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Letter from the Editor - The Tipping Point

By: Scott St. John

I'll try to make this succinct. The COVID-19, global pandemic has brought us past the tipping point. It has forever transformed the way we work, live, and play. It has brought us to the brink of both tragedy and catastrophe. But, it has also underscored the critical nature of innovation and opened the door to opportunity. Now, the world has awakened to a new normal where once optional technologies and platforms have become the key to our future and, perhaps, our very survival.

Web presence? Omnichannel? Ecommerce? Necessities. Cloud? Digital document management? Essential. Remote workforce? Enterprise networking? Unified communications? A must. Video conferencing, social media, online shopping and streaming entertainment? The web of technologies holding our friends, families, fragile society and economy together through this world-changing event.

Never has technology been more important. Whether you are talking about the myriad of companies racing toward a vaccine – leveraging technologies such cloud and AI, to rapidly model the novel coronavirus and project the effectiveness of antibody treatments. Or you are talking about the companies that are leveraging 3D printing or factory automation to make personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators, or ventilators. Or, if you are talking about the companies whose digital platforms enable them to stay open, operate and thrive while storefronts have been forced closed by government mandate. Or, whether you are referring to the millions of people connecting, communicating, graduating and celebrating using video applications.  The world is counting on technology, now more than ever, and it is counting on you – yes, you. The backbone of these technologies relies on connectivity, innovation and transformation. Which is why this issue of Pipeline is so important.

In this issue we explore digital transformation from many angles. In a special feature, The COVID-19 Tipping Point, we go in-depth on how the global pandemic has forever changed the world. We also probe the integral role of connectivity. ServerFarm speaks to the critical nature of data centers, and the catalysts for their transformation. MetTel talks about the role of SD-WAN as an enabler for digital transformation. Nokia explores the importance of fixed-wireless access (FWA) to enable 5G. Guavus shows us how to master the complexity of 5G with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). FNT explains the role of unified resource management for smooth transformation. Connected2Fiber discusses how to transform the transformers, Mobileum gives us 3 strategies to accelerate the return on investment (ROI) from digital transformation initiatives, and our own Dr. Mark Cummings postulates on how to build innovation ecosystems that can fuel growth by combining the forces of large organizations and technical innovators. All this plus a look at the month’s breaking news stories and more.

Stay well,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
Pipeline
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