NEC Partners with NSHOF, FC Dallas and Frisco ISD to introduce the STEAM FC Experience for Middle School Students

I was pleased to attend the recent launch of STEAM FC presented by NEC, an innovative educational program developed in partnership with Frisco Independent School District (FISD), the National Soccer Hall of Fame (NSHOF) and FC Dallas at their headquarters in Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. This program’s name and its focus is all about introducing FISD sixth graders – in its first phase – to the many ways Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) can be applied using professional soccer and stadium management as its core.

In addition to my duties with NEC Corporation of America, I’m also the head of the NEC Foundation, which is focused on delivering social value in the communities where our employees live and work – one of these values being Education. Frisco ISD, developed the curriculum to creatively connect science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to the business world in ways most kids don’t see these disciplines today.

STEAM FC is truly an innovative learning initiative. Participating students experience classroom problem-solving and brainstorming sessions, tour the National Soccer Hall of Fame (NSHOF) — with its gesture technology, virtual reality and cutting-edge facial recognition technology from NEC. They get active in the Movement Lab, learning how athletes use science to reach peak performance. Components of the Toyota Stadium Tour also will include learning how marketing works, how the electrical system works, how the grass on the soccer field grows and is maintained; essentially, STEAM FC curriculum incorporates the business and the combined STEAM skills involved in running a pro soccer team at this specialized venue.

At NEC, we believe in giving all kids, but especially girls and economically disadvantaged children, unique access to STEAM initiatives in the hope it sparks inspiration and passion and the possibility that more of these underrepresented groups will enter STEAM professions. Diversifying the talent pool for STEAM jobs can only improve our worldwide competitiveness.

For more details about STEAM FC field trips, you can visit the FC Dallas STEAMFC web page.

NEC Building Community Through Service

NEC Corporation of America (NEC) has been a sponsor of Herbert Marcus Elementary in Dallas, TX for the past three years. The involvement of NEC and the volunteer efforts of NEC employees, has made a tremendous difference at this school. Last year the school moved into a “Breakthrough Campus” category in the Dallas Independent School District and, according to the Principal Jonatan Romero, NEC played a big part in this transformation.

As one of our projects this year, NEC decided to “Stock the School” with supplies for each teacher. Unfortunately, many teachers have a financial burden of out-of-pocket costs to supply their students with basic supplies. NEC wanted to help ease that burden for the 50+ teachers at Herbert Marcus by providing each teacher with a care package of basic school supplies such as: folders, pens, hand sanitizer, dry erase boards, markers, etc.

Quantifiable Impact:

  • Provided essential classroom supply kits for 46 classes – impacting up to 800 kids in these classrooms
  • Custom decorated 20+ clipboards to include in the classroom supply kits
  • Painted chalkboards in 3 classrooms
  • Assisted teachers move and set their classrooms
  • Painted and refreshed the health clinic
  • Painted and refreshed the Community Outreach room
  • Painted and brightened up the main stairway
  • Assisted 10 teachers with classroom décor and organization
  • Painted colorful and fun ceiling tiles for the Art room
  • Fresh coat of paint in a large multi-purpose classroom
  • Hand wrote 46 Thank You notes to every teacher in the school to start their new year with motivation
  • Purchase of a much needed projector and screen for the auditorium
  • Purchase of new stage curtains for the auditorium

Stock the School at Herbert Marcus Elementary

NEC’s global branding statement is, “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC volunteers decided we could brighten up the school by adding a fresh coat of paint to the nurse’s clinic, stairways, and a few classrooms. The students spend a large part of their day in the school and adding a new coat of paint assisted in revitalizing areas for a refreshed and positive learning environment. Our goal was to ensure students and teachers walk into the classroom confident, empowered and prepared!

NEC’s ADVANTAGE 2019 Partner Conference Goes Global for the First Time

NEC’s first-ever global partner conference, ADVANTAGE 2019, brought together more than 550 attendees from North America, EMEA and Latin America to learn, share and socialize during the three-day event. Attendees representing 200 partners from 50 countries gathered at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, including channel partners, systems integrators, technology partners and guests along with key NEC executives.

With its theme of “Experience. Exchange. Excite,” ADVANTAGE delivered a rich blend of experts, guest speakers, networking opportunities, best practices sharing, deep dives into digital workspace topics, and a view of upcoming offerings. NEC executives, including Enterprise Technologies SVP Paul Kievit, Solutions and Services SVP Ram Menghani, and VP of Digital Platform Solutions Paul Aiello, provided a glimpse into the future of the Smart Enterprise and exciting possibilities that are available via dynamic delivery including Cloud, Smart WorkSpace and the UNIVERGE Integration Platform.

Woven throughout the presentations and educational sessions was the importance of the overall customer experience.

Digital transformation enables businesses to prioritize customer experience (CX), which elevates a commitment to employee experience (EX). For example, NEC’s Smart Workspace enhances employee experiences by providing work flexibility, improved collaboration, increased productivity and engagement. Deploying Smart Workspace allows organizations to reduce costs, retain talent, and create a great work culture.

Break-out sessions focused on current workforce trends, secure data management, unified communications solutions, high-availability servers, overcoming infrastructure challenges, and the importance of building customer relationships.

This year’s Solutions Expo featured global innovative solutions from the U.S., Japan and EMEA. The exhibits showcased the best of NEC’s current offerings as well as solutions that are coming soon.

Advantage 2019 in Orlando – NEC’s First Ever Global Partner Event

Check out the ADVANTAGE photo album for a closer look at this year’s conference activities

Presentations Designed to Inspire

This year’s agenda also featured guest presenters who shared their expertise, ideas and knowledge with the audience.

  • Delivering the keynote address was Seth Mattison, well-known international expert and author on workforce trends, generational dynamics and business strategy. Seth, who is CEO of Luminate Labs, energized the audience with his discussion on The Future of Work and how workforce dynamics are shaping the new workplace.
  • LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan expanded on how NEC is an important partner in helping the golf organization achieve an excellent fan experience at its events.
  • During the “Proud to Partner” session, several of NEC’s top systems integrators shared stories of success, transformation and best practices from their businesses. Featured speakers included executives from AllStar Communications, SETel, Forerunner, Koning & Hartman and Datasciences .  Highlights from this session included a success story about a large university win that defined a roadmap for how SETel was able to combine creative financing through NEC Financial Services with NEC technology solutions and partner managed services to deliver an OPEX model to the customer, increased margins to the partner, and eliminate competitive bids.

Honoring NEC’s Valued Partners

The ADVANTAGE 2019 conference also provides the opportunity to recognize our extraordinary worldwide partners during the awards presentation. The focus was to not only award top performers for their demonstrated excellence over the past year, but also to give partners the opportunity to share insights and learn from each other. See a full list of the awards here

The record-breaking attendance and enthusiastic participation from partners from around the globe made for a smashing success at NEC’s first global ADVANTAGE partner conference. Together, NEC and its partners continue to bring IT and communication solutions that enable organizations and their workforces to embrace the value of digital transformation.

To get an up-close look at ADVANTAGE 2019 check out our video.

Thanks to all who joined us in Orlando. See you in 2020 !

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Get Ready for NEC’s First Global ADVANTAGE 2019 Partner Conference

NEC’s highly anticipated annual three-day partner conference kicks off on June 3 in Orlando. In its first incarnation as a global event, ADVANTAGE 2019 will be where NEC’s key players, channel partners, systems integrators, technology partners and guests get together to learn and share their interest in business enterprise technology.

A multi-purpose event for learning, experiencing, sharing, socializing, and recognizing our extraordinary partners across North America, EMEA and LATAM, NEC continues this rich tradition on June 3-5, at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.

As always, NEC’s 2019 ADVANTAGE conference will be an uplifting time of targeted learning, inspiration and fun. It’s an opportunity to focus on how the latest NEC technology for business communications, workforce productivity, reliable business continuity, data security, and biometric solutions can move organizations forward and enhance their employee and customer experience.

This year’s keynote is the highly energetic and engaging Seth Mattison, whose focus will be on workforce trends and generational dynamics.

We’ll also feature a blending of expert education on cutting edge NEC solutions that exceed customer expectations, together with great opportunities to build business-boosting relationships with peers, sponsors, partners and NEC experts. ADVANTAGE 2019 is a time of experiencing NEC’s positive global messaging of the importance of developing strong relationships and understanding NEC’s solutions for the Smart Enterprise.

Enhancing the eXperience for the Smart Enterprise

The event spotlight is on the overall experience of our customers with NEC’s Smart Enterprise solutions. A wide range of sessions will be focusing on current workforce environment trends, the latest in NEC unified communications, secure data management, the stability of NEC’s high availability servers, infrastructure challenges being met, the critical importance of building real relationships with customers, and why the spectrum of NEC Smart Enterprise solutions makes sense for businesses of all sizes and missions.

This year the information share is deeper, ranging from NEC Global Strategies to targeted sessions covering specific areas:

  • UC Enterprise SV9500 – to the Future and Beyond
  • SMB UC Platforms – Onwards Leading the Way
  • SMB UC – Unique InApps – Think Verticals
  • Workplace Mobility – Set them Free!
  • IT Solutions Networking – Master Your Network
  • Government eXperience – a Holistic Approach to Success
  • Education eXperience – K-12 and Higher Education
  • Hospitality eXperience
  • Healthcare eXperience
  • Business Cloud – the Sky is the Limit
  • Digital Marketing & Campaigns – Essential for Success
  • HCI Hyper Converged Infrastructure
  • Customer Care – Enhancing the Customer Experience
  • UC Enterprise UNIVERGE 3C – to the Future and Beyond
  • Sales Enablement Transformation –UNIVERGE Blue
  • The Smart Workspace
  • Smart Data Protection

Along with enriching opportunities to participate in informational and inspiring sessions led by the “best of the best” in the industry, the NEC Solutions Expo will also provide attendees with hands-on demonstrations of the latest available product and service offerings to meet the growing needs of our customers.

ADVANTAGE 2019 is a time when we come together to exchange ideas and enjoy an environment of fellowship and comradery. It’s a time to learn and affirm our shared goal of truly orchestrating a brighter world, and discover how, to that end, NEC is continuously innovating, learning, and always fine-tuning our commitment to creating experiences that matter.

Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!

For more Information, visit: https://www.necadvantage.com/

Five Themes from connect:ID 2019

Originally co-founded just six short years ago by the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) and Science Media Partners, connect:ID aimed to create the world’s preeminent identity technology conference and exposition. This year’s show proves that connect:ID still has mass appeal!

The connect:ID 2019 event, held from April 29 to May 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., brought together more than 1,500 attendees and 150 speakers from government, commercial and technical arenas to discuss a wide variety of topics related to identity and related technologies used for recognition, authentication, customer experience, and digital transformation.

A number of overarching themes and topics emerged this year, and I’ve decided to outline the top five or so that I observed.

  1. Collaboration at the federal level was apparent. A fireside chat hosted by IBIA Executive Director Tovah LaDier with two senior program leaders from within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – John Wagner from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Stacey Fitzmaurice from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – outlined how they are using facial recognition to create a secure, seamless and consistent experience for travelers moving through our country’s ports of entry and exit. CBP operates the Traveler Verification Service (TVS), a database used to match and authenticate travelers’ facial images as they enter or exit the country, to which TSA will have access for future expansion of facial recognition at security lines for expedited screening. CBP’s Wagner now reports having caught more than 100 imposters attempting to illegally enter the country at U.S. land and air borders. And why shouldn’t TSA have access to this technology that is already proving itself so valuable?
  2. Sensor fusion is the future of customer experience. In his keynote address, NEC Vice President of Technology and Solutions Kris Ranganath discussed the combination of IoT, AI and analytics technologies that will come together to enable digital transformation and create seamless, reliable, more enjoyable, yet still solidly secure customer experiences as we move between two worlds – the cyber realm and the physical realm. This concept of sensor fusion already exists in certain cutting-edge retail and entertainment use case examples, and Mr. Ranganath expects we’ll only see more of this in the future.
  3. Customer journeys are a key theme for driving innovation for international travel and border protection. The vision for this experience is to create a seamless or contactless journey from reservation to destination. Mr. Wagner from CBP referenced in more than one instance the importance of a frictionless traveler journey in solving the border security issue. In a panel on the future of seamless travel, I outlined several customer journeys related to border entry – via air, land and sea – all enabled by facial recognition and sensor fusion. These journeys are not just a dream, they’re becoming reality. Mr. Wagner at one point in the fireside chat posited that someday kiosks may become unnecessary for Global Entry.
  4. Personal data privacy was discussed in more than one session. Nobody disagrees that privacy is paramount, and more than one multi-disciplinary panel of experts at connect:ID agreed. However, how we achieve it at a policy level is still up for broad discussion and debate. In the government panel titled “Perspectives on Privacy: The Rashomon Effect,” panelists including NEC’s Director of Government Relations Brent Bombach offered varying takes on the issue. Our take and hope is that federal legislation will eventually create a consistent regulatory environment so that travelers can move safely and seamlessly through their journeys without fear of their personal data being stolen.  So, as NEC Corporation CEO Takashi Niino previously wrote, NEC will always favor legislation that both protects personal privacy and allows for innovation in the public and commercial sectors. But a variety of state laws currently on the books or in varying stages of proposal promise to ensure a complex regulatory environment where biometrics and data privacy is concerned. Furthermore, a panel of congressional staffers on the main stage seemed to conclude that a federal preemption, or federal legislation that would render state privacy laws related to biometrics moot or unnecessary, is not likely to succeed in 2019.
  5. Innovation was on full display across the connect:ID 2019 expo floor. I’d like to be able to say that it was all in NEC’s booth. Evidence of innovation was actually scattered all across the expo floor. My favorite, however, is a solution based on NEC’s own research and development in optical networks. Intelligent Perimeter Intrusion Detection (iPIDS) works to detect physical border and facility breaches through the use of highly adaptive and responsive fiber-optic sensing and self-modifying machine learning based artificial intelligence. Deployed along a border or around a secure facility, iPIDS can not only tell when something is there, it uses AI to understand the location and source of the vibrations. Deployed as part of a sensor fusion network, iPIDS is one more way that people can feel safe and secure as they go about their daily journeys.

NEC was proud, as always to participate in this year’s connect:ID, and we certainly look forward to the 2020 event and to see where the industry will be in less than a year’s time.

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