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24/7 Software Blog

“A wire fox terrier named King has taken the crown at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. He's the 15th wire fox terrier to win "Best in Show,” writes Matthew S. Schwartz in their recent NPR article entitled “It's Good To Be King: Wire Fox Terrier Wins Westminster Dog Show.”

"You know, I love you all,’ said Best in Show judge Peter Green as he stood in front of the finalists. ‘Every one of you.’ Then Green, who spent years honing his own craft as a professional dog handler to terriers, raised his arm and pointed at the dog he apparently loved the most. ‘He's best in show," shares Schwartz.

According to the NPR article, “The 7-year-old King is ‘as good as it gets,’ Green said, according to USA Today. ‘The head, the expression. Everything is really, really as good as it gets. And then the handler has him in perfect condition," explains Schwartz.

"I look at King, he's like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,’ King's handler, Gabriel Rangel, said earlier in the day. ‘The way he stands and performs, he's the whole package," the piece continues.

Kudos to King and his handler, Gabriel, for a remarkable victory.

It certainly got us thinking about one thing.

Is your operation “as good as it gets” or can it be improved?

Can you get better?

We believe you can, and that’s because your operational environment is always changing.

It’s always evolving.

That requires you to rethink what being as good as it gets is – every day.

Now, that’s not a bad thing or something you cannot handle.

But, you need to have the right mindset, fierce discipline, and a proven methodology engrained into your operation, all the way from your team’s behavior to your processes to the technology you use.

Keep reading; we’ll explain.

“Last fall, Corey Chase drove 6,000 miles around his state to ground-truth what every Vermonter with a cell phone knows: there are many, many places in the state where you simply can't get a signal, not to mention the 5 megabits per second data download speeds the carriers were claiming,” writes John Dillon in their recent NPR article entitled “One Man's Quest To Prove Vermont Has Terrible Cell Service.”

According to the article, “The six-week effort involved six cell phones, a state-owned Prius and an app from a software developer in Bulgaria.”

“What Chase, a Vermont Department of Public Service employee, found is now part of a detailed challenge before the Federal Communications Commission that officials hope will bring federal dollars into the state to improve the wireless network,” explains Dillon.

The NPR piece continues that “Chase, a telecommunications infrastructure specialist, drove the equivalent of Montpelier to Los Angeles and back. But his windshield time was along state roads and through town and village centers, at a slow pace of 40 mph. And occasionally he found himself on no road at all.”

"There's apparently a road that goes from Stamford to Bennington. I tried to take said road, and there's a state-government printed sign on the road that says: 'Your GPS is wrong, turn around now,” said Chase, according to Dillon’s article.

“Although Chase saw lots of beautiful sights and foliage driving around the state, his excursion was really a massive data collection project,” Dillon clarifies.

Data collection?

Looking at the weakness in the infrastructure?

While the title of Dillon’s article alone intrigued us, this undertaking hit home.

We see lessons for property operations worldwide.

So many lessons: complacency, change management, identifying your weaknesses, and most important, recognizing that your operation is terrible reactive.

We need to change that.

But, as you’ve seen with Chase’s mission, that requires a lot of time spent collecting data and going places you’re not necessarily comfortable going.

Are you ready to do what’s needed to be proactive?

“The Justice Department unsealed two separate indictments of Chinese telecom device maker Huawei on Monday. But only one of them reads like the script of a slapstick caper movie,” writes Laurel Wamsley in their recent NPR article entitled “A Robot Named 'Tappy': Huawei Conspired To Steal T-Mobile's Trade Secrets, Says DOJ.”

“That would be the one that describes the U.S. government's case alleging that Huawei stole trade secrets from T-Mobile, the wireless service company,” explains Wamsley.

“In the indictment, the government says that between June 2012 and September 2014, Huawei repeatedly made efforts to steal information about the design of a T-Mobile robot. The robot's name, adorably, is ‘Tappy,” the article continues.

Wamsley shares, “We would like to include a photo here of Tappy, but photographing the robot is expressly prohibited by T-Mobile, and Tappy is kept under very tight security in a lab at T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.”

According to the NPR article, “Tappy's job is to test devices before they go to market. With a rubber-tipped robotic arm, it touches the device screen, imitating a human using the phone — while at the same time tracking problems, measuring how long tasks take to complete, and monitoring how much battery is drained by each task.”

“At least at the time of the events in the indictment, Tappy was apparently the envy of other mobile companies, and only T-Mobile employees were allowed to operate Tappy. But eventually the company allowed employees from its phone suppliers to access and operate the robot – so long as they signed nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements. Those agreements specifically barred suppliers' employees from attempting to reverse engineer Tappy, or to take photos or videos of it,” continues Wamsley in the piece.

Wamsley continues that “Meanwhile, Huawei China was reportedly trying to build its own device-testing robot — named, less cutely, ‘xDeviceRobot’ — and it was not finding much success. And Huawei's devices weren't faring well on T-Mobile's Tappy tests, failing more often than devices made by competitors.”

Now, chances are you’re not developing a top-secret robot to change the wireless provider game.

But you’ve most certainly got critical data about your customers, operational processes, and any other competitive advantage you’re leveraging.

That’s why it’s important to know how you can protect it.

We believe Proactive Operations that stick to the methodology get it right more times than not – way more than not.

It’s a disciplined way to keep your performance up and your property protected.

Keep reading; we’re going to share how to protect your figurative “Tappy” from others.

“Several parts of the federal government have been shut down for about a month now, and cybersecurity professionals say government websites are becoming more vulnerable to security breaches each day the shutdown lasts,” writes Laura Sydell in their recent NPR article entitled “Shutdown Makes Government Websites More Vulnerable To Hackers, Experts Say.”

Sydell writes that “Visitors to manufacturing.gov, for instance, are finding that the site has become unusable — its information about the manufacturing sector is no longer accessible. Instead, it features this message at the top of the homepage: NOTICE: Due to a lapse in appropriations, Manufacturing.gov and all associated online activities will be unavailable until further notice.”

“Security certificates help keep websites secure, but last week the British security firm Netcraft reported that more than 130 certificates used by U.S. government websites had expired,” the NPR article continues.

According to Sydell, “These certificates make sure users know ‘this is really the government resource that I'm trying to access and not some bad guy,” explains Dan Kaminsky, the chief scientist at the security firm White Ops in the article.

“The lack of a certificate makes it easier for a bad actor to trick you into going to a fake site. Even though there's a warning when you click on a site without an updated certificate, Kaminsky says in the article, ‘people might get used to ignoring the browser warnings’ because of the shutdown. ‘Then you think you're really walking into this site and you're really not."

“He offers a worst-case scenario: Imagine if the security certificate was down for the Social Security Administration website and a bad actor set up a fake site. Someone could go to the bogus site, enter their password, and give the hackers access to personal information,” shares Sydell.

Question: do you have everything in place to make your property less vulnerable?

Or, are you running things constantly behind the eight ball?

Does your operation have deficiencies that lead to you and your team being vulnerable?

If so, let’s change that today.

Keep reading; whether you’ve got the right things in place to keep your vulnerability down, we’ve got insight in this article you can use.

It’s Monday at 6:30 AM.

You’re finishing up the final report on last night’s event.

But, there are still a few items to check off.

You need to review reports from last night.

You’ve got to check everything on your spreadsheet, record the information on your Monday morning report, and prepare for the meeting.

“Almost there,” you mutter to yourself.

“Only one protein spill,” you continue.

“OK, that's pretty good,” you think to yourself.

“One fight,” you read aloud.

“Two fixed chairs?” you ask.

You’re confused, so you pick up the pace and scan through the reports.

But, you quickly realize there’s something wrong here.

You stop and stare at the spreadsheet.

“What’s this,” you scream across your office.

Something’s wrong here.

Do you know what it is?

Each department recorded incidents, requests, tasks, and work orders as different types.

You begin seeing the variations.

  • Vomit
  • Puke
  • Protein spill
  • Rainbow spill
  • Throw up

The list goes on and on.

  • ‘Fixed’ as a resolution for a broken cup holder

What does ‘fixed’ mean at your facility?

Was the cup holder replaced?

Or was a new chair moved to the location in its place?

Today’s report can’t be accurate unless you fix this significant error.

This epiphany leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach as you realize none of the reports have been accurate as a result of this language issue.

But, it’s now 7:08 AM and your meeting will start in 22 minutes.

You were hoping to get ahead of the game today.

That’s not happening.

You’ve got to ensure your numbers are accurate.

Your property needs a common language.

It needs it now.

“Two weeks ago, MIT's David Autor gave the prestigious Richard T. Ely lecture at the annual meeting of American economists in Atlanta. Introduced by the former chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke as a "first-class thinker" who was doing "path-breaking" work on the central economic issues of automation, globalization, and inequality, Autor strolled up to the microphone with a big smile,” writes Greg Rosalsky in their recent NPR article entitled “What The Future Of Work Means For Cities.”

“His talk was about the past and future of work, and he focused especially on cities,” explains Rosalsky.

According to the article, “Every decade the U.S. Census Bureau asks people what they do for work. If enough people report a certain job title, the bureau adds it to a list of jobs.”

“Autor and Anna Salomons, an economist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, analyzed the last few decades of this data and tracked the types of jobs that have been created. They identify three trends that help explain where employment in the U.S. may be headed,” writes Rosalsky.

The first trend is called “frontier work,” which is all about technology-related jobs.

Well, that got us thinking.

Not necessarily about tech jobs.

The thinking process evolved for us into going down a rabbit hole of everything related to the future of properties.

Beyond work.

We get it; these trends are not directly (and only) related to property operations.

But the concept of how the work component affects future cities was intriguing.

And it led to this critical question:

What does the future of Proactive Operations mean for properties?

We took a step back and looked at the idea of “Jetson jobs” as Autor calls it in the article.

For us, the decision revolves around the future.

That’s where Proactive Operations fits so well.

It’s not frontier work but let’s call it a “Frontier Methodology.”

What’s its purpose?

Drive the future of property operations, inclusive of work, technology, security, risk, and experience.

In a nutshell, create better and better memories.