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More AI is being applied in the real-world and proving its value. Here’s how thought leaders are assessing today’s AI landscape.

When artificial intelligence (AI) technologies first debuted, they didn’t live up to the hype — not even close — and left many early adopters disappointed. But that was then and this is now, and AI is finally catching the attention of more end users, changing the core value proposition of physical and electronic security.

“Many early AI video solutions did disappoint customers with perspective limitations and false alarms,” says Jason Burrows, sales director, IDIS America. “But today, a single camera can provide highly accurate analysis from more angles than ever before and deliver high-performance, even in challenging light conditions.”

He points out that, initially, most AI was offered as software or modules within VMS, which oftentimes entailed expensive integration services, software licenses and maintenance agreements. Now, customers can choose from highly cost-effective AI plug-in appliances that even smaller organizations can benefit from.

“AI video is giving customers additional value in terms of enhancing security and safety, reducing operating costs, and providing actionable intelligence,” he adds. “AI reduces human error and streamlines and automates monotonous tasks, while increasing overall safety and security across single or multiple sites and perimeters.”

Quang Trinh, manager, professional services, Axis Communications, concurs that AI technologies are indeed changing the core value proposition of physical and electronic security.

“Machine learning excels in detecting patterns and it presents great potential in augmenting human tasks that require a lot of repetition,” he says. “As advancements in object classification become more accurate at predicting and labeling objects, the security industry will experience accelerated improvements in reducing false positive alerts. These technologies will produce actionable insight into situations beyond safety and security. AI, predictive analytics, machine and deep learning will continue to expand the value of physical and electronic security solutions by providing operational efficiencies and business intelligence.”

In today’s increasingly connected world, the intelligent video security camera with built-in AI becomes a versatile sensor because it captures data that can deliver valuable information and insights, adds Paul Garms, director of regional marketing – video systems, Bosch. “AI can help users to be proactive, predicting unforeseen or future situations and prevent them from happening. This strengthens the protection of people and property and assists in uncovering business opportunities that create new revenue streams or reduce operational costs.”

Let’s find out what the experts say is realistic today and tomorrow implementing AI for security, safety and operational uses.

Data Doesn’t Lie

Florian Matusek, director of video analytics, Genetec, contends that AI and machine learning are fundamentally changing our industry because they’re making all security, physical security applications data driven.

“AI, on the one hand, creates more data, and analytics is a good example of that where it extracts information out of the video,” he points out. “But on the other hand, it also helps get insights into this data. That’s because the more cameras and the more sensors that are installed, the more data there is. This is where AI helps us to understand this data and create more insights than before.”

Deep neural network-based video analytics is without question improving the accuracy of detection. As Garms points out, this advanced analytics technology relies on deep learning, which uses artificial neural networks that attempt to mimic the human brain, allowing it to learn from large amounts of data and recognize patterns to tackle more complex tasks faster, easier, and more accurately.

This, he says, means it can more accurately detect people and objects, such as vehicles, even in congested scenes.

In addition, many customers today are coming to understand the potential of metadata. It continues to provide more context to events and allows real-time video and recorded footage — large amounts of it — to be quickly organized, searched, retrieved and used.

The functions that are enabled, as a result, Burrows notes, can be broadly categorized into three areas: searching; alarm triggering and notifications; and reporting.

“Previously, without metadata, video footage remained unstructured and difficult to search. Earlier-generation surveillance systems couldn’t ‘watch’ video or interpret it like a human operator could,” he says. “But today’s AI-enabled analytics video solutions can. Today they are performing many core interpretations and sorting functions more quickly, more accurately, and more consistently than operators ever could. To enable this rapid sorting, metadata uses markers such as color, location and time. And, increasingly, it can classify what it sees, defining, for example, all those changing pixels as ‘a person,’ ‘a vehicle,’ or another predefined object of interest; and it can classify by type, size, and movement characteristics such as velocity or location.”

And, as Garms well points out, the power to predict requires making good and efficient use of the rich and versatile data generated by video systems. “The key to this is combining artificial intelligence with the IoT,” he explains. “AIoT products add sense and structure to video data. Their AI capabilities enable them to understand what they’re seeing and to add meaning to captured video with metadata. This is an important first step in converting data into actionable insights and building predictive solutions. This approach is shaping the future of security.”

AI Will Stay Healthy Post-Pandemic

As Trinh mentions, AI, machine learning and deep learning were already being explored before the pandemic. However, during the pandemic, many organizations began to truly realize the capabilities of their network security system and the role it could play beyond security.

“As organizations sought to keep employees and customers safe and comply with COVID guidelines, many realized the versatility of their network security system and analytics — like using facial recognition to verify mask compliance, occupancy analytics to maintain social distance requirements and access control systems to enable contact tracing.”

Garms echoes that the pandemic increased interest around solutions such as occupancy monitoring and crowd detection, and AI enables more accurate detection and counting of people in an area. While initially investigated for social distancing purposes and for meeting health regulations specific to the pandemic, these solutions also offer benefits beyond security, such as for understanding peak traffic days and times to ensure adequate staffing, he believes, emphasizing that customers will continue to benefit from these solutions.

COVID sped up digitization and automation, particularly across sales and customer service departments to streamline workflows and eliminate mundane tasks, Burrows adds, stating that we’re now seeing that same approach applied to security and facilities management.

“Initially, companies quickly moved to touchless access control readers, but soon realized the greater benefits of frictionless access and visitor management, particularly to support return-to-work strategies and hybrid and flexible working. And we’re now seeing AI video playing its part by enabling frictionless physical and logical access using facial recognition and authentication, for example. And once organizations realize improvements in security, people flow and staff engagement, they look towards the same approach to deliveries using a combination of LPR and video intercoms, which can be extended to logistics operators to streamline the throughput of trucks and goods.”

Artificial Intelligence Opportunities Abound

As Burrows pointed out, AI video is giving end users added value in terms of enhanced security and safety, reduced operating costs and actionable intelligence to help Improve efficiencies.

Garms forecasts that while AI capabilities are just beginning to make an impact, he expects to see wider adoption as the industry learns more about the possibilities. Some end users may still be hesitant about AI technology due to exaggerated claims in the past, so it is important for integrators to educate their customers about the latest advancements and improvements in accuracy.

For example, it can differentiate between genuine events and false triggers from challenging environmental conditions or among people and wildlife in perimeter protection applications.

It’s important to take a holistic approach, Burrows advises. End users don’t need to leverage AI or upgrade cameras across their entire building, campus or estate, so adopting AI shouldn’t mean a complete rip and replace.

Another benefit Burrows points to is the fact that rules such as virtual lines, tripwires or people counting can be set up to help understand the interactions that objects and people have within the environment. Normal or abnormal events can be recognized against a defined set of rules, with only the changes in a scene being registered, so that security and safety personnel are alerted only when they need to be.

“Automating these surveillance functions for specific areas with highly accurate alerts can greatly reduce the need for personnel to monitor multiple live camera feeds, effectively reducing operating costs,” he adds.

Overcoming the Challenges

Advancements in AI-based video analytics have made setup and configuration of these systems easier, Garms notes. For example, deep neural network-based detectors have made it easier to achieve highly accurate detection of people and vehicles.

With these capabilities, solutions can be created that extend beyond simple recording of video to solve security and operational challenges.

According to Trinh, another challenge is interoperability, so integrators should work with a vendor that has compatibility with other systems.

“AI technologies can be very complex and they require a new set of skills to understand and sell its uses,” Trinh says. “This can be very challenging, so it’s important to leverage vendors who have training programs that teach about AI technologies in a holistic way, versus learning only proprietary solutions that don’t apply to others. Remember that AI is an open architecture that has the same principles regardless of the platform you are using.”

Where to Go from Here

Florian cautions that AI is still in the process of maturing right now.

“In the past, AI or Big Data was promising a Ferrari and delivering a bicycle,” Florian claims. “We have a long way to go still, and we need to be very sure, very clear about what it can do and what it cannot do. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go yet.”

During the next few years, object classification will Improve exponentially, Trinh predicts. He foresees that edge devices will become even more powerful from a processing standpoint and offset costs and resources.

“Users will still need powerful PCs/servers on premise for other types of workloads,” he says. “Currently machine learning is costly and time consuming, but that will improve. Cloud computing for AI will also reduce latency challenges by leveraging edge devices and their processing power. Many will adopt a hybrid approach mixing a combination of Cloud, on-premise and edge devices.

“Images and videos will continue to drive deep learning techniques, and the quality of data will become increasingly as important as the quantity data. There is always a need for more data, but quality data in images and videos will impact AI models and help accelerate the effectiveness of the output or prediction. With better quality data, we’ll see a consolidation of effective AI technology solutions in the market.”


This article originally appeared in CS sister publication Security Sales & Integration and has been edited. Author Erin Harrington has 20+ years’ security industry media experience. Contact her at erinharrington1115@gmail.com.

Sun, 17 Jul 2022 20:19:00 -0500 Erin Harrington en text/html https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/news/artificial-intelligence-security-safety-operations/
Killexams : Beyond PowerPoint: Presentation Tools for Small Businesses

The prevalence of PowerPoint has made company presentations all too routine. It can be hard to get and hold your audience’s attention with mundane slides full of bullet points. It may be an effective tool in some scenarios, but there are tons of other presentation solutions out there that can help you engage with your audience and communicate key ideas.

While traditional tools such as PowerPoint, Google Slides and Keynote can all be used to create presentations, you can break the conventional method – basic points on simple slides – by including images, creating movement, and limiting each slide or section to only a couple key points.

If you’re looking to shake things up and connect with your audience in a fun and engaging way, it may be time to try one of these solutions.

1. Visme

Visme is a cloud-based presentation tool that allows you to create highly visual presentations to engage viewers and communicate your ideas. It features an intuitive, drag-and-drop design method for creating presentations. The business version also prioritizes brand consistency and company-wide image storage. When you or your employees create a presentation, it will feature colors, logos and images that are on brand for your organization. This promotes consistency across presentations among your employees. Visme also offers a built-in analytics system, so you can see who has viewed your presentation and who finished it.

Visme offers multiple plans ranging from $20 per user per month to $60 per three users per month. It’s also possible to get a free live demo to see how the technology works before you try it out.

2. Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a platform that prioritizes simplicity. Business owners can create elegant, basic presentations with high-quality images. The spartan approach allows for connecting with audiences instead of losing them in information overload due to text-heavy slides. What separates Haiku Deck from traditional presentation tools is its library of images and array of fonts. It makes it easy to craft simple, powerful presentations that are accessible on any device.

Haiku Deck offers three plans, ranging from $7.99 to $29.99 per month.

3. Pitcherific

Pitcherific is not only a presentation solution, but also a platform for building and practicing your presentation. It’s a template-based program that guides you through the presentation creation process. Instead of drafting a few slides, Pitcherific prompts you to write out the areas of each part of your speech. The outline for an elevator pitch, for example, includes a hook, problem, solution and closing. There are various templates for different kinds of pitches and presentations, so you’ll have guidance on many kinds of speeches and presentations. Pitcherific also recommends a character count for each section and a timeclock, allowing you to track how long your speech or presentation is and stay within a desired range.

Pitcherific’s pricing depends largely on your business and its needs, so you’ll have to reach out to its sales team to get a direct quote. Pitcherific does offer a free trial in case you’re curious to see how the platform works.

4. Canva

Canva is an online platform that provides templates for a wide range of business-related publications, like resumes, newsletters, business cards, media kits, brochures and infographics. You can also use it to construct presentations. There are hundreds of design layouts and templates to start with, and you can upload your own images or choose from more than 1 million of Canva’s stock images. As you build your presentation, you can adjust text and fonts, add filters to images, and drag and drop different elements for design. You can also upload and save your company logo.

Canva offers a free version equipped with all its features. If you’re a startup or very small business owner, this is a good option. For larger businesses, Canva for Work offers team management features for $12.95 per month (or $9.95 per month when you pay annually). You can try this version free for 30 days.

5. SlideCamp

SlideCamp provide slide templates for creating company presentations. You can adjust color schemes, add company logos, import charts and data, build infographics, and organize presentations into sections with SlideCamp. This is a great solution for maintaining presentation consistency across multiple presentations from your organization. After you set up branding details, employees will be able to work with predesigned slides to easily craft professional presentations. It’s geared for larger businesses, so if you’re a startup or one-person company, this may not be an ideal solution for you.

There are a few plans available, which range from $49 to $499 per month depending on the number of users who will access SlideCamp. There is a demo version as well, so you can try out the service to see if it’s right for your business. 

6. Microsoft Events

While PowerPoint may be a tired way to handle a business presentation at times, Microsoft has other tools that can introduce a new level of practicality to the standard presentation. It recently introduced the ability to create live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365. These events can be viewed in real time or on demand by remote co-workers or even workers who were present in the meeting but want to reference what was said. It combines HD video with machine learning to create a speaker timeline, speech-to-text transcriptions and time coding, and closed captioning.

Live events are part of the Office 365 subscription plans. If you’re already a subscriber, you can use this tool for no additional cost.

7. Powtoon

Powtoon is an animated presentation and video platform for creating short informational videos and presentations about your brand or product. Explainer videos are an important part of a brand’s message, and Powtoon is an affordable tool for creating animated videos and presentations to educate consumers and clients about your business. You can easily edit presentations and videos, add voiceover, and build a professional experience for your customers.

Powtoon offers a free version, but there are more robust offerings at $19 and $59 per month.

8. VideoScribe

VideoScribe is a whiteboard video presentation platform that allows small businesses to customize their presentations to fit their needs. These videos, which feature a whiteboard and hand that “draws” different objects and slides in the presentation, are ideal for quick explainers and marketing videos on your business or product. You can easily place objects, insert text, and even draw your own objects or text with VideoScribe’s platform.

VideoScribe is available for either $29 per user per month or, if paid annually, $12 per user per month. If you want to extend VideoScribe to a larger team, you’ll have to pay $110 to $130 per user, depending on the number of users. You can also make a one-time payment of $665 for a single user.

9. Prezi

Prezi is another template-based presentation solution that you can use to create persuasive and engaging presentations with unique movement between “slides” and key points. Prezi maps out your whole presentation on an overall track that you decide. When you switch slides, it doesn’t simply advance to the next one; it takes the viewer through the track to the point that needs to be made. This allows your audience to visualize the progression of your presentation. You can arrange content under different sections and create an overview so your audience can see your entire presentation plan. This method keeps the presenation organized and your audience engaged. You can also navigate freely through your presentation – your track is not locked in and you can adjust when you address which points as you’re presenting.

Prezi is either $50 or $59 per user per month, depending on the number of users.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6525-business-presentation-tools.html
Killexams : Four Elements for Finding the Right Career Path

When people contemplate a career change, astute thinking alone won’t necessarily take them in the right direction.

Instead, when career changes and other huge life-changing experiences are at stake, people should tap into their “full self” to help them make the decisions that are best for them, argues Timothy Butler, senior fellow and faculty advisor to Career and Professional Development Programs at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on career decision making.

In this interview, Butler discusses his new book, The Four Elements: Finding Right Livelihood in the 21st Century, which outlines four key dimensions that can help people navigate career transitions: Identity, Community, Necessity, and Horizon.

Dina Gerdeman: Can you discuss the research behind your book?

Timothy Butler: Most of my research has been big data-driven, using psychometric assessments to identify the ways in which people find their way to the work roles and work environments that will be most rewarding.

This book was different. It is more of a reflection, looking back over my 40 years of working as a psychologist and a trainer of coaches and counselors. The question I asked was: “What issues are always present when individuals are faced with major career and life decisions?” I arrived at an heuristic that I refer to as the Four Elements model, which looks at four dimensions that are archetypal in that they are always present at these times of decision, whether we are aware of them or not.

Gerdeman: Could you briefly explain each of the Four Elements?

Butler: Sure, the first is Identity. Identity is a lifelong project in which we, and simultaneously the people in our world, have a growing sense of our place in the world in terms of our personal qualities, our deeply embedded life interests, and the skills that we bring to any given situation.

The two root questions for Identity are: “What work roles will allow me to express my deeply embedded life interests?” and “What are the signature skills that I bring to any life situation?”

The second element is Community. The root question for Community is: “What types of people and what organizational cultures will allow me to thrive and make my biggest contribution?”

The third element is Necessity. It is indeed important to understand our passions and find work that fulfills them, but we all live our lives within the gravitational field of necessity. The root question for the Necessity element is: “What are the nonnegotiable obligations and constraints that bear upon my current work and life choices?”

The fourth element is Horizon. The Horizon element is concerned with what we are walking toward in life; there is that in life which pulls us. This is the dimension concerned with our deepest sense of values, meaning, and priority. The root question for the Horizon element is: “How do I understand and move closer to life in its fullest?”

Gerdemen: In your work, how do you help individuals discover how the force of each element is factoring into their life situation?

Butler: At the core of my work with individuals, and my writing on this topic, is my model of implicit and symbolic intelligence. Each of us, at any given moment, has the capacity to experience the whole of our life. Right now, as you sit here, you have what psychologist Eugene Gendlin would call a deep “felt sense" of how everything is interacting together to provide your experience of your total life situation. You cannot use this implicit knowledge, however, because it is preverbal, presymbolic.

What you know deeply, but only implicitly, needs to be transformed into symbolic intelligence. This requires, again and again, finding fresh new language so that you can explain, both to yourself and to others, what is occurring for you within each of the Four Element arenas. This movement from access to implicit knowledge to finding new language for what is implicit is at the core of my work on the coaching process. In the Four Elements book, I lead the reader through this experience for each of the Elements.

Gerdemen: How do you do that in the book?

Butler: Most of us, when faced with a life decision, fall back on our analytical intelligence. We try to use the brute force of thinking to push the situation forward. What is required, however, is an genuine new experience about our current reality and both an implicit and symbolic understanding of that new experience. This will never come from employing our conditioned current mental model to problem solve, which is what our analytical intelligence does, even though this approach is highly rewarded in our current world culture.

In the book, I teach the reader the practice of free attention. This is a process not of thinking about oneself, but actually self-observing in real time as our implicit felt senses of our current life situation form. It is similar in some ways to certain meditation practices. I lead the reader into a state of free attention and then, for each of the elements and for a final integration, lead them through an exercise that’s specific for uncovering the current forces at play in each of the Four Element areas.

For the Identity element, we arrive at fresh new language for the day-to-day work activities that are most likely to be fulfilling, as well as new language for our signature skills.

For the Community element, each reader is guided through a process that allows them to create their own personal model of organizational culture which enables them to identify the dimensions of a culture that are most important.

For Necessity, from a place of free attention, each reader is guided through an experience that helps them to identify the most pressing necessities and obligations in their life at the current moment. These obligations may be quite different from what they were even six months before.

The Horizon exercise guides the reader to an understanding of what they already know about life in its fullest, which people represent for them life in its fullest, and what touchstones, such as books, music, poems, memories, places, experiences, objects, and so on, allow them to reconnect with life in its fullest.

Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/insights-and-advice/blog/post/four-elements-for-finding-the-right-career-path-empl
Killexams : Man and nature together is sustainable

*This content is brought to you by St Francis Links Villas

Located inside the exclusive St Francis Links estate, in the popular Eastern Cape coastal town of St Francis Bay, St Francis Links Villas is a development brought to you by Adrian Gardiner – Founder of the Mantis Group.

St Francis Links Villas is an opportunity for you to own your own slice of paradise in the most sought-after part of St Francis Bay through the purchase of a sectional title property. Here, your family will have a home for all of life’s phases and all seasons – where every day feels like you’re on holiday. 

“Whilst working with the St Francis Links team over these past couple of years, my team and I have developed an appreciation for the value of this pristine estate, its standards and ethos. We are excited to bring an exclusive and limited opportunity to enhance the already established and growing choice of residential options on the estate.

With the Mantis philosophy of Man And Nature Together Is Sustainable, matched with this beautiful setting, the St Francis Links Villas will cater for a discerning client looking for comfort, views, luxury, security, health and lifestyle choices. It has been a pleasure engaging with the Links developers and board, Jeff Clause and his exco team and it is now my pleasure to introduce you to this turn-key project and our experienced development team.”

Adrian Gardiner

MANTIS GROUP FOUNDER and DEVELOPER

You’re not just buying a home, you’re buying exclusive access to the St Francis Bay Lifestyle.

THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Mantis Development

Mantis offers development and technical services that cater to greenfield and brownfield projects, and the rebranding and refurbishment of existing hospitality products, as well as standalone feasibility and master planning exercises.

A highly skilled professional team ensures that your project is managed and receives the appropriate care. Whether involved from conceptualization, feasibility, detailed design, and construction, we tailor-make development and project management solutions articulated according to the environment, budget, and the owner’s vision.

Mantis specialises in:

  • Concept development and master planning
  • Feasibility and modelling
  • Technical services
  • Preliminary and Detailed Design
  • Planning/Development approval
  • Construction & landscaping
  • Information Communication Technology installation
  • Interior & Operational fit-out
  • Procurement
  • Snagging and handover

Mantis design approach:

A Celebration of the authenticity of the location. This is the inspiration for our proposed interiors. We pride ourselves in creating experiences in which no two are alike, and we create spaces that bring guests closer to their chosen destination. We work alongside our team of professional consultants to unlock the potential of your investment and bring your vision to life.

A full-turnkey development and management solution:

A key differentiator of Mantis is our ability to offer owners and investors a full-turnkey solution for their proposed product.  Through consolidating and combining strategies from our group’s expertise, Mantis is well positioned to present a solution that takes your vision from concept development and construction to fit-out and opening of your property.

Sustainable development:

Mantis is committed to supporting all sustainability efforts during the project design and development phase and later during the operational and management phase. Sustainable building design aims to create buildings that are not harmful to their occupants nor to the larger environment. Our underlying philosophy is one of responsible and ecologically sensitive development, supporting the local environment and community while conserving and maintaining all-natural resources.

We place great focus on:

  • Healthy Building practices
  • The use of low-impact materials
  • The use of quality and durable product
  • Waste minimization and renewability
  • Water conservation
  • Energy efficiency

“I am fortunate to have the opportunity to oversee the development of the St Francis Links Villas. The development site is stunning – with views overlooking the golf course and framed by the town and ocean in the distance.

This project is certainly close to my heart. Being born and raised in the Eastern Cape, I have fond memories of vacations in St Francis as a youngster, as well as more recently in my adult life with my own family.

I look forward to presenting the St Francis Links Villas development to interested investors looking to make St Francis their home, be it for permanent residence or for vacation purposes.”

Bruce Mc Nicol

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Discover the destination that surpasses every expectation.

Synergy Property Solutions – Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors

Our objective is to tailor make our services to suit the requirement of each individual project managed by SYNERGY in order to achieve an outcome that is successful and an experience that is enjoyable for all those involved.

We focus on providing specialised Project, Construction and Cost Management services in the private sector.

Our mission is to deliver outstanding performance directly attributed to the directors and key experienced staff who are actively involved in each project to ensure that our client’s key objectives are achieved.

Grant Hechter

MANAGING DIRECTOR

MMK Architects – Architect

With a proud history of 40 years, MMK Architects is a full-service practice that believes in consistently delivering innovative and cost-effective design solutions. Experience, creativity, reliability & flexibility are key factors when approaching each new project, from inception stage right through to completion. Our geographical reach has expanded over the past decade and now includes South Africa as well as Africa.

MMK has its roots in South Africa, a country whose diversity is the cornerstone of its appeal and success. Our ability to understand and interpret each scheme or project individually, with sensitivity to both cultural and economic realities, gives us a unique edge when working internationally. In each case we apply the fundamental rules of architecture, along with international experience in design and commercial value, to provide schemes relative to the context in which they exist.

Neill Kievit

DIRECTOR

For information about St Francis Links Villas, click here.

Bara Consult – Structural/Civil Engineer

Bara Consult (Pty) Ltd is a niche market consultancy with extensive experience in structural and civil engineering design, construction monitoring and project management of a wide range of commercial, leisure and industrial projects ranging in scale and value from small and simple to large and complex multidisciplinary.

Bara Consult offers knowledge and expertise in engineering design and a professional approach to finding innovative and creative engineering solutions focused on ensuring quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness in design.

While Bara Consult is Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) based, it is a business that serves the interests of clients throughout South Africa and the African continent.

Nick Van Den Berg

MANAGING DIRECTOR

The perfect blend of nature, wellness and relaxed living.

Clinkscales Maughan-Brown – Electrical Engineer

Our Philosophy is to add value by providing high standard of expertise using modern engineering technology to arrive at sustainable design solutions.  We subscribe to the principles of sustainable development to ensure that our engineering designs meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  Our company is committed to excellence by instituting a formal quality management system in accordance with the requirements of CESA.

John Lofts Rauch

MANAGING DIRECTOR

For information about St Francis Links Villas, click here.

Alpha Omega Group – Contractor

Alpha Omega specializes in all aspects of the construction industry, from residential, commercial and industrial in the building sector to earthworks, roads and infrastructure in the civil sector. Alpha Omegas’ aim is to offer a wide diversity of Clients in the Eastern Cape a high level of service excellence for projects encompassing all aspects of our industry.

We strive not to be the biggest contractor in the region, but the most professional, and to constantly deliver a quality of work of which we can always be proud.

We believe that our staff are our most important asset and dedicate ourselves to uplift them as individuals and encourage growth from within via the availability of training and opportunities for all.

We at ALPHA OMEGA are proud of our team and depend on each other to further the company and uphold our good name in the industry and community.

Richard Hutton

MANAGING DIRECTOR

MI Designs – Interior Design

Our company is an international interior-architectural design house, established in 1994 by Maurette van Eyssen.  We have a deep passion for handcrafted designer furniture, fabrics, art and objects and have developed expertise that enables us to offer a wide portfolio of Interior design related services.

We offer a full house Interior design service from conceptualization, procurement to project management. With over 20 years-experience in the design industry, MI designs today employs a diverse group of talent, from interior designers, graphic designers and 3d artists.

All our products are developed with a commitment to protecting our environment through responsible use of the earths’ natural resources.

Our team is devoted to the pursuit of beauty, functionality and design and believers that each project we design should reflect our passion for beauty and commitment to quality.

Maurette van Eyssen

FOUNDER and CEO

Discover lifestyle living, now!

For information about St Francis Links Villas, click here.

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Wed, 06 Jul 2022 15:00:00 -0500 Editor BizNews en-GB text/html https://www.biznews.com/sponsored/2022/07/07/st-francis-links-villas-mantis
Killexams : The Evolution of PoE and Lighting: The Benefits of Applying IT to Energy

While LEDs have transformed the century-old lighting industry, approaching 1% to 10% of the power that traditional lighting consumed, the surrounding infrastructure has remained frozen in time. And, as with many other technologies, the pandemic has hastened the adoption of Power over Ethernet (PoE) due to its ease of installation, as well as its energy and cost savings.

As background, PoE passes electric power and data over twisted-pair Ethernet cable to powered devices; these can include wireless access points, IP cameras and lights. It enables one RJ45 cable to provide data connection and electric power, rather than needing a separate cable for each. In essence, anything on the desktop or above — for example, ceiling lights — can be powered by PoE because those devices are all inherently low voltage.

Why PoE?

PoE offers several advantages over our traditional, high-voltage infrastructure. For one, with our current labor shortage, hiring a licensed electrician is often challenging. Construction projects can be delayed when it’s difficult to secure an electrician to pull the wire for a building. So, as designers of integrated conference and lighting systems that run on PoE, we can now start conversations with potential customers with a simple question: “Why not use a less expensive, more environmentally friendly approach that doesn’t require an electrician?” In a low-voltage system, anyone can “pull the wire” because it’s safe. You can stick your finger in a PoE socket and absolutely nothing will happen.

The benefits are not limited to ease of installation and the safety of lower voltages. Lower usage costs are another key benefit, and those are combined with better, more precise control of all devices from one central control location. With PoE, you can walk into an office and turn 20 lights on or off from one controller. And you can precisely control each of those lights; for example, you can have just two on and the other 18 off. This presents a heretofore-unavailable opportunity to achieve 90% savings, and it simply wouldn’t exist with high-voltage-wiring-based systems.

Applying Information Technology to Energy

What we’re seeing now with PoE is the ability to apply information technology to energy. This is a result of a confluence of factors — namely, the efficiency of LEDs and the ability to get 90 watts of power, plus 1Gb of data, on one Ethernet cable. We no longer need the infrastructure from 100 years ago. The cost to install a light fixture can be six times more than the fixture itself. And while the fixtures themselves go down in cost, installation costs only escalate. Those escalating costs encompass everything from the physical infrastructure — conduit and copper — to the labor rates.

With a low-voltage PoE system, each light fixture has individual control. It’s a virtual system where you can control each one among hundreds of lights from your phone, laptop or iPad. That, incidentally, includes changing the color temperature of the lights. This approach also provides the ability to determine where the energy flows. If you’re seeing increased energy costs and it’s a hot August day, for example, you can decide to put more of your energy into HVAC and dim your lighting.

That, in a nutshell, is what PoE does. Boiling it down, PoE brings communication and power into one wire.

Why Lighting is Critical

Lighting creates an emotional attachment to a physical space. You can create that ambiance by leveraging the theatrical level of precision and fidelity that PoE lighting systems can provide. Lights that can be controlled via PoE enable the user to fine-tune whatever ambiance or mood they’re looking to set.

Look for lights with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), as well as those that have spotlighting capability. CRI measures the ability of a light source to accurately reveal objects’ colors in comparison with a natural light source. Light sources with a high CRI are best when you want to ensure that key human elements (e.g., skin tone, the reflection of the light off one’s skin) are precise. Reflections off walls, representing the true wall color, and the environment around you are other areas in which you benefit from a light source with a high CRI.

Creating Mood

With spotlighting, the contrast light on a main speaker, for example, must be considered relative to the ambient light surrounding the speaker. When done thoughtfully, it creates mood. You don’t want to create glare for the speaker or for the audience. This is where a PoE system comes in handy, offering high-fidelity, individual control of every fixture.

The precision with which PoE can control lighting is extreme. In a room with 21 fixtures, users can create a front group, a back-left group, a left-side group, a right-side group and a middle group, and users can adjust each one. Or, there can be 21 independent lights. That, in many cases, means a specific level or color temperature for each one. It creates theatrical-grade control at consumer-level prices.

It’s possible to program your PoE lighting through a Zoom Room controller now, so it’s a good idea to ensure the lighting you select is compatible.

PoE’s Power and its Future

Presenting your subject in the best light is impossible with fluorescent or overly bright LED lights. With the controls available using PoE systems, as well as the precision of today’s lighting fixtures, people no longer must experience a “war” between their computer monitors and the LEDs overhead. We don’t need to accept the glare bombs in our eyes as just another element of working in an office.

Everything on the desktop or above can run as part of a low-voltage PoE system. We’re just now scratching the surface of the possibilities. It’s important to create awareness that this technology exists; it’s equally important to convey that it’s a viable alternative to traditional approaches. Lighting controls bring huge value to the workplace. Time is the other part of the equation of achieving wider PoE adoption. A construction cycle is typically two to four years. But, for now, we look forward to creating more PoE-based lighting and control systems to suit those looking for the unlimited possibility and power that PoE provides.

PoE represents a sea change in our industry. The reasons to embrace it are numerous: reduced power consumption, increased efficiency, ease and simplicity of installation, increased safety, reduced costs and increased informational feedback, just to name a few. It’s time to dive head-first into the perfect union of professional video lighting and IT management lighting control systems.

To read Commercial Integrator’s past coverage of PoE, check out our website archives.


About the Authors:

Kathy Katz, Managing Partner Brightline Kathy Katz has been managing partner of Brightline since 1998. During her tenure, she has been awarded two patents, and she led Brightline’s first PoE projects for DoorDash, Maricopa County and Slack. She has traveled the globe bringing Brightline fixtures to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and leading large-scale projects for Jupiter Shop Channel in Tokyo, KPMG in Australia, and BC Hydro in Canada. She managed Brightline lighting design and installation projects for Google, Facebook, Uber, Mcafee, Zoom and dozens of city council chambers. Katz has lectured on lighting all over the world.

Joe Herbst, Managing Partner Brightline

Joe Herbst has worked in several rapidly evolving high-tech markets over his 30-year career.  He has founded four startups with three successful exits. He holds 16 patents, and he has a BSEE from the University of Delaware, MSEE from Purdue University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

 

Wed, 13 Jul 2022 09:03:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.commercialintegrator.com/blogs/evolution-poe-lighting-benefits-applying-it-energy/
Killexams : How Impact, Meaning, And Purpose Are Different (And Why You Should Care)

Purpose. Impact. These terms are thrown around more than ever these days, including in some unexpected places, like one of the world’s largest investor’s annual letter. Purpose statements are printed on everyday objects and impact investing or sustainability are as likely as gross margins to be discussed over lunch in some offices.

We have yet, though, to pay as much attention to the concept of ‘meaning,’ at our collective peril. This oversight is a root cause of companies’ and investments’ inadequate progress toward becoming better for the people and planet around them.

Why do we need to develop this third, perhaps apparently overlapping, concept? Without meaning, impact is neutral: defined as ‘a marked effect or influence,’ by the Oxford English Dictionary. Similarly, purpose without meaning is an ambitious mission that fails to engage or motivate the people required to get it done. Purpose, impact, and meaning are closely related, but they are not synonyms or substitutes. We need all three to fulfill our human potential and build a healthier, more equitable version of capitalism.

Purpose

We are living in the time of peak purpose – where your dish soap or toothpaste label is as likely to have a purpose statement as a not-for-profit’s annual report. This is a good thing, and arguably not surprising: humans are evolutionarily predisposed to do things that contribute to some outcome larger than our own survival. And now that our careers and purchases are so intertwined with our identity, we have even higher expectations that the companies we work for and buy from to have this same sense of purpose.

We get anxious when we don’t understand the larger goal that our daily efforts are advancing. Indeed, ample research has shown that identifying and pursuing a purpose improves individuals’ physical and mental well-being. Other studies have shown organizations to perform better (financially and in other terms) when they have a purpose AND employees are clear about what that purpose is and how they contribute to it. But none of these benefits are felt if the purpose isn’t anchored by specific impacts and the meaning that they have to each individual participant.

Impact

These days, there is also a lot of talk about impact. Impact investing is all the rage these days, though many deals that claim the label don’t pass muster for many experts (at least not as being markedly different from deals that have always happened) as simply good business.

Millennials have become famous for wanting measurable and immediate impact from their jobs, purchases, and donations. They’re not the weird ones, it’s just that the rest of us are products of the last industrial revolution, in which we operated machines, pushed paper, or otherwise served as cogs in processes that separated us from our direct impact.

Purpose and impact at the organizational level are also having a heyday. Larry Fink’s annual letters pushed his portfolio CEOs – a plurality of the global economy at this point – to consider their organizations’ purpose and impact, beyond financial returns. In August 2019, 181 CEOs of large, publicly traded corporations issued a statement, revoking Milton Friedman’s position that shareholder value was the primary and sole purpose of corporations.

Meaning

The concept that hasn’t been making headlines is ‘meaning’. This is a problem. Without meaning, impact is a neutral term: ‘a marked effect or influence,’ according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Similarly, purpose without meaning is a lofty aspirational statement. And while other creatures also are driven to contribute to something larger than their own evolutionary success (ever seen an ant colony work, or eaten honey?), what is uniquely human is the meaning that we are able to ascribe to those efforts. In other words, the impacts of our actions, and what purpose they serve. So without making meaning of the impact of our actions, and why they matter in a larger sense, over time, we are not fulfilling our human potential. We’re just ants building a hill.

Don’t want to be an ant? Great, here’s your playbook.

How You Can Find And Connect Impact, Meaning, And Purpose To Reach Your Potential

First, let’s agree on definitions.

  • Impact is ‘a marked effect or influence,’ and it’s worth highlighting ‘marked,’ meaning that there’s some ability to observe or ideally measure the effect.
  • Meaning is sort of meta to define, but we’ll use the OED’s second definition: ‘the implied or explicit significance’.
  • And purpose is ‘the reason for which something is done.’

Consider your morning workout. Its impact might include releasing endorphins, strengthening your heart or muscles, burning fat, distracting you from worries about the day ahead, providing quality time with friends, exposing you to potential new friends, building your confidence to tackle other, non-physical challenges, upholding your side of a bet with a friend or group, or preparing you for a marathon or other physical feat. These are all wonderful effects, but will not matter equally to every person or even to a single individual at different times of their life. This is where it matters that we make meaning of our impact. A prescribed marathon training routine or group commitment to regular workouts are proven to have far higher persistence rates than the famous new year’s resolution ‘to work out more.’ The stronger the sense of significance, what the workout means to you the more likely you are to perform the act, meet your goals, and unleash your potential in this area of your life.

So imagine you’re someone who finds great purpose in supporting friends and family. You build a workout routine that has the impact of keeping your heart healthy and body strong. This will mean that you are around for a long time and able to play with grandchildren, nieces and nephews, biological or otherwise. You also know that in our increasingly inactive culture plagued by diabetes and heart disease, it’s powerful to set an example of physical fitness. The impact of setting this example has great meaning for you as part of how you advance your purpose of supporting your friends and family.

Taking the time to make these connections between the impact of your workouts to their specific meaning for you, and how that ladders up to your purpose, provides powerful motivation. You likely wouldn’t be as motivated by the other impacts of your workout mentioned above, such as social contact or buffer arms.

On the other hand, the heart health and longevity that directly advance your personal purpose are way too distant and abstract for other people who’ve just moved to a new city and have a purpose to build a community of fellow devotees of physical activity. They would be most motivated by workouts with a social element and a group of regular participants who might become friends.

We can apply the same meaning-making process in our professional lives. Imagine that you’re a supply chain manager and have taken to mentoring and now more actively sponsoring a newly hired woman on your team. You see great potential, and she’s very interested in integrating circular economy principles and social responsibility into your company’s approach. Over time, your support has the impact of providing this woman with formative learning experiences, advancing her career and salary, improving conditions for the factory workers in your supply chain, and extending the useful life cycle of your products.

Most of us can see the meaning of all of these impacts. But we’ll derive more motivation and fulfillment by focusing on the ones that connect most directly to our individual sense of purpose. In other words, if you see your purpose as reducing gender inequality, focus on the two former impacts and the meaning they have to you in elevating a woman toward your company’s leadership. On the other hand, if your purpose is about reducing waste, spending time thinking about the meaning of your colleague’s impact extending your products’ life cycle.

Playing the four-year-old favorite Game of “Why” is a simple way to get from impact to meaning and eventually the overarching purpose of your work. Your inner dialog (or eventually conversation with a direct report) could go something like this:

A: Why are you sponsoring this female colleague?

B: So that she gets a promotion.

A: Why do you want her to get a promotion?

B: So that she has more influence on our company’s future.

A: Why do you want her to have influence?

B: Because our senior leadership team isn’t yet representative of the diversity of our customers’ gender identities.

A: Why [you get the idea by now]?

B: Because when leadership represents customers’ gender mix we create a company and products that are better for all stakeholders and Improve the company’s performance.

A: Why?

B: Because that will provide advancement, professional satisfaction, and wealth to our female colleagues as well as products that best serve our female customers’ needs.

A: Why?

B: Because our society functions best when all of its members reach their potential, and currently we’re losing out on serious potential economic growth and social innovation.

Just keep asking yourself ‘why,’ and be curious about your answers. This simple process works amazingly well with colleagues and direct reports to help them connect the dots between their impact on your team and the meaning they do – or could – draw from it, and eventually the purpose that unites and motivates their work.

But Why Bother?

It’s exciting to be part of this twenty-first century evolution of corporate purpose, which is leading us to a more equitable and regenerative form of capitalism. But we must both 1) ground our lofty individual and organizational purposes in action, and 2) help all employees connect the dots of their day-to-day impact to its meaning – the significance it has to them personally. Without investing the time and money to learn and do this meaning-making process, we are just ants building hills. And leaders’ commitments in Davos, at the Business Roundtable, and in the BlackRock portfolio, will remain admirable but empty pledges.

On the other hand, when we make the time to understand and then share the current and potential impact of our work, and explore what it might mean to us each as employees, we create the motivating drive that is required to transform our economy. We have all the technology and resource to make our impact more positive. The meaning-making process is simple – remember our four-year-old Game of ‘Why’. And purpose emerges organically once we are really paying attention to themes in the meaning we derive from our work, individually and collectively.

All that’s required is that we believe that businesses can and should work alongside the public sector and not-for-profits to have positive impact on the planet and all people. And then remember that work can be a powerfully meaningful part of the human experience. If we make these basic shifts in belief systems (which have long been and are still held by many global communities), we are positioned for a rapid transition to the most equitable, peaceful, and healthy global society ever.

Sat, 22 Jan 2022 20:16:00 -0600 Nell Derick Debevoise en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/nelldebevoise/2019/12/10/how-impact-meaning-and-purpose-are-different-and-why-you-should-care/
Killexams : Servian founder launches Video Intelligence Platform 'VisualCortex'

Technology entrepreneur, Tony Nicol, launches video analytics start-up VisualCortex, making video insights accessible, actionable and valuable for all video-rich industries and business functions

SYDNEY and NEW YORK, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- VisualCortex – the cloud-based Video Intelligence Platform, connecting computer vision's potential to real-world business outcomes – has officially launched today worldwide. VisualCortex is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

Watch the VisualCortex overview video here: visualcortex.com

Unlike camera-side or point solutions – which typically focus on one video analytics challenge per deployment – VisualCortex delivers a highly performant enterprise-grade platform to facilitate any real-time or historical video analytics use case. Built to work with both streaming and offline footage, the VisualCortex platform applies machine learning models to video content, enabling organizations to produce analyzable data streams about defined objects and actions. Insights from that data can then be embedded straight into customers' traditional data infrastructure.

VisualCortex is backed by its Chairman and Co-Founder, Tony Nicol, who sold Australia's largest data-focused cloud consultancy, Servian, to US-based professional services company, Cognizant, in January 2021. Nicol founded Servian in 2008, where he remained CEO of the 900-person-strong enterprise transformation business until June 2021.

Utilizing experiences building some of the largest and most complex enterprise data platforms, Nicol said that VisualCortex's purpose was to enable any complex computer vision use case without compromising robustness and reliability.

"We built VisualCortex to overcome the limitations of single-use-case solutions, without sacrificing the stability, security, scalability, flexibility and governance that naturally occurs in homegrown point solutions," said Nicol.

Commenting on VisualCortex's launch, Nicol said the company's mission was to enable any organization to become a vision aware enterprise, allowing them to solve commercially valuable challenges with video-based insights at scale.

"For the first time, we're making video data truly actionable throughout the enterprise," said Nicol. "Up until now, computer vision technology has struggled to make commercial sense and generate impactful business value. They've also been prohibitively hard-to-use and expensive in terms of cost and time-to-value, hampering the ability to be harnessed by anyone other than machine learning experts.

"VisualCortex's Video Intelligence Platform removes those barriers and provides an enterprise-grade approach and control to computer vision initiatives," said Nicol. "We're enabling any business unit to quickly and easily build and implement a video analytics use case to facilitate future ways of working, today – no matter the nature of your business, hardware or video content."

CEO and Co-Founder, Patrick Elliott, said that VisualCortex was enabling organizations – regardless of the industry or business function – to produce analyzable video-based data streams about any aspect of their operations.

"VisualCortex is making video intelligence accessible and valuable for all video-rich industries and business functions," said Elliott. "Our Video Intelligence Platform provides the AI smarts, governance and stability. Clients just need to bring their standard infrastructure, commodity hardware and video – from any stream, camera or repository. With VisualCortex, you can run multiple machine learning models, for any number of video sources, across your existing cameras and video feeds.

"We're enabling anyone to quickly connect machine learning models with a production-ready cloud-based environment, transforming video assets into analyzable and actionable streams of data at scale. VisualCortex empowers technical users, like software developers and data scientists, as well as business users – from marketing executives and business analysts, to operations teams for OHS, security, car parks and more."

Elliott added that VisualCortex had already signed a number of commercial agreements and that specific partner and customer announcements would be made in the near future.

"We've encountered strong demand for VisualCortex's approach to video analytics," said Elliott. "We're set to announce a number of partnerships in the short-term with software and hardware vendors, service providers and the public sector. In terms of customers, we've signed NDAs – and are in various stages of conducting pilots and working on long-term agreements – with organizations in transport, retail and commercial real estate. Stay tuned for further exciting announcements regarding customer success and our growing partner ecosystem."

CTO and Co-Founder, Ben Evans, said that VisualCortex facilitated both real-time action and strategic analysis for any video analytics use case.

"We're enabling organizations to easily define, detect, track and produce tangible analytics about the objects and incidents that matter to them – from vehicle and number plate recognition, to people counting and dwell analysis," said Evans. "Customers can use those analytical insights operationally, triggering real-time alerts – and pushing the video-based data into operational systems – to prompt immediate action. Users can also analyze the data derived from their video assets with in-platform reports or pipe it into third-party databases. Combining video data streams with traditional data sources can unearth powerful integrated insights."

Evans added that the VisualCortex Model Store would also play a significant role in helping more organizations realize faster, stronger returns on their video analytics initiatives.

"We know that building, training and maintaining reliable machine learning models is resource intensive," said Evans. "The VisualCortex Model Store provides a secure digital marketplace for customers, partners and independent machine learning experts to share – and generate revenue from – quality controlled computer vision models.

"At its core, the Model Store provides models-as-a-service. Anyone with appropriate security access can upload video footage into the VisualCortex platform, then define events to track, leveraging models from the Model Store, and produce data for analysis."

VisualCortex is committed to building, training and maintaining a growing set of machine learning models, available out-of-the-box with a VisualCortex subscription license.

Browse the VisualCortex Model Store here: visualcortex.com/model-store

The VisualCortex Video Intelligence Platform can be securely deployed in multiple ways to meet individual organization's needs: As a fully-managed service in the cloud, on customers' private cloud, via public cloud providers, on-premise, at the edge, or via a hybrid deployment model. VisualCortex is generally available to the market from Friday 24th June, 2022.

About VisualCortex

VisualCortex is making video data actionable in the enterprise. As the world's best Video Intelligence Platform, VisualCortex provides the stability and scalability to productionize computer vision technology for the first time. Unlike camera-side or point solutions, VisualCortex can be used for any video analytics use case in any industry. VisualCortex's production-ready cloud-based environment transforms video assets into analyzable streams of data at scale.

The VisualCortex platform delivers the artificial intelligence smarts, governance and usability, enabling organizations to connect any number of video streams, repositories and use existing commodity hardware. An intuitive user interface, out-of-the-box reporting, range of configurations and integrations empower non-technical people to produce, analyze and act on insights derived from computer vision throughout the enterprise. Organizations can easily combine these AI-generated video insights with other data sources and systems to facilitate both real-time operations and strategic analysis. The VisualCortex Model Store also provides a secure marketplace for customers, partners and independent machine learning experts to share quality controlled computer vision models.

For more information, visit www.visualcortex.com

For further media information, interviews or images, please contact:

Lachlan James, VisualCortex Chief Marketing Officer, on +61 (0)431 835 658 or lachlan.james@visualcortex.com 

For regular updates, follow VisualCortex on Twitter (@VisualCortexApp), LinkedIn (VisualCortex), YouTube (VisualCortex) and Facebook (@VisualCortexApp).

For regular industry news and analysis, subscribe to VisualCortex's mailing list here: https://visualcortex.com/contact-us/

Cision

View original content to get multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/servian-founder-launches-video-intelligence-platform-visualcortex-301574020.html

SOURCE VisualCortex

Thu, 23 Jun 2022 06:01:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/servian-founder-launches-video-intelligence-180000927.html
Killexams : Capital Gains Tax 101: Basic Rules Investors and Others Need to Know No result found, try new keyword!Learn the ins and outs of the capital gains tax, which you may owe if you sell stocks, your home, cryptocurrency, a stamp collection, and much more. Sun, 17 Jul 2022 21:42:06 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/capital-gains-tax-101-basic-rules-investors-and-others-need-to-know/ar-AAZHbqR Killexams : Vandalism of Power Assets Worsens Nationwide Electricity Supply

Although Nigeria’s power sector has never really operated optimally, the latest decline experienced by electricity consumers nationwide may have been made worse by the incessant destructions of the country’s transmission lines by vandals, writes Emmanuel Addeh

While the motives for attacking the country’s power assets still remain in the realm of conjecture, the sporadic disruption of electricity supply to parts of the country by an already struggling sector, calls for concern from all and sundry.

Before now, Nigerians had expressed high hopes that the national grid could at least deliver up to 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2023 and ameliorate the decades of inadequate and unreliable power supply.

But as it is, that target is now under serious threat as the national power assets have become objects of attack in various parts of Nigeria.

This year alone, aside gas lines supplying the fuel to thermal-powered facilities, there have been direct strikes on assets run by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for which innocent consumers have suffered the consequences.

A SNAPSHOT OF ONSLAUGHTS

From the South-south to the South-west, from the South-east to parts of the north, the story of destruction of TCN power lines have largely been the same.

One of the most far-reaching in a negative sense was the incident of April 8, 2022 which happened around 6.30pm, literally plunging the national power grid to a very low level, thereby causing a system collapse.

Days later, officials of the TCN noted that they found that a transmission Tower number 104 at Oku Iboku in Akwa Ibom State, along the 330 kilovolts (kV) Ikot Ekpene to Odukpani transmission line had been vandalised and had indeed fallen from the impact.

It took a while for the reconstruction works on the vandalised transmission to be completed, while work to fortify other towers minimally vandalised along the same line route, was carried out  to enable the restringing and tensioning of the 330kV DC transmission line, before it was energised.

At the time, the collapsed tower was not the only one vandalised and it  involved bringing down the 330kV DC line on some suspension towers, that were minimally vandalised, up to the nearest tension towers on both sides of the collapsed tower and fortifying the suspension towers before restringing the lines to ensure quality work.

The authorities had appealed to the public to help TCN in the fight against the vandalism of power infrastructure, saying that such acts were detrimental to Nigerians and the expansion of power infrastructure in the country.

But that was not the first in the space of three months that such attacks would be taking place. In March 2022, it was discovered that the 330kV Sapele to Benin transmission line tripped off after a series of attacks affected some towers under it.

An official of TCN, which manages the power grid, confirmed that a tower on the 132kV Enugu to Benue transmission line was hacked and nearly fell. In the process, a suspected vandal was electrocuted before it was fixed by the authorities after a while.

In addition, just near Osogbo in Osun state, vandals brought welding machines, hacked and fell two towers on the brand new 330kV Osogbo to Akure power transmission line, causing a delay in the project execution. 

Not done, in Ogun state, three transmission towers collapsed recently on the 132kV Papalanto/Ojere double-circuit transmission line after they were vandalised, causing power outage around Abeokuta and its environs. The constraint was later fixed while restoring bulk power to the affected area.

Within this short period, it was learnt that at least five vandalism incidents had been recorded with the one occurring in Oku Iboku (Akwa Ibom state), affecting Akwa Ibom and Cross River at once while causing the Odukpani NIPP Generation Company (GenCo) with over 400MW capacity to shut down since April.

 After the Oku Iboku vandalism incident, the federal government in a statement directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to probe the situation.

Not long after, the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr Sanusi Garba, confirmed the cause of the incident as massive vandalism of the power assets.

“The immediate cause of the national blackout (system collapse) was an act of vandalism on a transmission tower on the Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene 330kV double circuit transmission line thus resulting in a sudden loss of about 400MW of generation (Calabar NIPP). This consequently led to a cascade of plants’ shut down across the country,” he said.

While explaining the nature of the vandalism, the Port Harcourt Regional Transmission Manager at TCN, Daniel Udofia, said Tower 104 was vandalised at Oku Iboku in Akwa Ibom state on the 330kV Odukpani (Cross River) to Ikot Ekpene (Akwa Ibom) transmission line, saying the attack was massive.

Shortly after the Oku Iboku vandalism, the Managing Director of TCN,  Dr. Sule Abdulaziz and some management officials of the publicly-owned company visited the site of the vandalism to assess the extent of the damage.

Speaking at the site, he said: “This singular act threw the entire nation into darkness plus the humongous loss in terms of economic resources. Despite this, we have remained resolute in our effort to find ways of ensuring power supply to the good people of Akwa Ibom and the nation at large.

“To effectively achieve this, every citizen of Nigeria must in one way or another contribute to this fight against the vandalism of power infrastructures,” noted  Abdulaziz.

However, the Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider at TCN, Victor Adewumi, made more revelation of the nationwide power assets’ sabotage.

 “It is happening almost everywhere in the country now; even in Delta state, we had to quickly mobilise to fix 10 towers in a row when we saw an act of vandalism. This is outright sabotage and it doesn’t happen in other climes,” he declared.

Worried by the development, Adewumi noted that the phenomenon throughout the country was setting back Nigeria from the path of electricity expansion.

 “We appeal to the youths and to Nigerians to own these assets because it belongs to us. Each time we pull the government back and we turn around to blame the same government; it is so unfair to throw the whole nation into blackout,”he stated.

Adewumi who said vandalism causes retrogression in power infrastructure development added that the attack on power assets was not only callous but a setback for power consumers in the country.

 “There is no way this country can move forward if each time we take a step forward and we take three steps backward. Everybody needs power and every generation plants service every part of Nigeria. You can see how callous people can be to deliberately remove tower members to bring this thing down,” he added.

Adewunmi’s submission about how vandalism of power infrastructure causes retrogression in the national electricity grid development may not be far from the truth as consumers are usually in a quagmire during such episodes.

As TCN re-energised the Ikot Ekpene to Odukpani transmission line in Akwa Ibom after reconstructing the vandalised tower after four weeks, Adewumi who assessed the completed work, appealed to Nigerians to work to safeguard power assets in their communities.

400MW LOST IN ONE INCIDENT

He stated that the restoration of the power line was a priority for the government, noting that power evacuation of at least 400MW from the Odukpani power plant near Calabar would create relief for the areas that experienced outage after the line was vandalised.

“As we speak, Odukpani NIPP has the capacity to bring over 400MW to the grid but they were shut out because there was no other way to connect to the national grid due to the vandalism,” he noted.

He appealed to the public, especially residents of Akwa Ibom and parts of Cross River state that the company was fast tracking the process and called for patience.

 “The tower is back and we have done everything to restore and sustain it on the national grid. We appeal to people to also take ownership of power infrastructure that passes through their communities,” he noted.

 NOT ALL GLOOM AND DOOM

While efforts are on to tackle incessant destruction of assets, the federal government has said that it has a deal to ramp up supply.

 Nigeria currently operates a grid that has an average of 5,000MW power delivery capacity. To accelerate this and resolve the myriads of complaints about poor power supply, the Nigerian government entered a strategic deal with Germany to have its Siemens undertake end-to-end energy reform for Nigeria under the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).

That programme, it said is ongoing with procurement of transmission and distribution equipment at an advanced stage and would kick in practically this September towards moving the grid from 5,000MW to 7,000MW.

By next year, it assured that it would take the grid to 10,000MW and by 2025, the programme would have lifted Nigeria’s grid to 25,000MW with its implementation being driven by the FGN Power Company.

SECURING FACILITIES

To tackle the situation, some experts have insisted that the government, power operators, community residents and security agents should deepen synergy to intercept vandals before they execute their acts.

For instance, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power And Petroleum Development, John Etim, said the government would work with TCN on mass sensitisation of the public while making laws at the House of Assembly for stricter penalties against vandals. He also said the state had intensified security surveillance to curb vandals’ activities.

A power consultant, Mr Bulus Yaro,  stated that he was aware that some power firms occasionally engage the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) and vigilante groups to patrol lines. “These efforts are not enough, from time to time, community members including youths should be involved in the process.

“Then security agents should be made to arrest and prosecute dealers in metal scraps especially if they are found to be copper and aluminium conductors. That is when we will start being serious to tackle this sabotage, ”he said.

Speaking on a panel discussion during the week, the Executive Director, Independent System Operator, Maman Lawal, argued that although there had been some reduction in cases of grid collapses, it was unfortunate that the phenomenon was increasing this year.

Stressing that some “critical parameters are really beyond the control of the core industrial players,” he argued that there has to be an integrated approach to all the challenges. “Like I mentioned, it is anomalous, we are in a state of flux,” he said.

The General Manager, National Control Centre, Oshogbo, Balarabe Abdullahi, who spoke separately, said that the industry was dealing with a lot of constraints, including in the major within the system.

“And before we have the stability of the grid, definitely the supply and demand have to have to be at an equilibrium. So there are so many factors and those factors include gas constraints, water management,” he said.

He called for the collective protection of the gas supply facilities so that access by vandals will be difficult, while constant availability of the product will reduce incessant system collapses.

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/06/28/vandalism-of-power-assets-worsens-nationwide-electricity-supply/
Killexams : Global Data Center Market to Reach $311.63 Billion | Automation, Blockchain, and AI to Change Face of Data Center Market

SkyQuest Technology Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Global data center market is valued at USD 220 billion in 2021 and is projected to attain a market size of USD 311.63 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 5.10% during the forecast period (2022–2028).

Westford, USA, July 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the amount of technology available in today's world skyrockets, professional data centers have been one of the industries that has been significantly impacted. The data center skills gap, or lack of skilled dedicated professionals, continues to be an intricate concern across global data center market. As per the current estimates and future forecast, the data center market is booming, impacting not just the computing sector, but other sectors as well. From the adoption of a hybrid approach that leverages co-locations and new technologies, to the need for an in-house data center staff and how widespread this skill gap continues to ensue is likely to remain a hot Topic in the years to come.

Top 4 Trends That are Transforming the Data Center Market

Building out hyperscale data centers: Data centers are continuing to grow in size, and larger facilities are becoming more common. This is mainly due to the demand for increased capacity and improved performance. As a result, more and more companies are building out hyperscale data centers, which consist of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars’ worth infrastructure.

Adoption of blockchain technology: Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly popular in the data center world. This is due to its potential for creating safer and more efficient systems. Additionally, blockchain could play a role in replacing many traditional systems used in data center management.

Embracement of artificial intelligence (AI): AI is Already being used in a number of different ways in operations across global data center market. For example, AI can help identify patterns and trends in data so that it can be more efficiently processed. Additionally, AI can be used to Improve machine learning algorithms and provide better insights into customer behavior.

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It should be noted that the deep learning algorithms used to power AI have provided great benefits in computer vision. Not only is the ability of the algorithm to reliably recognize objects far better than a human being, it is also efficient enough to provide lower end of the market price.

Automation: Many data center operations that don't use automated routines require manual intervention during peak hour. This can lead to error prone activities and additional efforts to track with these manual activities. Automation has enabled companies to scale resources more effectively as well as ensure seamless operations in both performance and quality. The "predictive" nature of automated systems will enable data centers to react faster when needed from startups.

Rapid Expansion of Big Data, Need for Advanced Infrastructure and Strong Impact of 5G to Bolster Data Center Market

The growth of cloud services and the massive increase in big data have made the data center an essential part of modern business. However, due to the increasing demand for these services, businesses are requiring more advanced infrastructure in order to keep up. One area where this is particularly evident is with regard to 5G wireless technology.

5G wireless technology is currently in its early stages, but it has the potential to make a significant impact on the way businesses operate. In particular, 5G wireless technology has the ability to transmit large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. This will allow businesses to conduct various types of transactions across a wide variety of platforms without having to rely on traditional network infrastructure.

As seen by the rapid expansion of cloud providers and big data, the future looks bright for the data center market. This is primarily due to the fact that 5G wireless technology has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses operate.

High Staff Turnover Due to Shortage of Skilled Professional

As the industry moves towards automation, it's becoming difficult to find employees with the required skills. According to a latest study, 88% of respondents believe that high staff turnover is due to a lack of skilled professional.

Automation is expected to play an ever-increasing role in data center operations, and as such, it's becoming more difficult to find employees with the requisite skills. This trend is likely to continue, especially as technology evolves and job functions become more specialized.

The high staff turnover rate in data center market is mainly due to the lack of skilled professional. According to the report "The State of Staffing in the Data center market" by staffing service provider Kelly Services, the turnover rate for tech services professionals is 47%. Even though this number may seem low, when considering that the average tenure for a tech services professional is only 2.9 years, it is clear that there is a lack of stability in this field. In order to combat this issue and bolster the skills of these professionals, it has become imperative for companies to focus on training and development policies.

While it may be costly to implement such policies, it will be worth it in the long run. The fact is that without skilled professionals, companies cannot maintain their competitive edge in the data center market. It is important for organizations to find a solution to this issue before it becomes too costly to fix.

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Lack of Innovation in Colocation Facilities to Adversely Affect Data Center Market Growth

The data center market has seen a decline in innovation in latest years. Many facilities are using the same equipment, designs, and configurations for their colocation spaces. This stagnation may be impacting the industry as a whole. In order to keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape, data centers need to foster innovative practices and new designs. Here are some trends that may help reinvigorate the space:

1. The rise of cloud services: Cloud services have taken over as the dominant form of computing and data storage. This trend is likely to continue as more companies shift their IT operations to the cloud. Implementing cloud-based products and services within data center can help Improve efficiency and productivity.

2. The impact of virtualization: Virtualization has revolutionized how organizations work with data by allowing them to create multiple instances of software on dedicated servers. This capability allows you to run multiple applications on one machine while freeing up processing power and storage space. Virtualization can also provide added security benefits by isolating critical systems from possible cyberattacks.

3. The importance of big data: Increasingly, organizations are ingesting large amounts of data in order to identify patterns and insights that can be used for making informed business decision.

In the past few years, the data center market has seen an increasing trend of colocation facilities becoming outdated in terms of technology advancement and not meeting the needs of businesses. This has driven many businesses to look for innovative data center solutions that can help them outpace the competition.

One of the latest trends in data center market is the move towards containerized data centers. This is because it allows businesses to standardized their operations and manage their data effectively. In addition, these containers also offer businesses a number of other benefits such as more flexibility and lower costs.

So, How Companies are responding to Taping Potential of Data Center Market

The data center market is currently in a transitional period. It is facing challenges from Moore's Law being challenged by silicon manufacturing capacity and the commoditization of infrastructure services. The industry is also adjusting to new business models such as the public cloud, Big Data and mobile computing. It is important for datacenter operators to remain agile and stay ahead of the curve to ensure continued success.

Companies are now looking for automation and more transparency in the data center operations which will help them get more out of their data centers and reduce costs. However, with increased automation comes associated risks. Moreover, experts are of the opinion that computing in the data center will shift to mobile and cloud-based platforms in the near future; this will require intelligent management and efficient use of resources to maintain optimal performance while minimizing cost.

So, what does the future hold for the data center market? Expanding adoption of innovative technologies such as blockchain will help businesses stay ahead of the curve, while colocation facilities will need to adapt and Improve their offerings in order to remain competitive.

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Increased Internet Penetration and Rising Network of OTT Apps are Aligning Future of Data Center Market Towards Expansion

Rapid growth in usage of OTT platforms is expected to continue over the next few years. According to a study by Global Web Index, the global active user base of OTT platforms crossed 512 million in 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 68%. The study forecasts that the global active user base of OTT platforms will reach 1.7 billion by 2025. This growth is being driven by expanding range of services offered by these platforms and increasing adoption among users.

OTT platforms are increasingly being used as an alternative to traditional TV content delivery. They are also being employed for social networking, gaming, education, and other purposes. In general, OTT platforms are changing the way people consume media content.

Two significant trends that are impacting the data center market are the increasing penetration of streaming platforms and improving user base. As streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu become more popular, users are consuming more multimedia content. In turn, this is having a significant impact on the data center market by leading to increased demand for streaming services, more data storage requirements, and increased demand for connectivity infrastructure.

Data center market is witnessing an increase in the penetration of streaming platforms, especially with the advent of Amazon Web Services (AWS). This has led to an increase in the number of users and a corresponding rise in data throughput. In addition, data center operators are also benefiting from new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that are helping them to optimize their infrastructure. The future holds many potential opportunities for data center operators who can tap into these trends.

Key Players in Data Center Market

Related Reports in SkyQuest’s Library:

Global Engineering Services Outsourcing Market

Global Micro Mobile Data Center Market

Global Software Defined Data Center Market

Data Center Colocation Market

Data Center Cooling Market

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