Broadband is a Necessity For Economic Development

A robust broadband infrastructure is a compelling differentiator for economic development teams. Today’s business applications require high-speed connectivity including Internet access and services supported by a fiber network. Corporate site selectors expect broadband as it is a critical piece of infrastructure for attracting new capital investment. In addition to aiding business, reliable broadband can boost the value of your home; the availability of broadband in your neighborhood could increase’s your home’s value by more than 3%.

Communities with good broadband infrastructure can support traditional office workers as well as digital workers. Digital workers are employees that work from home for themselves or a company and require services like high-speed internet access and unified communications to carry out their jobs. You want these digital workers in your community for economic development; 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, meaning they make more and spend more than the average office worker.

Reliable broadband enables a community to grow and prosper. Broadband attracts digital workers as well as profitable companies who do things like build Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) infrastructure. And what about the people already living in these communities? Broadband helps them too! Fast Wi-Fi allows for telehealth, or meeting with a doctor remotely from your home, as well as improves education due to distance learning. Distance learning allows students to take classes with teachers all over the world, and it allows for them to go on virtual field trips. Additionally, much of the homework students receive today requires an internet connection, and cellphones simply don’t cut it.

So compelling is the web as a business resource that modern commerce simply cannot function without it. Not only will companies find themselves at a competitive disadvantage without broadband, but communities that fail to invest in their communications infrastructure may discover that their economic development initiatives are destined for a similar fate.

Want to talk about this further? Give us a call at 303.678.1844 or email hello@roninpbr.com

The Rundown on DDoS Attacks

A combination of factors is driving the trend of DDoS attacks, including the emergence of IoT and mobile botnets, the easy availability of for-fire services in criminal marketplaces, and an increase in criminal actors seeking to monetize DDoS attacks. Here are the basics you need to know about DDoS:

1. DDoS attacks are growing in popularity. There were 7.5 million attacks in 2017. Kaspersky Lab estimated that 33% of organizations faced a DDoS attack last year from just 17% in 2016.

2. IoT devices can be used in DDoS attacks. Attacks that leveraged IoT devices were favored heavily by cybercriminals in the last year. These attacks have been effective, and the proportion of enterprises experiencing revenue loss due to DDoS nearly doubled in 2017.

3. DDoS attacks have become shorter, more powerful, and more persistent. They are no longer just a way to disrupt a victim’s services—they are being used to extort money, or as a distraction to hide other malicious activity and as a tool to hurt competitors

4. You can conduct a DDoS attack if you can pay. There are web services that are fully functional web applications that allow registered customers to manage their balance and plan their DDoS attack budget. A common occurrence we see is with online gamers. Some developers even offer bonus points for each attack conducted using their service. Essentially, cybercriminals have their own loyalty and customer service programs. As of March 2017, a DDoS attack lasting 10,800 seconds will cost the client $60, or approximately $20 per hour.

5. Automation is the first line of defense. 88% of service providers already use intelligent DDoS mitigation solutions as part of their strategy. Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems that come with some built-in DDoS mitigation are not sufficient; organizations should also consider some of the on-premises, in-cloud, and hybrid DDoS mitigation options currently available.

When DDoS attacks happen, service providers are left to pick up the pieces, which can and often does cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. If you’re a service provider, contact us today (303-678-1844 or hello@roninpbr.com) about how we can help you with DDoS protection.

Map of DDoS Attacks Happening in Real Time

Simulated DDoS Attack Platform

DDoS Attacks Using IoT Devices on the Rise

DDoS Attacks Evolve, Remain a Potent Threat

The Cost of Launching a DDoS Attack

4 Reasons you need to be offering UCaaS

We’re projecting that the market for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) in the US will be worth $88B by 2021. Whether you have a network today or are considering building one, this is a service you need to seriously consider. Here’s why:

  1. There is a demand for the service today: If you’re not offering UCaaS today, it’s likely that your customers are already buying it from providers such as RingCentral and 8X8. These companies are able to offer the services over your internet connections and it’s revenue you’re missing out on.
  2. Customers want to buy local: After high-speed internet access, unified communications is the service most in demand, especially in rural areas. We’ve surveyed and spoken to over 20,000 IT decision makers and this is the service they are looking to buy and would prefer to buy locally from a company invested in their community.
  3. It’s sticky revenue: A recent article from NoJitter notes that there is “infinitesimal churn” with Unified Communications. Customers like the connectivity features, the professional upgrade it gives their business, and the costs. Not to mention it’s also a hassle to change. It can easily be bundled with high-speed internet access.
  4. 5G is on the horizon: Mobile carriers will absolutely look to offer a full suite of connectivity options targeted to business. Local network providers will only be able to compete if they offer services like #UCaaS. The time to start is now.

 

Need help getting this service off the ground? Give us a call (303)-678-1844 or email us hello@roninpbr.com and let’s start talking.

The Best of CES2018

A leading trend at this year’s CES was the use of voice assistants. Voice assistants are likely to become a leading commerce platform in which businesses are able to connect with customers. 24% of 5,000 people surveyed across 4 countries stated they would prefer to use a voice assistant than a website, and this number is expected to grow over the next few years.

Speaking of the Internet of Things, Samsung is going all in on IoT. Samsung confirmed all their products will be IoT-compatible by 2020. 90% already are as of today. So what does this mean for users? Well, it depends on what Samsung appliances they own. One example is buying a new Samsung TV; people who do will no longer have to worry about entering usernames or passwords for services like Netflix and Spotify when they initially set up their TVs. That information will be automatically entered into the TV by checking other systems in which the customer has logged in, making it a more seamless experience. The TV also includes Bixby, a voice assistant, and will be able to double as a central hub for smart products all around the home, letting users do everything from see who is at the front door to adjust the thermostat.

Also working towards a seamless experience is Verizon. At CES 2018, Verizon announced it is working on a couple of new services: the carrier is planning an over-the-top (OTT) content offering and a connected home product, a platform for residential customers to help managed things like smart lights, heating, and alarm systems.

In the bigger picture, everything is about smart cities. They will influence growth, transportation, cities and towns, industry, and our planet. Smart cities encompass IoT, 5G connectivity, transportation and smart automotive, energy and utilities, health and public safety, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. Anticipated global smart cities spending by 2020 is $34 billion.

Service providers should keep in mind the continued trend for more devices, more bandwidth, and the need for a wifi broadband service that can keep up with the demand. Give us a call today at (303)-678-1844.

The Most Mind-blowing Tech At CES 

Fantastical flying machines at CES 2018 highlight the future of urban transport

CES 2018 is where you’ll start caring about 5G

TechRadar’s 2018 CES Awards – the best tech at the show

The Importance of Broadband and Telehealth

The FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force recently released an interactive map of the country which maps broadband and health across the states. The data is revealing and shows how reliable broadband impacts healthcare through things like telehealth, which is on the rise. Telehealth applications are a major driver for broadband adoption. It’s mentioned and as point of discussion in the CVS / Aetna merger talks as well as a key reason for municipal broadband.

To be effective, it’s important to dig further into the details on what it will take to implement these telehealth services. For patients using the applications at home, there must be a secure service that allows residents to do so. Most likely, this would require HD voice and video conferencing, which means there should be a minimum of 50Mbps or more—this is 2x the speed of the minimum FCC requirement for broadband.

 Regional health clinics and hospitals need a secure, high capacity service that can connect them to larger healthcare systems and headquarters as well as their patients. In order to do this, they need a broadband speed of 100Mbps or more.

 Finally, the broadband and services must be reliable which means the end user (patient or healthcare provider) needs a consistent user experience with clearly defined SLA’s.

 This is where Ronin Technology Advisors can help. Give us a call today (303-678-1844) and let’s discuss how we can help you develop and deliver the services your communities need.

Show Me the Money: What’s Hot and What’s Not in Business Communications Services

 

We’re proud to be a digital sponsor this year at the 2018 PEC Showcase and we’ll be speaking about the market for business communications.

Service providers today are looking to determine where best to deploy capital and get the most bang for their buck.  Over the past 2 years we’ve spoken and surveyed over 20,000 IT decision makers at businesses from 1 person shops to Fortune 100 companies on what communications services they are buying and looking to buy.  This provides us with a great view of the market and we’ll provide some insight into these questions:

  • How big is the communications market and how fast is it growing?
  • What services should you be investing in to stay relevant?
  • How will competitive threats and new technologies such as 5G and SDWAN impact your business?

We’ll also provide some practical tips on how to position your organization and network for the future

If you plan to attend and want to connect, give us a shout 303.678.1844 or drop us a note hello@roninpbr.com

Connected Kitchen: Smart Kitchen Devices This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving from Ronin Technology Advisors! Smart homes and connected kitchens are becoming increasingly more popular, and we’ve outlined some of the coolest new connected kitchen tech currently available:

1. Amazon Dash Wand, $20

You can scan items in your kitchen to add them to your shopping list and receive help ordering, reading recipes, and converting measurements from Alexa. It costs $20 but you’ll get that much in credit for AmazonFresh if you buy one, so it pays for itself as long as you intend to use Amazon’s food service.

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2. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, $3,500

Samsung’s smart fridges, called Family hubs, come with a giant touchscreen that displays your calendar, lets you play music, and lets you order new groceries when you’re running low. There are cameras inside the fridge that take images of your food so you can check to see if you need to pick up more milk before you leave for work. The starting price for the base model is $3,500.

3. GeniCan, $150

GeniCan sits with your trashcan to make sure you never forget the groceries you need. To add items to a shopping list, simply swipe the item’s barcode and you’ll find the item listed on your GeniCan smartphone app. What about items without a barcode? Easy; GeniCan will sense there is no barcode and ask you what it should add to your list.

4. Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo, $130

Using the free WeMo app, you can check on your slow cooker’s temperature and cook-time, change settings to warm or turn off the device on your phone, etc. It makes cooking with a crockpot more convenient than ever, especially if you’re sitting in traffic on the way home.

5. Tefal Actifry Smart XL, $400

This fryer is Bluetooth powered and lets you send recipes to it directly from your smartphone. The idea is that the fryer does that hard work for you, so you don’t need to worry about what temperatures to use or when to stir it up. The app is also on hand to give you step-by-step video instructions for the things the fryer can’t do independently.temp2

6. SmartPlate, $120

For those who like tracking their calories through food tracking apps, the SmartPlate wants to make your life easier. The 10-inch plate is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled and comes equipped with 3 mini cameras and weight sensors. If you serve yourself too large of a portion, the plate will alert you. There is also an app that syncs up with the plate to automatically analyze and keep track of every meal, and it connects to MyFitnessPal and FitBit.

7. HAPIfork, $80

HAPIfork was the star of the show at CES a few years ago. It’s a smart fork that helps you monitor and track your eating habits. Using Slow Control technology, the connected cutlery measures how many mouthfuls you take and buzzes and flashes if you’re eating too quickly. There’s also a dashboard for you to analyze your meal-time performance.

8. iKettle Smart Electric Kettle, $132

Connecting via Wi-Fi or 4G, this smart kettle is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and If This, Then That for more integration than ever. You can use the app to boil your kettle remotely at any time, or use Wake Up Mode that will begin boiling your water when you get out of bed. There are also modes for keeping your water warm and heating your baby’s formula.

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How to lose subscribers but beat earnings estimates in 3 steps

Recently Comcast exceeded their earnings estimates while losing a record number of video subscribers.  Why is this important?  They’ve got a plan and roadmap on how they look at the services they’re delivering and the services their customers are looking for. 

  1. Move away from low value services – Whether it’s traditional cable TV, regular home phone service, or sub 25Mbps internet access, in today’s market consumers are looking for value.   
  2. Identify your high value services.  These are the services that delight customers – more speed, greater capacity, and new features, and ultimately the customer has more capabilities. For Comcast, their high value service is broadband. 
  3. Diversify with complimentary services.  Broadband isn’t just internet access, it is an enabler of higher margin services such as ethernet WAN, unified communications, and SDWAN.   

Some questions to think about: 

  • Are you seeing a decline in margin and/or subscribers? 
  • Are you looking to add value to your current services? 
  • Are your business services different than your residential services?  
  • Want to know how to get more margin out of your existing network? 

Give us a call at 303.678.1844 or drop us a note hello@roninpbr.com. We’d love to hear about your business and how we can help.   

IoT is Fueling a Green Revolution in Farming

We may be on the verge of a second Green Revolution thanks to the Internet of Things. Inmarsat researchers found that 62% of agritech companies have already deployed at least some IoT infrastructure. An additional 27% of respondents planned to roll out IoT tech in the next 6 months. By 2022, Inmarsat expects 12% of all agriculture companies’ budgets to be spent on technology.

Technology spending across Ag is expected to double over the next 4 years.  Connected farms will be the future.  Do you have the right services to capitalize on this market? Give us a call at (303)-678-1844.