Mesh Without Wires

May 27, 2010

Next #B2Bchat: Professional and Corporate Twitter for B2B – Best Practices

Filed under: B2B,Corporate Twitter — kseniacoffman @ 12:26 pm

(This post also appeared on web site. For all posts on #B2Bchat, search for #b2bchat tag on B2Bbloggers, or visit

Follow #B2Bchat on TwitterTwitter is one of the pillars of social media communications, or so we are told, along with corporate blogging, Facebook, and web. The reasons for being on Twitter are numerous:

  • Competitive and industry intelligence
  • Brand monitoring and “listening” to the conversation about your industry and your brand
  • Interaction with industry influencers: editors, bloggers, analysts
  • Learning new trends in the industry, in the marketing discipline, and what the movers and shakers are up to
  • Catching up with other B2B marketers (which #b2bchat is part of)

So assuming that B2B companies need to be on Twitter, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of managing corporate (brand) and professional (yours) Twitter accounts:

  • How do you set your Twitter objectives? What are you looking to accomplish?
  • If you manage a corporate Twitter account, do you also maintain a separate “professional you” account? How do you balance the two?
  • How much do you know about your followers? Do they engage with your brand?
  • Who should and should not corporate accounts follow?
  • How to avoid a Twitter burnout? Or is some time away a good thing?

Join fellow B2B marketers for a discussion on Twitter best practices, tips and advice. Follow #B2Bchat on Twitter for more details and participate on Thursday May 27 at 8 pm Eastern!

Follow B2Bchat on Twitter

For other posts on social media topics, see:

May 22, 2010

Grey’s Anatomy Finale Defies Reality and Physical Security Industry

Filed under: Physical Security,Public Safety Wireless,Technology — kseniacoffman @ 12:43 pm

Or Seattle Grace active shooter fail

I’m by no means a security expert, but been around in the industry enough to pick up on glaring inconsistencies in Grey’s Anatomy 2-episode finale. If you have not seen it: a disgruntled husband of a patient shows up at Seattle Grace with a newly acquired gun, and starts shooting people, primarily surgeons. Without prior military training, he evades SWAT for 2 episodes, kills multiple people in various locations at the hospital, and generally has a free reign on the entire facility. Police response is at best slow, at worst extremely ineffective. The episode concludes with a former chief of surgery getting to the shooter first and talking him into committing suicide.

Grey's Anatomy Defies Reality and Physical Security Industry

Derek thinking about how he can improve security at Seattle Grace

Zero preparedness for an emergency situation

Chief of surgery fumbles through the manual to find out what to do when there’s a shooter on the loose; chief of security has no clue either and is nowhere to be seen throughout the episode. In the post Virginia Tech world don’t public facilities have drills to deal with situations like this?

Absence of a security system

Where are the security cameras? Access control system? The hospital appears to have no security system, apart from a few guards. It’s hard to imagine that a modern facility such as Seattle Grace would have no electronic security at all. I imagine a “lock down” would automatically seal off the area through electronic controls, so that a shooter is not left wandering the halls for 2 entire episodes. Cameras could be used to track the shooter’s movements, and to assess victims’ status  (in the episode, people died because help could not get to them in time).

Police and SWAT team are mumbling idiots

The entire city of Seattle apparently has only one SWAT team, who take their time searching the facility and then injure the shooter, but somehow (thanks to a commercial break) lose him. The police operation outside the hospital is a joke and they let people slip back into the hospital! Where are the police cordons, the field command unit? I surely hope that if something like happened in real life, the response would be more efficient.

IP video and wireless mesh video transmission can aid in response

I’ve talked to enough police departments who have to respond to emergencies, including active shooter, barricade or hostage situations. IP video systems are changing the way they respond to situations like the one depicted in Grey’s finale. For example, with an IP video system, it’s easy to gain remote access, and then stream video to the mobile command center and exit points over the mesh links. From there, it can be relayed (over microwave or existing fixed mesh infrastructure) to the PD’s headquarters where high-level decision makers can get involved.

The complete lack of any type of electronic security at Seattle Grace was baffling. I hope I’m not being too optimistic that our medical facilities are better secured than as was depicted on Grey’s Anatomy.

I’d be curious to know what real physical security experts thought of the episode.

Other posts on the subject:

May 19, 2010

Why a Mesh Company Designs a Wireless Ethernet Bridge

Filed under: Technology,Wireless — kseniacoffman @ 11:43 am
Firetide Wireless Ethernet Bridge

Deployment Scenario for Firetide Wireless Ethernet Bridge (click to enlarge)

Today we announced immediate availability of a new series of outdoor wireless Ethernet bridges. FWB-100 links achieve up to 35 Mbps UDP/25 Mbps TCP of throughput in 2 mile links, with US list prices of under $1,000 for 2.4 GHz band and under $1,500 for 4.9/5 GHz bands. (The throughput numbers are actual Ethernet payload, not modulation rates).

The first shipment is already in the hands of some resellers. Here’s what Hector Sanchez of Bonneville Construction in Puerto Rico had to say:

“We had an opening for several point-to-point wireless Ethernet links on an important project and decided on the Firetide bridges because of the high performance and reliability that we’ve seen with Firetide’s other products. The price is also a selling point.”

Bonneville Construction’s prior experiences with Firetide have been with mesh for video surveillance. See our announcement on a deployment by Bonneville Construction in 2008: Police, Court and Prison Systems See Cost Savings from Wireless Video Surveillance System.

So why have we designed a point-to-point product?

Although Firetide is best know for our wireless infrastructure mesh product line, we offer other wireless products to complement the mesh. We have a line of outdoor and indoor access points (both ‘fat’ and ‘thin’), as well as a WLAN controller, which we recently OEMed to NETGEAR (See our March 2010 announcement: Firetide Announces Strategic Alliance and OEM Agreement with NETGEAR).

Point-to-point links are a natural expansion of our wireless infrastructure portfolio, besides we don’t like losing business when the customer needs to connect a few outlying facilities, and do not have a requirement for mesh’s redundancy or our routing protocol.

As with our mesh products, FBW links are software configurable for 2.4, 5 and 4.9 GHz and 5 GHz. FWB-100s are available in two outdoor configurations:

  • FWB-102 provides two FWB-100 nodes with built-in 2.4 GHz antennas
  • FWB-105 includes two external antennas for 4.9 and 5 GHz.

See also:

May 13, 2010

Real-time Security Video Off Transit Vehicles: Killer App for Wireless?

Today we announced a contract with Thales Portugal to provide Mumbai Metro with real-time, mobile wireless video surveillance network. The network will be deployed to provide onboard video surveillance and broadcast of text message to passenger information display. The Mumbai Metro is a three-line, high capacity rapid transit system spanning 40 miles that is being built in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The first phase of the metro is scheduled to be completed in 2010. Thales has been tapped by Mumbai Metro to provide the required communication systems, including a real-time video surveillance network, for which they selected Firetide’s wireless infrastructure mesh (after an extensive evaluation and field testing period).

Real-time video a trend in transit?

Mumbai Metro Wireless Surveillance Network Diagram

Mumbai Metro Wireless Surveillance Network Diagram (click to enlarge)

You may have seen our announcement on a similar system for Seoul Subway in November of 2009. So is this a trend for transit security? Transit agencies are not only deploying cameras on trains and busses, but also implementing real-time video streaming from and to moving trains, buses and shuttles.

There are interesting parallels between the two deployments. Both are for rail systems – underground subway in Seoul, and elevated rapid transit system in Mumbai. Rail systems have the necessary right-of-way for deployment of fixed infrastructure, plus in cases of Mumbai and Seoul both systems have fiber along the tracks, so engineering/cost-justifying the system is easier, as you ‘only’ need to deliver the ‘meshing’ capability between the fixed infrastructure and the mobile mesh nodes.

Both systems are driven by public safety, but the network will also support other application: text messages for passenger information displays in the case of Mumbai, and advertizing in Seoul Subway.

Asia leads in cutting-edge applications

Another interesting trend is that both such deployments are in Asia. (As an aside, Asia Pacific leads US in general in the application of wireless networking; see innovative project in Seoul for Children Safety Zone, which combines location-based tracking with real-time video to locate missing children).

But we are discussing projects with consultants specifying real-time video systems for transit agencies here in the US. Is it only a matter of time before real-time surveillance from moving vehicles will be ‘standard operating procedure’ for transit agencies?

For more information:

May 5, 2010

Professional Development Paradox for B2B Marketers: Next #B2Bchat

Filed under: B2B,Social Media — kseniacoffman @ 9:50 pm

(This post will also appear on web site. For all posts on #B2Bchat, search for #b2bchat tag on B2Bbloggers, or visit

Follow #B2Bchat on TwitterAs B2B marketers, we often look for potential customers in various professional organizations: we exhibit at trade shows, submit speaking proposals, put together panels, and use association conference lists to target our direct mail. We consider conferences to be ‘captive audiences’ and go after the attendees with new product introductions, marketing messages, and (when budgets allow) lavish parties.

But do we – B2B marketers – see value in belonging to professional organizations? If we are not part of them, are we missing out on valuable networking, professional growth, and exchange of ideas? Can we (and should we) justify the expense and time out of the office to participate in industry organizations and related conferences?

Hence the “professional development paradox for B2B marketers” – we target those who attend industry events, but are not big on involvement ourselves.

In the next B2B chat we’ll discuss the role of industry organizations in B2B marketers’ professional development.

  • What professional organizations do you belong to? What have been your experiences?
  • Do you attend local or national events? Do you attend virtual events? What is the value?
  • Are there relevant certifications for B2B marketers, and what’s the practical value of said certifications?
  • How do you justify time/expense it takes to participate?
  • In addition/instead of in-person events, what resources do you utilize to keep up with industry developments?

Follow #B2Bchat on Twitter for more details and join us on Thursday May 6 at 8 pm Eastern!

Follow B2Bchat on Twitter

For other posts on social media topics, see:

Blog at