Don't Get Left Behind

Issue 28

Businesses failing to adapt to the integration and interconnection of technologies will be left behind. That's the warning from Steve O'Connell, Sales and Marketing Director of Gateshead-based solutions provider, Advantex

Steve, who works with the likes of GE Oil, Hitachi Rail and Newcastle Airport, is at the helm of a firm that is providing integrated technology solutions, including the implementation of biometric facial scanning and automated security, to a growing and established customer base. He says: “While Apple’s recent iPhone X launch may have been heralded by some as a disaster (the facial recognition camera failed to work properly), it remains a sobering reminder of one thing at least: the inexorable march of technology – and we choose to ignore it at our peril. “These technologies, driven by the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), represent our future. People have to get used to it. Apple’s stock may have fallen but the firm will continue to light the way forward as a pioneer and innovator par excellence. “The suspicion is that Apple didn’t expect stage lighting from multiple angles to interfere as it did.

However, this is something Advantex hasn’t experienced in the IP (Internet Protocol) surveillance systems we’re installing, which are typically hosted in the cloud. This setup works uninterrupted for our customers.” These solutions are being forged in the white heat of interconnectivity, which will eventually see the intelligent unification of almost everything on the planet. Business research group Gartner estimates that more than eight billion devices will be connected together in 2017 alone – a number that’s expected to triple by 2020. So how will the wholesale integration and connectivity pan out to meet the needs of business? Steve says that in the way of the iPhone, it will continue to evolve, perhaps never becoming a defined eternity. “It’s up to business, with the help and guidance of IT partners like us, to shape this evolution and decide if it will be useful. We know from our own experience, that our partners are looking for ways to integrate more technology across their networks, unifying IT, communications, and security. “With a robust network at your core, you can unify all kinds of technology: building controls, surveillance, door access, coffee machines. Almost anything with network access will fit together. Usually, you have to go to different vendors to deliver this kind of integrated solution, but we do it all in-house.”

As we continue to explore the new machine age, more and more services are becoming interconnected, and savvy businesses are using it to their advantage. For example, a lorry could pull up outside your warehouse where an IP surveillance camera would read its license plate, check it against an access control system, open the barrier, and send a message to prepare cargo ready for pick up all done without human intervention. Dystopian future? No, says Steve, who sees a world in which interconnectivity and unification is permeating so many aspects of life, in so many positive ways. “For instance, in hospitals, there are technologies used to locate medicine and automatically reorder equipment. There are also beds that alert nurses when patients are out of their rooms, and allow them to forecast patient occupancy. “If you wanted to experience interconnectivity in action, a good place would be London. The city’s transport system is governed by automation. Look up at any one of their bus stops or stations, and you’ll receive an up-to-date, accurate time of when your bus or tube is expected to arrive.” In the age of the IoT, the opportunities are limitless, changing our lives in so many ways and enabling people to share and prosper in unprecedented ways. The question is: “How much is it going to change your workplace?”

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