INTERNET OF THINGS ISSUE
05 Powerful Partners 010 RX For Health Care 012 Bright Idea
PUBLISHERS Sandra Watson Steven G. Zylstra
POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS
EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Susan E. Marie
Devices aren’t the only things that need to work together in IoT.
Erin Loukili Lucky You! Creative
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Salim Hariri Joe Kullman Jerzy Rozenblit Steve Yozwiak
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Ensuring critical data keeps flowing round the clock.
RX FOR HEALTH CARE
Customer engagement solution starts with bright idea.
ARIZONA COMMERCE AUTHORITY
Making the right connections for new successes.
04 Publisher’s Letter 013 Message from the Governor 016 The University of Arizona 017 Arizona State University 018 Northern Arizona University 019 TGen
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Here’s the ‘Thing’ STEVEN G. ZYLSTRA
ou might think of it as the overnight sensation that’s been years in the making. And, boy, does it seem to be making up for that time in the shadows. I’m talking about the Internet of Things, or IoT as it’s more commonly known. If the term is new to you, in its simplest terms it’s devices using the Internet to connect and share data to accomplish tasks. It puts into practice the adage that there’s strength in numbers. While many of you may think this mélange of machines really came together in the past few years, it actually started gaining some traction nearly a decade ago. That’s about the time the number of devices online passed the number of users. So, while the Great Recession was dominating the headlines, the “things” were already at work in the background. To give you an idea of just how big it’s becoming, consider that global spending on IoT is expected to exceed $800 billion this year—a 16.7 percent jump from last year. The forecast from the International Data Corporation also predicts investments will continue on a trajectory that will hit almost $1.4 trillion by 2021, including the U.S. coming in as the No. 2 region with $421 billion in spending. As you can see, just because IoT has been relatively quiet to many of us, that doesn’t mean it’s been flying below the radar. It’s actually claiming the horizon. In Arizona, some of the biggest IoT news has been made by Lyft and Waymo—a sibling of Google—partnering for a pilot to test self-driving cars in the Valley. Intel chose Chandler as the home base of its Internet of Things Solutions Group. Avnet offers its team of data and business intelligence architects, and business analysts to help make the next great IoT idea a reality no matter where on Earth it is.
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In the issue of TechConnect, you’ll meet some of the people whose homegrown ideas are making or will make a difference. Whether it’s a force like Verizon helping get ideas off the drawing board or a Valley native whose customer engagement solution has caught the attention of a major mall operator or companies keeping critical data flowing for health care providers, all are claiming their share of the IoT space. But on the whole, we’re really just scratching the surface when it comes to potential. A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Survey released last fall revealed 42 percent of the respondents felt a lack of skills or capabilities prevented their organizations from using or acting on more of the big data being collected. Further, only 4 percent felt they were using or acting upon nearly all relevant or applicable IoT data. A little sad to hear but not entirely surprising. That’s why last fall the Arizona Technology Council launched its Internet of Things Committee. It was created to provide a platform for members to collaborate, share information and learn how IoT can help their organizations create real-time business solutions in what is evolving into a sensor-enabled, analytics-driven world. Another opportunity will come Sept. 28 when the Council and Sustainability Transition Consulting present the inaugural Smart City Summit: Share your Smarts, where we will have an IoT track. The underlying idea is to put competition aside and instead support of one another. After all, this truly is Arizona’s opportunity to make a big mark in big data. STEVEN G. ZYLSTRA is president and CEO of the Arizona
Close+up: Focusing on Significant Topics Affecting Technology
POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS More advancements accomplished by reaching out to others
t its core, the Internet of Things is all about devices sending data through networks to make events occur. This is no place to work in siloes. To move the ball forward in this expanding field, it’s not a bad idea to take a lesson from the machines. From the initial idea to working with others to make it a reality, humans working can get desired results—even faster—in IoT. That’s been the case for Kim Ruggiero, Verizon’s Arizona-based managing partner for the North-central, South-central and Pacific regions of the country. That partnership begins with the customer—and “not just the bits and bytes of a technical discussion,” she says. “That’s kind of where IoT is: We’re identifying areas where it’s an expansive thinking process of how we can help this business improve their customer experience.” Making this more noteworthy is other players in the solution development process aren’t necessarily Verizon employees. An example is an asset tracking management for the pharmaceutical industry, which is mandated to comply with the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act. Ruggiero’s team proposed integrating back
end office systems to track the components and the ingredients within a pharma organization’s entire supply chain. Verizon’s serialization platform already has been proven in making a difference for the company’s clients, Ruggiero says, but to create a new solution in a timely manner called for reaching outside the company. “One of the things that we decided to do was partner with a couple of organizations that had best-of-breed services around these particular areas, so we utilized Verizon for the back end and the front end is some of our partners that are associated with this.” While partnerships in IoT can make a difference in life-saving industries such as pharmaceuticals, they also can change everyday lives. In short, they can make a city “smarter.” That’s the focus of the Institute for Digital Progress headed by Executive Director Dominic Papa. While doing research as an aide to Bill Gates when he served as a Phoenix council member, Papa gained a sense of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that has been building in the metropolitan area. “What I didn’t realize as well is how active our leading private sector companies are in wanting to build a better city, SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
a better community and customer—the city faces “The ultimate we’re going less risk with a custom promote a higher quality of life,” Papa says. solution that is tested for is to improve the That was reinforced before deciding whether quality of life for people when the institute was to buy it and Cisco gets awarded a $300,000 in Arizona and improve new users of its technolgrant from Cox Commuogy. “It’s really a winour government." nications to serve as the win-win for the city, for key innovation partner the entrepreneur and for - Dominic Papa, with the city of Phoenix the private sector,” Papa Institute for Digital Progress after it was named a parsays of the competition’s Executive Director ticipant in the national real result. Smart Gigabit CommuExpect more to come nities project initiated by US Ignite in partwith the institute’s efforts as it continues to nership with the National Science Foundation. host events and workshops where it welcomes The project purpose is for Phoenix and 18 other community input to collect ideas for new applicommunities to create testbeds of applications. cations. For example, Papa was preparing for the The funding supports technological developgroup’s third annual Smart City Hack, “which ment of two applicants annually for three years, basically challenges any citizen to create an Papa says. application that can make a city better, make the While it’s exciting to be part of a national ef- city more efficient, and make that city smarter fort that is evolving, Papa and his group want to for a chance to win $3,000 and a trip to Barcelomake an impact closer to home. Again, partnerna” for the Smart City World Expo. ships come into play. Papa first was bitten by the Prizes aside, the institute is trying to solve smart bug while researching how cities around urban issues and the problems of citizen, the world leverage IoT. Remembering his past he says. Helping support that mission is the research and his current role with the institute, group’s Smart &Connected Council, which is a his contacts with the city’s Public Works deconsortium of leading companies, universities partment came to him with a problem: how to and others involved in technology. “The electoptimize routes for garbage pickup. “I went to ed officials can’t tell the citizens what their Cisco and told them, ‘Hey, this is a problem the problems are. Only the citizens know what city of Phoenix is facing. Can we do something their problems are,” Papa says. “The ultimate together in order to help solve it?’” we’re going for is to improve the quality of life That resulted in the Cisco IoT Challenge, for people in Arizona and improve our gova competition in which the tech giant proernment, so citizens are always at the heart of vided tools for applicants to create possible what we do.” solutions. The winner, Hathority, came up with Finding improvements also is true of comthree applications to connect stakeholders panies such as Verizon, which is looking for using smartphones, tablets or desktops. That ways to make life easier in world that doesn’t means the winner gets to pilot its idea directly always operate 9 to 5. Ruggiero says one shared with Public Works—and perhaps get its first solution in the works will let a customer drop
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off a car for repair or maintenance at a dealership then check out a loaner car—even at 11 at night—for only the time that’s needed to service the vehicle. “It’s really a 24/7 type of capability vs. 8 to 5, which doesn’t necessarily work in Phoenix given the distance of people travel through traffic and the different hours of business,” she says. Verizon already has a mobile application that allows a company to show all of its different assets available for sharing. Ruggiero says a person would indicate what he or she wants to check out and the vendor would be able to quote a price. An idea her team is working on would let a company’s large fleet of cars to be checked out in a large campus environment to students or faculty. For example, coaches sometimes want to check out cars to take athletes to a game, so the application would enable that. Even someone who simply wants to rent out a collection of tools would have access to an affordable IoT solution to open a business centered on lending those tools to people with short-term needs, Ruggiero says. “People aren’t going to be owning assets in the future; they are going to be renting them,” she says. She acknowledges that IoT created a career path that she didn’t plan—and she couldn’t be happier. “I absolutely love this industry,” Ruggiero says, “and what excites me is that it’s changing so rapidly that what I did decades ago isn’t even close to what I do now.” As an instructor in a professional sales class at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business for the past decade, she also uses a lot of her work experience in her lessons plans. IoT has her constantly learning as well. “You’ve got to be a consistent student of your work and I’m never bored with anything that is going on in this industry,” Ruggiero says. “It really keeps me pretty well motivated for the future.”
DRIVEN BY DATA IoT can help cultivate customer relationships
echnology continues to create new possibilities in both our personal and professional lives. From smart watches, TVs and refrigerators to thermostats with embedded sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) is radically transforming our daily existence. In the business world, the IoT is thriving as it allows today’s brands to capture valuable information related to customer interactions via connected devices. For B2C and B2B marketers alike, engaging the IoT is essential to maintain their competitive position. It also provides a clearer window on customers and how they use a brand’s products or services. A QUICK IOT OVERVIEW The IoT is the rapidly expanding network of smart devices that “talk” to each other and work in the background without the need for human manipulation. SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
The IoT is attractive to consumers and businesses due to several factors: faster, smaller and superior microprocessors, sensors and cameras; affordable cloud and wireless networks; and powerful big data analytics software. By 2020, an estimated 21 billion devices should be connected to the Internet, according to experts at Gartner. IOT DELIVERS REAL-TIME ENGAGEMENT, ENHANCED CUSTOMER SERVICE Connected products that “order more of themselves” are proving invaluable to B2C brands. For example, detergent giant Tide in collaboration with Amazon offers its popular “Dash” buttons, which connect to a customer’s home Wi-Fi and links to the Amazon app. Customers press these buttons whenever they run low on Tide, resulting in the laundry detergent arriving at their door in a few days. The IoT presents an enormous opportunity for B2B marketers. It helps products position, order and integrate into an ecosystem that has the potential to increase customer retention. For example, General Electric (GE) recently shared how it discovered better ways to monitor the performance and maintenance needs of its jet engines. By utilizing sensors that collect data from their parts, GE gains valuable data in real-time. It also uses IoT data and devices to perform repairs throughout the lifespan of their engines. This approach boosts their efficiency and, in turn, enhances the strength of their marketing strategies. HOW CAN YOU LEVERAGE IOT? There are many other ways to develop initiatives to meet the IoT demand. According to a recent Marketo infographic, brands are increasingly using the IoT to: • Analyze customer-buying habits across platforms
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Timing paired with detailed data about customers is an invaluable advantage to a successful business. • Gather data about how people interact with products and devices • Obtain deeper insights into where a client or customer is along the buying journey • Gain access to real-time, point-of-sale notifications • Efficiently resolve issues and enhance customer service IOT: IS YOUR BUSINESS READY? From driving habits to how we function both at work and at home, IoT devices collect data like never before. IoT experiences are significantly impacting our lives now and are expected on an even grander scale in the coming years. At KEO Marketing, we believe one of the greatest things about the IoT is being able to leverage timing. Timing paired with detailed data about customers is an invaluable advantage to a successful business. With instant access to data, companies can use the IoT to encourage follow-ups and engage prospective customers at the perfect time. Moving forward, leveraging IoT is vital for marketers to enable companies to respond in more personalized and timely ways. By using these advances, successful marketers are dramatically changing and improving the ways they engage with customers. SHEILA KLOEFKORN is the president & CEO of KEO
Marketing Inc. Recently, the Phoenix Business Journal recognized her as one of the Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year. Reach her at skloefkorn@keomarketing. com.
SMART SOLUTION FOR DEALING WITH PHOENIX WASTE
ombine one Raspberry Pi with a way to let bakery customers know immediately when bread is fresh from the oven and you potentially create a gateway toward a smarter city. To understand why the two ingredients can lead to such a surprising outcome that has nothing to do with flour, you need to spend some time with Carlos Echeverria and Josh Silverstein, two software developers who became business partners right about the time they started working for Allstate in Tempe on the same day last year. “We discovered a lot of common points about technology,” Echeverria recalls. Add to that, “we were always the two people left at the office after everyone else left,” Silverstein says. Common approaches to work led to their finding out they both were intrigued with the promise offered by the Internet of Things. Silverstein received a Raspberry Pi, a mini programming skills builder that helps the user learn about IoT, while Echeverria already possessed a large knowledge of this growing field. “We wanted to be in the loop,” he says. They started looking for opportunities, something with high demand. That led to their initial prototype that allowed a baker to alert a waiting list that the bread was ready. About the same time, they heard of the upcoming Cisco IoT Challenge held in response to answer Phoenix’s initiative
to deal with waste, as well as help the city rightfully claim its position as a smart city. Within a matter of a few months, the circuit board for the bakery alert solution became the heart of SmartCan. Briefly, SmartCan is a sensor-based system that attaches to commercial dumpsters and can send word that it needs to be emptied. No missed pickups, no relying on drivers to always remember their routes. While SmartCan didn’t win, it definitely was noticed. There has been direct interest from Cisco, “which is amazing,” Silverstein says, and allows them to keep using their routers and their Edge computing originally loaned as part of the competition. The partners’ goal now is to make their product a little more solid—remember, they presented in a matter of MONTHS—then try to secure a pilot project with the city. Silverstein says they now we are in the talks with private investors but think that if they get the pilot and a test neighborhood for SmartCan, they can self-fund it. Considering they have driven down the cost of the sensor to $11, it’s a sure bet their efforts won’t be wasted.
RX FOR HEALTH CARE Creating ways to keep lines of communication open 24/7
ife and death decisions. When it comes to the Internet of Things, there’s at least one sector where there’s no room for glitches: healthcare. Whether it’s creating a way for monitoring devices of all types to keep a patient in constant contact with a doctor or ensuring issues standing in the way of data flow can be quickly remedied—or even anticipated— there is no room for a code red with this technology. In his career, Joe Feyereisen has served in CIO and vice president positions for healthcare companies and noticed a challenge the industry struggled to overcome: lengthening wait times to see physicians. And the problem is even worse if you live outside a metro area, he says. “The typical wait now is eight to 12 weeks to see a doctor,” says Feyereisen. “And with a shortage of doctors—close to 100,000 doctors in the U.S. we’re short—your doctors have to see 3,000 patients a year now” to meet the demand. “So how do you have relationships with patients and determine who’s critical and who’s noncritical when everybody’s waiting line to be seen?” Feyereisen asks. “And if you have a lot of problems, let’s say if you live in McGuireville or you’re on the Navajo reservation, you’ve got to see four or five different doctors. You can’t wait a few weeks between doctors to see them all.” Part of the solution can be as close as your wrist. From Fitbits to pacemakers to exoskeletons—all those different types of medical and physical rehabilitation equipment use cell phones or the Internet to store and keep data. The other part is i360, new remote patient management technology developed by Reach IPS. i360 offers a way to channel the aggregation of devices used in treatment plans so the data is routed back to the
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physician. “So, for the first time IoT allows a proactive healthcare mechanism between doctor visits,” says Feyereisen, founder and CEO of Reach IPS. Unless those devices find some major problem, they can just send that information back to the doctor, reducing the frequency of checkups, Feyereisen says. In turn, the physician can use that time to deal with more critical patients. “It is to healthcare what penicillin was to syphilis,” he says of i360. i360 handles both FDA-approved medical devices and consumer fitness devices. In fact, it supports 10,000 different devices, Feyereisen says. For doctors, there is no learning curve since the data routes into their existing systems. However, since consumer devices were originally designed for treatment plans, the company had to prove data validity to the FDA, he says. And for patients, there can be some time to adapt and create a habit with some of these devices. With most of his company’s customers being in Arizona and Texas, Feyereisen and five other Reach IPS team members have moved here from the company’s current base in Cupertino, Calif. This year they were accepted into the Chandler Innovations incubator program, providing them some mentoring. If some capital comes through as a result of being in the program, Feyereisen says Chandler could be the company’s new home. And if they get commitments for contracts in the works, Feyereisen envisions 45 to 50 new hires in the Phoenix area.
Expansion also applies to the i360 technology itself. Reach IPS already offers MediCase, an IoT tool for attorneys that runs the i360 engine in the background. The same technology could offer a very powerful tool for on-ground combat troops as it detects their vital signs, says Feyereisen, enabling medics to support any patients before their being evacuated. “We can see down the road our technology being able to talk to all these different devices,” he says. To check that the critical data is moving as it should from the device to the health care provider, surveys are done to take a pulse of the network. But just as everyone is getting accustomed to immediate delivery of the data, they also want immediate answers if that delivery is delayed or doesn’t happen. That hasn’t been possible—until now. Scottsdale-based Provision Networks, an industry leader in WLAN design, survey and remediation, has developed a sensor-based IoT device called Healthy RF to “sniff the air” in the network for other devices that are present and whether they are performing optimally, says President and CEO Clayton Straub. “They’re getting near real-time information about what’s going on at the device level in their network and the ability to remediate said network,” he says. “Our new product is essentially a survey that’s there constantly taking readings and reporting back so they are able to remediate much quicker and more efficiently than they do now.” As an example of how Healthy RF works, consider a hospital nurse whose call to the pharmacy for a patient’s medication refill is dropped as she makes her rounds. To check what happened, she could stop what she’s doing and contact the help desk to explain what occurred, prompting the network team to get involved. That could take several hours of manpower time, says Aaron Schweers, the company’s chief solutions architect. With this new solution, she can continue her rounds then report it to IT even several days later. “We can go back in time and look at Tuesday at 10 o’clock and say, ‘OK, here were the conditions in that area that caused that call to fail,’ so we can remediate the network,” he says. As health care organizations and their facilities grow, so do the number of devices in their
networks. That means checking whether networks have the capacity to support new wireless devices, says Dwayne Knott, director of technical services. Based upon what Healthy RF senses in the network and the parameters that exist, the determination can be made whether the devices can be supported or whether network is at capacity. “It gives them that kind of insight ahead of time before they actually make those types of transactional purchases,” he says. This is significant as the device count rises. Straub says his company has seen upwards of 36,000 client devices in a single hospital. They can range from workstations on wheels to infusion pumps to Vocera Badges (think wearable, handsfree communicators). “Yesterday’s networks were not built to service that many devices,” he says. And a platform available only now—Microsoft Azure—most definitely brought Healthy RF to life. “Azure is not only a terrific environment to program in but obviously stores all that data, allows us to report it and remediates the environment,” he says. “And it just wasn’t cost-effective before to do something like that.” This solution also has potential beyond health care. Knott envisions it being at home in product distribution facilities, and even mining, oil and gas. “It really fits into an area that is a combination of a highly mobile workforce that’s having to use mobile platforms in order to accomplish tasks and it’s going to be in a dense environment,” he says. But first things first. “Everybody that we talk to is sort of waiting with bated breath for us to ready for a proof of concept,” Straub says. Healthy RF is in the early stages of proof of concept, where testing will be done at different health care facilities with their various devices then looking at the data that is captured and communicated back to the customer. “We’ll likely intentionally introduce in a lab environment issues and challenges and interference, and show how the applications degrade,” Schweers says, “and then how that is reported back in our software tool.” Straub says plans call for getting through three proofs of concept during the summer with possibly releasing Healthy RF by the end of the year. SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT IoT opens options for customers to embrace the brand
ho can blame anyone for leaving a restaurant before the meal if the wait lasted more than an hour? But Ryan Quinn stayed and ultimately left with an idea that shaped his career path and his life. While waiting for the pager to light up, Quinn began thinking. “It just made sense to me that if I’m willing to wait an hour to experience the brand, I’m validated, I’m enthusiastic for it,” he recalls, “so it gives me some kind of interactive layer that’s an extension of that brand that not only pacifies me with concept, connects me to the brand, educates me about other things that I did know but also adds value to the brand itself.” That triggered the idea for BrightGuest, a mobile engagement platform for personalizing a guest experience with real-time brand engagement while remarketing to the guest’s mobile phone—all without yet another app to download. In turn, merchants can find what customers really like. Quinn is BrightGuest's founder and CEO. While its target markets are resorts, shopping malls and large-scale areas where a mass of customers can benefit from engagement, the launch for the Gilbert-based company was back where it all started for Quinn: restaurants. Through a connection made by his brother in California, where they grew up, Quinn found interest from the owners of the Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill chain. But it was far from an immediate done deal. There was meeting after meeting to create what they wanted. From the start “we always just approach from whiteboarding it out (to determine) what would it take,” he says, “and then we always had people on board who were really good at solving complex problems.” For example, Wood Ranch wanted to use video pagers to keep customers engaged with content, ultimately making it easy to pick out those who were next. “Their faces were lit up
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because of the bright video screen,” Quinn says. “Just looking around at all these guests, the bright guests were just standing out.” One lasting result, of course, was a catchy name for the company. But as important was sticking with the challenge of creating exactly what that first client wanted and establishing a strong work ethic “as a startup willing to do whatever it takes to push forward and succeed and impress the launch customers so that you can have the opportunity to get their feedback to build the product better,” he says. Fast forward 2½ years and the company has sharpened its focus on its new target markets as the platform has evolved with different iterations. Perhaps its most noteworthy success is the new relationship with a national shopping mall organization. While Quinn cannot publicly identify it at this stage, he said the company will use BrightGuest to engage on-site visitors with branded content and continue the conversation through multiple touchpoints after they leave. Close to home, BrightGuest was used at the 2017 PHX Startup Week and the mobile engagement platform will return next year. Quinn also will serve on the organizational committee. Quinn’s career has gone through different stages, too. The former senior business intelligence analyst for Microsoft at Insight in Tempe originally studied bioengineering in college but always has always been passionate about engineering, neuroscience, nanotechnology and brand imaging. After all, “underneath all of that is always data,” he says.
Message from the Governor
5C’s to 5G’s: State Positioned to Lead IoT Economy
ver the past century, Arizona’s economy has been well-served by the 5C’s: cotton, copper, cattle, citrus and climate. These have been assets that remain critical to our prosperity and quality of life. But building a successful and sustainable economy in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) will require additional resources. One of the most important among them will be 5G. I’m proud to report that earlier this spring, Arizona became the first state in the nation to streamline the deployment of “small cell technology,” which lays the foundation for the next generation of wireless communications more commonly known as 5G. 5G will be critical to supporting and serving the tens of billions of connected IoT devices that are forecasted to be interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives in just a few short years. In March I signed legislation to make it easier to add capacity to existing wireless networks and will continue to advance our reputation as a state where new and exciting tech companies test new ideas, scale and succeed. We understand that making sure we have the infrastructure in place today is important for tomorrow. In many cases, these connected things are already here. From medical devices that alert you to potential health risks to thermostats that make your home more efficient to logistics devices that track the warehousing and distribution of goods all over the globe—IoT technology plays an increased role in our lives. Arizona is well-positioned to take advantage of the IoT revolution. We have a long history of expertise in semiconductor technology. This is bolstered by a new innovation economy that is
GOV. DOUG DUCEY
one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the country. It bears repeating that global leaders in driverless-car technology have chosen Arizona’s open roads—and open business environment—to test these vehicles. IoT is at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle revolution, deploying sensors, GPS, radar and real-time data—all connected to push the limits of what was deemed futuristic just a short while ago. Global companies with a huge presence in Arizona are doing great things and investing heavily in IoT. You’ll read in this edition how Avnet is helping smaller companies bring IoT technology to market and working with Arizona State University on student-led ventures. Intel is planning to complete Fab 42—the world’s most advanced semiconductor factory—which will produce microprocessors to power hundreds of millions of connected devices worldwide. And Honeywell Aerospace is making “connected aircraft” that will improve comfort, productivity, safety and efficiency while cutting costs and enhancing the flying experience. The Internet of Things is connecting everyday devices to our everyday lives. It’s rapidly changing the way we live, work and do business. And Arizona is taking the lead in leveraging this huge opportunity. SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona companies plug into a new level of success
he Internet of Things (IoT)—billions of connected devices, hardware, software and data all working together with the intention of making our lives better—is today’s big thing, and Arizona is at its forefront. On the consumer side, IoT can be as simple as your Fitbit buzzing you to take more steps because it knows you are behind, or a tiny connected device in your dog’s collar that alerts you to his location if he goes missing. On the industrial side, IoT can be as complex as being integrated into electric meters to improve power efficiency; it can track the position,
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movement and temperature of shipping containers all over the globe; or it can monitor irrigation levels of crops to help reduce water consumption. And all of these things add up to big business. Cisco predicts there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, and Nokia estimates there will be 100 billion by 2025. Arizona, with its history of expertise in semiconductor technology combined with its status as one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the United States, has become a leader in this revolution of personal computing known as IoT.
Arizona Commerce Authority
“I can’t imagine a better place for IoT to take hold than Arizona. We are positioned to lead the charge in the consumption of it because our state is where those technologies have the best chance of winning,” says Geoff Mobisson, co-founder and board chair of Levementum, a Chandler-based IoT, marketing cloud and CRM firm that is a leading partner with SalesForce.com. “The global leaders in driverless cars—all of them—picked Arizona as their beta sites. We provide the best environment for testing and execution, and we provide the best benefit relative to reducing fatalities on the roads. We have been chosen to be a leader at the forefront of driverless cars—and they are only the tip of the iceberg for IoT.” Driverless cars require a huge amount of data gathering because of their connection to cloudbased navigation, which deploys radar, GPS and sensors, among other things. Like Mobisson notes, global giants like Uber, Ford, GM and Waymo—Google’s self-driving car project—are all testing here. And Intel, with a huge presence in Chandler, in the spring agreed to purchase Mobileye, an autonomous vehicle technology firm, for $15.3 billion. “Arizona has established this leadership position through our commitment to embracing innovation and reducing regulation so that new business models can thrive,” says Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Under Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership, Arizona pro-business climate provides companies with the ideal platform to launch, test, scale and succeed.” Some of the state’s largest companies—and leaders in technology—are investing heavily in IoT. Phoenix-based Avnet, a leading global technology distributor, recently acquired two IoT companies: Premier Farnell, a digital platform that includes more than 400,000 members in 36 countries; and Hackster.io, an online community that helps users across the globe learn how to design, create and program Internet-connected hardware. Avnet also operates its Innovation Lab, which offers grants to help IoT companies get ideas to market, and partners with Arizona State University
on the ASU Innovation Open, which bestows a $100,000 prize to student-led ventures in IoT. “Our goal is to inject a little bit of capital and resources into an early-stage market so we can grow the next generation of hardware companies here. All of those hardware companies are going to be part of IoT. There is not a device that won’t be connected in some way,” says Eric Leahy, Avnet’s director of sales and emerging business. “We are doing our part to help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem here and keep the talent that our universities are producing, as well as attract talent because Arizona has an incredible quality of life. It is a great place for innovation to happen.” Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace is launching IoT into the stratosphere. Literally. The company is making “connected aircrafts” a reality with a digital transformation that shifts competitive advantages away from physical machinery towards information. These connected aircrafts will improve comfort, productivity, safety and efficiency in the cockpit while cutting costs and enhancing a passenger’s flying experience. A new connected radar function will provide crowdsourced weather information from other aircraft in the sky. That data will be shared through an app, giving an accurate view of the weather around the world. Fuel-efficiency software will collect, monitor and analyze information to help optimize fuel efficiency across a fleet. That means pilots have access to the most fuel-efficient flight paths to reduce the amount of fuel they use. With Honeywell’s maintenance feature, airlines can proactively troubleshoot mechanical issues to avoid aircraft downtime. In short, IoT DNA is built into the design. Indeed, it’s a pivotal time for IoT around the globe, and Arizona is firmly planting its flag as the state that will lead the next frontier. Honeywell is showcasing its latest IoT technology on a specially equipped Boeing 757 as part of its global “Power of Connected” tour this summer.
SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
UPDATE THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
CRAFTING A COUNTERATTACK Cybersecurity testbeds prepared for Internet of Things WRITING BY >< SALIM HARIRI AND JERZY ROZENBLIT
dvances in mobile and pervasive computing, social network technologies and the exponential growth of Internet applications and services are leading to the development of the Internet of Things. The things connected include computers and mobile devices, smart buildings and cities, electrical grids, gas and water networks, home and office appliances, and embedded medical systems. The number of things connected is expected to exceed 50 billion by 2020, and each thing will have a unique digital address that can accessed and managed through this cyberenvironment. This will enable the development of a universal digital space that will revolutionize the way we do business, maintain our health, manage critical infrastructure and conduct education, as well as how we secure, protect and entertain ourselves. With these advances come grand challenges to secure and protect information systems and services from exploitation by cybercriminals,
AZTECHCONNECT.COM SUMMER 2017
who have a greatly expanded “attack surface” upon which to prey. To overcome these cybersecurity challenges, University of Arizona researchers are developing data structures, cyber-DNA sensors and actuators, and behavior-analysis models to detect and protect against anomalies triggered by both natural events, such as technical faults and malicious cyberattacks. The researchers have built smart testbeds to develop, support, evaluate and validate cybersecurity algorithms and tools. The testbeds model actual operations of smart homes, buildings and utility grids, as well as autonomous cars and embedded medical devices. The resulting methods will advance system and service security, and enable fast and accurate detection of faults, attacks and unauthorized operations. SALIM HARIRI is a professor and JERZY ROZENBLIT is a university distinguished professor in the College of Engineering’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at The University of Arizona.
UPDATE ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY Researchers are developing methods to boost cognitive abilities by non-invasively stimulating the locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus involved in arousal and attention.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT WRITING BY >< JOE KULLMAN
Expanding human learning and cognitive performance potential
dramatic leap into a new dimension of human learning capability appears to be within reach through the promise of advances in neuroengineering. Arizona State University researchers are poised to play a meaningful role in making that progress. “We’re excited because we anticipate developing noninvasive methods of enhancing cognitive performance, motor performance and sensory performance that would make people a lot better at a lot of things,” says Stephen Helms Tillery, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “To the extent that this works, we are going to have all kinds places where we can put this technology to work.” Helms Tillery is the principal investigator for one of eight new multi-institutional research projects being coordinated under the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Best known as DARPA, the agency is a part of the U.S. Department of Defense. The ASU-led project—Transdermal Electrical Neuromodulation for Performance Optimization—is tasked with developing applied neurotechnologies for propelling expansion of human learning and performance abilities. The goal is to electrically stimulate parts of the brain to produce physiological changes to boost cognitive powers that, for example, could heighten an individual’s mental awareness and concentration. “What we think we can do is increase neuroplasticity, which will make the brain more receptive to learning things and figuring out what new things it needs to learn,” explains
Helms Tillery, who directs the Sensorimotor Research Group at ASU. The work focuses on applications for boosting the performance of troops involved in military operations, especially in combat environments. But the technique also be could used to “improve performance in athletics, or even potentially in academic performance or musical performance. This could benefit a broad swath of humanity,” he says. Associate Professor W. J. Tyler describes the project as “kind of like a space odyssey into the brain” that challenges researchers to “combine the latest knowledge from the science of learning with the capabilities of modern electrical engineering and biomedical engineering technologies.” Tyler is one of the project’s co-principal investigators on the faculty of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the six Fulton Schools. The others are Associate Professor Christopher Buneo, Assistant Professor Vikram Kodibagkar and Assistant Professor Rosalind Sadlier. Another co-principal investigator is Jason Robert, director of ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics and a professor in the School of Life Sciences. The project’s partners are the California Institute of Technology; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; the Air Force Research Laboratory; and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, which is the Defense Department’s primary lab for soldier health and performance research. The DARPA grant for the project provides up to $5.3 million over four years. JOE KULLMAN is a science writer for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University
SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
UPDATE NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
RED PLAN(ET) WRITING BY >< KERRY BENNETT
Lab helps develop ways to put Mars Rover through its paces
here’s a buzz of extraterrestrial activity going on in Room 230 of the Physical Sciences Building at Northern Arizona University. That’s where Christopher Edwards, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, just opened the new Mars Rover Operations and Analysis Laboratory, where faculty researchers and students will use sophisticated equipment to help command the day-to-day activities of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover (MSL) operating on the surface of Mars. Edwards, along with his students and postdocs, will use this facility to collaborate with scientists from throughout the country, as well as engineers and rover operators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to help develop the scientific plan for activities the rover will carry out on the Red Planet on any given day. “We’re excited to have this wonderful new facility on NAU’s campus run by Dr. Edwards,” President Rita Cheng said at the opening celebration for the lab. “This facility places NAU as one of a handful of prestigious institutions throughout the country actively contributing to NASA solar system exploration missions, and we’re proud to add this to NAU’s research portfolio.” Edwards, a planetary geologist using orbiter and lander data to understand the past environments of Mars, joined NAU in 2016. He’s been planning the new lab even before he arrived on campus. “This facility enables my students and postdocs to not only investigate pressing science questions related to Mars and other
AZTECHCONNECT.COM SUMMER 2017
Assistant professor Christopher Edward (left), professor Stephen Tegler and President Rita Cheng cut the ribbon at a ceremony opening NAU’s Mars Rover Operations and Analysis Laboratory.
solar system bodies but to interact with MSL team members across the country and rover planners at JPL on a daily basis,” Edwards said “I would like to thank President Cheng, Dean Paul Jagodzinski, Provost Dan Kain and Vice President for Research Bill Grabe for their support in making both this facility and our new Ph.D. program in astronomy and planetary science a reality,” said Stephen Tegler, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. “I’m happy to lead this mission operations center at NAU and I’m actively working to make sure we have additional opportunities to conduct mission operations from this facility,” added Edwards, who is a participating scientist on MSL. Edwards has worked on numerous other instruments on board Mars missions, including the 2001 Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System, Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars. KERRY BENNETT is Northern Arizona University’s Research
Communications Officer. Connect at nau.edu.
NEWFOUND HOPE WRITING BY >< STEVE YOZWIAK
Skin cancer finding holds promise for patients with rare type of melanoma
Dr. Winnie Liang
ed by investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a nationwide team of researchers recently found a significant genetic association linked to an aggressive form of melanoma, according to a study published in the journal Genome Research. Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is an uncommon type of melanoma that typically occurs on the palms and soles and is often difficult to treat. In collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Mayo Clinic, TGen researchers identified a protein target that opens a window into the disease, and may aid in diagnosis and one day lead to improved treatments. The researchers sequenced samples from 34 patients with ALM and found significant evidence that inhibiting a protein called TERT may be “an effective approach” to destroying ALM cells. “These findings provide insight into the role TERT plays in the formation of ALM, and reveal preliminary evidence that inhibiting TERT has a deadly effect on ALM cancer cells,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen president and research director, a senior author of the study, and leader of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)-Melanoma Research Alliance Dream Team. Trent also holds a joint appointment with California-based City of Hope. In laboratory experiments, more than 75 percent of ALM cancer cells were affected following 72 hours of exposure to a drug that inhibits TERT.
Cutaneous melanoma (CM)—the most common type of melanoma and most deadly type of skin cancer—has long been linked to DNA damage from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either by spending too much time in the sun or too much time in tanning beds. Breakthroughs in recent years have provided new therapies for CM linked to the BRAF gene. But little is known about the causes of ALM, a rare cancer that strikes sun-shielded areas of the skin, such as the palms of hands, the soles of feet, and fingernail and toenail beds. ALM is more prevalent than CM among those with darker skin pigmentations. Genetic changes in TERT were found among 41 percent of the patients in this study, which also suggests that additional research should be undertaken to verify the impact of genetic aberrations on TERT activity. “Based on our findings of TERT alterations in nearly half of the patient samples we analyzed, TERT inhibitors represent a putative therapeutic strategy in ALM,” said Dr. Winnie Liang, an assistant professor and director of TGen’s Collaborative Sequencing Center, and the study’s lead author. “Continued characterization of ALM, and evaluation of the functional implications of TERT aberrations, holds promise for paving an avenue towards improving outcomes for ALM patients,” the paper concludes. Liang and other authors presented the study April 4 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. Also contributing to this study were The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and Samsung Medical Center. STEVE YOZWIAK is the senior science writer for the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Connect at www.tgen.org.
SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
NEW MEMBERS 9maa offers consulting, support and services dedicated to helping businesses improve performance, make processes more efficient and outpace their competition through quality-focused delivery. www.9maa.com AccountablIT is a leader in providing ERP applications management and cloud IT services with its customer first service delivery strategy that is instrumental in leading the industry in customer satisfaction. www.accountabilit.com AIBMR Life Sciences is a scientific and regulatory consulting firm with expertise in FDA Generally Recognized As Safe and New Dietary Ingredient notifications, regulatory compliance, and toxicological and clinical services. AIBMR.com AKOS Web Marketing is an agile digital-first design and development agency that transforms online presence and launches full-scale digital products for businesses and organizations. www.akosweb.com American Manufacturing Excellence caters to its clients’ manufacturing needs—from metals to plastics for common items to difficult items. amexaz.com Arizona Engineering Technologies provides engineering product design and development, structural and thermal simulations, 3D-printing, functional and environmental testing, and prototypes for light manufacturing. www.azengtech.com Avatar Engineering offers new product development experts for high-precision electronic instrumentation, medical devices, power conversion and aerospace systems. Its new software release, The Entrepreneur’s Sandbox, is available at NPDPRO.com. www.avatarengineer.com
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To join the Arizona Technology Council, a member-supported group that represents the interests of the state’s technology community, go the www.aztechcouncil.org.
Barker Contracting is a commercial general contractor with expertise in a variety of markets, including highand low-tech industrial, research, healthcare, retail, and renewable energy. barkerone.com BFL Ventures is an investment company that helps high-tech organizations obtain commercial success by aiding them with financing, business development and real estate needs. bflventures.net Bostonia Business Solutions provides expertise in budgeting, modeling and financial analysis for businesses of all sizes. Specialties include projections, analyses and reporting of financial performance. www.bostoniabusinesssolutions.com Bourn Companies is a dynamic real estate organization combining in-depth market knowledge and a vast network of relationships with decades of experience to produce value-driven results. www.bourncompanies.com Cirrus Visual Communication is a printing, graphic and web design, and event materials company that provides banners, trade show booths, brochures, promotional items, training materials, videos and websites. www. cirrusvsiual.com The City of Douglas has a population of 15,000 and recently was named one of the nation’s best “micropolitan areas,” which are communities of 10,000 to 50,000 residents with superior amenities, growing economies and moderate costs of living. www.douglasaz.org The City of Maricopa is a vibrant community of highly educated citizens and thriving businesses. www.maricopa-az.gov
Clockwork Ops specializes in bringing operational efficiency to the small and midsize business space as it focuses on operational software solutions, process structure and policy creation. ClockworkOps.com CNA has the coverage and services that technology companies—from telecommunications companies and electronics manufacturers to software development and IT consulting firms—rely on to conduct operations. www.cna.com Confluent, founded by the creators of open source Apache Kafka, provides an enterprise data streaming platform that enables enterprises to maximize the value of data. www.confluent.io Copper Hill Strategies offers federal and state government relations, strategic planning, and legislative development services. copperhillstrategies.com DevMountain is a private technology education company that offers 13-week immersive ‘’boot camp’’ courses in a variety of subjects, including web development, mobile programming and user interface/user experience design. www.devmounta.in DHR provides full-service human resources. www.dhr.net DSR is a multinational software development company providing products and services to clients worldwide, ranging from startups to Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies. www.dsr-company.com
NEW MEMBERS Enden Labs specializes in creating high performance computational solutions for complex problems with highly skilled engineers and programmers who have extensive experience in fields such as hyperspectral imaging analysis, computational fluid dynamics, water resource technology and algorithm engineering. www.endenlabs.com HR Company Store’s website is designed to help human resources professionals find, rate and review vendors in more than 70 categories. www.hrcompanystore.com
Level 3 Communications has a scalable, flexible network platform for continued growth wherever you are connecting employees, partners or customers across the globe. www.level3.com Linkages Experience offers the nation’s only Americans with Disabilities Act compliant job board and business accessibility tools to ensure veterans and the disabled have access to jobs. www.linkagesexperience.com
Infinity Software Solutions provides the most complete and affordable Internet-based solutions, including payroll, for human resources process management at small and mid-size companies. www.infinity-ss.com
McKesson is the oldest and largest health care company in the nation, serving more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals and 20 percent of physicians. It also delivers one-third of all medications used daily in North America. www.mckesson.com
Information Builders’ WebFOCUS business intelligence and analytics platform empowers an organization to make smarter, more confident decisions while giving customers and partners easy access to analytic apps and tools from any browser or mobile device. www.ibi.com
Millennium Information Technology is a minority/womanowned Small Business Administration solution provider of enterprise class software, data center and infrastructure engagements and cloud managed services. www.4mitpro.com
INOV is known for optical engineering and product development, including prototypes. Products are made for fields such as LEDs, medical devices, biomedicine, lasers, illumination and lenses. www.inov.com
MKS Imaging Technology provides consultation, algorithms, hardware and systems for advanced imaging concepts in astronomy, medical and defense surveillance, including video applications. flash.mksit.net
Intugo combines the cost savings and efficiencies of outsourcing with the power and control of establishing your own operation in Mexico. www.intugo.co Intuor Technologies provides optical and ophthalmology intellectual property/product development and manufacturing. www.inturtec.com
Mobile Force Refueling has the expertise to service data center/ critical application fueling needs in addition to providing emergency response contracts. www.mfrservices.com Moses has been an award-winning marketing agency on the stateapproved vendor list for 27 years straight. It has extensive experience in user experience, user interface, consumer research and marketing that moves revenue. MosesInc.com
National Processing Solutions offers electronic payments, credit card processing and software integrations. www.npsaz.com New York Life is dedicated to maintaining its position as both a leader among insurance companies and a major force in the financial services industry. www.tucson.nyloffices.com Okta is the foundation for secure connections between people and technology, with customers using the cloud to access apps on any device at any time. www.okta.com Pashtek is an all-encompassing business solutions provider of innovative technology solutions that leverage business environments in a collaborative manner. pashtek.com Penumbra Engineering empowers the use of additive manufacturing (3D printing) to help hardware companies develop innovative and performancedriven products. Services include CAD, prototyping, validation and consulting. penumbraeng.com Phoenix Logistics is a company of talented engineering and military experts who reliably solve technical and programmatic problems for manufacturers and operators of aerospace and defense systems. www.phxlogistics.com PlanetOne Communications is the IT channel and telecom industry’s preferred business partner for identifying and delivering cloudbased and connectivity solutions to small and midsize businesses, and enterprises. www.planetone.net Play Telecom is a B2B tech company that focuses on reducing costs of telecom services. It audits current services, discovers the needs of a business, benchmarks the options available and saves money. playtelecom.com SUMMER 2017 AZTECHCONNECT.COM
NEW MEMBERS Precision Laser Scanning has high-speed polygon laser scanners and related optics for material processing, inspection, LIDAR, biomedical and other laser applications. www.precisionlaserscanning.com Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation is a catalyst that builds strategic alliances and provides networking opportunities between business and community leaders and agencies to initiate programs that promote growth in Prescott Valley. www.pvedf.com Pro Back Office supports growing businesses with scalable accounting and human resources support— highly vetted experts ranging from bookkeepers and staff accountants to CFOs—available on an hourly basis. www.probackoffice.com PTM Solutions is a supply chain and manufacturing resource with expertise in machining, welding, forming and molded products like castings, urethane and rubber, as well as product development and design. www.ptm-solutions.com Qwaltec provides mission readiness services and products for various satellite programs. www.qwaltec.com Rio Mountain Advisors provides executive coaching and consulting to technology firms. www.riomountainadvisors.com Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals on a project and full-time basis. Firms of all sizes have come to rely on its consultants. www.roberthalf.com/technology
AZTECHCONNECT.COM SUMMER 2017
To join the Arizona Technology Council, a member-supported group that represents the interests of the state’s technology community, go the www.aztechcouncil.org.
Saddleback Communications provides cutting-edge hosted services and collaboration solutions for Saddleback business customers and Reinvent wholesale customers. www.saddlebackcomm.com Scientific Technologies Corporation is health technology innovation and services company on the front line with its mission to advance population health outcomes through information technology. www.stchome.com Tailwind Digital supports clients’ sales trajectories by buying digital media that drives people through the sales funnel faster and more efficiently. www.findyourtailwind.com Telesoft offers responsive, flexible fixed and mobile telecom management solutions and services for enterprises, universities, and public-sector entities. www.telesoft.com The Metal Man/TMM Precision Industrial is a metal fabrication job shop that specializes in precision CNC laser cutting and forming, welding, and sheet metal operations. Production runs, prototyping, CAD and design assistance are available. www.themetalman.com The Sensor Group develops and manufactures imaging devices and systems for insertion into commercial and governmental platforms, with activities in high speed imaging, multispectral surveillance and LIDAR. www.thesensorgroup.com Valore Partners writes software and apps for any device, implements technology allowing companies to connect with customers in more meaningful ways, and designs systems that use big data to solve big problems. www.valorepartners.com
Varsity Tutors operates the leading live learning platform in the United States and is building a global ondemand expert network. www.varsitytutors.com Ve Interactive is one of the largest data processors in the world with ability to turn data into meaningful output for customer website conversions. www.ve.com Ware Malcomb is an international design firm offering architecture, planning, interior design, branding and civil engineering services. www.waremalcomb.com Yavapai College provides quality higher learning and cultural resources for the diverse populations of Yavapai County. www.yc.edu Zayo Group is a global communications infrastructure company, providing the world’s top businesses with dark fiber, network connectivity, colocation and cloud. www.zayo.com
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