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IDC’s Best in Future of Connectedness Award Went to the Discovery Park District of the Purdue Research Foundation

IDC's Best in Future of Connectedness Award Goes to Purdue's Discovery Park District

International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced Purdue Research Foundation as the overall winner in the inaugural IDC Future Enterprise Best in Future of Connectedness North America Awards. These awards were designed to recognize organizations that can rethink the way people, things, processes, and applications connect to enable the seamless flow of data and drive business outcomes. Purdue Research Foundation won for its “Private Cellular Network as a Service” project. Runners-up include CruzControl for its “Motor City Wash Works” project and Newport Utilities for the “Connecting the Unconnected in Rural Tennessee” project. Winners will be recognized at a virtual event in the fall.

Connectivity is the common denominator in how people, things, and processes interact. For consumers and organizations, increased reliance on digital engagement requires ubiquitous, reliable, and robust connectivity. However, as digital interactions continue to increase, connectivity is not yet seamless or pervasive. Winners in the inaugural Best in Future of Connectedness Awards represent those organizations that have successfully addressed the unevenness in connectivity across different environments and locations to deliver mounting expectations associated with digital experiences.

Project Details: The Celona-based, SBA Communications-run private mobile network is one of the nation’s first and largest 4G/5G private cellular networks to leverage the new CBRS (band 48) spectrum recently made available by the FCC. Covering some 50 square miles, the network stretches across the Discovery Park District (DPD), a smart, mix-used residential, business, and research development managed by the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) and located near Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. A truly connected community, the DPD is leveraging the most advanced wireless technologies available today to provide ultra-reliable high-performance connectivity both indoors and out across the entire community landscape to enable a myriad of commercial and smart city use cases.

Project Details: Through state-of-the-art technologies supported by constant network uptime, MCWW’s CruzControl™ solution revolutionizes car wash operations and takes the daily hassle out of operations and equipment management. MCWW spent years sourcing the latest technologies and developing partnerships with world-class industry leaders to provide an enterprise platform that optimizes operations, streamlines efficiency, and provides a level of visibility never before seen in the industry. The simple, secure, and scalable solution provides everything needed to deploy, operate, and maintain a car wash business.

The solution includes:

  • Site Unite: A state-of-the-art data rack that comes turnkey ready to provide instant connectivity to both the internet and the CruzControl™ Data Center. Connects all IP-enabled equipment at the car wash site.
  • Site Drive: Industrial control panels that leverage state-of-the-art technologies and are fully networked,
  • allowing for simplified installation and centralized management.Site Track: Solution for all maintenance activities.
  • Site Scan: Provides touch and vision to a site. Detects key equipment attributes such as vibration, flow, level, temperature, humidity, liquid detection, cycles, etc.
  • Site Command: Central pane of the glass management interface for all car wash operations equipment configurations, alerts, and reports. This provides MCWW tech support staff with remote visibility into each car wash.

Project Details: Innovative wireless technology solution connects remote communities with high-speed broadband for the first time. As a community-focused local government agency, Newport Utilities recognized high-speed broadband as an essential utility service for the communities it serves in rural Cocke County, one of nine economically distressed counties in Tennessee. However, deploying fiber-based broadband to remote customers in the mountainous terrain of this area proved difficult and costly. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to work and learn from home, the company was determined to find a quick-to-market alternative to fiber. Newport Utilities launched a major initiative to deploy an innovative fixed wireless network to reach remote households and businesses that otherwise had no access to high-speed broadband. The solution uses Ericsson’s high-capacity multiple input/multiple outputs (MIMO) technology and the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service-the first such solution in the rural utility industry in Tennessee. The fixed wireless access solution proved easier, allowed for more rapid deployment, and was more cost-effective to deploy than fiber. Today, more than 6,000 homes and businesses that previously lacked high-speed access can now enjoy access to up to 200 Mbps of broadband. The solution impacts everything from small business development and remote workers to school children learning from home.

“The Purdue Research Foundation demonstrated a strong, future-looking 5G story to drive transformation,” said Paul Hughes, research director, Future of Connectedness at IDC. “Their project ‘Private Cellular Network as a Service’ was ultimately chosen as the overall winner for the inaugural IDC Future Enterprise Best in Future of Connectedness North America Awards because it demonstrated a comprehensive connectivity transformation, showcased performance improvements, and highlighted positive business outcomes that included cost reduction, network, and automation enhancements, and quantifiable cost metrics that can be tracked using fixed KPI’s.”