Most Innovative Use of New Technology

Read and vote for the entries for the Most Innovative Use of New Technology category in the Network Middle East Innovation Awards 2007.

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By  Eliot Beer Published  March 19, 2007

Intro|~||~||~|Below are the four entries in the Most Innovative Use of New Technology category, in this year’s Network Middle East Innovation Awards. This Award is designed to recognise regional organisations’ commitment to the latest solutions available in the world of networking – and should amply demonstrate that the Middle East is a match for any other region when it comes to both development and deployment of advanced IT systems. The nominees are: • Albahith Technologies, JordanDepartment Of Health And Medical Services, DubaiGulf University For Science And Technology, KuwaitNational Bank Of Kuwait After reading all four entries, votes can be cast on the NME Awards website. Next >>||**||Albahith Technologies|~||~||~|Nominee: Albahith Technologies Project: High-speed data access card development Nominated by: Sammy Tuffaha The success of the CDMA 1x revision-0 data cards with peak data rates of 2.4 Mbps has taken us a step closer to the comprehensive IP communication era. This speed and technology remain one the best options for wireless data transfer in many countries. However, the introduction of the revision-A cards, with peak data rates of 3.1 Mbps on the download link and 1.8 Mbps on the upload link, revolutionised the industry. The high data transfer speeds and higher capabilities of the new technology will pave the way for new applications and better utilisation of VOIP utilities. In addition, this new technology will also take video phones and video streaming to a higher level of quality and reliability. As a result, Albahith technologies decided to develop EVDO Revision-A data cards. Albahith Technologies is a Jordanian company based in Amman. Albahith is a an original design manufacturer (ODM) of wireless technologies and one of the leading CDMA engineering companies in the Middle East. Albahith currently manufactures the smallest Fixed Wireless Terminal in the world. Albahith’s 100% Jordanian staff holds 17 US patents in the communications field. The company currently has 26 employees of which over 80% are development engineers. Albahith has made a substantial investment in establishing a state of the art testing lab for telecommunication products and applications. Albahith saw a great opportunity in the EVDO Revision-A technology. With a few of the world leading wireless engineering companies having a head start in developing products for the new technology, Albahith decided to join the race in the summer and of 2006. The company decided to develop EVDO Rev-A cards with Express and USB connections. The Express small size cards, being the smallest form of data card modems utilised today, added much to the project’s level of difficulty. However, in less than six months, Albahith had a functional prototype of the Rev-A Express card and will be one of the first three companies in the world to introduce such a product. Furthermore, Albahith will also introduce a new antenna that was designed specially for the card. The new antenna is currently in the process of being patented. The product designer faced many dilemmas from the board design to what antenna to utilise. The design team had many brainstorming sessions and market reviews to come up with the best product to fit the emerging market needs. In the end, The final product superseded the original design because of the new ideas that were integrated into the project along the way. The project investment was substantially high due to licensing fees and project complexity. However, not only is the new technology is currently in high demand, it is also backwards compatible with older EVDO high speed data transfer. Many large wireless providers have pending deals with Albahith and are awaiting the new product; Albahith expects a positive return on investment within one year from the product release. << Back Next >> Click here to vote||**||Department of Health and Medical Services, Dubai|~||~||~|Nominee: Department of Health and Medical Services, Dubai Project: IP telephony deployment across multiple sites Nominated by: Avaya The Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) is the responsible Health Authority in the Emirate of Dubai. It aims to provide international standards in preventive and curative health services to the community by utilising the best in technology and human resources. With an increase in population and the subsequent pressure on hospitals and healthcare centres, DOHMS was seeking to keep doctors in touch with emergency services at all times, and balance resources and supplies across key sites. An efficient communications network was needed to help achieve the core objective of providing quality healthcare services. In looking for a partner to embark upon this project, DOHMS looked for the highest reliability in communications technology, the most robust applications, the deepest experience and expertise on the support side, and a partner who took its business as serious as they did. In November 2006, DOHMS signed an agreement with Avaya to roll out an intelligent telecommunications network across a number of sites in the emirate, in multiple phases expected to be complete by 2010. DOHMS also recognised Avaya as the telecommunications partner of choice. Avaya Middle East and Africa satisfied DOHMS’s requirements with a clear roadmap for roll-out, which has seen networks implemented in the newly opened Trauma Centre and Satwa Medical Centre, two buildings in the Rashid Hospital Campus, and technical library, as they were highlighted as the highest priority sites. All lines terminate at the Trauma Centre. “In today’s society, it is our responsibility to look at what the community requires, and see how we can leverage leading technology to service these needs,” says Sina Khoory, IT director at DOHMS. “Partnering with Avaya to implement a unified converged communication IP Telephony network across four hospitals and a further 16 healthcare sites will enable us to shorten the response time between personnel and patients, as well as between personnel on site or between sites,” adds Khoory. The central call-centre will flatten the DOHMS communication system making it much easier for information to be shared between patients and their doctor, speeding up overall communications across the healthcare network.” Avaya worked closely to look at the best way to migrate the existing telecommunications networks in each site to an IP enabled next-generation healthcare communications network. Avaya protected DOHMS’s existing investment by integrating the IP telephone system via E1 Qsig to the existing Philips PABX that covers the rest of the campus to enable seamless dialling. Due to lack of proper GSM coverage Avaya also provided Wi-Fi phones to doctors, enabling them to stay in touch and be paged across the campus in case of emergency. DOHMS experienced minimal down-time due to Avaya’s migration approach rather than rip and replace, ensuring that the community’s needs are kept as the number one priority. Mobility solutions from Avaya were also introduced to the sites where appropriate; to ensure that healthcare professionals on call can be kept fully briefed in a cost effective, secure and always available environment. << Back Next >> Click here to vote||**||Gulf University for Science and Technology|~||~||~|Nominee: Gulf University for Science and Technology Project: IP-based campus and data-centre project Nominated by: Cisco Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) was the first private university in Kuwait. GUST is striving to be a centre of excellence for education and research in the fields of art, science and business administration. GUST is currently building a brand new campus. The first phase covers 3,400 students and later phases will expand the university to accommodate 5,500 students. This new campus is designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities, incorporating the latest educational equipment and technology. As the first purpose-built private university in Kuwait, the project expresses a vision for the future of higher education in Kuwait. What is unique about this project is that innovation truly came from the mind of the stakeholders at GUST. GUST’s innovative approach and open-to-anything mindset helped the Cisco team to develop an approach and a strategy that ended up in the creation of an IT platform which does not only helps GUST in achieving both their short term and long term objectives, but also build a showcase and a model of what an intelligent campus can be. Today, GUST has two operations building and a new campus, named Mishrif is close to be completed and is expected to host around 11,000 students. The technological focus is a next-generation ‘smart collaborative & adaptive educational campus’. The Cisco solution addressed each of the following needs: · To build two multi-service, virtualised, redundant data centres, offering rich multimedia educational services to students · To build a multi-layer, modular, IP-based campus for more than 8,000 students · To provide a Unified Communication solution for the whole campus · Providing a highly reliable unified wireless solution network covering both the indoor and outdoor areas of the campus. · Having a location-based system (based on Cisco’s Unified Wireless Solution) · To establish a multi-level security solution including Network Admission Control · Building management centres that use Cisco Management Suits The Cisco team worked with GUST’s management to turn the entire network infrastructure for the campus into a Cisco end-to-end IP based unified communications, including an IP contact centre. Cisco IP Contact Centre Express, Cisco Call Manager 4.2 Clusters, Cisco Unity Voice Mail Solution, Rich Media Conferencing Solution, Cisco IP Phones 7900 and Wireless IP Phones. Cisco ISR communication Gateways and Cisco Analog Gateways VTG248 were deployed to create a rich, collaborative environment within which students are able to enjoy various media-rich services and applications. Additionally and to provide mobility advantages and the flexibility for students and faculty to have access to anything in and outside the actual campus, the Cisco team deployed Cisco WiSM Wireless Controllers, Cisco Wireless Access points 1020 and 1242, Cisco 2710 Wireless Location Appliance with Cisco WCS Wireless Management capabilities to turn the entire campus into a wide hot spot. GUST considers information integrity of absolution importance by deploying various multi-level security features across its entire wire-line and wireless networks. With the backing of the comprehensive security management capabilities of Cisco’s award winning CS MARS, GUST can have a satellite view over its network as a whole and detect any potential security threats. << Back Next >> Click here to vote||**||National Bank of Kuwait|~||~||~|Nominee: National Bank of Kuwait Project: Unified communications infrastructure Nominated by: Cisco NBK has implemented a new converged communications infrastructure over the last two years, starting from a project to connect branch offices in Iraq. The new solution will also allow the customer to apply Quality of Service policing and enforcement to the different traffic types traversing the whole internetworks to maintain a unique service level based on the type of use. The Bank is also in the process of utilising this IP Communication and converged infrastructure to migrate its current Call Centre into a truly advanced IP Contact Centre. This solution is composed of branch equipment for 40 existing locations with old hardware to be replaced in that contains 640 IP Phones overall. This adds to around 15 other new locations that were either opened or renovated last year. This will result in full replacement of all branches network to the same typical advanced Hardware/Software from the same vendor Cisco. This solution includes One Cisco 2851 ISR router with Voice Bundle, Dual Serial Interfaces, Dual Analog Ports (FXS), Dual Analog Trunk Ports (FXO), IP Communications SRST Feature for IP Telephony High-Availability. The router configuration allows for additional functionality add-on into the same box. Every Branch has dual L3-Capable switches with PoE ports and Auxiliary VLAN for IP Phones connectivity. The Switch would contain an isolated segments/VLANS for Users Data, IP Phones Voice, and Video Camera’s. The latest deal also included a total of 640 IP Phones (CP-7961G and CP-7912G) to be distributed across the 40 branches. With the addition of this huge number of users, the bank has also added additional IP Telephony components to be able to handle the additional load of users and Business Continuity. This was done by addition a highly redundant voice Gateway, CallManager Server, Backup Unity UM Server with upgrade of Unified Mailboxes to a total of 600 users in failover configuration. The new routers will also do better performance in the requirement to do TCP-x25 Protocol translation for the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) for connectivity to the banks IBM Mainframe. The routers and switches in the branches will also enable the bank to use the latest L2/L3 Quality of Service (QoS) or the different traffic types traversing the network in the best seamless manner for best traffic service levels required for each application. In the Data Centre, the bank have been using the Windows Based Software Load-Balancing solution (commonly referred to as Network Load Balancing, NLB) to Services high-availability and load balancing against multiple servers. With such solution being software based, less efficient, not very intelligent and agile in the Failover and recovery, the bank felt the need to go for a purpose built solution that is the latest and best in its field. Based on that the customer started phase one of the solution deployment along with the urgent deployment of the new Internet web-based Teller Application, where two External Module content Switches (CSS11506) are going to be installed in the internal data centre of HO1 and DRS sites to achieve the emerging need for content (L2-7) switching and SSL Off-loading for the new applications. << Back Click here to vote||**||

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