Archive for the ‘Dianne’s Pages’ Category
This blog is now open to Idaho Tech Bloggers!
The new blog is being completed now at http://www.nexmatrixblog.com
With nexMatrix becoming more of a global company and the title of this blog does not fit any longer. I personally love Nampa, Idaho and hope to see it someday become a tech corridor in Idaho. Right now it is not. If you’ve seen the article in the Idaho Press Tribune, you know I personally want to see education improvement and a local government that supports small business startups. Currently, we do not have this and have many empty businesses in the downtown Nampa area, which I believe is a beautiful and quaint area of Idaho as the second largest city in the state.
We are coming up on our Presidential elections now in November and it’s really close. I would hope that everyone following this blog gets out and vote. We need a new leader in the White House, and hopefully we will have one that understands how to grow business in order to employee people. We need people who understand how to grow business and provide incentives for business to grow and not hurt them.
Idaho also needs changes. It’s a big business state, just like our current President ignores small business in support of large businesses like General Motors, the state of Idaho is no different. Tax incentives are provided to companies such as Micron and HP in order to maintain those jobs here. Guess what? They aren’t the largest employers in the state, it’s small business. So in Idaho, as in the United States, small business is having to carry the load for those large businesses here.
About this blog
It’s supposed to be about Idaho Technology. Although nexMatrix is headquartered here, many of our positions are outside of the state because of the lack of resources. What this means to tech company like nexMatrix is that we need to improve our students, the next generation of worker in Idaho. The state needs to make a shift in getting our resources moving forward for the future. In my eyes the current students need to learn better and why the Teachers Union is spending 1.5 million against propositions 1, 2, and 3 (what I personally have heard) is beyond me. Why don’t they gave that money to the teachers? I’m sorry it makes me chuckle some.
So I am opening this blog to anyone who wants to write an article about technology or technologies in Idaho.
Getting space on the blog
Anyone who wants to write a blog is more than welcome to. This blog is for tech in Idaho. Anyone wanting to have space should contact nexMatrix at http://www.nexmatrix.com.
The new blog is being completed now at http://www.nexmatrixblog.com and you can follow the company progress on that page. Anything having to do with Idaho will be listed on this blog and the nexMatrix blog.
Get involved and let people know we have technology here, and hopefully in Nampa after the next election!
On October 15, 2012 we will have manufacturing on 2nd Street South in our old facility, but on the first floor. Hey we all love the Vietnamese restaurant up there also! We did occupy Suite J up there also before the move.
After a recent move we found that we ran out of space again. Even with many functions moved overseas to the Philippines, the company found it required space for assembly and manufacturing. We left our previous space for better and more space in May of this year after 2 years on 2nd Street South. Although we all felt the company opening an office in Adelaide, Australia in 2013, we thought we would be fine for additional 2 years at our new facility on 3rd Street South.
nexMatrix found itself getting cramped with the addition of more sales people and the office layout did not lean itself to manufacturing well. Famous last words, oh we’re good for at least 2 years was now comical. Adding the new Protel Home Office model (what everyone laughs at the office about our new “HO model” with the model just above named SOHO – we gotta come up with a better name of course other than HO or home office). We believe with a price point of about $299.95, we will have to produce more units and we don’t want to be here again out of space of course.The development of the Home Office model is coming along nicely now.
The greatest thing is we’ve done this in Nampa, Idaho. Of course we’re probably the only one here doing this, and everyone tells us we need to move to Boise for the workforce that’s needed. Honestly, the workforce we need isn’t in Boise either, so Nampa was just fine. We all love Nampa here!
What’s so cool about having an office a street over? We get to play with our own WiFi setup, or toys honestly for us geeks. So, opening a new manufacturing/assembly facility will be pretty cool actually.
The coolest thing about this is we built it ourselves with no assistance from the government! Of course our VARS and partners helped us with it! Gotta give credit where credit is due!
Just something new to write about, I’ll get to more of the meaty stuff soon!
nexMatrix is going to be expanding soon into Australia. This is ahead of the press release, but it’s pretty cool for the company to find the right resources for Operation Blue Moon. We’ve selected Adelaide, which is in fifth-largest city in Australia and also the capital of South Australia and a perfect location to launch our company expansion. Australia has a theoretical 5637734.4Mbit/s of transpacific bandwidth that will make communications perfect. The infrastructure of Adelaide is perfect for nexMatrix also. Adelaide also has a technical high school where Linux is taught along side of Windows. It’s a windfall for nexMatrix actually.
With the opening of the Philippines call centre and an office facility to be announced shortly, we believe that Australia is the perfect place for the initial expansion of the company.
nexMatrix is working with the Adelaide City Council in order to make this a smooth opening. There are quite a few more resources than located in the Treasure Valley in terms of Linux resources. This will be the area that Blue Moon will be maintained. As a company using Linux as it’s base for all products, we were excited to find the required resources.
As we expand our markets, we’re excited that each location will augment each other such as the Philippines for call center operations while support will be provided out of the 3 locations in the Philippines, Australia, and the United States. I’ve been asked why are we expanding in this economy. Well, the company has made some changes and we’re now moving forward with the expansion plans we’ve made a year ago with changes to locations. Initially we felt the UK would be the initial expansion point, but the decision was made to change it to Australia for obvious reasons.
Manufacturing is planned on being performed for the Australian market in Adelaide while we plan on keeping manufacturing here in the United States currently for products sold in the US, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Expansion into Mexico and South America is being delayed currently.
Watch the nexMatrix website and announcements here, you’ll find some exciting news coming on current betas and our opening in Adelaide.
nexMatrix launches Operation Blue Moon early
Operation Blue Moon is taking a leap forward and a new set of repositories and distributions of Ubuntu 10.04 are being readied now. It is becoming more evident that drivers are not easily installable or available for, as an example, the latest Dell servers that have been released. The latest Dell Servers are supporting version 12.04 at this time. With the requirement of supporting new VAR requirements for ATLANTIS servers and some SMB installations for the Protel PBX, we are finding that the launch date of the supported 10.04 distribution needs to be picked up sooner than later.
Server vendors are now releasing new servers supporting Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. New servers are being built with drivers that are no-longer supported on 10.04 LTS. The need for carrying Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now required to support our VARS and Partners deploying servers manufactured by Dell and IBM as an example. Current vendors wanting to use hardware other than that manufactured by nexMatrix will need to compile the current unsupported drivers themselves. nexMatrix currently does not support hardware manufactured by other vendors.
The Tsunami that hit Japan literally wiped out the only factory that produced the chipset that nexMatrix was deploying it’s Protel PBX with. Those boards for both the 2u and 4u Protel PBX switches along with the ATLANTIS deployment servers and cloud storage have been affected. Only the Protel PBX models 3510, 4515, and 5150 wall mount units have been affected by this disaster. Now, with the loss of the factory, and no new factories are planned for that chipset, along with nexMatrix having acquired all those board that we could worldwide, we are now having to support the new boards, which only support 12.04
The nexMatrix roadmap initially explained that Ubuntu 12.04 LTS would be not be used and the company would wait until 14.04 LTS for the next release of the Protel PBX in 2017.
Alternative while we build the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS distribution
Many dedicated and managed server vendors continue to release hardware that supports Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. A suggestion is that the VARS and Partners needing to run our cloud services, ATLANTIS, or the Protel PBX will be allowed to use these vendors who support 10.04 LTS versus 12.04 LTS. nexMatrix continues to deploy servers for ATLANTIS, Cloud Storage Servers, and the Protel PBX using it’s hardware in partnership with Jetway. Jetway provides servers with a 7 year lifespan, which is critical for many companies.
In the next few months, nexMatrix will be building the 10.04 LTS repositories. This will be completed in a multistage process that initially builds a new version of 10.04 code named Blue Moon Linux. Blue Moon Linux will be nothing more than Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Initially, many of the same repositories will be Ubuntu 10.04 unit March 2015, at which time Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server support will be dropped by Canonical.
- A new build with the latest drivers from Dell and IBM is planned for 1st quarter of 2013.
- Security updates will be available from Canonical until April 2015
- nexMatrix will be releasing a final with all security updated in March of 2015
We will be discussing this in more depth as we get closer to release. You will also find the distribution will be avaliable to any company who requires it freely.
If you wish to become involved, please contact us by visiting our website at nexmatrix.com
We are always getting feedback from our customers, Partners, and VARS. For example, many wanted a system that was rack mountable like a our Model 5150 Gateway but without the need for a few thousand extensions. The Protel PBX Models 3510, 4515, and 5150 are now available for companies to order from our VARS and Resellers. The wall mount models are great for offices but lacked in the call center arena because they weren’t beefy enough and didn’t have the hard drive capability for call recording and ACD. The new offering actually allows you to configure a Protel PBX much like a 5150 Gateway at a much lower cost though. So features that were lacking, lets say for a smaller call center, can now be gotten for a lot less than the Gateway products. Now smaller call centers can get a Protel PBX for a lot less than the Gateway, so in-effect a 50 seat call center can afford a full feature PBX just for them!
Lets get small
You all love the Protel SOHO PBX probably because of the size and cost, but now here comes an even smaller unit at around 1/2 the size. We’re thinking of an entry cost of around $349.00 to $449.00 MSRP. The new PBX is meant to have the ability of 5 concurrent call sessions (maybe as many as 7 or 10 call sessions) and 10 extensions. We are still in development of this new PBX model and hope to have it operational and in production in first quarter next year or second quarter of 2013.
In order to make the new model easy to use, you’ll find an installation wizard on the PBX to configure it. So it will start with extensions right down to call groups and attendants walking you through each step. The unit is planned to be available in big box stores and VARS/Partners or a direct sale. What’s nice about the purchase of one of these new units would be the ability for the customer who purchases one and needs support is they can get it nationwide from one of the nexMatrix partners.
I don’t know know if a product can get smaller than this one, but it will be interesting to see what new technologies are coming!
nexMatrix is moving into Linux and now plans to support version 10.04 LTS server edition security updates for an extended period of time and for limited server function sets such as Apache 2, PHP, PostgreSQL using kernel 2.6.32-40-server. We will announce the school we will be working with soon. Operation Blue Moon is to create a longer term version of Ubuntu’s 10.04 and a set of “locked” repositories with full security updates. The need comes from extending the current version of the Protel PBX, Protel Dialer, and other products making up our unified communications suite,which have a longer lifecycle than the LTS version has. Not all applications will be maintained and we will not be bringing forward all applications but will maintain a set of repositories for other companies wanting to extend the lifecycle of it’s existing applications. We haven’t decided on the tools yet and there is an ongoing discussion of what should be used. I am, of course, wanting to use GIT while others are wanting to use subversion or CVS. We use Subversion today to maintain our applications but really would rather have the branching available from GIT. This would allow any company to maintain their own branch for specific applications or tools they wish to maintain like TOP or others including MySQL.
It’s clear that a majority of companies are moving to cloud computing and the base for the backend is Linux, at least for us anyways. We need to extend the lifecycle of products. This will allow nexMatrix and other companies to create applications with a long lifecycle improving the ROI for many years. There are products in development to today such as our WiFi pilot we will be starting under operation Blue Moon that require a longer version run of the base operating system. Our Protel PBX Micro model will be using this long term version also. We are considering a Debian extension also for ARM support, but are considering the implications and the need for this model of the Protel PBX.
The real need here is the ability to take our current product offerings and extending the lifecycle for some period of time. This allows other organizations to extend theirs as well. The need for security updates on this version will become more of a requirement as we find Linux taking over the server area for cloud computing. We believe other companies will be able to leverage the distribution who are using 10.04 and do not want to move to 12.04. We expect to use 14.04 when released in April 2014 as the base for our product offerings while maintaining 10.04 for some period of time past that date of course into about 2020.
As for the WiFi we spoke about, we will be starting development in a few months, using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as the base. Keep watching, we’ll get it there!
It may seem self serving to extend a Linux distribution lifecycle, but it will be freely available to other companies as well. If you would like to be involved with operation blue moon and assist in maintaining this extended version of Linux, please contact us today. As we make future announcements of which school(s) we will be working with, you may work with that educational institution also. You may also want to consider joining the project, or even making your own contributions. Imagine that! A school working to maintain a Linux business tool!
This is something I said I wouldn’t write about anymore, but I think it’s time I discuss Windows versus Linux as a server option. When speaking to educators in the Boise/Nampa area, all I hear is how Windows Servers are beating out Linux and why Linux isn’t taught in schools. Of course I do hold back my laughter, but it’s hard sometimes. So what are some real numbers without a Microsoft spin?
Last year according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market grew for Linux while it shrank for Windows and Unix. What I find especially interesting about this is that IDC doesn’t measure when you or your company install Linux on a bare-metal server or a re-purposed server, which is historically how Linux got into companies, but only servers with Linux already pre-installed. So it’s somewhat skewed here and Linux deployments continue to be deployed in the bare metal area. We currently install Linux on bare metal for all of our product offerings, of course, including our upcoming ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) solution for the newest release of the Protel PBX code named the Protel PBX Micro, which will be half the size of our SOHO model for very small businesses with up to 10 extensions maximum.
What all of this means is more customers are asking IBM, HP and Dell, the big three server hardware vendors, for Linux on their hardware. Specifically, IDC found that “Linux server demand was positively impacted by high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 2.2% year over year in 4Q11 to $2.6 billion. Linux servers now represent 18.4% of all server revenue, up 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
It’s not just me or Linux people who see it as being a Linux and open-source play. Sorry to quote IDC, but Benjamin S. Woo, IDC Storage Systems program Vice President said in a statement that, “The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open source projects that drive infrastructure investments.” Corporate Linux users already know this. The Linux Foundation’s enterprise survey showed that 72 percent of the world’s largest Linux users were already planning to add more Linux servers in the next 12 months to support the rising level of data in the enterprise, while only 36 percent said they would be adding more Windows servers to support big data.
Linux’s growth owes a lot to “the accelerated pace by which companies are migrating to the cloud. Long a buzzword, the cloud is real now. While there is still work to do in the cloud, there is no denying its dominant role in today’s biggest cloud companies: Amazon and Google to name just two.” Can you imagine trying to do this on Windows? Sorry but LOL here As an example, all of the products and services from nexMatrix Telecom are available as SaaS, or software as a service, and the big buzz word cloud services. You can have the same CRM/Supply Chain Management application as a service versus installing and supporting the hardware yourself.
So the biggest issue for companies like nexMatrix Telecom is finding resources in a Windows area. When you speak to an educator all you hear is that Windows is the major player in the market while they avoid all of the real numbers and spin numbers in their favor so they don’t have to teach or learn Linux themselves. This isn’t the case nationwide, but it’s bad here in the valley where our company resides.
The choice is confusing to educators and non-Linux people alike
What do you do? There are many distributions out on the market. nexMatrix utilizes Ubuntu mainly because of the security and the system itself being so stable and it runs faster!
Ease of use is critical, we have only one Windows workstation in our company for use in accounting, but everyone else is Ubuntu. We have no problems, no Windows consultant or service company having to fix our systems because of viruses or registry problems. Linux is NOT a gamers tool, it’s a GREAT BUSINESS TOOL and productivity tool and why you’ll never see many serious gamers on Linux. You can even use it on your older computers without having to get new hardware every time a new release comes out for Windows. Ubuntu is available both in a 6 month lifecyle and an LTS version with a 3 year lifecycle on the workstation and 5 year on servers. It’s also freely downloadable and you don’t have all those licensing fees.
Why do educators perfer Fedora core products such as RedHat or SuSE Linux distributions? Well, if you can get all your course material handed to you what do you think they will select? Ubuntu works with IBM, DELL, and HP well also as does the RedHat or SuSE distributions.
What do companies have to do?
One of the biggest problems for nexMatrix Telecom is the ability to find Linux resources in Idaho, which is the same in most Western and Northwestern states actually. So what does a company do? One is the ability to bring resources here while another is to get resources in other parts of the country. One issue you’ll find with Linux resources is the ability to hire them at their market value in Idaho, or what the market is in other parts of the country. Speaking to an educator at ITT Tech who knows there is a need but doesn’t develop the resources, and mentioned that he gets at least a call a week for Linux resources, is that you will end up paying upwards of $35/hr for an entry level resource in basic programming with no experience in the technology. If that sounds good to you then I need to know what you’re taking so I can take it also.
As a Linux based company we find ourselves in difficult position here in the Treasure Valley as many companies do in many areas of the company. Hiring talent as consultants bring on additional problems of IP and losing that intellectual property – one of the biggest problems in the industry actually.
So we continue to try and do the build it thing and hope that they will come. As we grow we attempt to build our own resources here in the valley and hope other companies continue to do the same. As for the educators, we hope they join and start training in what companies require instead of telling the companies that they get a call at least once or twice a week but do nothing.
Students or professionals wanting to learn more:
If you want to learn something about Linux as a student or professional, or you’re someone who wants to learn to better themselves, there are sites that office free Linux courses. To name a few Universities:
UNIX and Linux Tutorial Center at the University of California at Davis
UNIX / Linux Tutorial for Beginners at the University of Surrey
From Windows to Linux: http://www.trainsignal.com/blog/videos/video-intro-to-ubuntu-linux
There are many free courses and even PHP and SQL in LAMP or LAPP technologies if you want to learn programming. Want to learn PHP programming free? Then try this site:
There are lots of courses at w3schools, just look to the left of their pages.
The area needs to be competitive and the only hope is that educators wake up and stop spinning numbers to people who take them at face value. It’s been done in other areas of course, but business always gets what’s needed for them to survive and grow. One person told me that if you build it they will come. Let’s see if our little company can make an impact. Educators, stop holding back the progress and technology advancements in Idaho, start getting it moving with the rest of the country and world! You have a lot of catching up to do here and it’s time you get it going and listening to the businesses here.
Educators, some of us would like to know and would love you to post why Windows only and no Linux or even teaching Linux and Windows! Prove me wrong please and you can post here. You’ll just need to register here and you can comment. Please explain why you are holding the area back with some real numbers or something that makes sense. I know that CWI and Nampa High Schools provided a study and presented it on why no Linux or minimal Linux, let’s see why as inquiring minds want to know. Boise State has some training in their curriculum, why no one else? Is it just too much work?
The Treasure Valley is becoming a great high-tech area surpassing other areas of the country for technology companies per capita. Let’s make it even better and you’ll see more companies moving here!
If you don’t know who IDC is:
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 100 countries. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.
I’d like to personally thank the following people who brought us here and worked with us on this move and afterwards:
- The SBDC in Boise (Rick Vycital)
- The Boise Valley Economic Partnership (Jana Jones)
- Idaho Technology Council (Jay Larsen)
- Caldwell Economic Development (Steve Fultz)
- The Idaho Department of Commerce
- Boise State University
- Heidelberg University working with us through Boise State University
- University of Idaho
- The folks at the Idaho Department of Labor (too many to list)
- Most of the government resources provided by the State of Idaho
- You have to give it to Governor Butch Otter and his programs
With the assistance that was provided, we selected Idaho as our location to build the company over Connecticut, New York, California, Nevada, and Oregon. The company had struggled from our transition from a Linux operating system company to a telecommunications company while in Wyoming because of the lack of a communications infrastructure and basic talent outside of Windows and Cisco. Of course we selected Nampa, ID as our landing spot. Although another bastion of Windows and Cisco technology, the company was able to find talent using the technology we embrace and use such as Linux and other non-standard technologies taught at the Universities and Colleges in the area, although Boise State graduates do have the training in Linux and where we found resources in programming for the company.
It was a rough start since we were not a Windows or Cisco based company, but with the assistance from the mentioned organizations, the company was able to move up and onwards developing numerous product lines based on our Protel PBX system.
At this time the company employs individuals from the Boise and Nampa areas and is looking for a larger facility. A pilot in the Treasure Valley of a new marketing effort netted us excellent returns and we are now rolling this out in Las Vegas, NV and Seattle, WA with plans for 16 more major markets and numerous minor markets such as the Treasure Valley. You’ll now find offices running our Protel PBX, using our Protelity hosted PBX, Telephone Service, and other products and services.Please check back as we continue to blog about Idaho and nexMatrix along with North American Telephone and Voice.
Dianne E. Ursini
CEO and President
nexMatrix Telecom, Inc.