JDSU Reaches Altitude in Mile-High City: SCTE Expo 2014

9/17/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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The 2014 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo  the premiere cable telecommunications engineering event  starts next week in Denver, Colorado (aka Mile-High City) and JDSU (booth #863) is set to make it another memorable one.  While DOCSIS 3.1 is still a driving trend, there are other critical technology challenges and opportunities that the event will focus on.  

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A sampling from the 2014 program:

·         improving the customer experience through enhancements in installation experiences, operations, and workforce training; defining and redefining the connected home; and new technologies and techniques, such as apps.

·         transitioning to the all-IP video network; proving portability of services; delivering Ultra HD and High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC); and modernizing next-generation User Interfaces (UIs).

·         access network architectures and technologies, virtualized-, cloud- and software defined-networks, and energy/event management for today and the future.

JDSU's network and service enablement solutions support operators worldwide to help ensure reliability and quality as SDN, NFV take hold. And as the increase in data, video, fiber, 100G and connected devices spike at an unprecedented pace. For more perspective on the event, the industry and what's new with JDSU, Rob Flask, senior product line manager at JDSU, shared his view.

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Rob Flask of JDSU: "The top three trends that I am seeing are virtualization, convergence, and capacity."

Rob, entering into SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014, how has the industry evolved from last year? What are the main themes driving the industry – say, the top three technical trends we see?

The top three trends that I am seeing are virtualization, convergence, and capacity.   Virtualization is an exciting new technology that really drives the speed of adopting and deploying new services.  Cloud technologies and virtualization go hand in hand.  It is touching every facet of the industry from virtualized guides, virtual CMTS’s and all the way down to virtualized test clients in the CPE device.   

Convergence of data and video is another big trend.  The drive for video on any screen, anytime, anywhere is helping fuel the migration to using the data pipe as a primary delivery for video.  This will really continue to change and evolve content distribution from where it is today into an IP centric system all the way to the consumer.
 
Capacity is really fueled by efficiency.  How can I get more speed and services to the consumers and devices utilizing as much of the available infrastructure that I can.  There are innovations being delivered in every medium including WiFi with 802.11AC, coax with DOCSIS 3.1 on the horizon, and fiber with 100G.
 
What are some of the recent or new innovations from JDSU are you excited to exhibit?  How do they support operators to meet today’s biggest deployment or network and service enablement challenges?
 
JDSU continues to deliver innovative new products and services to support this dynamic industry.  The 2014 Expo is no exception – JDSU will be talking about recent and new solutions.  What is exciting is the breadth and depth of products that serve the entire organization.  Here is a short list of some of the innovations that will be on display:
 

o   StrataSync is our cloud enabled solution that helps operators maximize the utility from their test assets and their data across their complete organization. 

 

o   PathTrak PNM (proactive network maintenance) is a new return path tool utilizes information from cable modems and CMTS’s to remotely pinpoint upstream impairments to fix the real root cause.   

 

o   EdgeTrak™ is a virtualized test client for CPE devices that goes beyond what typical polling PNM tools can provide by putting a virtual technician in the device that identifies downstream problems near real time. 

 

o   The VSE-1100 (Video Spectrum Expert) is a totally new class of product that changes the definition of what a portable spectrum analyzer and video analyzer should be.

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Image above: "The VSE-1100 (Video Spectrum Expert) changes the definition of what a portable spectrum analyzer and video analyzer should be."

 

o   Another exciting product that we are launching at Expo is our new WiFi Advisor. This tool is designed to help operator provide reliable services over WiFi as operators are migrating to WiFi as a core revenue driving service.
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Images above:  "WiFi Advisor helps  operators provide reliable services over WiFi as they migrate to WiFi as a core revenue driving service - especially with customers’ quality expectations when viewing video over their WiFi connections.”

 
 

o  Solutions such as PacketPortal, JDSU’s cloud-based approach to embed data-capture technology throughout the network, delivering in-line intelligence; and, the T-BERD/MTS-5800 which  tests throughout the service life cycle, including fiber characterization, service activation, troubleshooting, and maintenance, are among others that will be on display.

 

When was your first Expo?  JDSU has been a longtime sponsor of the Opening Day Reception, what are you looking forward to this year as the industry’s main players convene?

My first Expo was in 1996 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.  The industry has come a long way since then when digital video, cable modems, and telephony over cable were just in their infancy.  One of the best parts of the Expo is getting to connect with operators, customers and other vendors to collaborate, exchange ideas and set forward new directions.  Having all of these great thought leaders together in one place spurs builds an exciting atmosphere to explore emerging trends and foster new ideas for better products and services of the future.  The symposiums and sessions always provide an insightful look into what is driving the industry.  At this year’s expo I am looking forward to seeing many of the innovations of previous years come into realization in the new products that will be displayed.   Who would have thought that that novell “cable modem” concept shown back in 1996 would evolve into a device that is capable of pumping over 4Gb/s to the home.  All done through great collaboration between vendors and operators.
 

 

LTE Mobile Assurance's Future – Patrick Kelly, Analysys Mason (& JDSU)

9/10/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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For communications service providers, customer churn is one of those “what keeps you up at night” concerns.  In a new white paper recently released − co-authored by Patrick Kelly of Analysys Mason and JDSU’s own Tara Van Unen − an in-depth look is taken at what’s being done about it. 

It's called: “Revolutionizing Mobile Assurance in the Era of LTE,” [click here].

According to the freshly minted piece, with billions being invested in the evolution to dynamic LTE/4G networks, and customer churn at an all-time high, the time is now for a better ‘assurance’ model to enable a real and relevant improvement in customer experience, while improving operator productivity and profitability.

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Patrick Kelly was kind to provide more on the importance of breaking into the new paradigm of customer experience assurance (CEA) to ensure quality LTE networks and services.

Patrick, congratulations on a great, informative paper. Talk about the customer churn part of this equation – operators must be dedicated to doing what’s in their power to decrease customer churn. And, how does assurance play into this?
 
Thanks, Bernie.  Yes, one way to look at churn and assurance is the following: To seize the revenue opportunity associated with increasing data growth, operators must ensure a personalized and high quality experience for subscribers who are consuming the underlying services and applications. Quality experience, therefore, is a powerful competitive differentiator that enables operators to improve the customer lifecycle value and reduce churn. Research shows that customer experience is directly related to quality of service and network performance.  Recent studies also indicate that current assurance solutions are not capable of achieving real and relevant improvements in customer experience and service performance, and that poor quality of service is responsible for 40% of all customer churn.  That’s why we talk so much about customer experience assurance – the traditional approach to assurance is not efficient or effective in the era of enriched and personalized service offerings.“
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Speaking of  customer experience assurance (CEA), that is a big claim in this paper as being that big breakthrough approach to improving customer experience . . .what types of new performance measurements are required in this new “paradigm shift”?  Any examples?
 
That’s truealong with the multi-dimensional analysis provided by CEA, new and refined performance measurements are also required. For example, when voice becomes just another LTE data service (as VoLTE), the measurement of voice quality will again be required, and must be of sufficient resolution to identify all customer experience issues. This requires solutions that can provide mean opinion scores (MOS) measured every few seconds during a call, and not just an MOS score averaged over the call duration. In the mobile broadband environment, the effectiveness of an assurance solution is measured by the degree to which the customer experience data can be correlated (via multi-dimensional analysis) to an underlying network, service, or other problem. With such analysis, assurance staff can conclude which customers and revenues are truly being negatively impacted, and identify which issues should have the highest priority for resolution.”
 
For operators, what are some of the key CEA findings and takeaways they should bear in mind in this unique time to ensure quality? 
 
"Sure thing Bernie.  For operators, the key requirements of CEA include the ability to:
 
• proactively identify and resolve problems having the greatest impact on customer experience in a fraction of the time, through a multi-dimensional and real-time correlation of customer experience with network and service performance
 
•  break the traffic growth cost curve, with a substantial improvement in capex, opex, footprint and scalability through innovative monitoring and troubleshooting processes
 
•  integrate and correlate data from any source to any application, providing deep end-to-end visibility, reduced OSS costs, and data monetization
 
•  enable the assurance of dynamic networks and services with real-time intelligence, delivered in the order of seconds – not minutes – and virtualization-capable features.
 
Thanks again for collaborating with JDSU on helping to define a new era of mobile assurance spurred by LTE. 
 
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Patrick Kelly, industy analyst, has been working in the telecoms industry for more than 20 years. Patrick’s published research include big data analytics, IP next-generation service assurance, policy management, advanced mobile data software services, cloud computing, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and customer experience management (CEM).
Categories:LTE, Mobility

 

JDSU’s New Mobile Innovation (Q&A): Cell Tower Climbs Reduced; Quality Improved

9/8/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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As CTIA’s Super Mobility Week opens its doors this week at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Las Vegas (JDSU booth # 6032), our mobile network and service enablement team is proud to boldly unveil a mobile test first - click here for press release.  News coverage has already started to appear
 
The backdrop: A significant driver to this new JDSU test technology centers on new complexities to cell site tower architecture, spawned by the immense popularity of connected devices worldwide.  Plus the fast pace of changing protocols, macro cells, small cells, distributed antennae systems (DAS), heterogeneous networks (HetNets) and fiber deployments. All to increase better network capacity and improve service coverage. 
 

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We’ve released RFoCPRITM (or, Radio Frequency over Common Public Radio Interface) capabilities for the CellAdvisor base station analyzer.  It not only enables mobile field technicians to quickly identify and fix signal interference problems, it also maintains and manages next-generation fiber-based cell sites faster, easier and less expensively. Best of all, it minimizes potentially dangerous cell tower climbs.

 

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JDSU’s RFoCPRI helps reduce risky cell tower climbs. Technicians can perform tests safely from the ground.
 
“The pace of change in the mobile industry is unprecedented ‐ advancements in cell tower technology are helping to improve service coverage and signal quality.  JDSU’s RF over CPRI introduction to its base station analyzer was developed in close collaboration with mobile operators and presents a truly innovative solution. Technicians will be able to maintain and manage fiber-based cell sites faster, easier and less expensively.  What’s also impressive is the feature minimizes dangerous tower climbs which can improve safety, lower maintenance cost, and reduce test time,” Olga Shapiro, program manager for Measurement and Instrumentation, Frost & Sullivan, a global industry analyst firm.
 
Euardo Inzunza, a global business development lead in JDSU’s Network and Service Enablement business and seasoned RF test specialist, provided the following insight in a recent exchange with me to learn more.

 

Congratulations to you and the team, Eduardo!  The CellAdvisor is on a roll with industry firsts – remind our audience . . . this came from the GenComm acquisition?
 

Yes, RFoCPRI this is one of many examples of technology synergies where the highly regarded radio frequency (RF) test technologies from the GenComm acquisition incorporates the proven fiber and protocol test technologies of JDSU.  This combination is important to ensuring mobile quality.

What is the environment today that warrants this solution?

Well, this gets a bit technical – but, the reality is, with the introduction of distributed radios, more progressive cell sites eliminated the major problem of coaxial feed-lines of signal reflections and other impairments of RF signals by the adoption of CPRI or OBSAI protocol over fiber links.  However, this architecture moved the RF test access from the radio (ground) to the remote radio head (tower). The JDSU CellAdvisor’s RFoCPRI technology provides the ability to perform RF tests from the base band unit (ground) in all types of cell sites using CPRI or OBSAI including macro cells, small cells and DAS systems.      

What an exciting benefit that it helps reduce cell tower climbs!
Yes, JDSU’s RFoCPRI technology provides RF test capability such as interference analysis and PIM detection at the base band unit located in the ground, minimizing tower climbs, and therefore reducing operational expenses and safety issues related to tower climbing.  
 
What is happening in the mobile industry that would make JDSU proactively deliver a solution such as this?
There are two main drivers in the mobile industry that paved the way for RFoCPRI.  First is the vast deployment of cell sites with distributed radios using CPRI or OBSAI protocols.  Second, the ever-increasing number of RF transmitters that cause interference. These factors force the ability to test interference in distributed cell sites.  JDSU’s RFoCPRI technology does just that, removing safety concerns created by tower climbing while also lowering maintenance time and operational cost.

 

Please simplify CPRI and RF, and why the combination matters

CPRI protocol was defined in collaboration with multiple radio manufacturers to eliminate coaxial feed-lines (reflections, loss) and improve transmission bandwidth in cell sites. However the required RF testing for maintenance and optimization aspects were undermined ultimately affecting the operational expenses of mobile operators, and increasing safety concerns. RFoCPRI extracts the RF components in CPRI allowing performance maintenance and optimization tests from the ground, reducing operational expenses and removing safety concerns.  

 
What makes this solution breakthrough and is there any other on the market that can do all or part of what this feature does?
Currently in the market exist dedicated solutions that extract the RF components from CPRI; however these solutions are not intended for field maintenance and optimization but rather for laboratory applications; and these solutions imply yet another test tool required by cell technicians and RF engineers. JDSU carefully considers all the needs and requirement of its customers, and as a result developed and integrated the RFoCPRI technology into the CellAdvisor base station solutions, providing  the ability to maintain and optimize conventional cell sites with coaxial feed-lines and modern cell sites with CPRI and fiber with a single field and portable solution.     
 
Why is this a first to market?
JDSU is the leader in the market due to its core competencies in fiber and RF testing technologies, and effectively realize the synergies of these competencies and ultimately helping customers navigate through the change of fiber inclusion and RF requirements in cellular networks.  The main innovation realized in this solution is the combination of CPRI and RF test technologies in an integrated and field portable cell site test solution.

 

Lastly, how has this gone over with customers?

The reception of the CellAdvisor with RFoCPRI has been overwhelming. We have conducted multiple tests with mobile operators in the USA and overseas, and we were able to test different radio types, CPRI line rates, and wireless technologies. All tests received very positive feedback and successful results.
 
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Eduardo Inzunza is a global business development lead in JDSU’s Network and Service Enablement business and seasoned RF test specialist
 

 

Sports Embrace Big Data, Analytics for Fun Fan Experience

9/3/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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More frequently, when you hear about big data, cloud or data analytics, the reference is not about board rooms, enterprises and/or large corporations – it’s sports!  As the 2014 US Open tennis tournament attests, stadium and event organizers are partnering with big tech firms to help create the ultimate technology-driven fan experience. And let’s not leave out the USA’s National Football League (NFL) which kicks off its 2014/2015 season this week.  The use of big data, data analytics and other trends we’re very used to in the communications provider space are increasingly making an impact around the world where sports enthusiasts convene to physically – and virtually – take part in their favorite team’s competition.  

Now, grab that drink, hot dog . . . oh, and tablet or smart phone, and check out two examples – US Open/IBM, and 49ers Levi’s Stadium and how they leverage technology...giving packed arenas more to cheer about!

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IBM Provides Mobile Apps and Analytics for US Open    As IBM stated,  “many businesses can learn from how sports organizations are using analytics, cloud computing and other technologies to better understand
and improve their daily operations.”
 
Take a look at what they recently announced:
 
·         To help fans keep track of the US Open competition, IBM collaborated with the USTA to design and developed cool mobile apps for Apple iPhone, iPad and Android devices for instant access to scores, live video, in-depth match analysis and statistics.
o   The US Open apps, created by IBM Interactive Experience, also present an interactive and informative “second-screen experience” for fans watching the tournament on TV.
 
·         IBM also helped with the US Open tournament website, USOpen.org, adding new data sets and enhanced data visualizations, using IBM SlamTracker analytics and cloud technologies. This communicates real time and historical statistical insights.
o   SlamTracker analyzes more than 41 million data points from eight years of Grand Slam tennis match data to identify three performance indicators – dubbed “Keys to the Match” – that can affect a player’s ability to succeed. During a match, SlamTracker visualizes the real-time data, including serve statistics and winning shots, allowing fans to interact with the data to gain deeper insight into match dynamics.
 
·         The IBM SlamTracker is a new way for fans to interact with data – it uses a simple interface that delivers an immediate, insightful view of a match in progress, including analysis of ball and player movement during US Open matches.
o   For example, analyzing where a ball lands, along with how far a player runs in a given match, offers a new dimension to match analysis, uncovering patterns and insights into player performance and dynamics that ultimately impact the outcome of a match.
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San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium: Upping Their Tech Game − JDSU is based in Milpitas, Calif., so how about the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium! They are also majorly upping their tech game to boost game time enthusiasm. 
 
Some highlights:
 
·         According to reports, 49ers are both leveraging existing sports technology and writing custom code for tech tools at the new stadium. Among key focuses: mobile, data analytics and fan experience.
 
·         Software giant SAP AG to Yahoo Inc., Sony Corp. and Violin Memory Inc. signed on to provide services at the new stadium. Wi-Fi, data analytics, social media and solar energy technology have all been revealed as centerpieces of the “software-driven” venue.
 
·         In-house technology efforts are focused around a software platform designed for two different purposes: a “real-time dashboard” for game-day fan tech features and a data analytics suite for use by the team’s executives.
 
·         One report of a demo of a mobile video streaming feature demonstrated how home game 49ers fans can step away from their seats without missing any action. Using the technology created by the 49ers, fans with smartphones or tablets could potentially watch the game in near real-time (within a few seconds of live video while they are in line for food and drink or walking around the stadium)
Categories:Mobility

 

Smartwatches Are So 2014: Here’s What Should Be on Your Gift List

8/28/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
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There’s a lot of buzz about smartwatches happening right now as we near the end of summer. However, there are many other connected devices emerging from the Internet-of-Things landscape that you might want to put on your holiday gift list. Who knows which of these bright new shiny items will feed the next wave of big data flowing through datacenters, networks and the cloud.

Wearables for Pets
The pets products industry is estimated at $58.5 billion and there are 170 million pet dogs and cats in the U.S. alone.

GoPro just announced Fetch, a washable and adjustable harness that allows you to mount video cameras on dogs between 15-120 pounds, either to film what’s going on in front of or behind your dog.

 
Pawtrack is working on a GPS tracking collar for cats. Pawtrack also has internal Wi-Fi so that an owner can tell when its cat is at home and the device will automatically turn off to save battery power. Pawtrack collects data on a central server for analysis.The plan is to integrate the data with social media next year, so owners can track their cats via apps like Twitter and do comparative analysis with other pets. Now that is seriously geeky.
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Fitness Tracking Shirt
Ralph Loren is about to introduce a new iPhone-connected, sensor-filled Polo Shirt that can track and send biometric data to your smartphone. It’s using OMsignal to collect shirt data that is stored in a “black box” that includes an accelerometer and gyroscope to capture movement and direction. The data is then transmitted to the cloud and plugged into a number of algorithms that gauge performance-related biometrics like heartbeat and respiration.
The promotional video seems to imply that you too could end up looking like these uberfit supermodel guys if you wear this shirt long enough. Hmmm.
 
Fitness Band and Alarm Clock That Motivates You with Electric Shocks
Pavlok is planning to offer a fitness band that delivers 340 volts to get you up and running with adrenaline. In addition to a regular activity tracker, it will also give you a jolt if you tap your alarm snooze button more than twice. You can even select friends to zap you into compliance - so be nice to your friends. I’m not sure how I feel about this Pavlovian behaviorial conditioning but it might work better than a cup of coffee for certain activities that you are prone to putting off.
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Samsung Circle Necklace
In addition to introducing its Samsung Gear S smartwatch this week, Samsung unveiled an earphone circle necklace that vibrates from incoming calls. The Samsung Gear Circle can be controlled by voice command and paired with a smartphone to receive calls and listen to music. It comes in three colors for all of your fashion needs.

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Dongle That Diagnoses Car Troubles

A $50 dongle created by startup Fixd works as a small Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into your car's on-board-diagnostics port, pushing data to your smartphone about  a car problem and how much it may cost to fix it. It can also tell you when to take the car in for regular service. Fixd is a Kickstarter project and the startup expects to ship product early next year. 
 
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Wearables that Work with Brain Signals

This final connected device isn’t so much for your holiday shopping list but it could be one of the  most important uses for wearable technology. While there are many skeptics in tech that believe wearables will be hard to sell beyond the “b-to-geek” crowd, some believe healthcare could be one of the most viable channels for widespread adoption.

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Ybrain, a health tech startup based in Seoul, Korea, just raised $3.5M in Series A funding to build new products for the medical market. The startup is working on clinical trials at Samsung Medical Center in Korea for a wearable based on brain signals that aids people with various neurological disorders that cause cognitive impairment, such as with Alzheimer’s disease. Ybrain is also developing a big data platform that compiles the brain signal data from its devices to provide more personalized treatments. 

 
 

 

Supporting Students in the Community: JDSU Team Donates Back-to-School Supplies

8/27/2014 · Posted by Tara Pratt
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The JDSU Community Involvement Q1 theme is “Supporting Students in Our Communities.” In response to this, the JDSU team in Richardson, Texas took the initiative to hold a backpack school supply drive in early August. They provided backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies to underprivileged children in the cities of Plano, Allen and McKinney, Texas. 

Employees were encouraged to help in a few different ways:

·         Purchase any amount of the supplies from the list below.
o    Backpacks, crayons, glue, pencils, tissues, scissors, writing tablets, spiral notebooks, notebook paper, drawing paper, construction paper, folders, rulers, colored pencils, pencil cases, highlighters, erasers, markers, watercolors, wipes and hand sanitizers.
·         Fill a new backpack with the required supplies on the list.
·         Make a cash donation to this effort (100% of employee donations went to purchasing school supplies from the list).
 
“I am thankful that our Richardson-based employees rallied around this cause; it really could change the future for some of these children,” said Mike Nemazie, Richardson Site Lead.
 
Thanks to the generosity of the Richardson employees, the team was able to provide several local children with backpacks and school supplies. Their backpack school supply drive is just one great example of an easy and scalable way to support school age children in our community.
 

 

Wireshark and Observer: Achieving Complete Visibility – Network Instruments (Video Case Study)

8/22/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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As you'll see below, "you gotta know what's on your network."  In a recently released case study video from JDSU’s Network Instruments business, our customer Santander Consumer USA – one of the consumer loan providers in the US and worldwide – provides insight on how their network team worked with Network Instruments solutions to resolve a sudden network congestion problem that disrupted the company’s network performance. 

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Santander, which in the US provides financial services to over 2 million customers and generated over $1 billion in revenues last year, augmented freeware analyzer Wireshark with two Network Instruments solutions − GigaStor and the Observer Analyzer.  This pairing proved to be very effective…enabling the company to rapidly pinpoint and fix the network issue quickly. 

As Ben Smith, network manager at Santander Consumer USA, comments  “…which caused congestion on our network.  That took us about thirty minutes to find what the issue was and resolve it.   Without Network Instruments, we would have never found it.  You gotta know what’s on your network.  We would have never seen the combination of all of these users trying to go to one location.”
 
That's impressive!
 
Steve Brown, director of product marketing for Network Instruments, adds: “Increasingly our enterprise customers are strategically using Wireshark coupled with the back-in-time and expert analysis of GigaStor and are able to achieve complete, cost-effective visibility from their network core to the edge. The GigaStor appliance is purpose-built to capture and analyze all the packets and traffic in the core on full-duplex 10 Gb links. Most of our customers are then using Wireshark as a flexible, freeware option to gain visibility at the edge at remote offices or to take captures at user stations." 
 
Steve concluded, "Feeding these captures back into Observer for advanced analysis means they’re able to more quickly and effectively troubleshoot complex problems with this joint-solution approach.”
 
For the full story, please view the following: http://bit.ly/1oaX1xg.   
 
Categories:Enterprise

 

Delivering Service in the Mobile Moment of Need

8/22/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
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Would you hand over your smartphone and password to a stranger? It would be like giving away the keys to your kingdom. This was the opening question posed to attendees at a Churchill Club meeting yesterday on “Mobile Moments: The New Battleground for Customers.” Executives from Forrester, Redfin, Facebook, Twilio and Greylock descended upon the Citrix campus in Santa Clara to discuss how mobility continues to change our daily habits and in turn is changing how businesses function.

Mobile Moments 

As James Slavet from Greylock recently discussed on a previous panel, the Last Second Economy means that with a press of a button, you can get a ride – or a burrito – within a compressed timeline. This impacts both customer expectations and the supply chain.

Forrester calls this the “mobile moment of need.” This is the expectation that I can get what I want, in my immediate context, in all my moments of need. People using mobile devices have several of these moments throughout the day, whether for work, utility, distraction or pure entertainment. The panel discussed how this behavior is dramatically impacting businesses and that they must re-examine everything they do in order to inject service into those moments in a personalized but non-invasive way.

Apps for Same-Day Transactions
The CEO of Redfin provided a great example of a mobile moment that worked well for his business. One of his star real estate brokers was helping a client in D.C. look for homes in San Diego. At 9AM, the buyers had found a property they liked through research using the Redfin app. They called the broker, Jordan, asking that he go look at the property on their behalf and so he “walked” the couple through the home using Facetime video messaging. Because they were already pre-approved for a loan, the couple decided they wanted the property right away. Jordan created the contract on his iPad on the spot and submitted their offer by 11 AM. The seller accepted their offer by 1 PM. Two more offers came in later that day at higher rates, but Jordan’s clients had already secured the best deal.

Now in this instance, the broker was exceptional and found a way to cobble together various technologies to get the deal done. Redfin wants to make the experience so seamless that it would be easy for any broker to make this a normal event.

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Trust and Empathy

Redfin’s mantra is that they are obsessed with customer empathy and want to  keep improving service for very demanding mobile users. Sixty percent of their app users expect a response within a few hours and want to see houses the same day.

Along with understanding the customer, it’s also about trust. Initial web businesses created trust with consumers by letting them share reviews online. Today, trust is created by providing a platform that lets people communicate directly with each other, as with the AirBnB model. WhatsApp already has hundreds of millions of users, providing a new way to communicate directly from your address book.

Refining the Customer Relationship in Each Moment

One panelist talked about buying a barbecue at a nearby hardware chain. He went to the store, examined the merchandise and chatted with the sales person. He then pulled out his smartphone to explore other price options online, also known as showrooming. The sales person walked away, allowing him the time and space to do this. Once he finished the research, the sales person re-approached him, indicating that he was aware that the in-store price was in line with all of the online options but that they would extend an early Labor Day rate to the guy if he bought the in-store model. The deal was done.
While a business can’t control which channel their customers will use, intimately understanding customer behavior and the various ways they interact through different channels is what will keep customers coming back.
10,000 Apps

Forrester also shared that currently the majority of apps that are downloaded are left completely unused after six months. So it’s not just about finding ways to get apps initially installed but also how to get people to keep coming back to the app by figuring out the right value and supplying it at the right time throughout their day.

There are 1.3 million apps today and Forrester estimates that will easily grow to 10 million apps in the next five years. How do businesses stand out amidst a sea of 10 million apps in an app store? But that’s a whole other topic…
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Forrester, Redfin, Facebook, Greylock & Twilio discussed mobility yesterday in Santa Clara, CA.
Categories:2015 Trends, Mobility

 

The Next Supercomputer Will Be Your Car

8/14/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
0  Comments · Permalink

It's nearing the end of the week, so let's be a little creative. 

Picture yourself driving in a connected car of the future. Here's the scenario...

When you get into your car, it automatically adapts to your seating, air and music preferences. It also knows that at this time of the morning, you typically drive to work, so it sets that route. As you start driving, you look out the windshield and can see a semi-transparent display that leverages augmented reality to elegantly share information about your surroundings (temperature, time, distance of nearest vehicle) so that you don’t have to take yours eyes off the road.
You decide to stop at a drive-through (let's say Starbucks) and you are able to electronically pay for your cappucino and muffin via your car without pulling out a wallet. Then you decide you've got a few items to deal with before getting to work, and adjust your internal environment similiar to that of your office to dictate a list of tasks for the day.
Suddenly, a car in front of you stops but your vehicle-to-vehicle technology senses this and avoids a collision. Luckily your cappucino has a lid on it.
Later on your way home, you will set some mood lighting and calming music (I enjoy the "Buddha Bar" station on Pandora) to down-regulate from a hectic day.
My little daydream only touches the surface of where connected cars are headed, and executives from NVIDIA, Transportation Technology Ventures, Mercedes Benz and Nissan got together last night to discuss the topic at a panel hosted by the Churchill Club and Bloomberg News in Santa Clara.
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The latest in connected car technology from BMW and NVIDIA.
First, the group went about defining the concept of a connected car, which is a separate term from a self-driving or automous car, even though the two are clearly complimentary. A connected car will connect to your home, other cars, local city infrastructures and data centers to become what these experts believe will be the single-most sophisticated supercomputer that we own.
One panelist pointed out that today, a car already operates on a couple of chips that handle 3
teraflops of computing power. The digital real estate in cars is expanding dramatically with newer designs and there are many layers of opportunities for different players to collaborate and create the driver and user experience of the future
Data Privacy, Infrastructure & Legislation
Connected cars of course raise many questions, with data privacy being at the top of the list. Automakers currently have their own groups of hackers testing out new platforms to address these issues and there are already intial IEEE and European standards in place.

A car that can learn continuously from the cloud to make its own decisions sounds great to a certain degree, but people are going to want to disconnect from the information flow when they choose to. It will likely take time for people to ‘opt in’ to this level of integration, as it did with online banking.  

And then there’s the rest of the infrastructure. What exactly would the car connect to? There is already work being done on smart streets and cities but panelists felt strongly that more connected cars need to materialize first based on consumer demand and then decisions will have to be made to get network infrastructures to support them, perhaps through local city traffic control centers.

Inroads to legislation for the next breed of connected cars is already in progress, with the U.S. Transportation Department stating in February that it plans to propose requirements that all cars eventually communicate with each other to help reduce crash deaths, leveraging  DSRC, or digital short range communications, that function similar to Wi-Fi.

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Faster Upgrades

As the connected car essentially becomes a giant and fast-moving connected device, car makers are exploring ways to produce new car models in shorter time spans. While it would be tough for people to afford a new car like a smartphone every two years, there could be new chip cards inserted to upgrade and replace older applications on current car models, similar to how upgrades happen in the gaming industry. And of course, price points for all of this technology will have to become much more affordable.

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Hopes for the Future
 
One of the biggest hopes shared during the session was that a combination of technologies that are currently separate – voice recognition, 3D sensing, augmented reality and others – all come together in a transformational way to improve life and make driving safer. At the same time, this type of advanced experience could make people complacent because they feel safer than they actually are, so proper user training and education will be critical.
 

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Execs. from Bloomberg, NVIDIA, Mercedes Benz, Transportation Technology Ventures & Nissan joined in on "The Promise of the Connected Car: What it Can Be and Who Can Win" panel on Aug. 13  in Santa Clara, CA.

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings Recap: Rise in Next Gen Networks & Web 2.0 Data Centers, New Lasers Record & More

8/12/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
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JDSU today announced its fiscal fourth quarter earnings and also covered highlights from fiscal year 2014 that ended June 28, 2014.

Over the past year, use of connected devices continued to explode, network infrastructures began to evolve with more software-based and virtualized models, data center build-outs increased as Web 2.0 companies expanded their reach, and governments continued to implement technology on currency to fight against counterfeiting. All of these technology trends that JDSU solutions support are expected to continue evolving throughout 2015.

Earnings Highlights

Fiscal fourth quarter 2014 revenue was $448.6 million, up 7.3 percent from last quarter and up 6.5 percent year-on-year. Gross margin at 50 percent was up 240 basis points from last quarter and 390 basis points from last year.
For the overall fiscal year, JDSU grew 4 percent year-on-year with revenue of $1.74 billion.
Geographically, revenue from the Americas was flat overall for the fiscal year as providers and carriers wrestled with major network architectural decisions and consolidation efforts. Europe finally began to recover with EMEA revenues up 8 percent year-on-year. In the Asia-Pacific region, notably in China, there was a continued build-out of networks and investment in new technologies with revenue up 7 percent compared to last year.
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Next-Generation Networks Are on the Rise
Network-related products from JDSU that are less than two years old generated 61 percent of revenue over the last fiscal year, reflecting continued investment in R&D for new network solutions.
The Network and Service Enablement business maintained its #1 position in field test instruments, gaining share and turning in strong performances in fiber, broadband access and wireless network enablement solutions.
In Service Enablement, the was a lot of investment to support customers’ transitions to Software Defined Networks and Network Functions Virtualization platforms. There was also momentum in next-generation mobile assurance, location intelligence and from the recently-acquired Network Instruments business. In addition, the CCOP unit’s optical components business maintained its leadership position in telecom.
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Web 2.0 Companies & Data Centers
The CCOP business unit also strengthened its foothold in the datacom market over the past year, with demand for components that are connecting massive data centers being built by Web 2.0 companies. Datacom activity was up 28 percent year-on-year.
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Lasers & 3D Sensing
In Q4, the lasers team exceeded $40M in quarterly revenue for the first time (up more than 44 percent compared to the same quarter last year), driven by successful adoption of its Gen 2 kW fiber laser and strength in the semiconductor industry for the Q-series laser. New ultrafast laser offerings from the Time-Bandwidth acquisition also saw increased demand.
In 3D sensing, a major PC-related customer is taking delivery of pre-production units for 3D sensing offerings and JDSU is also working closely with other consumer electronics companies on new applications for the future.
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Anti-Counterfeiting
In OSP, the business unit continued its focus on higher growth and higher margin business opportunities. Over the past fiscal year, there was healthy demand for its Optically Variable Magnetic Pigment (OVMP) as governments around the world continued to adopt this security technology on currency. OVMP is now featured in banknote designs for 51 countries. Overall, the unit's security pigments are deployed in more than 110 countries.

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Next up is JDSU's annual Analyst Day event, which will take place this year at the company's campus in Milpitas, CA on September 11. 

 

Summer “Plugfest 2” – LTE, Small Cell Event Turns Up the Heat

8/7/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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JDSU is honored to be a part of high profile global communications industry forums that help shape the future of technology, networks and services (e.g., The Future of Voice over LTE?  JDSU has a voice in the outcome . . .).  Recently, the Small Cell Forum − in partnership with European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and hosted by Orange labs in Cevennes, Paris, France − organized the second Small Cell LTE Plugfest in June and July 2014. To help set the stage for mobile’s next big thing. 

JDSU and the Plugfest

JDSU experts were joined by many small cell LTE system and sub-system vendors. Companies were busy validating the level of interoperability between different vendors at this pivotal time. Planned test cases included technologies such as VoLTE (Voice over LTE). Two of JDSU’s technical mobile leads attended and supported the testing: Francesco Cuzzoni and Gilles Le-Breton. Some of JDSU’s award-winning (see new award below) mobile network and service enablement solutions were part of the product mix: JDSU CellAdvisor Base Station Analyzer for maintaining and troubleshooting cell sites, as well as our Signaling Analyzer Real Time (SART), a protocol analysis tool.
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I was able to get more details about the event and JDSU’s role from Paul Gowans of our Network and Service Enablement team. Thanks for your time Paul!
 
Q: We hear often about the explosion of mobile connected devices worldwide, and its impact on the network and the ability to deliver reliable services and applications. How does the Plugfest event help support better networks, better services?
 
The Plugfest allows operators, network element providers and test vendors to get together and test architectures and share intelligence in an open environment. Services and network specifications can be evaluated and interoperability can be examined and proved across multiple vendors. Being able to do this in a flexible environment ensures the networks of tomorrow can be proved and optimized before they are deployed. This all means the end user with their mobile devices continue to get the best and highest quality mobile experience.
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2014 Plugfest participants get together to test mobile architectures and share intelligence in an open environment
 
Q: What were the big differences from last year’s Plugfest to this year? How far along have the technologies come (what is trending in 2014 that wasn’t last year)?
 
The Plugfests continue to evolve and mature. The small cells market in particular is growing (including the proliferation of the Home eNodeB or Femtocell). This presents an opportunity to test small cell environments and architectures and how they co-exist with the macro network. This year, for example, in addition to small cells being a key trend, the area of SON (Self Optimizing Newtorks) is very prominent. The LTE standards supports SON functionality such as ANR (Automatic Neighbor Relation). This avoids the need to manually provision and manage neighbor cells which is becoming increasingly challenging. The ANR function resides in the eNodeB and manages the conceptual Neighbor Relation Table (NRT).  By using JDSU’s SART mobile test solution to monitor both the S1 and X2 interfaces, the ANR feature can be analyzed by decoding X2 setup and X2 based handovers.
 
Q: As a provider of network and service enablement, how does JDSU prepare for an event like this? What do we expect to get out of it, what do we contribute? What is the most important expertise we “bring to the table”?
 
JDSU is highly engaged in many industry groups supporting the mobile domain. Being involved with the operators and equipment vendors in new technology areas allows us to ensure that when the networks of tomorrow get deployed we are there to help plan for, install, turn-up, manage and optimize both the network and the services…and this delivers the coverage and capacity the mobile user needs. JDSU brings our experience with operators and NEMs around the world and the Plugfests add to that experience which enhances the overall industry.
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Being involved with the operators and equipment vendors in new technology areas at events such as Plugfest allows us to ensure that when the networks of tomorrow get deployed we are there to help plan for, install, turn-up, manage and optimize both the network and the services
 
Q: Without giving too much away, briefly list three top “take aways” from the event – what were some of the high level, eye opening conclusions?
 
The formal conclusions will be published by ETSI and the Small Cell Forum…from JDSU’s perspective the key areas being addressed in the industry include:
 
o Multi-vendor interoperaibility
o LTE evolution (e.g. SON, VoLTE, LTE-A)
o Small Cells
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Companies were busy validating the level of interoperability between different vendors at this pivotal time
 
Q: What do you predict will be the big mobile issues for the industry at next year’s event?

 

Always difficult to predict! Interoperability testing in multi-vendor architectures will always be something that benefits from testing. VoLTE as a service is starting to gain traction and given the end-to-end complexity and the IMS environment will certainly require careful consideration. The evolution of SON as it relates to small cells and HetNet networks will be something the industry will be looking at, too.
 
New Award for JDSU Mobile Test
 
Thanks again, Paul.  Oh, one last item,  congratulations to the mobile test team at JDSU - JDSU was once again recognized for innovation! TrueSite, a JDSU mobile test solution that enables installation and troubleshooting of indoor cell site and distributed antenna system (DAS) deployments, won the 2014 LTE Visionary Award by the Mobility Tech Zone, which is sponsored by TMC, a global integrated media company, and Crossfire Media.  
 
“JDSU’s achievements in advancing 4G through LTE development is impressive and as such selected as recipient of the Mobility Tech Zone LTE Visionary Award,” said Carl Ford, co-founder and community developer, Crossfire Media. “JDSU is an innovator and one to watch for the next evolution of solutions.”  
 
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 Paul Gowans (below) from JDSU's Network and Service Enablement business segment specializes in global mobile networks.

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Now Trending: Fiber Networks (VIDEO)

8/4/2014 · Posted by Bernie Tylor
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The popular Now Trending global video series by JDSU is now featuring another powerful vignette:  “Fiber Networks.” Please be sure to check out the engaging portrayal of fiber optic technology as told by industry veteran Enzo Di Luigi of JDSU’s Network and Service Enablement business segment from St. Entienne, France.  Did you know that a single fiber – with multiple colors of light – could transmit the entire contents of the Library of Congress in just 16 seconds?  And that’s just on one single fiber! You’ll learn that and more. 

As Enzo remarked: “In our world of communications, fiber optics have become vital.  Today, just like electricity or transportation, no one could imagine their life without fiber optic telecom networks.”
 
 
 
 

 

From Land to Sea to Air #JDSUTBT

7/31/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
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Networks​ began in the 1840s, first with copper wires that could send small amounts of data in telegraph format. Check out the video below from 1939 that shows 6 reels of submarine telephone cable being laid in the San Francisco Bay. The narrator marvels at this new cable offering that covers 8 miles and includes 1,056 wires to connect people via telephone between San Francisco to Oakland.

 
 

Most of the time, we are shielded from all of the complexities that allow a modern network signal to travel across multiple touch points, through countries and under the ocean to reach our smart devices. A huge global network made up of cables, internet exchange points, cable landing stations and regeneration huts carry billions of gigabytes every month.

Modern networks now employ fiber optic cables that use photons to transfer data because they can handle a much greater capacity of data at a lower cost. Today, nearly 300 undersea cables carry 99 percent of all international communications and about 22 additional cables are planned to be laid underwater in the near future to meet explosive demand for connectivity.

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When the slightest degradation occurs within these undersea cables, network monitoring systems trigger switching equipment and modern mesh networks to automatically redistribute traffic, or to alert technicians if further action is needed.

Now companies like Google and Microsoft are focused on building data centers that connect to each other to contend with this huge amount of data traffic. Google alone is processing more than 20 million web pages a day which requires massive data center support.

Companies like Google and Facebook and government agencies like NASA are also looking at ways to provide continuous coverage to the 5 billion people that don’t have internet access (currently about 3 billion of us do). They are testing out smart balloons and small-satellite technology in the most hard-to-reach places of Africa and Antarctica. Scientists are also researching what it would take to bring network speeds to 10 gigabits per second in the near future, which would be about 1,000 times faster than the fastest connectivity we have today.

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The Internet already outperforms both the agriculture and energy industries as a key resource.  Its role of importance will only continue to increase as the Internet of Things grows to billions and billions of more connected devices in the next few years – making its impact on society over a very short period of time mind boggling. But it couldn’t have happened without its copper wire predecessors.

 

Summer Update from JDSU CEO Tom Waechter

7/30/2014 · Posted by Noël Bilodeau
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In our latest interview, Tom Waechter discusses the appointment of Facebook CIO Tim Campos to the JDSU Board of Directors, the challenges of Big Data, increasing mobility in India, and the company’s annual Leadership Meeting.

  

 

 

Supporting Students in Our Communities

7/23/2014 · Posted by Tara Pratt
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​In Q1 of the new fiscal year, JDSU Community Involvement turns its focus to the school-age children in our communities. Students in the southern hemisphere may be anxiously awaiting their next term break, while those in the north enjoy their final weeks of summer vacation – in either case, many of them could use a little extra help. This quarter, we are encouraging the employees of JDSU to provide what support they can in the form of backpacks and supplies, meals, tutoring, and clothing.  

The leaders of JDSU showed recently showed their support for this quarter’s community effort by participating in Build-a-Bike, a community-focused teambuilding activity. Over 250 JDSU Directors, VPs and executives participated, assembling a total of 40 bicycles for underprivileged youths in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Click here to watch a short video from the event.

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JDSU employees putting the finishing touches on a bike.
 

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JDSU employees with students after they received their new bikes.

Here's what a few of the participants had to say after the event:
• Best moment was when the kids ran in get their bikes – priceless!
• Community involvement is very important for JDSU, really pleased to see this.
• I enjoyed seeing the kids as they rushed toward their new bikes!!
• Build a bike - great fun for a great cause. Enjoyed!
• It was a good way to meet others within the company while doing something that directly impacts the lives of others.  Good event!
• Build-a-bike was very rewarding!
• Very nice to add a community effort to the event to remind us of what's important outside of our work lives.

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Students with new bikes.

In Q1FY15, JDSU will continue to support school-age children in the community.