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Volume 30, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Network operator addresses customer demand for 10GbE and 1GbE services, while laying the foundation for future network requirements

HANOVER, Md. — Vincent Communications and Controls Ltd. expands its service capabilities by deploying Ciena’s (NYSE: CIEN) packet networking platforms to address growing bandwidth needs for mobile backhaul and business services. By investing in Ciena’s service delivery and aggregation platforms, Vincent Communications gains a scalable, reliable and cost-effective solution to expand and manage their service offerings. 

Key Facts: 

  • Vincent Communications is implementing solutions from Ciena’s 39xx series of Service Delivery Switches (3916 and 3942) and 51xx series of Service Aggregation Switches (5142 and 5160), each of which targets specific network requirements for form and function while offering low power and footprint requirements.
  • By deploying Ciena’s 3906mvi Service Virtualization Switch, Vincent Communications leverages Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technology that allows for flexible deployment of virtual functions needed at the customer premise. The switch allows enterprise and mobile backhaul applications to leverage virtualized functions when and where needed, benefiting from significantly reduced costs and advanced monitoring and maintenance capabilities. 
  • Vincent Communications’ implementation of Ciena’s packet solutions allows the operator to offer MEF CE2.0 services over a resilient network, with assured SLA guarantees for the most mission-critical applications for its key customer base - the oil and gas industry.

Executive Comments:

  • “Our network must be flexible to support our current offerings, while we simultaneously invest in infrastructure for advanced services made possible with NFV. We selected Ciena’s packet-based solutions as they not only fulfill our current service needs, but provide an agile framework where we can grow our network and ultimately our customer base.”
    -          Scott Vincent, Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Communications
  • “Each of our customers face unique challenges that demand solutions to meet a myriad of market requirements. Our approach to truly customize solutions, taking into account such elements as simplifying service deployment while deploying advanced functions quickly, reliably and cost-effectively, sets us apart in the market.”
    -          Bruce Hembree, Vice President and General Manager of North America Sales, Ciena

About Vincent Communications and Controls Ltd. 
Vincent Communications and Controls Ltd. (VCCL) has been in business since 2005 and specializes in design, planning and implementation from conceptual phase to turn key completion of various types of data, voice, internet communication networks and tower infrastructure throughout northern Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. VCCL has grown over the last 12 years and currently has offices in Grande Prairie, Alberta and Fort St. John, B.C. with experienced technicians and tower riggers dedicated to maintaining our client communication networks and expanding our own dedicated internet, SCADA, voice and tower infrastructure. 

Developed for the Internet and Smartphones, Punch Alert’s 911+ Provides Accurate Details, Saving Seconds and Potentially Thousands of Lives 

 

CHARLOTTE, NC – Sixty percent of mobile 911 calls nationwide have inaccurate or no location data resulting in the loss of more than 10,000 lives, according to reports from NBC News (2015) and the FCC (2014). The time emergency responders spend trying to accurately locate a caller is vital to providing life-saving assistance, and currently this response time is not fast enough. Today, Punch Technologies changes the face of emergency management through the launch of the new Punch Alert 911+™, an internet-based solution that leverages GPS technology to automatically deliver an accurate location along with other needed information for responders to quickly locate and help a caller. 

“The current 911 system was developed for landline phones in the 1960s and is severely limited. It is inefficient and inaccurate in today’s digital world where internet and smartphone use prevails,” said Greg Artzt, president and CEO of Punch Technologies. “We developed 911+ with today’s technological infrastructure in mind. It is capable of providing precise location awareness critical for routing an emergency to the nearest call center. Ultimately, 911+ reduces the time it takes to respond and will potentially save thousands of lives.”

The Punch Alert 911+ application involves a simple, three-step process to report and share emergencies: 

  • Open the Punch Alert app; 
  • Press the red button;
  • Wait for the countdown or hit Report. Your 911+ call will be initiated along with other actions that the user may have pre-selected.      

Once the call is implemented, the operator receives the caller’s accurate current location or an address that they manually selected, along with their name and call back number. It also simultaneously notifies the caller’s emergency contacts (up to five) and nearby responders in Punch protected areas. Punch Alert 911+ is more than just a way to better connect with the police. It’s about building a community of individuals, organizations, and responders that can collectively work together to improve the outcomes for any kind of emergency. 

“The Federal Communications Commission has mandated by 2021 that 80 percent of wireless 911 calls need an accurate location,” said Artzt. “We understand that the future of emergency communication depends on location awareness, both indoors and outdoors, as well as enhanced simultaneous communications. This is why we developed 911+. With Punch Alert and 911+, we identified an opportunity to reinvent emergency communications from the ground up for mobile and the internet. The timing couldn’t be better because the technology is finally ready. Punch Alert 911+ already works in almost 99 percent of the country, and as a community we have never needed it more.”

Punch Alert’s 911+ is a simple, inexpensive safety solution. It is available by download on the App Store or via Google play. Users can also subscribe in-app to 911+ for only $0.99 per month.

About Punch Technologies 

Punch Technologies is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based software company, and creator of the Punch Alert safety communications platform. Punch Alert gets you help and information faster by relying on the people, organizations, and official responders in your area. It is the only all-in-one mobile safety, emergency management and mass notification platform designed specifically for use both internally within an organization and externally to the community. Now with 911+, Punch Alert enables the next generation of connectivity to almost 99 percent of the 911 call centers in the county with the simple tap of a button on your smartphone.  

 

For more information visit www.punchalert.com, or follow Punch on Twitter @PunchTech.

As PokitDok's Approved HITRUST CSF™ Assessor, EHNAC evaluated the company in areas of security and compliance measures

FARMINGTON, Conn. – The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, commended PokitDok for achieving HITRUST CSF™ Certification. EHNAC served as the Approved HITRUST CSF™ Assessor during the process and confirmed how PokitDok has met or exceeded all critical healthcare regulations and requirements within the HITRUST CSF™ Certification.
 
The HITRUST CSF™ addresses a multitude of security, privacy and regulatory challenges facing healthcare organizations to comply with healthcare (HIPAA, HITECH), third-party (PCI, COBIT) and government (NIST, FTC) regulations and standards.
 
"The PokitDok platform transacts with several hundred  third-party applications, so protecting the patient data within our care is paramount," said Ted Tanner, Jr., co-founder & CTO of PokitDok. "By having EHNAC's guidance to facilitate successful third-party assessments - first through the EHNAC accreditation process and now as an Approved Assessor for HITRUST - we're able to instill confidence in our  customers and partners."
 
In addition to the HITRUST CSF™ Certification, PokitDok also attained accreditations for two EHNAC programs - Outsourced Services for Health Information Exchanges (OSAP-HIE) and Cloud-Enabled Services (CEAP). As an Approved HITRUST CSF™ Assessor, EHNAC is the only organization that can provide both EHNAC accreditation and HITRUST CSF™ Certification.
 
"EHNAC commends PokitDok for its continual commitment to attain the highest levels of compliance with privacy standards and security controls," said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. "With the ongoing transition toward value-based care, healthcare has never been more competitive, and market leaders recognize how third-party assessments can help them assure stakeholder trust.
 
"In the past two years, we've built a strong partnership with HITRUST™. This alliance is helping organizations like PokitDok to reduce cost and redundancy when obtaining both HITRUST CSF™ certification and accreditation from EHNAC's 18 stakeholder-specific programs."
 
About EHNAC
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, data registries, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, e-prescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators. The Commission is an authorized HITRUST CSF Assessor, making it the only organization with the ability to provide both EHNAC accreditation and HITRUST CSF certification.

EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube
About PokitDok
PokitDok provides a platform-as-a-service that enables healthcare organizations to quickly bring modern commerce experiences to market. From identity management and scheduling to claims processing and payment optimization, PokitDok offers unmatched speed to market and scalability across the healthcare value chain. PokitDok maintains trading partner agreements with health insurers and payers that enable data access to more than 4,900 plans and affiliates, representing 94 percent the U.S. covered population. PokitDok is based in San Mateo, CA and Charleston, SC and powers DokChain, blockchain for healthcare.

Event Pages Make Organizational Communications More Efficient

Whether it’s an emergency or a non-critical event, ongoing communications with employees is often necessary. AlertMedia is known for mass notifications, but we also support efficient communications throughout the life of any event – from planning through resolution.

AlertMedia recently unveiled its newest feature – Event Pages. This new event information hub can be found on your AlertMedia dashboard and can be utilized as a powerful, real-time two-way communication tool for administrators and employees to share pertinent information. Event Pages provides a single place to find everything related to a specific situation, with current and archived updates, documents, videos and photos, and resolutions.

...

https://www.alertmedia.com/introducing-event-pages/

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you suffered personal or business losses in the devastating wildfires that broke out in October and you’re waiting for your insurance settlement before you register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), don’t wait any longer. Disaster assistance may be able to fill insurance gaps or provide help if you’ve been waiting more than 30 days on a homeowner’s claim. Another reason not to delay: the deadline for registering with FEMA is Dec. 11, 2017.

Registering with FEMA is required for federal aid, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization, such as the American Red Cross. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance or other benefits. However, FEMA may be able to help with uninsured or underinsured losses if the insurance settlement is delayed. FEMA may also be able to help:

• If you have received the settlement from the insurance company but you still have unmet needs.

• If you have exhausted the settlement for Additional Living Expenses (ALE for loss of use) and you need disaster-related temporary housing.

• If your settlement does not cover disaster-related needs such as medical, dental and funeral costs, emergency home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.

If your settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days, you may write FEMA to explain your situation. Provide insurance documentation to prove you’ve submitted your claim, including the claim number, the date you applied and how long you estimate it will take for the company to settle, and mail your letter to:

FEMA - Individuals & Households Program

National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-70155

Or fax it to 800-827-8112.

You should also register with FEMA if your wells or septic systems were damaged in the fires. Homeowners in the eight designated counties – Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma and Yuba – may be eligible for grant funding to pump septic tanks, perform required repairs or replace the system as needed. Damaged private wells that are the sole source of water for the home and need to be repaired or decontaminated are also potentially eligible.

Survivors who applied for assistance from FEMA and were contacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have many good reasons to submit a loan application before the deadline of Dec. 11, 2017.

Some of the key reasons for submitting an SBA low-interest disaster loan application include:

• SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. Renters, as well as homeowners, may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, appliances and damaged vehicles.

• A future insurance settlement may fall short. Survivors may find out that they are underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace their damaged home. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the uninsured costs. SBA may approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. The loan balance may be reduced by their insurance settlement. However, the opportunity for an SBA loan may be lost if they wait until after the deadline expires on Dec. 11, 2017.

• If SBA determines the survivors aren’t eligible for a loan, SBA may refer them back to FEMA. This could make them eligible for more FEMA assistance.

If those affected by the wildfires need help completing their loan application they should call SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They are encouraged to apply online using SBA’s electronic loan application at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. They may also come in to any recovery center. A list of open centers may be found at www.sba.gov/disaster.

Survivors are advised to contact FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by phone at 800-621-3362. TTY users should call 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. These toll-free numbers operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, and are staffed by operators ready to assist survivors in their languages.

For more information on California recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4344, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion9 and the Cal OES website, http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ .

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All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.