However, any company is not out of the woods until it galvanizes around a few golden rules when it pivots towards making meaningful changes to your future fortunes. >more>

Updates from Ciena

Tomorrow’s cities: evolving from “smart” to Adaptive
Cities are going smart – trying to deal with the proliferation of people, sensors, automobiles and a range of devices that demand network access and generate mind-boggling amounts of data. However, being smart is not an instance in time, and a “smart city” is not static. To be worthy of the name, a smart city must continually evolve and stay ahead of demand. This is only possible if the city’s underlying network is just as smart and can adapt to its constantly changing environment.
By Daniele Loffreda – Cities are constantly in flux. Populations move in; populations move out. Demographics change, economic growth falls and then soars. New leadership steps in and—if you believe all the commercials—technology will make everyone’s life better.

Municipal governments understand the need to consider which smart city applications will best serve the demands of their diverse demographic segments. The City of Austin’s Head of Digital Transformation, Marni White, summed up these challenges stating, “Our problems will continue to change over time, so our solutions also need to change over time.”

The one constant in the smart city is the network running underneath these solutions—and the truly smart city has a network that adapts.

Smart city applications must be aligned with where a city and its citizens want to go. Some municipalities that created model smart-cities early on have had to initiate extensive revamping. For example, the City of Barcelona has long been at the cutting edge of using digital devices and the Internet of Things to improve municipal operations; however, in 2017, Mayor Ada Colau gave Barcelona’s CTO, Francesca Bria, a mandate to “rethink the smart city from the ground up.”

This meant shifting from a “technology-first” approach, centered on interconnected devices, to a “citizen-first” focus that responds to the changing needs that residents themselves help define. more>

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Updates from Siemens

Siemens – In an industry that demands new products at an unprecedented rate, electronics companies are increasingly relying on “smart manufacturing” to address the challenges of complexity, customization, compliance, globalization and customer expectations for near-perfect quality.

Smart manufacturing – employing computer control and high levels of adaptability – takes advantage of powerful information and manufacturing technologies that enable flexibility in physical processes for a dynamic and global market.

The foundation of smart manufacturing is an integrated platform that unites all of the domains required to engineer, manufacture and deliver today’s smart products. Smart manufacturing is a digitalized development strategy that encompasses the entire process, from PCB design and factory floor optimization to incorporating customer feedback in new designs.

This approach can reduce time-to-market by up to 50 percent, shrink development costs by as much as 25 percent and enable electronics companies to deliver near-perfect product quality.

A digitalization strategy is aimed at creating digital twins of products, production, and performance – detailed and accurate replicas that help accelerate the development, manufacturing, delivery, and service of their real-world counterparts. more>

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Updates from Siemens

Motorsports is speeding the way to safer urban mobility
A novel Siemens partnership will apply the advanced automated and connected vehicle technologies to boost safety – first in motorsports and eventually in urban environments. The partnership brings together Siemens, with its broad, chip-to-city transportation technology portfolio, and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the world leader in the most advanced forms of motorsports.
By Edward Bernardon – The World Rally Championship is a fast, exciting and spectacular event, but it can also be dangerous, even for spectators. Some people risk their lives for a perfect photo or the perfect view. Spectators often cross barriers or suddenly jump out of scrubs just to take the ultimate photo of a passing Rally car – risking their own life and potentially endangering fellow-spectators, drivers and co-drivers.

Last year more than four million spectators attended Rally events, which take place on stages that can stretch across more than 25 kilometers. This can make it difficult for race organizers to monitor an entire stage, which are often on relatively narrow dirt and gravel roads that cut through diverse terrain, further hampering efforts of marshals or spotters to watch for fans who may be in harm’s way.

Rally organizers want the ability to quickly detect people in these unsafe areas. They need a solution that provides complete situational awareness of spectator location and flow in order to ensure that all spectators can safely enjoy an event. more>

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Updates from Siemens

How Orlando’s Work With Digital Twins May Change How We Engineer Everything
By Michael Keller – This is the home of BRIDG, a public-private partnership established to bring advanced microelectronics research to market through the fabrication of silicon wafers. Printed on these wafers are the microchips that enable everything from smartphones to aircraft guidance systems. The BRIDG facility, the newest of its kind in the country, can produce a mix of single wafers for prototyping and support low-volume production. Each wafer is capable of holding thousands of microchips.

“Whether we’re talking about the automotive industry, healthcare, or aerospace and defense, these chips are integral to microelectronics in our modern world,” said Fran Korosec, BRIDG’s vice president of program management.

Building chips on these wafers is no small feat. A chip could have tens of millions of transistors on every square millimeter. To help with this complex work, BRIDG is among the first in the semiconductor industry to rely on complete digital replicas of physical chip components and the physical manufacturing process used to make them.

It’s an innovation called the digital twin, and both BRIDG and Orlando are at the forefront of bringing this technology to industry. more>

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Why Some Counties Are Powerhouses For Innovation

By Christopher Boone – By my analysis of data from the U.S. Patent Office, Santa Clara County, California, is sprinting ahead of the country. Between 2000 and 2015, more than 140,000 patents were granted in Santa Clara County. That’s triple the number for second-ranked San Diego County.

Four other counties in California – Los Angeles, San Mateo, Alameda and Orange – make the top 10.

These counties are in large metropolitan areas that are known as technology and innovation centers, including San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Seattle. The other metro areas in the top 10, not the usual tech-hub suspects, are Greater Los Angeles, Detroit and Phoenix.

Besides large concentrated populations, these metro areas share two other ingredients that support innovation. All of them have one or more leading research universities and a large proportion of college-educated people.

Santa Clara County is home to Stanford University, an institution that has become synonymous with the high-tech and innovation economy of Silicon Valley.

Stanford’s rise as a world-class research university coincided with a rapid increase in federal and military spending during the Cold War. The university’s suburban location gave it an advantage, too, by providing land for expansion and for burgeoning high-tech companies. Stanford’s leadership aggressively courted research opportunities aligned with the priorities of the military-industrial complex, including electronics, computing and aerospace.

Another common trait about most of these centers of innovation is the jaw-dropping cost of housing.

Competition for higher-wage talent pushes up housing and other costs in these innovation centers. Although housing prices increased in greater Boston, Phoenix and Detroit, they remained relative bargains compared to the West Coast.

In my view, one way to unleash innovation would be to tap into the rich diversity of students, faculty and communities at two- and four-year colleges beyond the typical top 100 research institutes. more>

Updates from Adobe

Solving Problems with Smart Package Design

How does a Kansas City design agency get hired by an Indian food brand based in Trinidad and Tobago? For the Papadums Go-Go Gourmet project, that unlikely turn of events was simply par for the course.
By Terri Stone – Matt Wegerer is the founder of Whiskey Design. He’s not afraid of risk, so when the email came asking for a food-truck design for the Caribbean start-up, he didn’t blink an eye. “The client had some great recipes and he was doing some food-service stuff,” Wegerer says, “and before he went all in with brick and mortar, he wanted to build a fan base and work out the kinks through a food truck.

In Trinidad and Tobago, those don’t really exist.” And that’s how the geographically unlikely relationship came to be: The client searched the internet for “cool food truck design” and stumbled on the Rocket Pizza Truck in Whiskey Design’s portfolio.

Wegerer and Micah Barta, Whiskey’s art director and illustrator, jumped into the Papadums challenge. Because the client didn’t have a visual identity, the duo had to build the brand from scratch.

The brief for that was, um, brief. “They basically said, ‘You guys just do what you do,'” Wegerer recalls.

However, the lack of direction didn’t indicate a lack of vision. Wegerer says, “He told us to make it scalable—that they were starting with the food truck, but we should make something that works when they have 50 stores.”

Eventually, the project encompassed the logo, food truck, to-go bags, food packaging for markets, and more.

While a bare-bones brief may sound freeing, it has its own challenges. more>

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5 Techniques for Accelerating Engineering Development

By Jacob Beningo – Whether its a parts company, software supplier, or all the way to system integrators and even consultants, no one seems immunte to the ideas of decreasing costs and faster time to market, while improving product quality.

We want to do more at the same or better quality level, while also decreasing the resources we use to achieve our end goals.

That is not to say this is an impossible goal. In fact it’s quite obtainable. In many cases it all comes down to engineering development time and costs.

Here are my top five techniques for accelerating engineering development. These five techniques are just a few examples of low-hanging fruit that companies and developers can consider when trying to accelerate engineering development.

  1. Master Your Defects
    Embedded software developers on average spend 20 – 40% of their time debugging their software. That sounds outrageous, but if you look at the Aspencore 2017 Embedded Survey results or speak to developers at embedded systems conferences you’ll find that figure is accurate!
  2. Have the Right Tools for the Job
    If you want to go fast, you need to have the right tools.
  3. Focus on Your Value; Outsource the Rest
    For engineers (and any business for that matter), it’s important to recognize what value you are bringing to the table.
  4. Leverage Existing Software Platforms
    Leveraging existing software platforms, even ones that are certified, can dramatically accelerate engineering development.
  5. Leverage Existing Hardware Platforms
    For many embedded products, the core hardware features tend to be the same. In fact, probably 80% is the same or similar guts and the remaining 20% is where companies differentiate.

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Updates from Ciena

Reducing resourcing challenges by out-tasking multi-vendor network infrastructure projects
In today’s increasingly complex multi-vendor network environments, many businesses are compelled to out-task their multi-vendor operations to a single provider of specialized network services. Ciena’s Atura Bavisi details the qualities needed when looking for the right multi-vendor services partner.
By Atura Bavisi – Businesses today are constantly changing, often in unique and different ways due to market-specific conditions, but they all share something in common: a complex network environment. Operators are always looking for ways to optimize their network, at once reducing complexity while adding flexibility to handle the rapidly growing traffic demands.

These conditions often create a need for multi-vendor networks. If a business would like to reduce its OPEX and at the same time improve network performance without significantly increasing their IT resources, then buying network equipment from multiple vendors and leveraging vendor-specific services to implement and maintain this disparate equipment become critical.

However, multi-vendor projects come with their own set of challenges. For example, the multi-vendor approach often reduces visibility across the network, making it difficult to plan effectively or to provision resources to support new services rapidly. What’s more, the cost of working with multiple suppliers and in-house service teams to design and deploy solutions can be prohibitive and a logistical challenge, as well as requiring multiple custom interfaces.

Very often, corporations don’t have the ability to recruit the right highly specialized personnel to meet all these technical requirements stemming from a multi-vendor network, and most vendors only focus on their own products and solutions. more>

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