IoT.nxt’s award-winning Raptor product range celebrates 4th anniversary

IoT.nxt’s innovative Raptor product range celebrates its 4th anniversary this month and since its launch has added several new products assisting rapid digital transformation at diverse companies in different sectors globally.

The first product in the Raptor range was Edge Raptor which was designed to be deployed on third-party gateways. It was designed to filter, aggregate, normalize, and abstract edge device data required to facilitate and manage business processes. By managing data at the edge, only allowing the relevant device data to flow through to IoT.nxt’s Commander platform, Raptor solved the problem of big data overload. This method of data orchestration makes it possible to overcome challenges that typically arise from poor coordination across value chains.

“Since the introduction of the first Edge Raptor, we now have several additional Raptor products that are used to integrate with sensors, devices, and even other systems. Each Raptor in the range has a specific function, but the main aim is to integrate with as many devices as possible and to enable bi-directional communication between devices and the rest of the IoT.nxt’s Commander IoT ecosystem,” says André Jacobs, IoT.nxt Chief of Product Engineering.

The most recent addition to the Raptor range, Virtual Raptor (V-Raptor), a virtual gateway, was selected as the winner of the Enterprise IoT Management Innovation category in the annual IoT Breakthrough Awards program in January this year. V-Raptor also won the category Research and Development or new Launch in the IoT Global Awards announced in November 2021.

“V-Raptor was launched in January 2020 to support an IoT deployment of significant scale that presented the need for a virtual gateway. An IoT aggregation layer was needed that could be deployed closer to the IoT devices inside a customer’s network to ensure a high degree of security while providing a way to send high-velocity data to our IoT platform Commander in the cloud,” Jacobs, says.

The other product in the range is the Micro Raptor, released in May 2020, is IoT.nxt’s own bespoke cost-effective hardware and firmware IoT edge gateway that can be tailored to specific device integrations.

The company is also working on a range of its own gateway devices that are tailored towards specific IoT solutions on which Edge Raptor software can be deployed. The first of which is scheduled for release in the next few months.

Data gathered through a Raptor is ingested by Commander, normalised, augmented, and provides customers with a plethora of applications to visualise data through web and mobile dashboards, provides instant alarming, acts based on predefined triggers, and allows for upstream integration to third party applications. A comprehensive Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Machine Learning module, called Foundry, is in development and will be launched in the current year as well.

“The true value of an IoT solution lies in the near real-time availability of all business data that allows enterprises to track activity, respond to issues like breakdowns swiftly, unlock efficiencies and reduce costs. Our platform is designed to address the challenges of any business in any industry and deliver key insights into business operations. Raptor and Commander creates a powerful end-to-end IoT platform which enables our partners to build innovative solutions for their customers,” Jacobs notes.

MAJOR RAPTOR MILESTONES

Edge Raptor

  • Edge Raptor released (March 2018)
  • Dedicated CANmine solution for mining vehicles (June 2019)
  • Smart building support (Sep 2019)
  • Intelligent edge algorithms (November 2019)
  • Commander single sign-on support (July 2021)
  • Site-creation wizard for large scale projects (Sep 2021)
  • Smart battery and rectifier life-cycle management (Oct 2021)
  • Smart workflow for custom edge data management and actuation (Nov 2021)

Virtual Raptor

  • Virtual Raptor released (January 2020)
  • Self Service application launched allowing for easy deployment of drivers (September 2021)
  • Software Development Kit that enables third party driver development (June 2020)
  • Native driver signing and package manager (February 2021)
  • Redesigned mobile first user interface (April 2021)
  • Commander single sign-on support (April 2021)
  • Successful deployment into multiple private networks on-prem in multiple countries (March 2021)
  • Highly scalable, high availability support (clustering) (October 2021)
  • Commander multi-tenancy support (8 April 2021)

Micro Raptor

  • Micro Raptor released (May 2020)
  • Commander integration via V-Raptor (June 2020)
  • Dedicated generator monitoring solution (August 2020)

How to erase virtual meeting A.D.D for good

Soft Skills ADD

In our new work-from-home world, constant communication stimuli are thrown at us, from emails, and Teams calls to chats and text messages, making it easy to become distracted or worse, we get tempted to multitask (and think we’re nailing it!). However, studies have shown that multitasking decreases your brain’s efficiency and mental performance, which means productivity level also declines! For example, doing two tasks at once has reduced productivity by up to 40%! So, let’s fix it! 2 years in, many of us have outgrown the “I’m sorry, I was on mute” and the inevitable “I seem to have a bad connection” excuse. But still, people experience virtual meeting anxiety around the world. Therefore, let’s explore a few ways to help you reduce the worries associated with virtual meetings. 

You run the meeting (and the world)

You’ve been in back-to-back virtual meetings all day. It’s late afternoon, and you dread the last call of the day because you struggle to keep this specific group of people engaged. As with the now ancient face-to-face meetings, try and maintain professionalism while taking charge. Life happens, sessions run over. If that’s the case, have the courtesy to chat with the participants in your next meeting and notify them that you’re running late. Once the session has started, make sure everyone knows why they’re in the meeting and confirm if quick introductions are required – this usually sets people at ease. Equally important as the meeting owner, allow participants to leave the session once you’ve picked their expert brains. Once someone has contributed their portion of the session and needs to go or have a tight schedule, allow them to leave as soon as they need to.

I survived another meeting that could have been an email.

Running late and meetings exceeding the scheduled time are commonplace in the virtual world. Many people understand this as it happens to all of us. However, courtesy again comes into play. Notify participants if you’re going to be late, have technical problems, or won’t be able to attend. Another aspect of timing – keep it short and to the point. The internet is littered with shocking statistics on our time spent in virtual meetings versus our productivity. How much time is lost during a week because of fruitless virtual meetings? 30mins per session is advisable; if a Teams chat would suffice, go for it instead of scheduling a meeting.

Keep it human

Whether you’re having a meeting with internal c-suiters, customers, or your co-worker, the rule is simple: Everyone on the call is human, therefore act as such. Respect, politeness, and setting everyone at ease to contribute is critical. If you must crack a joke, read the room, and find the best moment to lighten the mood. Speaking of moods, don’t put people on the spot by demanding they share their “video”. If it is a requirement for the specific virtual meeting, notify participants in advance or at the start of the session. This will give them time to ensure they are presentable and prepare themselves for screen time. This is where people are the most anxious in virtual meetings as they are concerned with their appearance, surroundings and seeing themselves on screen.

Take it easy and try to act natural; you can only achieve this if you are prepared. Therefore, always assume you’ll be asked to switch on your video. Having your video on (especially with clients and superiors) is a sign of respect and professionalism.

No hidden agendas please

The assumption is that the work-from-home lifestyle has afforded many of us time. That cannot be further from the truth. If anything, everyone’s diaries are stacked with meetings. Neat freaks would colour-code their meetings by type: green for easy-going, red for important, yellow for customers, pink for private time – their diaries resemble a Tetris game. Share an agenda well in advance so that all attendees know what it’s about and what input will be required during the session. If you cannot share an agenda, at minimum, have one prepared for yourself to assist and guide you throughout the meeting. An agenda helps the meeting flow and usually forces participants to get to the point once that one person starts rambling.

Cancel noise culture

In March of 2020, the norm was dogs barking, kids screaming, and significant others enquiring about dinner plans. Now, 2 years later, we have become used to the idea of attending virtual meetings from home and knowing the dos and don’ts. Noise-cancelling headphones are an excellent investment when you have no quiet place to escape to. If you cannot stop the noise in your vicinity, politely notify attendees of the background noise; you’ll usually be met with relating, understanding voices.

They can see your screen

Sharing a screen forces your audience to engage. On Teams, which is the most popular virtual meeting platform to use for business, a red border will appear on the outline of the screen you’re sharing. Do make sure to hide the live chat with your significant other and any other possible embarrassing Google searches from your audience, though! Whether it’s your meeting agenda or a beautifully curated presentation, sharing your screen pulls your audience in and keeps them captivated. Ensure you familiarise yourself with the virtual meeting platform buttons, functions, and presentation mode before the meeting.

Say what?

Whether you’re leading the meeting, presenting, or contributing as a participant, ensure you have no distractions during the session – difficult, yes, but impossible, no. While on the call, everyone can hear if you’re typing or speaking to someone else. Worse still, when it’s time to contribute, and you ask questions to get you up to speed, it indicates that you’re not paying attention. To avoid these embarrassing moments, close your email and chat boxes for the duration of the meeting, also put your smartphone on silent for bonus focus points.

At the end of the day, virtual meetings allow us to speak to colleagues across the world at any time. It enables us to work from home, from our comfort zones, to be ourselves. But it requires some rules to adopt before, during and after attending. If you follow the suggestions above, you’ll be more productive, less stressed, and you can even add ‘Virtual Meetings’ to your long list of skills! Stay human, respect others’ time, and enjoy the new virtual world!

 

IoT.nxt to showcase its IoT solution with Vodafone at MWC Barcelona

Internet of Things (IoT) innovator IoT.nxt will present its forward-thinking solutions on the stand of its parent company Vodafone at MWC Barcelona, the world’s largest mobile technology event, from 28 February 2022.

“Our cell site management (CSM) solution, which has delivered success across markets in Africa, will be one of the IoT.nxt offerings to be showcased at Vodafone’s stand. This solution focuses on the passive infrastructure of a telecommunication network, enabling Mobile Network Operators and TowerCos to achieve a number of objectives, including reducing energy costs and carbon emissions, optimizing maintenance costs, improving network availability and making the site more resilient against theft and vandalism. Our solution was built from the ground up, utilising our intelligent edge gateway, Raptor™ and enterprise IoT platform, Commander,” says Shane Cooper, Acting CEO of IoT.nxt.

“We are excited about presenting this and other solutions at this event as IoT has been identified by analysts as one of the key focus areas visitors will be interested in. IoT will take centre stage in different presentations about the value it offers enterprises,” Cooper says.

Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group, is one of the keynote speakers, in a stellar line-up that includes executives from companies like Huawei, CaixaBank, Nokia and AT&T Business.

IoT.nxt has developed a range of solutions with Vodafone now rolling out in the UK market, The Netherlands, Turkey and across Europe. Executives from Vodafone Business and the local Spanish subsidiary will host presentations at the Vodafone stand to the 40 000+ visitors expected for the 2022 event.

Visit event page here: https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/