TECHNOLOGY

8 Technology Tips for 2018

We have summarised 8 high profile technology trends in a compact infographic along with some practical tips on how to mitigate risks. 

Your organisation may already have all or many of these under control, and that would put you ‘ahead of the game’.  Even so, it’s often good to compare current practices with current hot topics, for example:

  • Lost productivity has been estimated to cost $11,000 per employee per year – how to minimise productivity losses?
  • Acquiring a customer costs seven times more than retaining a an existing one – what can be done to increase retention rates?
  • Moving functions to the cloud has led to many organisations reporting increased security benefits – what practical ways can cloud deployment be beneficial?
  • 6 in 10 employees admit to solving IT problems as an addition to their normal responsibilities – what are some ways to take the burden off employees?

Click here to download the infographic.

Business NBN Survival Guide

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As we are all no doubt very well aware by now, the NBN (National Broadband Network) is an independent, government-owned entity which aims to roll out new telecommunications infrastructure and will replace some of the older networks and technologies currently in place.

The NBN does not sell to end users, rather provides services through partners and integrators such as BTAS.

Up until recently NBN Co. has been focused on building infrastructure and delivering to homes, consumers and individual end-users.  However, as the infrastructure gets built-out, NBN will start to provide broadband services to businesses, and that time is approaching. 

The main impact of NBN for businesses will be around the transition time: when NBN becomes available, when will new services on copper cease to be available for those premises, when existing services can no longer be modified and when existing copper services will be switched off and must be moved onto the NBN.

We have already started to see notifications being sent to businesses announcing the availability of NBN for business and information about transition from copper services to NBN services.

What to do? There is no preparation necessary until your organisation receives a letter from your carrier or from the NBN Co. specifying when the switchover will take place for your address. The completion date for the NBN project is estimated to be by the end of 2020.

There are a range of different NBN speeds available for internet and data use, however if you are after business grade internet it’s highly recommended that your organisation pursue a business grade solution from a commercial telecommunications company or integrator such as BTAS to avoid congested networks and slow speeds during peak times.

If you would like to know what services and plans are available to your organisation, contact BTAS on 1300 55 44 11 or submit an online enquiry so that we can run a remote site qualification on your offices.

In the meantime, download our complete Business NBN Survival Guide including a Self-Assessment Checklist to see if you are NBN ready.

3 Ways your Wi-Fi Could be Holding You Back

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Common connection pitfalls on company networks

Modern business connectivity has never been faster or cheaper – just as according to “Moore’s Law”, computer processing power doubles every 18 months, high-end internet connection speeds have been found to increase by 50% each year according to “Nielson’s Law.”

Recent increases in network connection speeds have allowed organisations to switch to cloud-based computing, as well as having the capability to transfer large files efficiently between offices and remote users without discernible performance degradation.

However, modern business networks are complex beasts involving multiple data transmission technologies:  carrier backbones and data pipes, wide area networks (WAN), Private Virtual Networks (VPN) and Local Area Networks (LAN – both wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi) and the cellular phone network, that all need to work together to get a webpage, file, a voice call or video stream from one place to another.

Performance depends on all these working well in sync. Today we’ll look at the Wi-Fi component of the chain. So if your network isn’t achieving the speed increases Nielson’s Law suggests, then here are three Wi-Fi things to consider:

Does your Wi-Fi setup have enough capacity for the users you have?

If your internet speeds are slowing down, then it could be that you either have more users than your network was originally designed for, or your network was incorrectly designed from the very beginning.

If your organisation has brought on more people over the last twelve months, then a simple upgrade to the Wi-Fi Access Points may suffice.

However, to ensure that your network is set up correctly for the number of users your company has, a Wi-Fi analysis will produce a usage ‘heatmap’ showing where traffic is heaviest and congested access points may be under performing.  A common misconception is that adding more access points will speed up Wi-Fi speeds – however this is not always the case, and often interference between access points means that although more users can now connect, the expected increased performance isn’t available.

Are there Wi-Fi dead spots in your office where it’s difficult to get a good connection?

Wi-Fi dead spots include those where devices won’t connect at all, as well as those areas where devices report that they are connected, but speeds are too slow to work effectively - creating frustration and loss of productivity.

Dead spots force your employees to move around to different parts of the office in search of a “better connection” which can overload access points and repeaters in the faster areas of your network, and also cause a whole other strain of network slowing: reduced user productivity.

It’s a relatively simple issue to fix, as a properly designed Wi-Fi network shouldn’t have any dead spots or slow areas.

The design phase involves analysis of a number of factors including: office floor size, number of storeys and floor plan - including the placement of solid walls, windows, dividers etc; building construction material – concrete, double-brick and other signal reducing materials; number of users – where the desks are clustered, meeting rooms, reception areas; heat maps of usage through the day, wired vs. wireless users, expected guest usage, and average number of connected devices (laptops, phones, tablets) per user; type and strength of wireless equipment (802.11g/b/n/ac/X) and measurement of interference across the Wi-Fi spectrum by other networks or other equipment.

Taking the time to analyse the networks needs and to design the Wi-Fi network will result in the appropriate number of, and optimally placed, Wi-Fi access points that mean everyone that is expected to connect to the network will be able to. 

Ideally this is done before a new Wi-Fi network is deployed, however an analysis of an underperforming Wi-Fi network will also yield some “quick fix” solutions to improve speeds.

What Happens When Guests Access your Network?

Guest networks are an essential part of most modern businesses. Even in organisations which rarely have visitors, guest networks are vital for protecting the privacy and security of your primary network.

One thing all companies can do to safeguard their overall network speed is to control the usage on guest networks. Using business-grade Wi-Fi management tools to limits the amount of bandwidth speed guests can use on your network, allowing them to easily access the internet without affecting the performance of your primary Wi-Fi network.

BTAS Network – optimise the performance of your LAN.

BTAS Network involves the design, deployment and monitoring of your LAN – both wired and Wi-Fi, including 24/7 security management and network monitoring. BTAS Network gives you the highest possible performance, reliability, and uptime for your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi.

To find out more about how BTAS Network can boost the performance of your Wi-Fi network, just head to our product page.

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Why Monitor Your Network?

Maintaining a healthy, glitch-free network environment often requires a lot of time and effort by a company’s IT team. Although there are several technologies that can help, the IT team may already be preoccupied with everyday tasks such as help desk tickets, and checking server logs and backups.

A company may not have the budget or manpower to proactively manage and optimise its network, let alone deal with incoming security threats. Strategic investment in network monitoring may be the solution.  

Document what you have

Over time, more devices are added to the company network, to the point where you may lose track of what is connected. With a small and simple network, a diagram can be created to show where devices are located and how they’re connected, but this may be difficult with larger networks found in mid-size businesses.

Network monitoring is able to detect and inventory devices both quickly and easily. After the end of the inspection, you will have a live map that provides an accurate view of the network infrastructure, making potential improvements easier to spot.

With new devices regularly being added to a company network, regular inventorying is required to ensure there are no sudden outages, poor network performance, or security breaches. For an IT manager, this in itself could become a full-time job.

Network monitoring pings devices in real time and updates their status on the map, meaning you do not spend time tracking down devices by yourself. You can also rely on network monitoring to notify you when preset thresholds are being exceeded and require your attention.
 
Respond proactively

The network monitoring may be done by technology, but it is the people at the network operations centre (NOC) that observe and interpret the flow of data and notifications.  When thresholds are being reached or exceeded, the NOC team is there to act on the alerts and inform you of the situation.

This means you are always aware of the network’s health and reliability, regardless of whether you’re out in the office or at a satellite branch. When the network monitoring spots an issue, you will be immediately informed so that you can act upon it and stop it escalating to a serious fault.

Most of the time your network will be running fast and reliably, and the network monitoring will just continue to observe unobtrusively in the background. But when something starts to go wrong, it can help with the detection and remediation of issues.

Because network monitoring inventories all devices and shows the physical connections between them, anything out of the ordinary can be quickly identified on the network map. In addition to having the information to find the root of a network issue, you are able to use the key performance data to predict the impact of a potential outage.

Focus on what really matters

When it comes to monitoring your communications setup, BTAS Optima is our end-to-end reporting, monitoring and incident management service. This includes 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

For the initial four week period, the network environment and its critical elements will be mapped. Alerts and thresholds are then adjusted so that we only report on what is important at the right time.

The network monitoring, reporting and notification is entirely done by BTAS, meaning there is no need for you to invest in any new infrastructure or IT staff. This frees up time and resources that you can use to improve productivity in other parts of the business.

To find out more about BTAS Optima and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

Disrupting Aged Care with Technology

There has long been a need for the aged care industry to embrace emerging technology-based solutions, even if it they are disruptive. Although these technologies have sparked debate in the sector, Australian Ageing Agenda reported that it often ends in a lack of action.

The aged care industry has been careful in adopting technology-based solutions, citing fears about the Internet and the dangers that come with it. However, debates around disruptive business models have tended to overlook the improved outcomes technology can deliver for aged care as a whole, such as better self-direction for aged Australians accessing care services.

Setting a trend

Some providers have been more progressive and harnessed the benefits of technology, such as the two year trial by WA Home and Community Care (HACC). With the help of technology, a sample group of 100 aged care recipients can now choose and hire their care workers directly, and the initial trial results have been encouraging.

With market demand growing much faster than the industry can evolve, it is the disruptive providers that will have the capability to respond quickly to changing resident behaviour and needs. As more traditional, established care providers get behind such projects, the more the aged care industry is expected to benefit as a whole.

In the age of the Internet, online consumers have come to demand a higher level of service and support across a number of industries. This now extends to aged care, where technology is able to create a transparent and an affordable marketplace filled with skilled and knowledgeable workers.

Building a solid foundation

In order for technology to provide aged Australians with the freedom to exercise real choice, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Aged Care and the “Internet of Caring Things”

As sensor-driven technology at home starts to deliver a better quality of life for elderly, it will redefine our idea of modern aged care. IBM master inventor, Susann Keohane, made the observation in an interview with The Australian, where she spoke about how The Internet of Things (IoT) will one day evolve into “Internet of Caring Things” (IoCT).

IoT is when connected devices, vehicles and buildings collect and exchange data to later make informed decisions. IoT has been a key topic in the IT industry in recent years, particularly about the benefits it could bring to industries such as health and aged care.

IoCT refers to a network of Internet-connected devices in the home used to proactively monitor the health of an elderly resident. The data collected by the devices is sent to and stored in the Cloud, where it is then analysed to help medical professionals provide optimum care and better inform family members.

Monitoring of an elderly resident is the most common implementation of the technology. However, Keohane said it will need to do more to empowers users and provide them with greater autonomy within the comfort of their homes.

“If you can keep someone in their homes that little bit longer, that translates to huge wealth preservation,” she said. “You are going to see a lot more integrated care in the future, and caring for the elderly won’t be an isolated piece of the whole healthcare conversation.”

Patterns within the data

IBM has already started a pilot project around the technology in Bolzano, Italy, a city where almost a quarter of the population is over the age of 65. After looking through the patterns of daily activity, IBM’s system identified the elderly residents that needed to move higher up the list for allocated visits.

While the pilot has already demonstrated how the technology can benefit the community, Keohane said adoption will play a key role in determining the future of potential services. But with data being collected through ambient sensors in the home, concerns about privacy has the potential to act as an inhibitor.

The emphasis for IBM’s pilot project is finding patterns, so the system is not collecting sensitive data such as health or biometric readings. Even so, Keohane recommends careful consideration when deciding how the data collected will be governed in the future as the ecosystem evolves.

“The clients we are working for are assisted living providers, so in that case the data collected belongs to them and they use it to allocate the right resources,” Keohane said. “As smart homes and smart appliances become more prevalent, there are important questions that will need to be answered around ethics and governance, and every country may come up with its own model.”

Preparing for the future

In order to support emerged technologies such as IoT and wearables, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

Top Tips to Improving Your Wi-Fi

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet has come to rely on Wi-Fi for Internet, but in some cases, the experience is not as fast or reliable as it should be. Here are some simple yet effective ways to get the most out of a Wi-Fi connection.

Better placement

A router tends to be placed in a corner of a building, usually near a window, to eliminate clutter. However, this may cause the Wi-Fi signal to spread omni-directionally and limit its range.

It is better to place a router in the centre of a room or office, preferably at eye-level or higher, so that it provides even coverage and optimum signal strength. To avoid any signal interference, it is also a good idea to keep the router away from other wave-based devices, such as printers, microwave ovens, and other routers.

Use guest networks

If you regularly have visitors to your office, set up a guest network on your router with a separate, simpler password. Once the visitors leave, you can disable the guest network and not have to worry about your Wi-Fi being used later without permission.

To set up a guest network, access the admin settings on the router and give a name to your network, set a password and even limit the number of users simultaneously connected to the network. Some routers also have the option to block and remove connected devices that are taking up too much bandwidth.

Manage your connections

If you haven’t been using guest networks, you may have given out your primary Wi-Fi password to people in the past. It may be possible that people are still connected to your Wi-Fi and using your bandwidth.

The best way to avoid this situation is to change your Wi-Fi password regularly, particularly if you tend to share it with people. Changing the Wi-Fi password once every six months will ensure only the right people connect to your network.

Extend range with repeaters

Unless you work in a home office, a basic router will not provide enough coverage beyond a room. If you don’t want to upgrade to a more powerful router, a simpler and more affordable option is to use a repeater.

A repeater takes the Wi-Fi signal from your router and repeats it to where it is located. The
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) method is the simplest way to connect a router with a repeater, and usually consists of pressing a button that automatically configures the connection settings.

Time for an upgrade

Some Wi-Fi environments may need a few tweaks to run optimally, but others may need more significant improvements. In those cases, upgrading to a new and modern network will bring about higher Wi-Fi speeds.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Where Does Technology Fit into Aged Care?

Technology in aged care should go beyond just eliminating filing cabinets, according to Australian Ageing Agenda. Recent innovations in information technology have shown what is possible in the aged care sector, but legacy technology continues to be a barrier.

Technology in the aged care industry has already come a long way and continues to mature. What started as an effort to go paperless soon evolved into improving access to critical data at any time using electronic health records (EHR).

In that time, the aged care industry has come to understand the business potential of qualitative collection, use and delivery of data for both residents and staff. This has also moved technology discussions to ways of leveraging disruptive technologies, such as the Cloud and the Internet of Things, to further enable facilities and carers.

Recently, the Federal Government announced plans to invest $485 million to take medical information online and revive its eHealth scheme. An initiative like this would help to mobilise and connect healthcare professionals Australia-wide regardless of location, particularly at multi-site aged care facilities.

Innovation through planning

With all of the advancements in technology, it is time for the aged care industry to think beyond merely eliminating physical documents and filing cabinets. As facilities continue to digitise and paper dwindles, staff are now becoming increasingly dependent on technology.

A growing number of facilities have introduced smartphones and tablets to improve connectivity and provide access to a wider range of resources for aged care residents. Wearable devices, such as wristbands to smart watches, have provided staff with accurate, real-time monitoring of residents’ wellbeing, ensuring they are properly taken care off without the need for regular check-ins.

While aged care facilities are embracing new and transformative technologies, in many cases end-user demand and data growth is becoming unsustainable under existing delivery methods. Legacy solutions may not have the necessary performance capabilities, meaning any new implementations become unnecessarily difficult and expensive to manage.

Instead of providing a better level of care to residents, new solutions and services running on outdated technologies can become a hindrance. That is why it is important to first think about the backbone that will support end-user innovations instead of merely focusing on their investments.

Connectivity with reliability

Aged and healthcare facilities can meet the needs of both residents and workers with fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

The IoT and data centres: A match made in heaven

With estimates as hyped up as 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, the internet of things (IoT) will be the most significant change to the way data is managed in a generation. And that has enterprise data centre operators going back to the drawing board. Data direction The surge in the range of devices and sensors that create and send data means the IoT revolution will bring huge data inflows to centres that will need to be...

With estimates as hyped up as 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, the internet of things (IoT) will be the most significant change to the way data is managed in a generation.
And that has enterprise data centre operators going back to the drawing board.

Data direction

The surge in the range of devices and sensors that create and send data means the IoT revolution will bring huge data inflows to centres that will need to be stored, analysed and used. In fact, the very direction of the data flow represents a significant shift from the past, with centres traditionally feeding data-hungry networks.

But the big promises and opportunities of the IoT means that data storage costs are expected to balloon with huge amounts of inbound traffic.

Real-time (and order) is of the essence

While the discussion around the IoT is centred on the possibilities for healthcare, education, public transport and other improvements in civic life, IT managers will need to consider the time- and order-sensitive nature of IoT data.

Whether it’s sorting through peak-hour public transport or remotely monitoring elderly citizens’ health, getting accurate and reliable data on time and in order is important so that automated decision-making has all the available information.

That means data should be sent in real-time, or time stamped in batches.

Planning

Getting the architecture right will be key to successfully hosting the rapid connectivity that is a core feature of the IoT. To avoid storage and networks creaking under the weight of the data, and to account for yet-to-be-conceived IoT applications, data centre operators will have to completely rethink systems and management.

One consideration might be the move away from big data centres to smaller pockets of storage across a range of sites. Coping with the enormous number of devices and sensors will be a challenge that will almost force a return to a more distributed network. But that might also mean a better handle on security.

A host of other planning considerations will need to come into play, including network bandwidth to cope with increasing frequency of the packets of small data, how that data will be backed up and the increased processing required to sort through all the data that comes into the network.
While the IoT promises to drive a new industrial revolution, the gauntlet has been thrown down for enterprise data centre operators to meet the challenges of its introduction.

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Improving Aged Care with Mobile Devices

Visual devices such as tablets enable aged care workers to provide a better level of care, according to Australian Ageing Agenda. The result is from a study run at 12 Wesley Mission aged care facilities in Queensland.

The purpose of the research was to evaluate the benefits of providing care workers with a tablet loaded with a picture care plan (PCP). The PCP is an illustrated point-of-care app that illustrates information to care workers prior to providing care to the resident.

A handy device

87 per cent of the 85 respondents found the app to be helpful, while 76 per cent said it increased resident safety and quality of care. A further 69 per cent said it made them more confident in their work.

More than half of participants (60 per cent) often or always used the app when providing care, while 15 per cent said they used it sometimes. The main feedback for the tablet and PCP was that it was user friendly (81 per cent), helpful (75 per cent), and time-saving (73 per cent).

When it came to areas of improvement, respondents highlighted the weight of the device (306 grams). Some commented that the tablet was somewhat heavy and pulled on their utility belt or shoulder bag.

Wi-Fi speed was also highlighted as an issue, with a slow connection resulting in a delay in accessing information. While the tablets were speedy and user friendly, the information only displayed as fast as the Wi-Fi they were connected to.

Support the technology

As the pilot with the tablets demonstrated, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure to support devices used by care workers. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Advantages of Virtualising Your Office

Virtualization is an industry buzzword that may be as widespread as the Cloud, but it is just as often misunderstood. For that reason, many businesses have not fully realised the potential benefits of the technology.

Doing more with less

Virtualization is the process of establishing the virtual version of a technology that may be found in an office such as a network, server, storage device, or operating system. That means both physical and non-physical pieces of technology have the potential to move from the office and virtualise in a different location.

If done correctly, many businesses could benefit from substantial cost savings and flexibility advantages by implementing a structured virtualization plan in their offices. A lot of the savings of virtualization are related to hardware and software purchases, or depending on the situation, the lack of them.

For instance, virtualization makes it possible to install multiple operating systems on a single server.  This means one hardware configuration can effectively serve as four or five different configurations, saving both hardware and energy costs.

The digital domain

Networks and associated resources can also be virtualized, with a single real network divided into several virtual ones. In addition to the cost savings, the structural complexity of the network will be simplified and performance will be optimised.

A well-implemented virtualization scheme can make it easier to rollout hardware and application upgrades. This is because virtualised technology exists as digital data, so it can be copied and installed quicker than on physical devices.

Virtualization is also a good way to outsource IT services so systems for different businesses can be run virtually and securely on the same server. This type of flexibility not only cuts down on IT-related spending, but also frees up physical office space and better realigns resources within the company.

Eliminate the complexity

A quick and easy way to virtualise your network environment is with BTAS Network, which is available as Network on Demand (NoD). It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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Seniors Benefit from Going Online

seniors benefit from digital

A university study has found the use of digital technology by older people contributed to their social and emotional wellbeing. Australian Ageing Agenda has seen this research lead to grassroots initiative to bring more local seniors online.

Transitioning online

A professor from the University of Wollongong carried out the research and found that the social elements of the Internet helped older people deal with their isolation. The results from the research were so encouraging that the professor started a not-for-profit social enterprise, called “Living Connected”, to help older people understand and use digital technologies.

The digital inclusion of seniors has the potential to mean a lower burden of care for both the Government and carers. By using a computer to engage and connect, older people will be able to do things for themselves and this can translate to a better quality of life.

Living Connected, which includes a volunteer-run personalised home service, has so far helped approximately 50 seniors in the Illawarra region in Sydney. Some the services include computer classes for aged care residents and workshops to train volunteers.

Bringing it to the masses

The initiative is in the middle of a crowdfunding drive to help bring it to more aged Australians in more locations. People in Brisbane and Adelaide have already expressed interest in expanding Living Connected to their communities.

The NBN has also looked into Living Connected, and the crowdfunding aims to grab the attention of other larger supporters. Longer term, the goal is to develop systems that will aid in trouble shooting client problems remotely.

Expanding the scope and reach of Living Connected will ensure that the group can continue to provide support for older people who cannot afford the technical costs of going online, or don’t understand how to use the Internet. Once those barriers are removed, they can experience the social aspect of the Internet and not feel as isolated anymore.

Connect your guests

In order for older Australians to fully enjoy the benefits of being connected to the Internet, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you don’t need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remain focused on running your village and are not distracted by the running of your technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Gigabit Networks Will Need to be Wired

gigabit.jpg

Superfast Gigabit broadband may be around the corner, but Network World expects the highest speeds to come from wired, not wireless, networks. Adequate planning and the right technology will also be key in unlocking the full potential of thousand megabit broadband.

Preparing for Gigabit

Although Wi-Fi is now commonplace and often the preferred method to connect to networks, upgraded wired installs will better handle the throughput of Gigabit. Implementing Gigabit at a networking level is also expected to be simpler with the wired route.

Although today’s Wi-Fi technology is already speedy, Internet metrics company, Ookla, recommends using a Cat 6 Ethernet cable for Gigabit. If taking the Wi-Fi route, the latest standards, such as 160 MHz channel, four-stream 802.11ac with 5GHz frequencies, are required for Gigabit, though even then it will be limited to 600 Mbps.

Another issue affecting Gigabit over wireless is signal interference. A sporadic and halting connection, due to nearby interference to Wi-Fi, will mean a less than perfect Gigabit experience.

Going back to wired

To achieve the fastest results with Gigabit, a hardwired connection will be needed. Cat 5e specs should be able to handle Gigabit, but Cat 6 will provide the highest and most reliable speeds, since it is less susceptible to crosstalk than Cat 5e.

The Ethernet ports on a router should also be checked that they are prepared for Gigabit speeds, as well as whether the router’s CPU can handle the load. x86 processors are the fastest option, followed by ARM and MIPS.

The trend for some businesses has been to move away from wired to wireless, but the introduction of Gigabit may push them to return to Ethernet. This will ensure they can use the promised speeds of Gigabit to adopt newer technology, such as virtual reality, and maximise existing ones, such as video streaming.

Time for an upgrade

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to creating the right network that runs fast, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In addition to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customers can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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What to Expect From 802.11ay Wi-Fi

New Wi-Fi technology called 802.11ay promises higher speeds and greater reach, according to Network World. It will also support an even wider range of products than 802.11ad.

802.11ay promises to be a very scalable spec. 802.11ad has one set of data rates that everyone supports, but 802.11ay will have more parameters to deliver a wider range of performance and products.

Instead of viewing 802.11ay as a new spec, it will be more of an extension of 802.11ad. All the basic principles of how the networks form will remain the same, but greater capacity will be added on top of it

Ramping up 802.11ad

The IEEE Task Group's first draft for 802.11ay is targeted for later this year. If the first draft does get completed then, the first 802.11ay products may appear on the market within 12 months.

In the meantime, the current, high speed 802.11ad will pick up more market share. 2017 is expected to be the year when companies start to release more 802.11ad products.

The older 802.11ac format delivers solid performance but it has reached its limit, particularly on the consumer side. If a company wants true gigabit wireless networking for their applications, 802.11ad is the only way to deliver the necessary speeds.

Businesses are expected to benefit from the added capacity of 802.11ay. Cloud applications demand a lot of bandwidth and low latency, and only high performance Wi-Fi is capable of delivering a good experience.

Time for an upgrade

A lot of the easy PC applications have been moved to the Cloud. However, the next wave of software is already demanding a lot more bandwidth and lower latency that only a modern network can deliver.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customer can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

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How Much Data Can Fibre Carry?

A typical fibre network can carry a lot of data, but experimental technology from Facebook and Nokia has found a way to boost its capacity by 2.5 times. According to Network World, the two companies have been using a submarine cable across the Atlantic to test ways to push more data through fibre optic.

Nokia recently tested new technology on a pair of fibres used by Facebook on the 5,500-kilometer AEConnect cable in the Atlantic between Ireland and New York. A new technique developed for increasing cable efficiency managed to boost the capacity of the fibre connection by approximately 2.5 times.

Currently, Facebook's fibre can carry approximately 13Tbps (terabits per second). Using the recently tested experimental technology called PCS (probabilistic constellation shaping), the fibre could transmit a record-setting 32Tbps.

Nokia optical networking marketing director, Kyle Hollasch, said fibre’s ability to carry data depends on various factors, such as how long it is and the characteristics of its glass. "Every fibre in the ground, everywhere in the world, is different," he said.

Pushing the boundaries

Companies like Facebook are already pushing the limits of fibre, with high resolution video straining networks that link consumers and datacentres. The good thing about fibre optic is its capacity can be boosted from what was available when the cable was laid.

New equipment, such as PCS, on each end of a fibre link can help to transmit data more efficiently. Nokia expects the technology to be ready for submarine cables and fibre networks, several which Facebook has invested in, in three years.

"Facebook pays the same for this cable regardless of how much data they put on it," Hollasch said. “So they might as well put as much as they can.”

Fibre for everyone

The speed of fibre optic has made it a top choice for large business such as Facebook, but mid-sized companies can also benefit from the connection. BTAS Connect is already providing fast fibre-powered Internet and WAN to numerous mid-sized businesses, and it could be yours as well from $400 per month (plus GST).

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect can enable your business.

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Leaders Summit 2017: Customers, Capital, and Technology Lead Aged Care

The customer, capital, and technology control the state of the aged care industry today. In the next five years, these three factors will grow to dictate everything done in villages.

DoComeMonday Media Publisher, Chris Baynes, made this observation at Leaders Summit 2017, the leading conference for the aged care industry, which was held on March 16-17 at the Hilton in Sydney. BTAS was present at this year’s event and continued its sponsorship from last year.

Baynes said the influx of baby boomers will create a completely new but different market for aged care providers. “Early baby boomers will want to stay at home and this is already taking place in the US,” he said. “If we don’t take a hard look at ourselves, we run the risk of being no longer relevant in five years.”

In the area of technology, Baynes foresee Big Data being used by villages to make informed decisions about residents and their care. “Big Data is not something we talk about in aged care, but we’re going to have to be involved with it in a significant way,” he said.

Industry leaders will also need to find effective methods to recycling old villages. “We have 45,000 units that need to be redeveloped and this is a major problem,” Baynes said. “Even if it is done over a ten year period, that’s only 4,500 units per year.”

Scaling up to demand

Recently, the Treasurer of Australia announced the introduction of incentives for people aged 55 and over to downsize from their large family homes. These incentives consist of more lenient rules around the aged pension, caps on superannuation, and an once-in-a-lifetime windfall to downsize from their home.

If that windfall is up to $200,000, then 50,000 families a year may consider downsizing and look for alternate accommodation. Although the incentive program is expected to roll out in the next couple of weeks, Baynes does not expect it to bring immediate benefits to the aged care industry.

“The reality is if we have 50,000 new customers, there’s no way we’ll have a spot for them,” he said. “For a number of reasons, we are unable to produce 50,000 units in the next five years.”

In the long term, apartment builders are expected to be the big winners, since people will be downsizing to them. The aged care industry will not only need to be aware of this trend, but also find ways to adapt to it.

Connecting carers and residents

In the next five years, aged and healthcare facilities will need fast and reliable technology infrastructure to meet the needs of elderly Australians. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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Frost & Sullivan: Health, Aged Care Tech Growth in 2017

Leaders Summit 2017, the leading conference for the aged care industry, will be held this week (March 16-17) at the Hilton in Sydney. BTAS will continue its sponsorship from last year and be present at this year’s event.

Leading up to Leaders Summit, Frost & Sullivan announced that healthcare services, aged care technologies, and screening and diagnostics are key growth areas for Asia Pacific in 2017. The analyst firm highlighted a need for innovation in terms of site-of-care delivery, treatment pathways, and payment models in order to deliver better healthcare.

Greater demand in Asia Pacific

Major health policies and initiatives are expected to be realised in part in 2017, which in turn will drive growth in the industry. The Asia Pacific healthcare market, which includes medical devices and healthcare technology, is expected to represent close to 30 per cent of global revenue in 2017.

The healthcare sector in Asia Pacific is also one of the fastest growing globally, with a growth rate of eight per cent projected for 2017 versus the global projected growth rate of 4.8 per cent.  The means the Asia Pacific healthcare market will increase from US$472.5 billion in 2016 to US$510.7 billion this year.

This growth can be attributed to industry concepts such as value-based care, personalisation and preventative healthcare gaining acceptance. This in turn is creating demand amongst consumers and healthcare providers for new technologies and innovative care delivery platforms.

Digitally-driven healthcare

Ageing populations worldwide continue to stretch the healthcare system and threaten an unsustainable rise in healthcare spending. Australia joins Japan, Korea, and Singapore as the fastest aging nations in Asia, with the ABS predicting that 7.75 million Australians will be over 65 years of age by 2044.

Frost & Sullivan Partner, Rhenu Bhuller, said these social trends will push healthcare service providers to reinvent their business models. “Care will move toward community and home, leading to opportunities for tele-health, remote patient monitoring and mhealth," she said.

The successful implementation of remote care delivery models in countries like Australia will help transition healthcare from tertiary/secondary care towards the home. As the industry moves toward this digitally-driven care delivery model, providers and carers will turn to technologies such as Big Data and predictive analytics, AI and robotics to do more with less.

Preparing for the future

In order for technology to provide aged Australians with the freedom to exercise real choice, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Problem with Wi-Fi when Travelling

Internet access has become ubiquitous with travel, but in many cases it is still failing to satisfy end users. The Durango Herald looked at how travellers often struggle to find reliable and reasonably priced hot spots to use on their trip.

For many travellers, fast and accessible Wi-Fi has become more important than a hotel’s location, parking facilities and even free breakfast. This was the case for 7 in 10 travellers surveyed for a Research+Data Insights study.

With the majority of business travellers carrying three devices, usually a phone, a tablet and a notebook PC, they are looking to connect wherever they are. Research by high-density Wi-Fi provider, Xirrus, found that 83 per cent of users connect at hotels, 72 per cent at cafés, and 64 per cent at airports.

The connected world

With every traveller wanting to be online, wireless providers are having trouble keeping up with demand. Wi-Fi in the travel sector may have reached a tipping point, where both demand and frustration is causing people to give up on connecting and going online.

The travel industry is trying to keep up with demand by upgrading from 2.4 GHz wireless access points to the speedier 5 GHz standard. But not everyone has made the change and some have done it incorrectly, which only adds to the irritation felt by travellers.

The number of wireless hotspots worldwide is expected to grow to more than 430 million by 2020. This is a sixfold increase, but even at this rate it may not be enough to meet the demand of end users in what has become an "always-on society."

Change on the horizon

For now, travellers can either carry their own wireless hotspot from a network or they can take their chances with the overloaded networks at airports or hotels. But down the road, the industry may develop better standards that offer faster connection speeds.

In the short term, new technologies will help with managing the network load. Hotels and airports are starting to adopt a new standard called Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint to let users just log in once and avoid repeating the lengthy authenticating process for each new Wi-Fi network.

The industry trade group, Wi-Fi Alliance, expects things to further improve as hotels and other hotel destinations refresh their wireless environments. “In 2017, travellers will benefit from more seamless and secure access to Wi-Fi networks, resulting in a better overall experience with Wi-Fi while traveling,” Kevin Robinson, marketing vice president, said.

Time for an upgrade

With today’s travellers demanding continuous connectivity and greater autonomy in anything they do, hotels need to have the right infrastructure in place to deliver these services. A hotel knows it cannot run out of water or bars of soap, towels or other essentials, and nowadays bandwidth falls in the same list of essentials.

BTAS Network is our end-to-end management of your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi. Not only do we offer choice when it comes to the right network for your BYOD strategy, we also provide you with a variety of ways to invest in it.

In additional to capital and operational expenditure options, BTAS Network is available as NoD. It also comes with 24/7 network monitoring and managed security by our dedicated Network Operations Centre (NOC).

By offering BTAS Network as NoD, customer can have an experience that is faster and less complex. They also have the ability to cut costs, in some cases getting 120% network capacity for only 70% of the cost.

To find out more about BTAS Network and how it can help your business, visit the product page or contact us.

Related articles:

BTAS Modernises Aged Care for Thomas Holt

Technology publication, IT Brief Australia, reported on the new network and communications infrastructure being rolled out by BTAS at NSW aged care facility, Thomas Holt Aged Care. The upgrade is based on technology from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) and will benefit the operations connected to the daily care and experience of residents.

Time for an upgrade

Thomas Holt Aged Care CIO, George Lymbers, said the technology refresh comes at a time when the aged care industry is being disrupted by the Baby Boomer generation. “We’re facing competition from the likes of AirTasker, Menulog and even Netflix, all technologies that enable the elderly to procure odd jobs, have food delivered and be entertained without leaving their home,” he said.

Thomas Holt will use the new infrastructure as a means to deploy mobile devices to all nurses and aged care workers. In the process, Thomas Holts’ new Seymour Shaw Court village in the Sutherland Shire will become one of the most modern aged care facilities in the country.

Lymbers said the technology from ALE will allow Thomas Holt to play an active role in today’s new age of hyper connectivity. “It enables residents to have the exact same technology experience that would have at home, coupled with professional medical and aged care,” he said.

A change in the industry

ALE Healthcare and Hospitality Director, Maud Holvast, admits that technology has not always been a top priority for the aged care industry. However, with innovative deployments at facilities such as Thomas Holt, this is starting to change.

“The aged care industry as a whole, and in particular Thomas Holt, is truly at the forefront of technology,” she said.  “IT can help in providing an array of improved outcomes for aged care residents."

Holvast has high hopes that the benefits created by the network and communications infrastructure will encourage other aged care providers to undertake their own technology refresh. “Thomas Holt aged care will be instrumental in creating a new vision and bringing it to life,” she said.

Make your move

In order for technology to provide aged Australians with the freedom to exercise real choice, aged and healthcare facilities need fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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The Hidden Business Benefits of Fibre Optic Internet

The high speed of fibre optic Internet is well known to many, though there are additional benefits that are less commonly understood. These benefits, such as bandwidth potential, speed, and reliability, are more apparent when compared to what standard copper cable offers.

The main differentiation of a fibre network is that it relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which translates into a much faster Internet connection that is capable of handling higher bandwidth. For that reason, fibre optic has superseded copper-based networks and become the gold standard for fast, high-quality Internet.

Less cables, fewer issues

On a copper network, the speed of Internet is directly correlated with the weight of cable used. That has meant that businesses have invested in more cabling to get the desired Internet speeds, which in turn has taken up space in a company's telecommunications room.

The speed of a fibre optic network is not connected to its size, since a single fibre cable is enough to carry data at high speeds. The simpler design of fibre optic means there’s significantly fewer cables involved and less demanding of limited space in small rooms.

Copper cable-based networks can be affected by environmental factors, such as temperature fluctuations, severe weather conditions, and moisture, leading to loss of connectivity. They are also susceptible to interference from electronic or radio signals.

Since an electric current is carried over copper, old or worn cable can even present a fire hazard. Copper cables can also only sustain 10 kilograms of pressure, so they can be damaged with relative ease during a routine operation in a company's telecommunications room.

In contrast, fibre optic cable can withstand about 45 to 90 kilograms of pressure, meaning they are far less likely to be damaged during routine operations. Fibre networks are typically independent of the phone company, their equipment and termination points, so there’s little risk of any accidental mistakes by phone company personnel when they access the copper wires in the building.

Get connected today

The benefits of fibre optic Internet have made it a top choice for large business, but it is now an increasingly common choice for mid-sized companies. BTAS Connect is already providing fast fibre-powered Internet and WAN to numerous mid-sized businesses, and it could be yours as well from $400 per month (plus GST).

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect can enable your business.