by Richard Daley, Director of Information Management at Tejon Ranch
Mobile business applications on phones and other hand-held devices are taking hold in the business today, and Tejon Ranch is a great example of how that technology is making a big difference.
Our name is a bit deceiving. We’re more of a city than a “ranch.” Continue Reading »
By Alistair Rennie
GM, Collaboration Solutions
IBM Software Group
Increasingly, employees are bringing in the technology they use at home and demanding the IT department accommodate them.
For years, companies have issued mobile devices to busy executives and sales representatives who depend on their company-issued devices to get the job done. However this thinking is antiquated. In today’s increasingly mobile culture, accessing critical business applications via mobile devices is a must-have for all employees.
In response, many organizations worldwide are adopting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach. Approximately 72 percent of firms surveyed by Aberdeen Group say they allow employees to use their own smartphones or tablets for work. And a recent IDC survey said that 95 percent of workers have used technology they purchased for themselves for work. I recently met with a CEO of large and fairly conservative company in Germany who purchased 1,000 iPad devices for their employees.
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Andy Stanford-Clark lives on the Isle of Wight, just off the southern coast of the United Kingdom. He commutes several times per week via ferry to his job as an engineer at IBM’s Hursley software lab. Frustrated that he would sometimes arrive at the island’s ferry terminal in the morning only to find that weather conditions had slowed or halted ferry traffic, Stanford-Clark invented a method for alerting ferry riders when the transport system had shut down or there were delays. It involves tracking the location of ferries via GPS sensors and sending out alerts via a Twitter account. At the heart of the system is a messaging protocol called Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, or MQTT for short.
MQTT is not easily digested by non-techies, but know this: it has the potential of doing for the Internet of Things what the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) did for the Internet that connects people. It makes it possible, potentially, for every device on the network to communicate and share information with every other device.
Today marks a new departure for the protocol. Its creators, IBM and Italy’s Eurotech, are contributing the software to the Eclipse Foundation where it will be available to anyone who wants to use it under an open-source software license. The goal is to turn MQTT into a pervasive, cross-industry standard that will accelerate the transmission of information not just between machines but from businesses to businesses and from businesses to consumers–as in the Isle of Wight ferry application. “The goal is to get people to come together around this protocol and use it to connect all sorts of device and systems–so we can share information more easily,” says Andy Piper, a software researcher at the Hursley lab who is involved in the strategy for messaging technologies.
Back in the 1960s, when a single mainframe computer filled an entire room, most of the data was stored on huge reel-to-reel tape drives. Today, most business computers use disk drives for storage, but, for the media and entertainment industry it’s back to the future.
That’s because TV networks and movie studios have so much digital video content to store (686,000 petabytes, growing to 1,780,000 petabytes in 2015, according to Coughlin Associates) and they can’t afford to stash it on expensive disk drives. So they need tape drives that are updated for modern times–enabling them to easily find just the section of video they want, when they want it.
Now, imagine a tense scene on a highway in the Nevada desert in March of 2009. David Pease, an IBM Research scientist, was driving a rented van toward Las Vegas while Michael Richmond, another researcher, typed away on his laptop computer and made frequent phone calls to Lucas Villa Real, an IBM scientist based in Brazil.
They were putting the finishing touches on a technology that’s now called Linear Tape File System (LTFS), which was designed to provide broadcasters and movie studios with the responsiveness and searchability of disk storage at the price of tape storage. They were set up to demonstrate the technology to attendees of the National Association of Broadcaster’s annual convention. The drive from IBM Research – San Jose to Vegas took 10 hours. Richmond and Real were coding and debugging all the way. “It was down to the wire, but it worked well enough that people saw the potential of it and they got very excited,” says Pease.
He and some of his IBM colleagues will be attending the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards ceremony today at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles. At the ceremony, IBM and Fox Networks Group will receive an Emmy for media workflow transformation and pioneering the development and application of LTFS.
Here’s the famous Did You Know 4.0 video about the proliferation of digital media and communications.