Monitored lone workers in Europe and North America to reach 2.2mn in 2023

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the market for lone worker protection solutions and services in Europe and North America is forecasted to grow from €154 million in 2019, to reach €284 million in 2023.

The number of users of dedicated lone worker safety devices based on GPS and cellular technology on the European market is estimated to grow from 645,000 users in 2019 to reach 1.1 million users at the end of 2023. In North America, the number of such users is estimated to grow from 205,000 in 2019, to reach 380,000 at the end of 2023.

In Europe, app-based solutions are estimated to account for around 25% of all solutions, while in North America more than 40% of the solutions are based on apps for smartphones and tablets. In both regions, app-based solutions are forecasted to account for an increasing share of lone worker safety solutions in the coming years.

The lone worker safety market is led by a handful of specialist companies based in the UK and Canada, where legislation specifically addressing the safety of lone workers has fostered growth. SoloProtect and Send For Help Group have grown to become two of the largest providers of lone worker safety solutions and services.

Send For Help Group mainly serves the UK market and operates under the three subsidiaries Peoplesafe, Skyguard and Guardian24. SoloProtect is active in the US, Canada and other parts of Europe in addition to its main UK market. Both SoloProtect and Send For Help Group, also operate their own alarm receiving centre (ARC).

Martin Bäckman

Additional companies with notable market shares in the UK include Lone Worker Solutions, Reliance High-Tech, Orbis Protect and Safe Apps. In Canada, the main providers of safety devices and services for lone workers are Blackline Safety, Tsunami Solutions, Roadpost and Aware360. Blackline Safety is known for developing technologically advanced safety devices for lone workers using both cellular and satellite communications technology.

The market drivers for lone worker safety solutions includes occupational safety regulations, increasing employee insurance costs and higher awareness of risks associated with lone working. The number of individuals working alone is also expected to grow as businesses strive for increased efficiency. A job previously performed by two persons or more is now being done by a single worker.

“Traditionally, lone workers exposed to the highest social or environmental risks have been found in industries such as security services, social care, field services and in heavy industries such as oil & gas and construction” says Martin Backman, IoT analyst at Berg Insight. He adds that companies in other industries are now also starting to see the benefits of these services. “There is now an increasing demand for lone worker safety services from workers in retail, financial services, education and more, which fuels market growth”, concludes Mr. Backman.

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10-week IoT ‘Bootcamp’ tackles demand for smart devices and workforce to create them

What is the Internet of Things? It’s an umbrella phrase that covers all smart devices—from thermostats to fitness trackers to security systems to manufacturing equipment—that collect data and then share that data over a network with the interest of making everything more efficient (be that energy consumption, your physical health, manufacturing, etc.).

There’s already an epic proliferation of smart devices that constitute the Internet of Things (IoT), but the growth is accelerating and isn’t expected to plateau anytime soon. It’s estimated that there will be one trillion connected devices by 2035, which is more than 100 smart devices for every person on earth.

With the exponential growth, there’s also a surging demand for people who can develop or effectively use connected devices, which is why the Deep Dive Coding programme at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) is launching a 10-week IoT Bootcamp. The first cohort starts Feb. 24.

“The Internet of Things is going to do everything from improve our quality of life to lower the cost of manufacturing, and we want to ensure we’re training a workforce to be ready for these jobs,” says Brian Rashap, Ph.D., the bootcamp instructor.

Manufacturing businesses will need a robust pipeline of well-trained, skilled IoT employees if they’re going to keep up with what is being called Industry 4.0. By connecting smart devices to manufacturing machines, Dr. Rashap says businesses are able to monitor maintenance and production more cost-effectively while improving safety.

The City of Albuquerque already has an IoT initiative to make the city and its services smarter. Dr. Rashap says the possibilities for how all cities might use smart devices are endless. For example, smart devices could be used to dim some city lights and brighten others as a way to effectively direct pedestrian traffic entering or leaving major events. Cities could also use smart devices to improve vehicle traffic, reduce energy costs, better monitor air quality, enhance how tourists explore the city, and the list goes on.

On the software side, Data Science is a fast-growing field directly related to IoT. Businesses and government agencies are realising the need to improve analysis and make more informed decisions based on data (CNM is also offering a Data Science Bootcamp). The data, however, is only useful if it’s being captured efficiently by smartly-designed connected devices.

Students interested in the IoT Bootcamp need some basic high school math and a familiarity with computers, but a background in coding or manufacturing isn’t necessary. Dr. Rashap says anyone looking to leave the hourly workforce and enter a higher-paying tech job is a good candidate. The class also appeals to entrepreneurs, and veterans who are used to working with their hands but want to develop civilian job skills.

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Arvind Krishna elected IBM chief executive officer

The IBM board of directors has elected Arvind Krishna as chief executive officer of the company and a member of the board of directors, effective April 6, 2020. Krishna is currently IBM senior vice president for Cloud and Cognitive Software, and was a principal architect of the company’s acquisition of Red Hat.

James Whitehurst, IBM senior vice president and CEO of Red Hat, was also elected by the board as IBM president, effective April 6, 2020. Virginia Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, will continue as executive chairman of the board and serve through the end of the year, when she will retire after almost 40 years with the company.

“Arvind is the right CEO for the next era at IBM,” said Rometty. “He is a brilliant technologist who has played a significant role in developing our key technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing and blockchain. He is also a superb operational leader, able to win today while building the business of tomorrow. Arvind has grown IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software business and led the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Through his multiple experiences running businesses in IBM, Arvind has built an outstanding track record of bold transformations and proven business results, and is an authentic, values-driven leader. He is well-positioned to lead IBM and its clients into the cloud and cognitive era.”

“Jim is also a seasoned leader who has positioned Red Hat as the world’s leading provider of open source enterprise IT software solutions and services, and has been quickly expanding the reach and benefit of that technology to an even wider audience as part of IBM,” Rometty continued. “In Arvind and Jim, the board has elected a proven technical and business-savvy leadership team.”

Virginia Rometty

Virginia Rometty, 62, became chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM in 2012. During her tenure she made bold changes to reposition IBM for the future, investing in high value segments of the IT market and optimising the company’s portfolio. Under Rometty’s leadership, IBM acquired 65 companies, built out key capabilities in hybrid cloud, security, industry and data, and AI both organically and inorganically, and successfully completed one of the largest technology acquisitions in history.

She reinvented more than 50% of IBM’s portfolio, built a $21 billion (€19 billion) hybrid cloud business and established IBM’s leadership in AI, quantum computing and blockchain, while divesting nearly $9 billion (€8.1 billion) in annual revenue to focus the portfolio on IBM’s high value, integrated offerings.

Rometty also established IBM as the industry’s leading voice in technology ethics and data stewardship, working relentlessly to usher new technologies safely into society, and enabling people of diverse backgrounds and education levels to participate in the digital future. She has been committed to building talent and skills around the world. She created thousands of New Collar jobs and championed the reinvention of education around the world, including the explosive growth of the six-year Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, or P-TECHs, which are helping prepare the workforce of the future, serving hundreds of thousands of students in 200 [...]

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Electriq power selects Sierra Wireless IoT solutions to transform the smart home battery market

Electriq Power, a developer of intelligent and integrated home energy storage, management, and monitoring solutions, announced at the DISTRIBUTECH conference that it has signed an agreement for IoT solutions from Sierra Wireless, the IoT solutions provider that combines devices, network services, and software to unlock value in the connected economy.

Under the agreement, Electriq Power will integrate Sierra Wireless’s small, rugged FX30 Programmable IoT gateway with LPWA connectivity services into its PowerPod smart home battery systems. These wireless IoT solutions will provide Electriq Power with the secure, reliable and global connectivity it needs to deploy and manage intelligent energy storage applications on its PowerPods.

With these IoT applications, installers can quickly set up new PowerPods, homeowners can optimise their PowerPods to meet specific power use and backup needs, and utilities can use PowerPods for demand response and other grid services that lower their costs, increase grid stability and improve customer engagement.

“Electriq has established itself as a very high value choice based on our flexibility to deliver both retrofit and new solar installations, our PowerPod system’s well-designed look and feel, and forward-looking software applications,” said Frank Magnotti, CEO of Electriq. “We’re very pleased to team up with Sierra Wireless for secure and seamless network connectivity that simplifies the installation and use of our PowerPods for partners and customers, making these systems an even better value.”

Simplifying connectivity for intelligent energy storage

Electriq’s PowerPod functions with an Internet connection to receive software updates from Electriq’s cloud-based IT systems; to communicate with the company’s mobile and web apps for energy monitoring and management; and to connect to partner utilities’ IT systems, making a simple, reliable connection essential for premium performance.

Sierra Wireless FX30 IoT gateway and its connectivity services use cellular LPWA networks to connect the PowerPods to these IT systems and apps, avoiding the need to set up a less dependable Wi-Fi connection or a difficult-to-install Ethernet connection. In addition, LPWA provides better connectivity than other cellular technologies in buildings and underground spaces, where many PowerPods are installed.

By utilising Sierra Wireless’s IoT solutions, PowerPod installers no longer need to connect to the customer’s home internet via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable, making PowerPod installation easier and more efficient. Homeowners’ connectivity is also simplified, as they no longer have to worry about a lost Wi-Fi connection or disconnected cable preventing them from monitoring or managing their PowerPod.

Using Sierra Wireless’s connectivity services also provides utilities with the secure, reliable connectivity they need to offer their customers grid services with strong service level agreements, while also giving them dependable control of signal transmission to the PowerPods. This makes it easier for utilities to offer customers compelling new utility services using PowerPods, while also simplifying management and updates to these services over time.

“We are seeing a new industrial revolution take place, with the deployment of innovative IoT applications that enable consumers and businesses to monitor, control, and optimise appliances, manufacturing equipment, transportation assets, and other ‘things’ for the first time,” said Jason Krause, COO, Sierra Wireless.

“Electriq Power is at the forefront of this revolution, with intelligent IoT [...]

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Enhanced mass notification portfolio links comms systems, event triggers and people to stay safe and connected

Mitel, a global provider of business communications, is preparing organisations to better respond to emergency situations requiring real-time, effective communications with citizens, students, staff and dispersed teams. This includes the launch of a next-generation mass notification solution that connects communications systems, sensor triggers and people to improve the emergency responsiveness of all types of education, government, healthcare and other work environments.

Because disruptive events unfold quickly, response time can be complicated by today’s mobile world, where students, teachers, employees and citizens access communications via many different devices and channels. Keeping people safe, informed and productive becomes more challenging as critical response time is lost. These considerations, combined with growing regulations like Kari’s Law in the United States, mean fast-moving organisations must re-examine their approach to mass communications.

Designed with these concerns in mind, Mitel Revolution is a next-generation mass notification solution that embraces multimodal communications – including mobile phones, desktop PCs and desk phones, paging systems, SMS text, email and more – to quickly reach the widest audience possible. The single platform features out-of-the-box integrations with external early-warning systems and support for a broad range of event triggers, sensors and controls.

With Mitel Revolution, there is said to be no need for expensive professional services for set up or ongoing management. The highly reliable solution can scale to support thousands of devices and is now available in North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand for both the MiVoice Business and MiVoice Connect platforms.

Organisations from a broad range of industries trust Mitel to support their emergency communications needs, including these public education customers:

Muskogee Public Schools – Founded in 1898, Muskogee Public Schools in Oklahoma, USA spans 133 square miles across Muskogee County, covering one early childhood centre, nine elementary schools, one junior high school, and two high school sites. The district deployed a Mitel mass notification solution to enhance safety and security processes. In the event of a crisis, native emergency number support and response management is expanded with automated alerting and built-in messaging. The solution provides calling party information to 911 services and internal notification to the school’s police and executive-level staff, alerting them when a 911 call has been placed. Alerts include the caller’s name, extension number and exact location. With simultaneous notifications, the school district can immediately create an appropriate and unified response. Built-in messaging further improves response coordination, allowing callers to communicate via text throughout the incident.

Carleton University – Located in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Carleton University serves more than 30,000 students. Partnering with Mitel, Carleton built a structure to enable communications in critical situations and ensure a high level of reliability for the entire system. The solution relies on a three-tiered method of mass notification to deliver broadcast notifications that can reach the entire campus population during an emergency, no matter where they are. As part of the solution, Carleton can quickly issue PC desktop alerts as it locks thousands of campus computers, send a mass email notification to nearly 27,000 accounts and an SMS to its [...]

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Accenture and Google Cloud collaborate to help life sciences companies

Accenture and Google Cloud announced that Google Cloud will be the cloud technology provider for Accenture’s INTIENT life sciences industry platform.

The new, multi-year agreement brings Google’s cloud and artificial intelligence capabilities together with Accenture’s life sciences services and platforms and is intended to help life sciences organisations make their data more accessible, secure and valuable.

The INTIENT platform provides life sciences organisations with end-to-end capabilities from discovery and research to clinical development and the delivery of treatments. Accenture launched INTIENT in May 2019, building on more than seven years of collaboration with over 25 life sciences companies to develop and deploy platform technology solutions.

“INTIENT will advance Accenture’s and Google Cloud’s shared mission to empower life sciences organisations with intelligent solutions that help bring innovative treatments to patients around the world, with greater speed, safety, and efficacy,” said Simon Eaves, group chief executive of Products at Accenture. “Together, we can deliver exceptional value to clients at a rapid pace.”

Tariq Shaukat

Google Cloud’s architecture supports open source technology that will enable Accenture to expand the capabilities of INTIENT by allowing partners, independent software vendors, and content providers to rapidly develop and provide additional solutions that extend the value of the platform.

Tariq Shaukat, president at Google Cloud, said, “We’re excited to partner with Accenture to transform the life sciences industry with cloud technologies. Our shared goal is to accelerate developments in treatments by leveraging powerful Google Cloud capabilities, such as AI and data analytics, to gain insights that correlate symptoms, events, and treatments in new and unexpected ways.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Google Cloud will be the cloud technology provider for current and future solutions that are a part of the Accenture INTIENT platform for life sciences. The agreement is an extension of the partnership between Accenture and Google built over the last eight years. A key milestone in the relationship was the July 2018 launch of the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group, which helps companies use Google Cloud technology to deliver superior customer experiences and accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

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Lincoln, Rivian partner to deliver Lincoln’s first all-electric vehicle

The Lincoln Motor Company announced that it is working together with Rivian to develop an all-new electric vehicle previously announced as part of Ford Motor Company’s original investment in Rivian.

Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle will join the Aviator and Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid vehicles, further solidifying Lincoln’s commitment to electrification. The zero-emissions vehicle will feature connected and intuitive technologies designed to create an effortless experience for Lincoln clients.

“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles,” said Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company.

“This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place – zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It’s going to be stunning.”

Lincoln has introduced four new SUVs including Corsair, Aviator and Navigator in the past three years. The all-new lineup has helped Lincoln’s global SUV sales grow 7% year-over-year and enabled the luxury automaker to deliver its best U.S. SUV sales in 16 years.

As Lincoln adds a new luxury electric vehicle to its lineup, production of the MKZ sedan will end this year in order for the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico to prepare for production of new Ford vehicles.

The Lincoln battery electric vehicle will be built off of Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform and is part of Ford Motor Company’s planned equity investment in Rivian.

This all-new vehicle also is part of Ford’s previously announced investment of more than $11.5 billion (€ 10.44 billion) into electrification, which includes the Mustang Mach-E and a fully electric version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.

“Our vehicle development partnership with Ford is an exciting opportunity to pair our technology with Lincoln’s vision for innovation and refinement. We are proud to collaborate on Lincoln’s first fully electric vehicle,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

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Thales unveils Cybels Analytics AI-based platform to detect complex cyberattacks

At the 2020 edition of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), Thales is unveiling Cybels Analytics, an innovative cybersecurity platform relying on advanced artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics technologies.

The platform provides faster, sharper, more exhaustive detection of the most complex attacks in real time or proactively in differed time (hunting). It meets the needs of the most demanding customers, operating as a single, simple platform that even allows individual users to adapt the AI algorithms to the specific operational context of each sector.

The cyberattack techniques that have emerged in recent years are increasingly complex and hard to detect. Despite growing awareness on the part of organisations, and frequent deployments of rules-based detection systems designed around well-known attack patterns, cybersecurity analysts also need to detect previously unknown threats, detect attacks more quickly and save time in conducting investigation analysis once a system has been compromised.

Thales has developed Cybels Analytics, a comprehensive and advanced attack detection solution, to meet these needs. The innovative platform combinesreal-time threat detectionbased on analysis of existing threats (Cyber Threat Intelligence) and proactive search for advanced and unprecedented cyberattacks (“cold” investigation or Hunting), thanks to artificial intelligence and graphic visualisation modules. These capabilities significantly reduce the time taken to detect advanced persistent threats, from three months in average to just a few days, according to test results.

Cybels Analytics uses machine learning algorithms developed by Thales to detect abnormal situations based on huge volumes of heterogeneous data from multiple sources (network data, end point analysis, OT logging, etc.), helping to identify attack patterns and discover previously unknown threats.These algorithms, based on the principles of Thales TrUE AI, can be tailored to the specific needs of each business sector of activity by customers themselves via an easy-to-use graphical interface.

Cybels Analytics can be integrated with an on premise Security Operations Centre (SOC) or provided as a service in the cloud, enabling all the user’s detection systems (SIEM, EDR, NIDS, etc.) to work together and complement one another. The platform is an important addition to Thales’s cybersecurity offering, rounding out the range of managed services provided through its SOC network and supporting the Cybels Sensor trusted probe, which is accredited by France’s National Agency for Information System Security (ANSSI).

Cybels Analytics is also connected to the Thales Cyber Threat Intelligence service. By cross-referencing information about existing cyberthreats with an organisation’s system logs, Cybels Analytics ensures more acute, more exhaustive detection of untargeted attacks, revealing three times more indicators of compromise detection than conventional attack detection products.

With the entire threat detection ecosystem integrated on the same platform, Cybels Analytics improves the customer’s detection capabilities while simplifying the process for users. In addition, to tailor the platform to the specific environment of each sector of activity, powerful data visualisation modules enable users to run their own searches easily, identify any anomalies at a glance and save precious time at the investigation analysis stage.

While it often takes weeks to build a complete picture of an organisation’s information system using standard investigation products, Cybels Analytics shortens this process [...]

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