Dimension Data Races to the Forefront in IoT

Create: 10/04/2017 - 19:21

Photo: Dimension Data


Dimension Data believes in transformation and reinvention. As part of the NTT Group, which is one of the world’s largest telecommunications service providers, Dimension Data has learned how to grow its business at the speed of technology. The solution provider now employs more than 29,000 people in 49 countries, and has its eye on expanding even further with the growth of the IoT ecosystem.

A big part of its success is its laser-sharp focus on the importance—and value—of moving, storing and processing data for its clients. “Data is the digital currency for the digital economy,” says Larry Van Deusen, group practice director for wired, wireless and IoT for Dimension Data. In a recent interview with IoT Solution Provider, he notes how the exponential growth in IT and the disruption caused by IoT technology has created new opportunities for Dimension Data, as it can fill the void in skills and understanding of IoT.

“There’s a skills gap between what the client needs to transform its business from a digital perspective, to what [skills] they have in house. They need service providers like Dimension Data to develop those skills and leverage the technology needed for their transformation,” explains Van Deusen.

One area that is often lacking in companies today is knowledge of how to use the data created by IoT devices. Dimension Data looks at IoT through the lens of being a theme, rather than an actual product or technology that it sells. “The explosion of IoT devices has launched the need for connectivity and data. Without connectivity, without the data to analyze and provide the information back, clients can’t make any type of change-through to transformation,” says Van Deusen.

IoT crosses all bounds of infrastructure, including the network, data and security. Dimension Data has focused its business on providing expertise in all parts of the digital infrastructure: analytics, platforms, cybersecurity, hybrid IT and networking capabilities. In doing so, it has changed the way it operates the business and the services that it offers to clients. It now provides transformation consulting, project and program management, and architecture consulting services, all of which may include IoT technology rollouts.

Winning Stage One in IoT

To be a solution provider in the IoT market, Dimension Data started by leveraging the things it has already been successful at doing, and then adapted them to the IoT model.

“We were already offering IoT services, but we just didn’t call them that,” says Van Deusen. For example, the company provides collaboration tools in healthcare. It first looked at the competency it had in healthcare, and asked, “How do we take that and align it to providing analytics?  And how can we develop our mobility practices around healthcare applications?”

Van Deusen adds that after identifying IoT hotspots, it determines whether it should build, buy or partner. “That’s the IoT ecosystem play. We have to understand what the value propositions are, and determine the demarcation between what we do as a systems integrator and the role of other vendors and partners in the ecosystem.”

Dimension Data IoT tour de france

Photo: Dimension Data

One strategy for Dimension Data is to look at areas where it sees potential gaps—and less competition. The company knows quite well how to compete, as it has developed technology that can track all the location and positioning data of the 200-plus riders in the Tour de France and analyze all that collected data in less than a second. The platform can determine the position of every single rider in the race, and via a mobile app, racing fans can know at any given time how a rider is performing. To provide these real-time results, Dimension Data gathers more than 60 million data points through the course of the Tour.

“We started a sports practice and helped transform that particular technology event, the Tour de France. And we’re building off that expertise,” Van Deusen adds.

Climb to the Top in IoT

In addition to sports data, Dimension Data also sees healthcare IoT development as a huge opportunity for solution providers, along with several other key vertical markets, including education, financial services and retail.

To learn more from Dimension Data experts about the role of IoT solutions in healthcare, attend our upcoming virtual event, IoT Connex, on Wednesday, October 18. Register now for this free half-day event hosted by the parent company of CRN and sponsored by Intel. Join industry analysts, technologists, innovators and business leaders to learn about IoT integration, opportunities, partnerships, platforms and more.

How a Mechanical Contractor Succeeds at IoT

Create: 09/29/2017 - 12:02

Conversations about IoT almost always include a reference to opportunities, and market forecasts consistently show serious revenue growth for hardware, software and services. For solution providers on both the OT and IT sides, getting a foothold in IoT can be daunting.

Encon Mechanical is pushing past the challenges and into new high revenue business models around business automation. After almost a half century of serving building owners and general contractors throughout New Jersey, Encon is adding IT and IoT expertise to be ready for ubiquitous connectivity.

“If you want to remain relevant in systems integration, you need to educate yourself in technology on an everyday basis,” says David Indursky, President of Encon.

Encon has been adding more IT expertise to its staff, and it’s paying off for them. “We used to be able to take air-conditioning people and make them building automation specialists,” says Indursky. “We are now hiring IT people and teaching them the air-conditioning space. It’s easier for us to take smart computer programmers and teach them how the air-conditioning world works.”

As Encon adds IT talent, new projects with IoT components keep popping up. In healthcare, operating rooms must reach—and not exceed—certain temperatures or surgeons cannot complete patient procedures. Encon monitors these facilities and ensures the proper temperature prior to the patient or surgeon’s arrival.

Another healthcare client is experimenting with experience-based care. If a patient says he wasn’t comfortable because the temperature was too hot, for example, they don’t have to pay their full bill. Encon monitors temperature remotely and can quickly respond to unexpected spikes. It can also provide evidence-based data of what the room temperatures were during the day so that the hospital can resolve patient issues.


This is one new business model that is adding revenue for IoT solution providers. Encon and other IoT providers are learning how to embrace the new and make the most out of their current know-how.

You can hear more tips and advice from Encon and more IoT leaders at an upcoming virtual event. On Wednesday, October 18, Indursky joins IoT experts at IoT Connex Virtual.

 Register now for this free half-day event hosted by the parent company of CRN and sponsored by Intel. Join industry analysts, technologists, innovators and business leaders to learn about IoT integration, opportunities, partnerships, platforms and more.

Smart Healthcare Support for Vulnerable Adults

Create: 09/06/2017 - 15:13

With analytics from Cascade3d, professional care agencies can scale, improve revenue generation, and streamline operations. For example, Cascade3d technology gives such organizations the opportunity to offer new services such as outbound calls and medication, or eating and drinking reminders, reducing isolation or loneliness through targeted companionship services.

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IoT Provides Cost-Effective Patient Monitoring

Create: 08/01/2017 - 20:24
Libelium MySignals Healthcare

Photo: Libelium MySignals

One of the main challenges for a growing worldwide population is to find new ways to enhance the universal accessibility to a healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization, 400 million people have no access to basic health care. Within that segment, women, children and adolescents are the most vulnerable and at risk in health emergencies. With no or very limited access to health clinic or patient monitoring tools, an early diagnosis of a medical issue—which can often be detected from the first symptom—is impossible.

While hospital monitoring and diagnosis devices are expensive, remote tools that use IoT sensors can monitor a patient almost as effectively and help detect issues that need immediate treatment. One solution focused on patient health monitoring is MySignals, a platform from Libelium, a sensor and IoT services manufacturer based in Zaragoza, Spain. MySignals helps solution providers, developers, researchers and OEMs develop eHealth and medical products, including software applications and sensor networks that measure different body parameters.

The MySignals platform has the capability to measure 20 different biometric parameters, including: pulse, breathing rate, oxygen in blood, electrocardiogram signals, blood pressure, muscle electromyography signals, glucose levels, galvanic skin response, lung capacity, snore waves, patient position, air flow and body scale parameters (weight, bone mass, body fat, muscle mass, body water, visceral fat, Basal Metabolic Rate and Body Mass Index).

Biometric information gathered from the sensors can be wirelessly sent using two available connectivity options: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0.

Libelium MySignals

The biometric data gathered by MySignals is encrypted and sent to the Libelium Cloud in real time, where users such as physicians or care providers can see visual analysis on their private account or have it sent directly to a smartphone app. The data can also be gathered, stored and later analyzed.

MySignals capabilities were modeled after the key parameters measured at a hospital observation unit, and Libelium states that the platform can measure biometrics as accurately as a hospital. Libelium states that while a hospital monitoring room costs approximately $100,000, MySignals reduces the cost of patient monitoring 100 times, to approximately $1.

Portable Healthcare for Rural Populations

MySignals is portable enough to fit in a small suitcase, so the unit can be deployed and distributed anywhere it is needed, including small villages located in rural areas or locations that are difficult to access, such as mountain communities or rain forests. Libelium notes that this product could be a lifesaver, as half of the world’s population—or 3.3 billion people—live in rural areas.

Many of these regions offer residents limited healthcare access, and traveling to a larger city where hospitals are located is too expensive. These small villages don’t have clinics or hospital diagnosis rooms to help analyze a first symptom. If someone such as a child falls ill, the parent has no way of knowing if the child is having a false symptom or a more serious issue that requires medical assistance or specialized hospital care.

Reducing Neonatal Mortality

Patient monitoring tools can be extremely useful for pregnant women. By monitoring those at risk of suffering arterial hypertension, for example, healthcare teams can identify the symptoms of preeclampsia and prevent the disease.

One high-risk area is the Dominican Republic. In 2016, the Dominican Republic registered 168 mother deaths and 2,441 neonatal deaths. About 72 percent of the babies died before their first month of life. The rate of neonatal mortality in the country is third in Latin America: 25 for every 1,000 live births. According to Dominican Republic’s study by UNICEF, “13 babies younger than 28 days die every day, with 80 percent of these deaths preventable.”

A team of doctors and a local medical foundation are collaborating with Libelium to try and reduce the high mortality rate. With the aim of monitoring patients with the risk of arterial hypertension, the Infectología’s Dominican Foundation team uses MySignals to identify symptoms in patients in several sanitary centers, including the Hospital Maternidad Los Minas in Santo Domingo, and the Hospital Dr. Jaime Mota in Barahona.

Libelium MySignals

Photo: MySignals, Libelium

In addition to pregnant mothers and babies, MySignals is being used in the Robert Reid Cabral Hospital with pediatric patients, measuring the temperature, position, SPO2, ECG and arterial pressure. The platform is programmed to use a time cycle, so the blood pressure is taken and sent in real time to the MySignals Cloud and mobile app.

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Drone Delivers Life-saving Emergency Payload

Create: 06/23/2017 - 15:02
FlyPulse drone

Photo: FlyPulse


One of the most common emergency situations for first responders is to help someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), each year more than 350,000 people in the United States suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Only 12 percent of victims survive through hospital discharge.

To help battle this, the AHA recommends that the public has access to defibrillation, as an important factor contributing to higher survival rate is to reduce the time between cardiac arrest and the defibrillation of the patient. However, portable automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are not cheap, and more often than not, an AED is not readily available anywhere near the person having the heart attack.

A Swedish company, FlyPulse, aims to tackle this problem by drone, building a high-speed autonomous flying machine that can transport AEDs to a home or accident scene and increase the possibility of a passerby or emergency responder being able to shock a victim within three minutes of cardiac arrest.

The company says its new lifesaving drone, the FlyPulse LifeDrone-AED, can reach a victim faster than an ambulance. In a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers reported that the LifeDrone was able to respond to a location within its geographical work area an average of four times faster than an ambulance. By avoiding traffic congestion and having a direct flight path, the drone method lowered the overall emergency response time by approximately 16.5 minutes.

The FlyPulse drone relies on someone at the scene who is able to use a defibrillator. However, learning to use an AED is fairly straightforward, as the Red Cross offers short courses, and it has a 7-step online guide.

Send in the Drone—Stat

The LifeDrone-AED has a range of nearly 10 miles, which is impressive considering its life-saving payload. It flies at 70 km/hour, which is approximately 44 mph.

FlyPulse drone

Photo: FlyPulse

FlyPulse provides a start-to-finish solution that includes the operator alarm software, the automatic drone equipped with the defibrillator, a weatherproof standby station, installation, operator training, service and maintenance. The company handles the installation to setup the drone in the geographical work area. The alarm system is also installed at the operation station, which will order the drone on its rescue missions.

FlyPulse provides education and training for all operators that will use the system, and it offers demonstrations for interested buyers, solution providers and partners.

To the Rescue

The LifeDrone-AED is not the only life-saving drone from FlyPulse. The company is also developing the LifeDrone-WATER to aid in the location and assistance of drowning victims, and the LifeDrone-FIRE that will provide fire and incident monitoring. Although the life-saving drones need more test flights before they officially go on ER duty, they are a promising advancement in speed and delivery of emergency care.

See the specs and capabilities of the LifeDrone-AED defibrillator transport drone from FlyPulse. Watch the LifeDrone-AED in action. Learn more about industrial drones, including the Intel Falcon™ 8+.


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