Meet the team: Mark Carty

Week 5 of our Meet the team series focus’ on one of the guys you might already know a little bit about. Mark has been with D-Link for nearly 3 years and spends the majority of his time in house since taking ownership of the internal sales team. We do let him out sometimes if he is well behaved.

Tell us a little bit about your role at D-Link and what your day to day responsibilities look like?

I am the Business Solutions Team Leader which means I look after some of our silver and gold partners and I also get to manage the internal account manager team in D-Link UK HQ. I help drive them by bribing them with lots of tea and biscuits.

 

What is your proudest – none work/academic related- achievement?

My proudest moment, hmmm… being able to tie my shoelaces with one hand! It took months of practice.

 

If you were a chocolate bar which one would you be and why?

Such a difficult choice, there are sooooooo many options and variety. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, that’s the same as choosing between my left or right arm on which to get chopped off.

If I have to choose I’d say Ferrero Roche coupled with a cup of tea is the best/naughtiest indulgence.

 

If you could create a new technological device that could do anything what would it be and why?

The Star Trek – Matter transporter. Think of the many thousands of lives you would improve if we didn’t have to sit on the M25 stuck in Friday evening traffic. Let’s help the endless stream of bored Brits.

 

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

The soundtrack to my life, disclaimer: I blame my Dad for my music taste. From a young age I was listening to a lot of roots reggae artists like John Holt, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy to name a few. Then you have classics like Nat King Cole – Incredible. I love that song. Finally, Motown – The Temptations, 3 Degrees, Aretha Franklin. I could go on forever.

I do like the new stuff too, these young ones listen to! Apart from Justin Bieber…. No Bieber!

 

If you had to trade places/ positions with someone in the office for a day who would it be and why? 

I’d want to swap with Olly Coleman. He says he always busy so I’d like to see it for myself.

 

Where is your favourite place in the world to visit?

The Caribbean, golden beaches and more sunshine in a day than Britain gets in a year. Not forgetting the food: plantain, curried goat, rice and peas and RUM, dark spice RUM. Enough said.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

Airsoft – for those of you who aren’t familiar, it consists of running around the British countryside, dressed in military gear playing a sophisticated game of hide and seek. Its great fun, hard work but you also meet some interesting people. Until they shoot at you.

 

If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Mark – Leicester City will win the premiership in the year 2016 – Copy Biff in Back to the Future II and make your own Biff Co… Not that I condone gambling.

 

Tell us an interesting fact/ joke/ your favourite quote/poem

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts – Winston Churchill

Meet the team: Andy Woolhead

andy

Introducing one of our newest members: Andy Woolhead who has made a huge impression in just a short period here at D-Link. Find out his favourite chocolate bar, hobbies and interests below.

We are already on week 4 of our series, who has been your favourite so far? Check back next week for another D-Link introduction.

Tell us a little bit about your role at D-Link and what your day to day responsibilities look like?

My role as Business Development Manager means I’m on the road 4/5 days a week. My duties are varied ranging from CEO level business planning to customer visits incorporating our pre-sales teams. Whether on the phone or on the road you’ll always find me driving our business solutions story to our eager channel partners. It is a very fast paced role which I enjoy and am looking forward to continued success throughout 2018.
What is your proudest – none work/academic related achievement?

Marrying my best friend and biggest advocate; Louise and taking the responsibility of organising the day. It was truly unforgettable and must have gone down well as I’m still married!

If you were a chocolate bar which one would you be and why?

A Yorkie because I’m very much a “man’s man” and what you see is what you get.

If you could create a new technological device that could do anything what would it be and why?

Teleportation device so that I could visit some of my favourite far-away places. I am a terrible flyer and the ability to save that amount time and hassle would be phenomenal.

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

“It’s my life” by Bon Jovi, the title says it all.

If you had to trade places/ positions with someone in the office for a day who would it be and why?

Paul Routledge UK&I Country Manager. Paul’s role is a 360 degree view of the organisation and no day the same with plenty of challenges.

Where is your favourite place in the world to visit?

Has to be the Caribbean for the warm water and abundance of sunshine. Every Island harbours something different and I simply couldn’t choose just one.
Do you have any hobbies?

I’m a lazy sportsman so I very much enjoy static sports, my favourites being English pool and clay pigeon shooting. I’m also a season ticket holder at Luton Town FC but the less said about that, the better.
If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Don’t panic about not seeing results immediately. Persistence and consistency are far greater traits than we give credit to. Life isn’t a race but an opportunity to learn and most importantly enjoy.

Tell us an interesting fact/ joke/ your favourite quote/poem:

If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0.

Meet the team: Gigi Salmoiraghi

gigi

We recently caught up with Gigi, our Sales & Marketing Director who oversees a number of different countries in Southern Europe. He talks about the importance of self discipline, listening and how he keeps the balance of work and play.

Tell us a little bit about your role at D-Link and what your day to day responsibilities look like?

I co-ordinate in a number countries in Southern Europe with the addition of UK & Ireland. This involves travelling a lot, understanding lots of different channels and working with an abundance of people. I spend a lot of time ensuring that Marketing guidelines are implemented at a local level, whilst finding a compromise between all these different lifestyles to push a consistent company-wide message and allow room for localisation to maximise success. One size fits all very rarely works in my job, it is about listening to what each individual business unit needs and prioritising the next steps.

What is your proudest – none work/academic related- achievement?

Considering that when I was younger I hated running, I have been able to train myself to run a marathon and, more recently, a half Iron Man. This required a lot of self-discipline to be able to find the time in-between an extremely busy family, work and other commitments so I am proud to of achieved this.

If you were a chocolate bar which one would you be and why?

Dark chocolate – the reason being, when you first eat dark chocolate you probably won’t like it because you’re used to all the sweetness of milk and sugar that is usually surrounding it. However, dark chocolate is chocolate in its purest form, it is what it is, like it or not!

If you could create a new technological device that could do anything what would it be and why?

I would create a time machine because I think our lives have become very hectic. We tend to miss important moments not realising how precious they are at first, but I would like to be able to go back and relive those. Maybe, in the form of an app where you get to re-live one moment a month.

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

Bruce Springsteen! I grew up listening to him and I remember going to his first concert in Milan in 1985 at the San Siro stadium. My parents didn’t want me to go because I was so young but I had been listening him for so long on my cassette, they couldn’t say no. His music also helped me when I was learning the English language, he has a very story-telling style to his lyrics which made me have a greater understanding.

If you had to trade places/ positions with someone in the office for a day who would it be and why? 

I would love to be a pre-sales engineer for the day because I got my master’s degree in telecommunications engineering. I left a lot of those technical aspects behind when I stepped into Sales and Marketing, but it is always something I have been passionate about.

Where is your favourite place in the world to visit?

To visit it would be the Maldives, without a doubt the most beautiful place I have visited. It’s the perfect retreat.

However, my favourite place to be is at home. I spend a lot of my life traveling in and out of hotels, so normality is very rare for me.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, as I mentioned before I run a lot, it keeps me fit and calm. Also, a recent hobby I’ve taken up, thanks to my brother in law, is piano lessons. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do and it complements the physicality of running with a more mentally challenging way to spend time.

If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Try to listen to everyone and put yourself in their shoes. Listening is important but understanding is even more so. Stay curious, stay hungry and never give up. I believe that behind every evolution; there is curiosity.

Tell us an interesting fact/ joke/ your favourite quote/poem

It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win [Thunder Road – 1975]

Meet the team: Paul Routledge

paulThe first in our new blog series, we introduce you to the UK and Ireland Country Manager – Paul Routledge. He gives us an all access pass into his favourite past-times, work and family life.

Be sure to stay posted as we get to know the rest of the links that make up D-Link!

Tell us a little bit about your role at D-Link and what your day to day responsibilities look like?

I have been at D-Link for nearly seven years now, which is longer than some governments hang on to power!. My main responsibility is leading a team of professionals to develop the business in the UK and Ireland. This covers both consumer and business channels so, as you can imagine, this role comes with a wide range of responsibilities. On the consumer side we work with customers like Amazon and Ebuyer to supply consumer technology including smart home solutions. On the business side, we work with established System Integrators who integrate our enterprise solutions including Wave 2 WiFi, Fully Managed 52 port switches with Power over Ethernet and IP Surveillance Surveillance range.

Aside from customer facing activities I am privileged to lead the UKI team and focus on developing this talented team of individuals to create a sustainable and profitable business.

 

What is your proudest – none work/academic related- achievement?

Without a doubt the proudest moment of my life is that Jenny, my wife, actually agreed to marry me and have kids with me. I’m still amazed now. It amazes me every day.

 

If you were a chocolate bar which one would you be and why?

A bounty. For a few reasons, firstly, like myself, it’s no nonsense. It’s exactly as you’d expect when you see the wrapper. It’s not too sweet but is full of energy. Finally, it comes as two separate bars so you can have some now and some later when you need it. I identify with that as it’s very practical!

 

If you could create a new technological device that could do anything what would it be and why?

A teleportation device so I could wake up at home, have breakfast with the family and then beam to work and back again. I commute from Yorkshire to London so it would save me a lot of time and frustrations stuck on the M1 or on delayed trains.

 

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

I think it’s hard to pin point one soundtrack as I think it changes as you go through life. At the moment, for example, Dominic the Donkey, mixed with the Minecraft theme tune and the sound of my youngest asking me what my favourite super hero is comes to mind. A sort of remix if you like. In all seriousness, when I need to get my head in the game I usually listen to an album called Nightbook by Ludovico Einaudi, so if I had to pick it would be that.

 

If you had to trade places/ positions with someone in the office for a day who would it be and why? 

It would be our Technical Sales specialist, Sam who we are training to be a technical Account Manager. Part of his time is spent selling but he is also very hands of with the technology. He is also at a point in his career where everything is new and exciting.

 

Where is your favourite place in the world to visit?

In general, I just like being outside, from being in the mountains to being on the moors near home or even on the islands in Scotland. Anywhere that has a lot of space really.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to keep fit, running, walking, cycling. I’m not passionate about any particular sport but like I said I just enjoy being outside and to keep myself fit so I can spend as much time with my family as possible.

 

If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Chill out, enjoy life, it will be right! Mainly, it will be right. That has been a phrase I’ve held on to throughout my life. Even when the kids arrived as these little ‘things’ that we were so scared of, it was always the voice in the back of my mind that kept me going. And I was true – it is right and they are brilliant.

How to keep your home secure this Autumn and Winter

October marks National Security Month (NSM) in the UK, and with day light saving time over, there will be an increased cover of darkness as we draw closer to colder months. Although many of us may prefer warmer and brighter days, burglars certainly do not, as they have more opportunity to break in to homes with the added protection of darkness before home owners return from their day. In fact, research by the Co-operative Insurance Group shows that after the clocks go back, burglaries spike by a staggering 38%*. We at D-Link understand the importance of home security and being assured that your home, family and belongings are protected, which is why in light of NSM we have compiled unique research and put together our top tips on how you can keep your home secure, during this period.

TIP 1: Don’t advertise on social media
Although it is common nowadays to post frequent life updates on social media, if you are going away for a break or to visit family this Winter, you should think carefully about what you post online. The idea of sharing your exciting holiday or family snaps online can be tempting, but it can also be dangerous as it advertises an empty home to burglars. The more people who know your house will be or is empty, the more you put yourself at risk to the possibility of a break in. Instead, try to just share your pictures directly with family and friends, or wait until after you return before posting.

TIP 2: Secure windows and doors
Ensure you keep all doors and windows closed and locked whenever you leave the house. Whilst this may seem obvious, our research found that 20% of those asked have left their doors unlocked before, so it’s important to check before leaving the house, as open windows and doors are viewed by burglars as an open invitation to your home.

TIP 3: Reconsider everyday habits
Often, it is some of the small everyday habits that people have that hold the greatest influence on the level of security of their home. Making simple changes to behaviour such as always setting alarms, changing security codes on a frequent basis, leaving radios or lights in your house on to make the property appeared occupied, and keeping all keys out of sight and away from the letterbox, can make a significant difference and deter an attack.

TIP 4: Ensure you have a security solution installed
Our research found that only 9% of those asked had security cameras installed, and just 18% had movement sensors installed.  Smart home solutions like these can be simple to install and highly effective, and can even give you control and quick real-time viewing of your home via a mobile phone/tablet. What’s more, with a 180 degree, HD view of your home, there’s a good chance you won’t miss a trick. This is why D-Link has created the DCS-960L .

The DCS-960L is the world’s first 180-degree Wireless AC Wide Eye Camera, offering a horizon-wide view that easily captures your entire room, wall-to-wall, in high- quality 720p, making it a home security solution with an eye for detail. Featuring unique de-warping technology, it maximises the video quality with minimal distortion, letting you see more of your home at a glance.  What’s more, it offers video recording, motion/sound detection and the ability to view and control from your smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as receiving push notifications to your mobile device when any suspicious movement or sound is detected. Simple to set up and use, the DCS-960L is the ideal solution for any home owner.

DCS-960L_A1_Image L(Side_Right)

At D-Link, we do not just want to help to protect people from financial loss, but also the psychological trauma and stress of a home burglary. That’s why we understand the need to create innovative solutions to help you keep you and your home as secure as possible, all year around.

Technology in Education

It is widely agreed that technology is the essence of innovation in today’s society. Every day, a new app or gadget is brought to the market that serves to make our lives easier in some way, and the education system is no exception. In fact, technology is moving at such a pace that in schools ICT is no longer a lesson to be taught, but a tool that is imperative for the teaching and learning of other subjects.shutterstock_143627581.jpg

Laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices have become essential learning tools of today’s classroom in all subjects, providing easy and fast fingertip access to a world of knowledge unavailable to previous generations of pupils. With the increase of BYOD – the umbrella term describing the learning method by which students and teachers take in their own mobile device – school supplied computers are becoming less important, possibly in a similar way that the advance of classrooms’ interactive whiteboards rendered blackboards obsolete. Moreover, the concept of 1:1 learning, which refers to every pupil having a device that they can take home at the end of the day and continue to use for both educational and personal purposes, is becoming a growing trend in classrooms across the country.

With BYOD and online learning aids becoming the norm, pupils in lessons will undoubtedly need vast network capacity, as they simultaneously require broadband access, and may also have multiple devices running multiple applications, all using network resources. To support this demand, many schools are beginning to implement a Managed Wireless Network (MWN). A MWN is a system that allows for a more powerful and capacious network through the use of faster access points, a wireless AC standard and band steering.

Furthermore, virtual reality is also a now growing aspect of classroom learning and can contribute a key role in providing students with an active rather than passive experience, through fully immersing them in an engaged learning experience with minimal distractions. From William Shakespeare appearing before students’ eyes in order to provide an analysis of one of his plays as students watch it, to students feeling like they are in a real life laboratory when performing a science experiment, virtual reality enables students to be transported to another world through the use of feedback headsets, tactile gloves and motion sensors, helping create a memorable learning experience.

It is important to consider that the security that schools use to protect their staff and pupils is also evolving, in line with new-generation networks. IP surveillance is paving the way for the future of school security systems, in particular IP surveillance, which is the digitalised, networked HD version of CCTV. With IP surveillance, authorised users can see recorded video from any camera, accessing images via their PC, or any mobile device. Such a system provides the flexibility of multiple views and angles, unlimited storage and easier search and retrieval.
However, a greater amount of technology in classrooms may also have some drawbacks.
For instance, it is unknown if a network will be able to cope with an influx of devices and what upgrades, improvements or complete rebuilds would be necessary to future-proof any systems installed or considered. Not to mention the fact that new technology drives significant change in the relationship between teacher and student and this also needs taking in to account. D-Link networks are easy to set up, use, and understand, serving to overcome this issue.

Inevitably, increased time spent online also leaves children more vulnerable to cyber bullying, offensive material, and radicalisation. Therefore, it is vital that policy emphasises issues such as permitted sites and devices, agreed hours of use, mandatory check-in procedure for student’s devices, and the consequences of inappropriate use. There is also the need for constant reconsideration of policy content and adaption to changing circumstances by renewing it regularly, as technology continues to evolve.

Overall, the future of technology in education appears to be about access, anywhere learning, and collaboration, both locally and globally, as well as a network robust enough to support the new demands placed upon it. With the introduction of many innovative systems and a changing attitude to the importance of technology in the classroom, it is apparent that technology has the power to transform how people learn.

Why your business should upgrade to Wave 2 Standard

Recent government figures have shown that Britain’s productivity rate revealed a gap of 16% compared with the other six members of the G7 group of industrial nations according to international comparisons published by the Office for National Statistics. This productivity gap – which is measured by economic output per worker per hour – indicates that businesses, their employees, and their equipment are not working in the most efficient way possible.

Wave 2 can help to combat this as it enables workforces to connect more and work faster, making them overall much more productive. Paul Routledge, Country Manager of D-Link UK and Ireland, commented ‘If organisations that are dependent on speed of access to information do not upgrade to Wave 2, there is a real danger they could be left behind.’

D-Link Wave 2 Wireless Network

Wave 2 is an addendum to the original 802.11ac wireless specification (Wave 1). It features MU-MIMO technology (Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) that enables access points to talk to multiple devices simultaneously, without experiencing a lag or delay that can hinder productivity.

‘MU-MIMO means that all four antennas can speak to many devices, and that essentially means that a single Wave 2 device acts as multiple Wave 1 devices’ – commented Craig Kirby, a Technical Engineer at D-Link. ‘It is like having a couple of access points in one.’

MU-MIMO allows more devices to be added to the network, with Wave 2 access points allowing up to four devices to be connected at any one time. As the number of devices and cloud-based services that employees use is gradually increasing and is estimated to grow further, businesses are even more dependent on reliable Wi-Fi Solutions. Wave 2 ensures that all employees can achieve a steady and consistent connection.

While Wave 1 allowed for 20MHz, 40MHz and 80MHz channel widths, Wave 2 can accommodate up to 160MHz. The channel width determines how broad the signal is for transferring data: the wider the signal, the more data can pass through. Increasing this channel width therefore increases the speed and throughput of a wireless broadcast.

Furthermore, Wave 2 provides increased flexibility by introducing a fourth spatial stream. As the Wi-Fi Alliance says: ‘Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams’. The more spatial streams that are available, the better the device’s performance will be’ Craig Kirby adds. ‘As you are introducing a fourth spatial stream with Wave 2, this means that you could have an 88MHZ and a 160MHz broadcast at the same time.’

Businesses should be aware of how many devices each of their employees is using. The number of connected devices that are now connected in a business environment has grown exponentially, often leaving wireless networks grinding to a halt. Sharing files or online applications can start to reduce productivity of the work force. Inevitably, this demand is only going to increase as time passes which is why most forward-thinking businesses are looking to upgrade their network before severe problems arise.
Why D-Link?
The breadth of wireless products D-Link has remains unrivalled. As you can see from our consumer portfolio, we are expanding quite substantially this year with a number of consumer routers being launched that feature Wave 2 technology, and we can expect to see the same for business wireless very soon. With 31 years of industry experience behind us, we have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the market place, which is why businesses across the UK have come to trust D-Link to provide bespoke solutions they can rely on. A UK based team of experts are on hand to help with either technical aspects or sales aspects, making the relationships we hold with our partners invaluable.

Furthermore, all Wave 2 technology featured in our catalogue is backwards compatible, meaning that Wave 2-enabled devices can still connect to previous 802.11 devices, but in this case, they would operate at the speed and functionality of the older technology. MU-MIMO will only operate between other Wave 2- enabled devices or access points, and the data transmission will revert to typical single-user transfer rates when encountering previous-generation devices ensuring that devices using the previous technologies are not rendered obsolete.

In terms of price, Wave 2 devices themselves cost only around 10% more than the older, Wave 2 standard, model devices. This is a small increase in cost for potentially double the data transfer rates. Also, although the cost per unit is greater, less access points are required, which may result in a reduced overall cost. Naturally, the overall cost of upgrading a network to Wave 2 will depend on how much of the core infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

Given increased data transfer speeds, businesses with a large data footprint, such as those that offer online services, should give serious consideration to upgrading their wireless network to the Wave 2 standard. ‘In my opinion’ says Paul Routledge, ‘Wave 2 Wi-Fi solutions are a great opportunity for dealers who collaborate with leading vendors and provide solutions that can benefit their customers’ business.’

Whilst Wave 2 alone does not solve the conundrum of the productivity gap, it certainly forms part of a series of solutions that can help businesses to succeed and increase productivity.