Imagine you're in charge of operations at a five-star hotel. There are delivery schedules, arriving guests, departing guests, room changes, special requests. You're depending on your staff to work together and make it all happen. Communication must be accurate, on time, and as invisible as possible to the guests. An emergency could strike at any time. These are some of the challenges London's Claridge's Hotel faced when looking for the right communications solution.
Claridge's chose to equip its staff with the newly released MOTOTRBO SL 7550 digital two-way radio to ensure a continued legacy of flawless service. The SL 7550's sleek and slim build fits the hotel's uniform policy. Since the radio is less than half the weight of a standard radio, it is light enough to comfortably carry on 12-hour shifts. The hotel relies on the SL 7550's strong signal to reach its kitchen, basement and other areas smartphones often could not. And its push-click-talk capability allows staff to quickly, accurately and discreetly collaborate. For Claridge's, these and other productivity-enhancing features such as data applications add up to communication of the highest quality and reliability. And the SL 7550 is a great fit because guests barely even know it's there.
Claridge's is enthusiastic about the new MOTOTRBO SL 7550. To learn more about how this exclusive hotel found a five-star communications solution, please read the Claridge's case study and check out the video.
If you've seen or used the new MOTOTRBO SL 7550 or have thoughts on where digital radio technology is heading, please share below.
Paul Cecchin is the Two-way Radio Market Development Manager at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
If you’ve ever stayed in an extravagant resort or hotel, what is it that you remember the most about it? Was it the ultra-soft bed, the fine cuisine in the restaurant, the size of the room? Odds are what you remember the most from a great hotel stay is the service. This is what inspires loyalty in customers, and it’s what hotels know can distinguish them from their competition.
By leveraging the latest technology, hotels can offer memorable, personalized service. Knowing when a guest has arrived, their name and loyalty status, and being able to greet them personally is a service enabled by the power of an IP network. Many services and applications, like CATV, video surveillance, wired and wireless high-speed internet access, and onsite communications are all possible through a converged IP infrastructure of Ethernet and WLAN. Hotels can create a truly personalized experience for their guests, which will keep them coming back.
A robust IP network also enables hotels new opportunities for income. In-room entertainment with IPTV like on-demand video and high-definition television can rival and even surpass the services guests have at home. Location-based services and tiered levels of broadband access allow hotels to engage their guests throughout their stay. Having a strong, reliable wireless network makes any property a more desirable location for business conferences, events, and meetings, as organizations can connect with their attendees in new and exciting ways through mobile and social apps.
All of these new services and capabilities through the latest wireless LAN technology mean the hospitality industry is currently in a very interesting period. Being able to engage and connect with guests on a personal level is certainly an exciting opportunity for hotels, and it makes for a more memorable experience as guests seek the ‘ultimate’ experience.
Tom Moore leads Motorola Solutions’ go-to-market strategy and direction for the hospitality and healthcare industries.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when personal and work lives were two separate things. A person worked at the office, went home, and usually had little to do with his or her employer until the next day. Since the advent of the home computer, the mobile phone, then telecommuting and social media, these lines have blurred. For better or for worse, our personal lives creep into our work, and we’re often working during our “off” hours. What many people don’t consider is the unprecedented security risk this poses to our employers. Our personal choices can impact the security of our organizations, and making the right choices can help deter attempts at theft and damage.
This is part one of a multi-part blog series.
There’s no question - social media has changed the world. There are nearly a billion active users of Facebook, and half a billion active Twitter users. Collectively, social networking websites store a massive amount of data about people. Much of this information is publicly visible. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other popular social networking websites provide privacy features that can restrict access to individuals’ information. Unfortunately, not everyone configures these features. The information we post publicly can pose a risk to our organizations and to ourselves, and nothing can be reliably erased once it’s posted to the internet.
First, let’s look at how social networking data can be used to make scams more believable. Many people are familiar with the concept of ”phishing” - scams sent via email. Imagine a phishing email specifically targeted to an individual or group. The term for this is ”spear phishing”. If Jane Hacker wants to trick you into clicking on an email attachment that contains a virus, or simply revealing your password, she will have significantly more success if she first researches your social networking profiles and identifies your interests, history, and connections. She can then tailor her emails to pique your interest, or to imitate a business or a colleague. A Trend Micro study showed that in 91% of targeted attacks, spear phishing was used to break into organizations’ networks. Be aware of the personal data you broadcast, and how it could be used to fool you.
Next, let’s consider the ‘security questions’ that are required for many accounts – for example, ‘birth date’, ‘mother’s maiden name’, or ‘favorite band’. Users must answer a combination of personal questions to access these accounts. Unfortunately, this security mechanism was developed before social networking was popular. If Jane Hacker is trying to access your account, she might find your birthday on your Amazon.com profile, your mother’s maiden name via your Facebook page, and (because Jane Hacker is rather clever), she might also note that you are following your favorite band on Twitter. Two-factor authentication is now offered by many providers as an alternate means to verify users’ identity. It is a smarter choice. Instead of relying on questions to which somebody else may find the answer, an external device such as your phone or a token is used to verify your identity.
Perhaps you avoid social sites like Facebook or Twitter altogether. What about LinkedIn? Online résumé websites are great tools for us to market our professional skills and network. However, they can also impact security. Let’s imagine that the maleficent Jane Hacker is planning to launch an attack against your organization’s network. She’ll need to evaluate what software, security, and systems are in use by your organization before she can begin. However, Jane Hacker is a bit lazy. She does a quick search on LinkedIn for technical, procurement, or management staff from your organization. Several of their résumés contain detailed descriptions of systems in use, as well as your organization’s processes and procedures. Now, Jane Hacker has less work to do.
Social networking has become an integral part of our society, but there are some important security considerations to keep in mind when we use it. First of all, limiting access to our social networking posts and profiles is key. If we post publicly, we need to be mindful about what we post. We should choose our account security questions carefully, and when possible, use two-factor authentication instead of relying on security questions. Finally, we should police the technical or operational details which we include in our online résumés. Keeping these things in mind can help better defend our organizations and ourselves.
Lesley Carhart is a Senior Information Security Specialist in the Motorola Solutions Security Operations Center. She has 13 years of experience in information technology, including computer networking and tactical communications. For the past five years, she has focused on security, specializing in digital forensics.
Read another blog by Lesley Carhart: Log Monitoring and Cyberthreat Detection.
Right now, in California, a logistics provider is trying to coordinate shipment containers and checks the overseas shipments schedule for the latest update. Later that day, a distributor in Tokyo accesses his company’s online database for records of the top channel partners in his region. While traditional thinking would suggest that all of these examples would rely on one common element, a wireless network, current demands suggest that these real-world examples require a uniquely tailored wireless network solution built for industrial facilities and use cases.
How does your IT team today determine your company’s current industrial wireless system needs and assess whether they are being met? When was the last time the wireless network at your industrial sites was upgraded or refreshed – does it lag behind the deployment of new mobile devices or applications? Do you need an overhaul or just a tweak? How different are the capabilities of your wireless coverage at these industrial facilities, and are those differences advantageous or harmful to your productivity and profitability at those sites?
Ask yourself these five key questions to gain a better understanding of your current situation and identify areas for improvement:
1. Can your WLAN support reliable mobile connectivity in a complex and dynamic environment?
Think in terms of changing inventory, higher density racking systems, fast-moving vehicles and devices and the increasing demand on your staff, equipment and time. Your wireless network must adapt as your industrial facilities and environments change, ensuring you can meet your customers’ needs now and in the future.
2. Can your network support a broad range of consumer and industrial strength devices?
Extend your thinking beyond the common Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) categories to the wide variety of wireless devices – handheld, tablet, and vehicle mount, for example – needed to conduct your day-to-day business. The multitude of mobile devices can wreak havoc on your wireless network if it’s designed to support legacy portable high-power devices (like laptops) and not today’s truly mobile handhelds.
3. Can your industrial network deliver the optimum amount of bandwidth for each voice, data and video application?
Let’s face it, the demands on broadband are large, and they only are getting larger. Although the 802.11n standard provides significant bandwidth capabilities, and 802.11ac on the horizon provides even more, bandwidth is always finite. Optimization of 802.11n benefits depends largely on how you architect your network, making a solid understanding of your bandwidth needs key to successful operations.
4. Do you have the tools and/or resources to monitor and manage your industrial wireless network and devices in real time?
This can be summarized to a few simple phrases: real-time management and proactive troubleshooting. Downtime is everyone’s worst enemy, but how prepared your team is to ideally prevent and minimize that downtime is the differentiator between a solid industrial wireless network solution and one that needs improvement. Without a robust software toolkit and embedded resiliency and adaptability within your wireless network, your IT staff runs the risk of constantly chasing issues and your operations teams will be constantly frustrated with spotty service and unreliable coverage. Industrial wireless demands the intelligence within the platform itself to deliver mission-critical performance, and partnerships that can provide flawless service levels to ensure your production and fulfillment operations aren’t interrupted by wireless issues.
5. Can you deploy a unified corporate-wide WLAN optimized for both carpeted and industrial environments?
Companies operating both industrial sites and corporate, carpeted office environments have traditionally had a tough decision to make. Do they run a bifurcated network where industrial sites are insulated from corporate carpeted sites (and potentially from one another) with purpose-built networks optimized for each, and struggle with a lack of a unified backbone to tie it all together? Or do you make compromises with networking equipment that isn’t optimized for either your industrial sites or corporate sites in the spirit of achieving the greater good of a core common backbone? New offerings provide the opportunity to optimize your wireless networking equipment with purpose-built solutions for both environments without compromise or tradeoff, and retain the vision of a single unified solution.
These questions reflect the fact that real-world industrial wireless network demands are hectic, intense, demanding and complex, and they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Yet virtually every industrial environment demands a high-speed communications network that is more robust, more efficient and more reliable than any standard system deployed in an office building or corporate headquarters. It’s time to evaluate whether the network in place at your industrial sites and facilities is truly industrial-grade and, if not, what changes you need to make to ensure your employees, assets, and materials at those locations are fully connected to enhance your productivity and profitability.
Cal Calamari is Global Solutions Lead for Enterprise Networks and Connections at Motorola Solutions.
Read an additional blog by Cal Calamari here. Learn more about wireless LAN networks at www.motorolasolutions.com/wlan and about Motorola’s manufacturing solutions here. Learn more about Motorola’s 802.11ac access points here.
In his 2008 Harvard Business Review article, Harvard Business School professor and innovation expert Clayton Christensen talked about how success can be a company’s worst enemy in that it can blind it to innovative changes it can make in the future. No matter how customer-centric or how many great products a company creates and brings to market, it can easily lose its advantage if it is not willing to disrupt its own technology and business practices in order to innovate.
Invention, by its very nature, is risky business. If a new concept or technology is being introduced into an environment where people’s lives depend on it, it can be even riskier. You have to be willing to fail – and not just once, but repeatedly – to bring great ideas to market. It requires the willingness to take a leap of faith – and invest in new ideas without a guaranteed return.
How do companies make new and innovative ideas happen?
Having good ideas, the right ideas – either from employees, customer feedback, advances in technology or other sources – is necessary. However, it is far from sufficient to ensure success. Many industry-leading companies have fallen on hard times or even failed not for lack of ideas but for the inability to execute upon those ideas. It’s what companies do with insights that matters. The ability to capture ideas from all sources and use a proven framework to make them actionable creates innovation that defines market advantage.
You can read more about “Why Great Ideas Fail” by reading my guest post in Forbes.
Front End of Innovation 2013 conference on May 6-8
I invite you to join me at FEI 2013 for the firestarter session “Innovating to Meet the Challenges of Tomorrow” where I will be talking about how to make new and innovative ideas happen. I’ll be joined by Paul Campbell, SVP of Innovation at Phillips, and Dan Goebel, President of Electronic Systems at BAE Systems, for a panel discussion and Q&A session.
Motorola Solutions CTO Paul Steinberg will be speaking on “Innovating to Meet the Challenges of Tomorrow” at FEI 2013 in Boston on May 6. Says Steinberg: “No matter how customer-centric or how many great products a company creates and brings to market, it can easily lose its advantage if it is not willing to disrupt its own technology and business practices in order to innovate.” (Photo courtesy of Motorola Solutions)
Paul Steinberg is the Chief Technology Officer at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
How does mobility affect data security across BYOD?
Mobile technology adoption in healthcare is widespread. According to the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, 45 percent of clinicians now use mobile handsets to collect data at the bedside, a 30 percent increase from 2011. Twenty-five percent of clinicians reported that all data captured by mobile devices integrates directly into their organization's electronic health record. Additionally, 36 percent of providers now allow patients to access their own medical information through patient portals on a mobile device.
This increased use in mobile tools across several facets of the healthcare spectrum demands recognition that security is vital, and a strict Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy must be in place and enforced. Data collection, storage and even sharing have become mobile and, as a result, healthcare environments must design boundaries to ensure patient information remains secure. The conundrum, however, is to also ensure that information is readily available and easily accessible to those who have the right to access. In other words, fencing the data to make it secure must not interfere with the ability to quickly and easily access the information. This would slow down caregivers and discourage patients in the process.
When thinking of mobility and data security, it’s important to step back and consider the separate stakeholders when it comes to BYOD. First are the healthcare providers, i.e., the doctors, nurses and technicians, who bring their personal devices to work. These stakeholders want their smartphones and tablets to work on the hospital’s or clinic’s network with the ability to access HIS, CIS, PAC, lab and other networked systems containing patient data. It’s up to the information technology department to provide that access while ensuring the data exchange remains secure.
Because these healthcare providers use their personal devices to access the health system’s network and applications to conduct their day-to-day activities, facilities must develop data security strategies that provide the same secure access for personal devices as for enterprise-grade devices purchased and maintained by the hospital. A doctor on call needs to access the healthcare records of his patient from home as easily and securely as he does when he is sitting at his desk with his work-issued laptop.
Second are the patient-access BYOD stakeholders. These are patients, visitors or family members who, for one reason or another, need to access the health system’s network while they are on campus. You need a BYOD policy that not only supports the healthcare providers who enter the data into your systems, but also considers the guest access of others trying to review their medical history, or spend time on internet sites to view local news, sports scores or online shopping while they are on your campus.
The network security protocols of patient access cannot come at the expense of secure data exchange at the provider level. Information exchange must be secure for the providers who ultimately access the same network as your guests. With the increase in mobility across healthcare, it is crucial to consider all side effects, specifically when it comes to data security. Putting the fence around the stakeholders while allowing easy, timely and guarded access will reduce the risk, improve the user experience, and help you meet your goals of developing and implementing a sound, reliable and trustworthy security strategy that supports a BYOD mobile environment for caregivers and patients alike.
Vivian J. Funkhouser is Global Healthcare Solutions Principal with Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Read additional blogs by Vivian Funkhouser, including:
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