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Tech DataIoT

Could Smart Technology Have Saved the Once Toy Conglomerate?

April 5, 2018    |   Michael Antoniou    |   IoT, retail technology, Retail, Internet of Things (IoT)

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Contrary to popular belief, the Toys R Us’ bankruptcy is not due to the lack of toy demand (the small plastic toy minefield in my family room can attest to this) nor is the company’s demise due solely to Amazon, Walmart or even Target out hustling them. It resulted from the company not being able to shake off acquired debt from its 2005 leveraged buyout and a stale customer experience. Believe it or not, debt’s shelf life is a little more forgiving in this day and age than a bad customer experience.

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Cloud This and Cloud That – Determining an Effective, Sustainable Cloud Data Warehouse Strategy

How many times have organizations reached a “pivot point” concerning technologies? Trying to stay relevant is making businesses dizzy. Don’t get me wrong – pivots are often necessary for reaching the end goal, but spinning in circles doesn’t get an organization anywhere. It helps to have a game plan to remain on course, especially if the customer is a data-driven organization trying to achieve a competitive edge. Many organizations are re-evaluating the traditional pillars of analytics environments and looking to pivot towards a new playing field. This new playing field involves moving away from onsite enterprise data warehouses attempting to house “one version of the truth” to a platform that accommodates greater speed, agility and cost-efficiency.

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Onsite IoT Solutions Development: 3 Things You Need to Know

Recently, I traveled to an end-user’s business to help run a workshop involving Tech Data IoT Solutions, multiple vendors, a customer, and an end-user’s development and engineering teams – bringing together experts from across the channel to engineer a solution. By the end of the session, we successfully unified the vision of the channel on solving the end-user’s business pain points – and architected a solution they were ready to buy.

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Public-Private Partnerships That Are Key for Smart Cities

 

We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing, both absolutely and relatively. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them; and this task is now well begun. “ – Theodore Roosevelt, The City in Modern Life (1926)

The tasks ‘have’ begun.

Rapid urbanization has forced the need to improve our cities. The stress on municipal (legacy) infrastructures has reached an all-time high. Yet, most of our municipalities are operating with little-to-no budget. They have limited avenues for creating revenue and depend almost entirely on federal funding – the kind of funding that has a lengthy process attached to it and is usually not available. This issue presents itself as a common obstacle for all cities intent on improving the way of life for its native residents, new residents and visitors.

Enter Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

This formal arrangement between a municipality or a consortium of agencies (formed to create uniformity for a particular region), private-sector companies and academic partners isn’t by any means cutting-edge strategy—however, there’s an uptick in its adoption. Considering the huge hurdle a lack of funding presents, this model allows for a smart city project to be completed sooner.

Generally, PPPs have focused on projects that are only important to the nation, usually driven by politics, and are costly. They have customarily required federal agencies to accept liability while providing a certain level of guarantee.

Comparatively, PPPs involving municipalities aren’t national news. They involve the “tasks” that Roosevelt spoke of to improve our cities, such as transportation, infrastructure, public health or energy. These tasks, which improve the citizens’ way of life include: 

  • Smart Street Lighting – Municipalities across the country are increasingly investing in energy-efficient street lighting to replace or improve their legacy systems. Private partners gain a share of the savings on the city's energy bill for the street lighting. In return, cities like Tampa, Fla. get improved and well-maintained street lighting concurrently creating a deterrent in high crime areas, reducing accidents and allowing for businesses to operate after sunset.

  • Smart Parking – The municipality shares revenues (or in some cases, concedes the parking fees) with their private partners while off-loading the construction and maintenance costs. Simultaneously citizens enjoy the benefits of having well lit and timely indicators to available parking spots, which reduces time spent searching for parking and creates a pleasant (repeatable) experience. This model is used for hospitals and universities alike.

  • Smart Buses/Stations – The private partner builds the stations/terminals to specification and outfits the buses with route optimizing software and WiFi. The private partner will recover investments via physical advertising space, a share of the parking fees and free WiFi. Free WiFi can capture priceless data that speaks to customers’ shopping patterns and habits, which assist with targeted marketing opportunities. This optimization would improve the travel experience for commuters, and provide a clean and safe place to wait for and change buses.

  • Public Health – Private partners will fund expansions/developments of an entire wing of a public hospital for specialist services (i.e. cancer, dialysis, rehabilitation, etc.), and in return, the partner(s) receives an availability fee for the infrastructure. This (advanced) infrastructure enhances the patient care and experience, which is key when Medicare reimbursements are tied to patient satisfaction scores.
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Smart Spaces Boost IoT Opportunities for Real Estate Investment Trusts

February 27, 2018    |   Michael Antoniou    |   IoT, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City

 

More and more environments and properties are being re-imagined as Smart Spaces. Numerous industries want to implement Smart Spaces quickly and efficiently to enhance security, maintenance, efficiencies and cost savings. In 2017, we were surprised to discover that a substantial market segment for our partners in the IoT space was REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts). I asked a couple of our partners to share a few of the benefits that IoT Smart Spaces provide for this particular industry.

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Knowing Your Data’s DNA

Most likely, you’ve seen the advertisements or know a friend or family member who recently leveraged one of the many ancestry and/or DNA tests available on the market. These tests not only provide insight into family lineage but also shed light onto genetic predispositions. Overall, these offerings provide many benefits to the users, including quenching a thirst for history enthusiasts, connecting with long-lost relatives, proactively addressing genetic ailments and last, but not least, understanding how the world’s cultures and races are more similar than dissimilar. 

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Opening the IoT Gateways Into the Future of Connected Devices

January 29, 2018    |   Christian Sullivan    |   Internet of Things (IoT), gateways

IoT gateways, also known as intelligent gateways, are the key to almost any IoT solution. Traditional gateways perform protocols mostly for connecting a network to an outside network. They act like a computer with multiple ports that connect devices to the internet. To get more granular on this, an IoT gateway is an enhanced version, operating as more than just a router; it’s intelligent. It is intelligent in a way where programmable devices can perform in-depth and complex processing of IoT data. An IoT gateway aggregates sensor data and translates this data between sensor protocols (since compatibility is one of IoT’s biggest enemies) and understands/processes this data before sending it out.

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Prioritizing Requests for Data Analytics

January 15, 2018    |   Colleen Balda    |   Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT)

From small mom-and-pop businesses to a multi-billion dollar franchises, big data and analytics appeal to everyone looking to improve their insights to better understand clientele and make more informed business decisions. Whether it’s the IT guy, the director of marketing, the company CPA or the vice president of operations – each role needs a lot:

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We’re Trying to Become the Smartest City in America

January 3, 2018    |   William Rowe    |   IoT, tag-3, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart City

… says Patrick Sinnott, business development manager for the City of Las Vegas. I say: indubitably. Every mid-major city today has that vision, desire or initiative…But why? 

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Healthcare Industry IoT Technology Trends

December 18, 2017    |   Sam Oliver    |   IoT, Healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT)

Demands on the healthcare industry are driving technology advancements to help healthcare providers transform their businesses. The Internet of Things (IoT) can directly boost patient engagement by giving their healthcare providers more time to interact with the patient. 

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