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Ericsson Athlone Technology Day on Oct 4th, is a day in which our engineers embrace the opportunity to share their innovations, technology-expertise and knowledge in the area of network automation with each other and our customers in a fun, relaxed and collaborative environment.

Ericsson Athlone Technology Day is taking place today, on the 4th of October, in our Software Campus, Athlone. “Collaborate, Innovate, Automate” is our theme for 2018 and it’s being hosted jointly by Mårten Pehrson (Head of PDU OSS & Athlone Site) and John Griffin (Managing Director, Ericsson Ireland).

Our opening ceremony was kicked off with huge energy by 8 wonderful dancers from Reynolds Dance Academy who treated us to a powerful mini Riverdance. Mary Buckley, Executive Director of IDA Ireland, gave us a great insight into the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and it was wrapped up by Ericsson’s Ignacio Mas, Senior Expert, who gave a riveting Keynote speech titled “The complexity conundrum: An Automation Call for Action”. It has been a great start to what is shaping up to be a really great day.

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What is Tech Day all about?

Technology Day is a day in which our engineers embrace the opportunity to share their innovations, technology-expertise and knowledge with each other and our customers in a fun, relaxed and collaborative environment. Over 1400 employees, guests and customers are joining us this year in Ericsson Athlone. The day plays an important role in cross-pollinating ideas and highlighting synergies between areas. This year will be no different.

Our ambition is to:

  • Enable employees to showcase their work.
  • Enable all to discover the technologies in use across the PDU.
  • Provide an insight into activities that our colleagues are engaged in.
  • Foster an exchange of ideas and provide an opportunity for networking.
  • Meet our customers and enable them to interact directly with our engineers.
  • Provide an open and, above all, fun environment.

This is our 5th Tech Day event and each year we get tremendous feedback from everyone about how informative, relatable and enjoyable all the Demos, Tech Talks and Events that run throughout the day are. It’s a simple way for everyone to quickly learn who we are what it is we do here in Athlone.

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What are the plans this year

Demos

Overall this year we will have about 40 Demos running throughout the day. Each year the overwhelming feeling is that there is just not enough time to take everything in. Keep an eye on this blog for announcement of the winning demo and updates from other demos throughout the day.

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As always, it’s going to be extremely difficult to pick an overall winner as so much effort and innovative spirit is put into each and every demo. In the 5G area we will have many demos showcasing what we already have ongoing in 5G Network Management, Orchestration and RAN. We will also get an exciting introduction into the world of ONAP.

In our Zero Touch zone which will hold a lot of our automation demos it is clear to see the links emerging between data & analytics & full-scale autonomics while features such as Autonomic Incident Management & Flow Automation are driving us further into the automation space. We will also have a wonderfully imaginative demo using CENX in our Orchestration area that manages to bring in a cycling challenge to highlight their key message. It should be great fun, informative and with a bit of healthy competition! What more could we ask for?

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In The Future of Network Management we will get a glimpse of some of what is to come. The demos here will show how fast we deliver applications as a service – a complete new way to deliver functionality and how that has opened more opportunities for Ericsson and customers , how applications collaborate on data to offer new insights , how the push to cloud and central processing is complemented by edge analytics and faster decision making on the edge.

Standing room only at the demo on 'Dirty VNFs are the disease' - virtual network function

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And in the Cloud Native area we are going to see a range of demos showing us what is going on in the area of Microservices and ADP. And the star attraction of this area I think will be our NGOSS demo which uses the medium of Guitar Hero to demonstrate the true flexibility and adaptability of our microservice future!

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Read more about Network Automation and analytics-driven orchestration.

Want to know more about Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration?, visit Ericsson Expert Analytics or Ericsson Network Manager.

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Tech Talks

Along with all the demos we will also have our series of Tech Talks—this year we have a massive 14 Talks split between 2 rooms.

In our tech talks, we will be covering a diverse set of topics. They will range from Machine learning to SON and their role in the new 5G world to discussing why your Empathizing skills are important in software development.

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We will also get a chance to look at our journey to Micro services, containerization and our evolving Next Generation Architecture, while also exploring the Opensource landscape with feedback on some real world experiences of working in an opensource project—so a totally packed schedule!

Tech day 55Our winning talk this year will be announced along with our demo winner so be sure to check back later and see which Talk took the top spot

Live Events

On top of all those Demos & Tech Talks we have several exciting Live Events planned in this year.

One of these is our Escape Room—this is sure to be real crowd pleaser. It involves a team, trust, blindfolds, lasers and multiple choice—what could possibly go wrong? In order to win a two-person team will need to answer questions on 5G and Tech, guide each other blindfolded through a set of lasers and complete a final challenge—all against the clock.

Escape room

Ericsson Ireland has strong links to the community & this will be in clear view again this year. A number of local schools who had participated in this year’s BT Young Scientist, CanSat and SciFest competitions, will attend & show their own projects before exploring the technology on show in the demo’s. The Award Winning INFUSE program which is Ericsson Ireland's school & college collaboration program will also showcase various initiatives worked on with local schools and colleges over the previous year.

Pictured below is Aoibheann Mangan, aged 12 who is the current EU Digital girl of the year. Aoibheann spoke to us on Ericsson Digital twitter about what what she developed and why. She also is a big advocate for women in tech and girls in ICT. 

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Kids tech day

We also had a son, Oisin, of one of our employees James Sheridan, showcase his innovative demonstration in which he learned how to code. The demonstration showcases how we can be more sustainable with our water heating systems!

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Our Innovation Loft is also making a return this year—this is space we create for techie ideas & projects that our engineers have developed outside—we invite them to bring them in here and show them off to their colleagues. This year looks set to have strong IoT theme!

Innovation loft

Winning tech talks and demos

Congratulations to the following:

Best Demo: Closed Loop Assurance for Dynamic Orchestration Solution – Team Orion

Most Innovative Demo: Next Generation OSS - Music To My Ears - The Architecture Team

Best Tech Talk: Ericsson, SON and disaster response - how ACOM helped people by maintaining coverage during the recent US hurricane - Seán Holland

A little bit about Athlone R&D site

Ericsson has been in Ireland since 1957 as a market leader in the provision of telecommunications infrastructure and services. Our R&D activities are focused in Athlone. Our Athlone site has been an Ericsson R&D site since 1979 and continues to be one of the leading R&D sites for Ericsson globally and one of the largest R&D centers of excellence in Ireland. With a workforce of over 1,000 it houses a full spectrum of network and IT competences responsible for the architecture, development and support of our Digital Services portfolio including Network Management, Orchestration, Assurance and Optimization products.

Ericsson Ireland is proud to host a diverse workforce with employees from 58 different nations. We support many local and global initiatives to enable a Diverse & Inclusive culture that provides a fruitful environment for innovation. 

Supporting today's Tech Day was our nearest Technology third level college - Athlone Insitute of Technology (AIT): L to R - Jimmy O'Meara, Ciarán O'Catháin (AIT president) Niall Seery (Chair of Computer Science AIT), Seán Kennedy (AIT), Orla Thornton (AIT), Enda Fallon (AIT), Mary Giblin (AIT), Paul Hourican

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Working at Athlone

Background to this year’s theme: Collaboration, Innovation and Automation.

Collaboration is the cornerstone on which we build our leading-edge applications. We experienced how our engineers collaborate across teams, across products and across countries to provide a world class user expe­rience that enhances the best 5G networks in the market.

Innovation is an intrinsic quality in product development at Ericsson. We got the opportunity to observe first-hand the innovative concepts that continue to become embedded in Ericsson products and engaged with our engineers in-person to discuss cutting-edge technology choices and changes.

In a world that is increasingly complex, Ericsson has committed globally towards “the quest for easy”. This is a strategic drive towards simplifying how our customers obtain and use our products to operate and scale their businesses. Automation is one of the key characteristics of “the quest for easy”. Ericsson is creating game-changing technology that is easy to use, adapt and scale, enabling our customers to capture the full value of connectivity. We found out how our 5G, cloud-native and automation technology stands ready to unlock a wave of new value.

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Laura McGuckin

Laura McGuckin

Laura works as a Technical Manager at PDU OSS focusing on 5G. She has been in the telecom business for over 10 years in various roles including release, project management and transformation. Laura has a BSc from Dublin Institute of Technology in Dublin