Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Applied to 5G

From architecture to operations, 5G networks have the potential to drive industries towards digital transformation in ways that we’ve not seen with prior generations of mobile technologies. Whether it be the architectural flexibility to add new capabilities incrementally (prior G’s required end-to-end generational updates), or the industry-centric perspective of 5G use-cases (prior G’s focused on singular consumer experience), I often find that my team and I focus extensively on Four Pillars of 5G Transformation: Network Modernization, towards a virtualized and software-defined network IT and OSS/BSS Transformation towards data-driven decisions Digital Transformation, delivering joint enterprise solutions in … READ MORE

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Telecoms at the Edge Offers Huge Opportunity

We’ve talked previously about the role Dell Technologies will play in 5G transformation and the huge opportunity that the combination of 5G, the edge and IoT will deliver to business but what about the telecom industry, which is at the very heart of that transformation? New services and incremental revenue streams While the edge is just one individual component, its inclusion in the telecom network changes some important fundamentals. Effectively, the telecom network now becomes a mobile platform with radio, core and IT workloads all running on a common infrastructure, capable of providing new services and … READ MORE

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5G and Me: And Manufacturing

How can 5G accelerate manufacturing? With its increased speed, higher bandwidth and lower latency, fifth-generation wireless cellular technology, or 5G, has the potential to be a key enabler and accelerator of the next generation of smart manufacturing. Some advantages of this communications technology for industrial applications include: Higher Bandwidth – modern IIoT gateways and distributed edge compute architectures are creating an explosion of valuable plant data and 5G networks are ideally suited to keep up with this data deluge Lower Latency – allowing devices to communicate more quickly and reliably is especially important for machine-to-machine communications … READ MORE

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How Technology Personifies Your Company

Last week I was interviewed by The Economist on the role of IT in the connection between companies and customer expectations. While I believe it can give businesses the best flexibility to respond to ever-changing customer expectations, I also think a more holistic view on big data is needed to shape their experience and make it more personal. Taking advantage of the data generated in our companies is a priority. High-quality data management enhances our knowledge and adds value to decision-making. It even allows us to anticipate future challenges. However, we’re only just peeling the first … READ MORE

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Expanding Our Edge Portfolio for Modern Software-Defined Networking

As MWC19 Los Angeles kicks off today, our team at Dell Technologies has been getting ready for the conference which is slated to be dominated by advancements in 5G, AI, IoT, and advances in technology for the automotive and media industries. As these next-generation technologies develop, our service provider and enterprise customers are having to modernize infrastructure from the data center all the way out to the network edge for enabling innovation, controlling costs, reducing complexity and providing scalability. Last year, my team and I at Dell Technologies announced the Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform (VEP) … READ MORE

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5G and Me: And Industrial IoT

5G is emerging. Industrial IoT is growing. Everyone has heard the phrase, it’s the next ‘big thing’. It’s faster internet, but what does it really mean for you? Our recent Not Just Another G blog series will help you understand exactly what 5G means. This blog will focus on a popular 5G application and use case: Industrial IoT (“Internet Of Things”). Consumers use of IoT has exploded in recent years – much to the extent that now, most folks using IoT don’t even realize they are utilizing it. It’s their smartwatch. Their smart meter. Their smart … READ MORE

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Not Just Another G: What Users Want

This is the third installment in our series Not Just Another G, which provides insight into 5G and what it means to the service provider industry so they can help the end users achieve what they want. Missed the first two posts? Catch up here. User experiences and workloads are driving the next generation of mobile computing. They have a direct impact on the evolution of wireless architecture and compute infrastructure to best meet the connectivity, latency and compute processing needs. 5G is a direct manifestation of what users want and Dell Technologies is helping service … READ MORE

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How Big Data Powers the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) may sound like a futuristic term, but it’s already here and increasingly woven into our everyday lives. The concept is simpler than you may think: If you have a smart TV, fridge, doorbell, or any other connected device, that’s part of the IoT. If you’ve used an app on your phone to navigate through your day-to-day tasks, then that’s also part of the IoT. With the IoT, the future is now, but how does this connected world really work? More importantly, how can businesses get on board so they’re not left behind the competition?

The answer to both questions is big data. Big data powers the IoT, and as data connectivity evolves into 5G networks, Wi-Fi capabilities expand, and smartphone users grow even larger in population, the “big” in big data grows even bigger. Let’s take a look at two examples of how businesses can be part of the IoT despite not being in the tech industry.

  • Example 1: The region’s most popular theme park has released its own app. It does more than just provide a map, schedule, and menu items (though those are important); it also uses GPS pings to identify app users in line, thus being able to display predicted wait times for rides based on density, even being able to reserve a spot or trigger attractions based on proximity.
  • Example 2: The retail experience has multiple avenues in driving data. Rewards accounts immediately link transactional data to individuals, as does their activity on the store’s app. Retailers also glean data from other avenues, such as data obtained via a social media crawler and demographic data obtained via a 3rd party license. All of this feeds into an individual app experience by displaying recommendations, sales, and personalized reward opportunities.

These examples show how the combination of IoT connectivity and big data continuous transmission can make things better for businesses and their customers. IoT enables an improved experience for everyone involved, but how does it actually work? Let’s take a closer look.

The Connection Between Big Data and IoT

To understand exactly how big data and the IoT work together, we need to examine several pieces in the overall workflow:

  1. A company’s devices are installed to use sensors for collecting and transmitting data.
  2. That big data—sometimes pentabytes of data—is then collected, often in an repository called a data lake. Both structured data from prepared data sources (user profiles, transactional information, etc.) and unstructured data from other sources (social media archives, emails and call center notes, security camera images, licensed data, etc.) reside in the data lake.
  3. Reports, charts, and other outpus are generated, sometimes by AI-driven analytics platforms such as Oracle Analytics.
  4. User devices provide further metrics through settings, preferences, scheduling, metadata, and other tangible transmissions, feeding back into the data lake for even heavier volumes of big data.

Big data and IoT devices have a symbiotic relationship, and if there’s an AI system responsible for processing that data and making decisions, then that adds another variable to the equation. As big data storage is both the repository and source of data, the more IoT devices that get connected or the more complex the AI model, the greater the spotlight on big data hardware. Performance and processing depend on the capacity of the big data hardware to pull what is necessary, which highlights the importance of investing smartly in efficient hardware and optimized infrastructure design.

What Does This Mean for Business?

Let’s go back to the two examples above, the theme park and the retailer. Their uses of big data and connectivity directly impact the possibility of people converting into customers.

Theme park example: One of the biggest reasons why people avoid theme parks is the lines. But real-time data showing the status of lines—and in turn, aggregate data that can show average wait times at specific points of the day, similar to the way Google Maps projects drive times for certain hours—makes the whole venue more accessible. It allows people to maximize their time and plan around their needs, be it small children or just sheer patience, and that in turn converts customers and builds relationships.

Retailer example: The best-rated retailer apps are the ones that provide both savings and convenience. To achieve this, combining unstructured data (like social media mentions or demographic data) with structured data (a user’s browsing history on the app) can generate smart recommendations, even entice with algorithm-generated coupons. For example, if a city is having a heat wave, backend analysis can show a spike in regional fan searches, cross-reference that with a user’s browsing history, generate a coupon for a specific product in-app, and notify that it’s available for in-store pickup. Data and connectivity thus work to bring the user back into the store for purchasing more items at lower prices.

Note that in both of these cases, investing in big data collection and device interconnectivity pays off by building upon the expected customer experience to offer the industry standard while evolving with current capabilities. From a technology perspective, this means establishing the avenues for identifying the data, collecting it, and then processing it and outputting it in a format that benefits the business and the consumer.

The Path Forward

For businesses looking at exploring the opportunities made possible by an IoT paradigm, there are two major areas to consider. First, ask how your business can use interconnectivity and metrics to better your customer experience. This might even be an indirect benefit, such as creating a system that optimizes your inter-departmental communication to ultimately streamline processes for waiting customers. Second, consider the current state of your IT infrastructure. Adapting to the needs of IoT and big data involves elements such as scalability and processing speed beyond traditional hardware capabilities.

Thus, such a decision may feel like it solely belongs to the IT department, but it really is a business decision. These opportunities create ways to deliver immediate dividends, while also establishing a company as forward-thinking and technology savvy, enhancing its reputation and customer loyalty while building the technological foundation for future improvements. Though it requires up-front resources to create an IoT experience, such an investment is almost a necessity these days. Given how much connectivity has become part of our daily lives, not supporting big data and IoT is a sure way to fall behind the competition in today’s dynamic and connected business landscape.

To learn more about big data, IoT, and analytics, check out the following links:

To learn how you can benefit from the Oracle Big Data, visit Oracle.com/Big-Data, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Oracle Big Data blog and get the latest posts sent to your inbox.

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Not Just Another G: The Next Generation

This is the second installment in our series Not Just Another G, which provides insight into 5G and what it means to the service provider industry. Missed the first post? Catch up here. The next-generation 5G architecture is built around the realization that different services are consumed differently, and by different types of users. Thus, next-generation mobile access technology must have: A way to define those differences, A way to determine and place constraints so as to meet those differences, and A way to architect access methods that meet the goals of the different services that … READ MORE

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What’s the Connection Between Big Data and AI?

When people talk about big data, are they simply referring to numbers and metrics?

Yes.

And no.

Technically, big data is simply bits and bytes—literally, a massive amount (petabytes or more) of data. But to dismiss big data as mere ones and zeroes misses the point. Big data may physically be a collection of numbers, but when placed against proper context, those numbers take on a life of their own.

This is particularly true in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). AI and big data are intrinsically connected; without big data, AI simply couldn’t learn. From the perspective of the team in charge of Oracle’s Cloud Business Group (CBG) Product Marketing, they liken big data to the human experience. On Oracle’s Practical Path To AI podcast episode Connecting the Dots Between Big Data and AI, team members compare the AI learning process to the human experience.

The short version: the human brain ingests countless experiences every moment. Everything that is taken in by senses is technically a piece of information or data—a note of music, a word in a book, a drop of rain, and so on. Infant brains learn from the very beginning they start taking in sensory information, and the more they encounter, the more they are able to assimilate and process, then respond in new and informed ways.

AI works similarly. The more data an AI model encounters, the more intelligent it can become. Over time, as more and more data processes through the AI model, it becomes increasingly significant. In that sense, AI models are trained by big data, just as human brains are trained by the data accumulated through multiple experiences.

And while this may all seem scary at first, there’s a definite public shift toward trusting AI-driven software. This is discussed further by Oracle’s CBG team on the podcast episode, and it all goes back to the idea of human experiences. In the digital realm, people now have the ability to document, review, rank, and track these experiences. This knowledge becomes data points in big data, thus fed into AI models which start validating or invalidating the experiences. With enough of a sample size, a determination can be made based on “a power of collective knowledge” that grows and creates this network.

However, that doesn’t mean that AI is the authority on everything, even with all the data in the world.

To hear more about this topic—and why human judgment is still a very real and very necessary part of, well, everything—listen to the entire podcast episode Connecting the Dots Between Big Data and AI and be sure to visit Oracle’s Big Data site to stay on top of the latest developments in the field of big data.

Guest author Michael Chen is a senior manager, product marketing with Oracle Analytics.

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