Category Archives: News

Marco Ruffini: Human of CONNECT

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Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science and Statistics and CONNECT Principal Investigator at Trinity College Dublin, gives some career advice…

How did you get to this point in your life?

Not by planning! I could never make or stick to a long term plan. I always made choices as they presented themselves. Often I ended up going for the more challenging option…I always tried to put myself out of my comfort zone, to the point where that became my only comfortable place. I probably found comfort in knowing that I wasn’t going to miss out on something by not being afraid to try.

Is there anything about life that you didn’t expect?

I never expected anything really and I never took for granted that I would get to the end of what I started. So every time I got there was a pleasant surprise. During my PhD I was always afraid I wouldn’t be able to get to the end of it, which pushed me to put a lot of extra work on it.

Tell us about an experience that taught you a life lesson.

A few times that I felt overly confident about something and I ended up making a fool of myself, once I did that in my final year in college in front of the entire class of my telecommunications lab.

I’ve now learned to be in the state of mind where if I notice that I’m feeling too confident about an event, such as a presentation or talk, I know that it’s not a good sign, and it means I need to explore it more because I’m surely missing something. Doubt is a powerful ally…it’s only through doubting myself that I get pushed to find out more, and that really helps in being able to creatively respond to unexpected questions or comments.

What do you think could be the next defining trend in technology?

I really don’t know, but here’s one thought. If we look at the past, successful inventions have been those that have either prolonged our life, increased our productivity or else made us feel more connected to others and to the world in general. If we look back, trains, automobiles, planes, radio, TV, Internet, Skype, social media, and the greatest technology of all times, pubs, are those that really are the centre of our lives and economy. I think there is more to come in enhancing our experience within our cities and local environment. Although there is a lot of buzz around this, I don’t think we have found the next big innovation in this area.

What’s the best piece of life advice you have ever received?

I don’t think I ever received any meaningful or useful verbal advice. But I learned a lot observing a few great people that I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet. One thing I learned is to be the first to make a generous move towards someone you meet through your professional or social environment. It goes a long way in creating a good and positive environment around you and it’s often paid back by even more generosity. Sometimes it isn’t, but it’s not an exact science and the challenge is to try and make it second nature.

Tell us about your research. What do you enjoy most about it?

I enjoy the independence: no one can tell you what you should do next and it’s only up to you to find out. I found this to be at the same time the most thrilling and scary part of academic work. Sometimes I think it would be much more comfortable to follow the directions of someone more senior without the apprehension of making an uncertain choice. But then who can say that would be the right choice? Plus as I mentioned I’ve learned to be more comfortable outside my comfort zone.

Two new principal investigators for CONNECT

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Marco Ruffini and Anding Zhu have been appointed Principal Investigators at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity College Dublin, and University College Dublin respectively.

Anding is a Professor in UCD’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, while Marco is Assistant Professor in Optical Network architectures in Trinity’s School of Computer Science and Statistics.

Congratulating both researchers, Professor Luiz DaSilva, Director of CONNECT, said:

“Marco and Anding have already established impressive research reputations. Marco Ruffini is an expert in the field of network consolidation and the convergence of mobile and optical networks. He is contributing to industry standards in this area, and leading a €1 million SFI Investigator project, O’SHARE, which involves collaboration with Vodafone and Intel.

“Anding Zhu’s research in physical layer, network-aware intelligent radio access nodes has resulted in several collaborative projects with industry partners including Xilinx, Analog Devices, MA-COM and Synopsys. Impactful engagement with industry is a hallmark of successful investigators in CONNECT.”

CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.

Marco Ruffini elected Fellow of Trinity College

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Dr Marco Ruffini, Trinity College Dublin

Congratulations to Marco Ruffini, CONNECT Funded Investigator and Assistant Professor in Trinity College Dublin, who has been elected a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Research achievement of a high order is the primary qualification for Fellowship, coupled with evidence of a candidate’s contribution to the academic life of Trinity College Dublin and an effective record in teaching.

Congratulating Marco, Prof. Luiz DaSilva, CONNECT Director, said “This is a well-deserved recognition of Marco’s contribution to Trinity’s reputation for world class teaching and research. Telecommunications is one of Trinity’s research themes, and Marco is rapidly establishing a reputation as a world leader in the area of fiber broadband research.”

Marco’s research focuses on flexible high-capacity fiber broadband architectures, next generation PON testbeds, Software Defined Access Networks, and access network virtualization. He is currently leading a €1 million telecoms research project, OSHARE, which explores ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the surges in demand.

Dr Ruffini is a native of Ancona in Italy. He completed his undergraduate degree in Marche Polytechnic University in 2002. He then worked with Philips R&D, before completing his doctorate degree in Trinity College.

CONNECT papers accepted for OFC 2018

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CONNECT researchers have had several papers accepted for the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) Conference in San Diego in March 2018. This is the most prestigious conference in the world of optical networks.

Marco Ruffini‘s team at Trinity College Dublin have had four papers and a demonstration accepted. The papers address SDN, network virtualisation, multi-tenancy and the convergence of fixed and mobile networks for 5G. Liam Barry and his team at Dublin City University have had two papers accepted.

The paper titles are:

DBA Capacity Auctions to Enhance Resource Sharing across Virtual Network Operators in Multi-Tenant PONs
Nima Afraz and Marco Ruffini, CONNECT, Trinity College Dublin.

Experimental Demonstration of SDN-controlled Variable-rate Fronthaul for Converged LTE-over-PON
Pedro Alvarez, Frank Slyne, Christian Blümm, Johann M. Marquez-Barja1Luiz A. DaSilvaMarco Ruffini, CONNECT, Trinity College Dublin. (1 – IMEC, University of Antwerp)

Joint Optimization of BBU Pool Allocation and Selection for C-RAN Networks
Yao Li1, Mariya Bhopalwala1Sandip Das2, Jiakai Yu1, Weiyang Mo1Marco Ruffini2, Daniel C. Kilper1.
1 – University of Arizona, 2 – CONNECT, Trinity College Dublin.

Demonstration of Real Time VNF Implementation of OLT with Virtual DBA for Sliceable Multi-Tenant PONs
Frank Slyne, Amr Elrasad and Marco Ruffini, CONNECT, Trinity College Dublin. This will also be accompanied by a demonstration.

Narrow linewidth hybrid InP-TriPleX photonic integrated tunable laser based on silicon nitride micro-ring resonators 
Yi Lin (1); Colm Browning (1); Roelof Bernardus Times (2); Douwe H. Geuzebroek (2); Chris G. H. Roeloffzen (2); Dimitri Geskus (2); Ruud M. Oldenbeuving (2); René G. Heideman (2); Youwen Fan (3, 2); Klaus J. Boller (3); Jialin Zhao(4); Liam Barry(1).
1. CONNECT, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. 2. LioniX International, Enschede, Netherlands. 3. University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands. 4. Huawei Technologies Co., Shenzhen, China.

Doubly Differential Two-level 8PSK for Enabling Optical Packet Switching in Coherent Systems 
Fan Liu (1, 2); Yi Lin (2); Anthony Walsh (2); Yonglin Yu (1); Liam Barry (2);
1. Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China. 2. CONNECT, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.

O’SHARE research popular online

A 5G research paper by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Trinity College Dublin, has been among the Top 10 most viewed papers on the website of the Journal of Lightwave Technology (IEEE/OSA) for the past four months.

The paper is entitled ‘Multidimensional Convergence in Future 5G Networks‘ (Vol. 35, No. 3, March 2017).

In addition, two more papers involving Marco and other CONNECT researchers were among the most downloaded papers during the month of June from the website of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking.

These papers are:

Access and metro network convergence for flexible end to end network design
IEEE/OSA Journal of Communications and Networking, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2017.

End-to-end Service Orchestration From Access to Backbone
IEEE/OSA Journal of Communications and Networking, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2017

TY Immersion Week at CONNECT

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CONNECT volunteers Nima and Jernej with Titi and Kome.

The CONNECT Centre at Trinity College Dublin welcomed Titilola and Kome, Transition Year Students at Larkin Community College in Dublin, for a week of coding and learning about communications.

The students were at CONNECT for TY Immersion Weekwhich aimed to explore the role coding plays in effective communications. Kome and Titilola spent the week working on a project entitled “Own your own Skype – WebRTC setup and test”.

Well done to project coordinator Jacek Kibiłda, and CONNECT volunteers Nima Afraz, Jernej Hribar and Stephen O’Farrell.

Marco Ruffini’s Software Defined Networks paper in Top 5

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Dr Marco Ruffini, CONNECT Funded Investigator at Trinity College Dublin, has led a team to victory at the OFCity Challenge at OFC in San Diego, California.

Marco led a team called “ALIVE” which included Thomas Pfeiffer (Nokia Bell Labs, Germany); Dave Hood (Huawei, USA); Junwen Zhang (ZTE, USA); Daniel King (Lancaster University, UK).

A list of the teams and their abstracts can be found here. Here is the ALIVE abstract:
The Augmented Living Experience (ALIVE) team is tackling the challenging problem of delivering highly predictive deterministic packet transport for high fidelity acoustic and video applications. Our use cases are based on the requirement to schedule connectivity and maintain specific low latency network guarantees for remote multi-site locations for real-time concert rehearsals, and sport streaming.
We achieve our objectives by employing a software-defined controller over a hierarchical multi-layer network architecture that utilises transparent metro optical switching, and strict-QoE traffic engineered packet paths across packet core infrastructure. Guarantees are provided via in-situ OAM monitoring and feedback to the controller.
Network connectivity is complemented with sound and augmented reality (AR) video processing and synchronisation methods, tightly interacting with the network controller which modifies QoE paths accordingly and ensures seamless protection switching.
Additional key contributions include integrated fiber-wireless access network and Geo-distributed Fog Computing technologies, which allow predictive network connectivity for time-sensitive and ultra-reliable communications such as: autonomous vehicles, localised content delivery and live augmented reality concert and sport streaming.
Team ALIVE will present a cost-effective solution for smart ultra-low-latency communication providing a long-lasting legacy to OFCity, demonstrating its technology leadership in the area of 5G smart cities for many years to come.

CONNECT researchers had several papers at this year’s OFC:

Avishek Nag, Yi Zhang, Luiz A. DaSilva, Linda Doyle, and Marco Ruffini, “Integrating Wireless BBUs with Optical OFDM Flexible-Grid Transponders in a C-RAN Architecture“. Accepted at OFC 2017.

Amr Elrasad, Nima Afraz, and Marco Ruffini, “Virtual Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation Enabling True PON Multi-Tenancy“. Accepted at OFC 2017.

A. Saljoghei, Arman Farhang, Colm Browning, Nicola Marchetti, Linda Doyle, and Liam Barry, “Investigation of the Performance of GFDMA and OFDMA for Spectrally Efficient Broadband PONs”. Accepted at OFC 2017.

Irene Macaluso, Bruno Cornaglia, and Marco Ruffini, “Antenna, Spectrum and Capacity trade-off for Cloud-RAN Massive Distributed MIMO over Next Generation PONs“. Accepted at OFC 2017.

Colm Browning, Alexander Gazman, Vidak Vujicic, Aravind Anthur, Ziyi Zhu, Keren Bergman, and Liam Barry, “Optical circuit switching/multicasting of burst mode PAM-4 using a programmable silicon photonic chip“. Accepted at OFC 2017.

O’SHARE press releases captured by more media

SFI November e-zine:

BETTER BROADBAND: CONNECT CENTRE LAUNCHES €1 MILLION TELECOMS RESEARCH PROJECT, O’SHARE, AT TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

Research aims to improve broadband performance and availability

Dr Marco Ruffini of the CONNECT Centre at Trinity College Dublin who will lead the O’SHARE telecoms research project.

A €1 million telecoms research project, O’SHARE, has been launched at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, CONNECT, in Trinity College Dublin. Led by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, the four-year project will explore ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the surges in demand experienced at large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events.

“O’SHARE is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users,” according to Dr Ruffini.“Take the Electric Picnic, for example, when up to 50,000 people gather in a field in County Laois. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand – up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating. 

“All mobile-phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network. This will be the focus of O’SHARE’s work as we explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity. 

“We will also focus on multi-tenancy which allows several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.” 

Professor Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT, welcomed the launch: “The ideas in O’SHARE are cutting-edge. As the name suggests they are about cleverly sharing network resources which will lead to reduced costs while delivering the services users need.” 

The project, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme, will involve collaboration with several industry partners including Bell Labs and Vodafone. It will also see the recruitment of two senior researchers and two PhD students at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity.

“O’SHARE also plans to develop an international testbed to demonstrate Passive Optical Network virtualisation,”added Dr Ruffini. “Our testbed in Trinity will link to the ‘Bristol is Open’ programmable network developed by the University of Bristol. The plan is to demonstrate how operators can use virtualisation to control different parts of network infrastructure and offer seamless services spanning multiple network domains.”

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digitaldaily.ie:

€1M RESEARCH PROJECT TO PREPARE NETWORKS FOR DEMAND SURGES

crowd-1056764_1920A €1 million four-year telecoms research project named O’SHARE has been launched at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, CONNECT, in Trinity College Dublin with the aim of exploring ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with surges in demand.

Led by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures, the project will look at how the connectivity needs of large gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events, can be managed on a network infrastucture.

O’SHARE is an open-access, SDN-driven architecture enabling multi-operator and multi-service convergence in shared access networks.

“O’SHARE is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users,” according to Dr Ruffini.

“Take the Electric Picnic, for example, when up to 50,000 people gather in a field in County Laois. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand – up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating.”

“All mobile-phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network. This will be the focus of O’SHARE’s work as we explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity. We will also focus on multi-tenancy which allows several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.”

The project, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme, will involve collaboration with several industry partners including Bell Labs and Vodafone. It will also see the recruitment of two senior researchers and two PhD students at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity.

“O’SHARE also plans to develop an international testbed to demonstrate Passive Optical Network virtualisation,” added Dr Ruffini.

“Our testbed in Trinity will link to the ‘Bristol is Open’ programmable network developed by the University of Bristol. The plan is to demonstrate how operators can use virtualisation to control different parts of network infrastructure and offer seamless services spanning multiple network domains.”

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researchandinnovation.ie:

Connect centre launches €1 million telecoms research project, O’SHARE, at Trinity College Dublin

A €1 million telecoms research project, O’SHARE, has been launched at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, CONNECT, in Trinity College Dublin.

Led by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, the four-year project will explore ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the surges in demand experienced at large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events :

“O’SHARE is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users. Take the Electric Picnic, for example, when up to 50,000 people gather in a field in County Laois. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand, up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating”, commented Dr Ruffini, who also added :

“All mobile-phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network. This will be the focus of O’SHARE’s work as we explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity. We will also focus on multi-tenancy which allows several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.”

The project, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme, will involve collaboration with several industry partners including Bell Labs and Vodafone. It will also see the recruitment of two senior researchers and two PhD students at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity.

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Techcentral.ie: 3336-114.jpg

Connect Centre launches €1m telecoms research project

25 November 2015 |

A €1 million telecoms research project, O’Share, has been launched at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, Connect, in Trinity College Dublin.

Led by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures, the four-year project will explore ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the surges in demand experienced at large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events.

O’Share is an open access, software defined network-driven architecture enabling multi-operator and multi-service convergence in shared access networks. The project will focus on virtualisation of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks to enable dynamic capacity assignment and multi-tenancy.

“O’Share is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users,” said Dr Ruffini. “Take a major concert, for example, when tens of thousands of people gather together. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand – up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating.

“All mobile-phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network. This will be the focus of O’Share’s work as we explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity.

“We will also focus on multi-tenancy which allows several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.”

The project, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme, will involve collaboration with several industry partners including Bell Labs and Vodafone. It will also see the recruitment of two senior researchers and two PhD students at Trinity College.

“O’Share also plans to develop an international testbed to demonstrate passive optical Network virtualisation,” said Dr Ruffini. “Our testbed in Trinity will link to the Bristol is Open programmable network developed by the University of Bristol. The plan is to demonstrate how operators can use virtualisation to control different parts of network infrastructure and offer seamless services spanning multiple network domains.”

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O’SHARE first press release was well captured by the media:

Siliconrepublic:

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Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) CONNECT Centre has signed a deal to begin a €1m telecoms research project dubbed O’SHARE to help festival goers access consistent mobile internet and phone signal in the face of a surge in demand.

The O’SHARE project will be a four-year investigation that will explore ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the overload in capacity that is seen each year at major festivals and sporting events, like Electric Picnic and when major sporting events take place in stadiums like the Aviva and Croke Park.

The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) centre based in TCD is one of the country’s leading communications labs, led by Prof Linda Doyle, who was included on Siliconrepublic.com’s list of 25 key people influencing the internet of things last month.

The work that will be undertaken by the O’SHARE project will look at how all mobile phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network and, over the next four years, will explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity.

The team also plan to focus on developing multi-tenancy on the networks, allowing several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This, they say, will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.

“O’SHARE is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users,” said Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures, who will be leading the project.

“Take Electric Picnic, for example, when up to 50,000 people gather in a field in Co Laois. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand – up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating.”

Dr Ruffini also added that the O’SHARE project will create an international testbed to develop communications technology.

“Our testbed in TCD will link to the ‘Bristol is Open’ programmable network developed by the University of Bristol,” he said. “The plan is to demonstrate how operators can use virtualisation to control different parts of network infrastructure and offer seamless services spanning multiple network domains.”

 

Irishtechnews:

A €1 million telecoms research project, O’SHARE, has been launched at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre, CONNECT, in Trinity College Dublin. Led by Dr Marco Ruffini, Assistant Professor in Optical Network Architectures, the four-year project will explore ways of improving the capacity of optical networks to cope with the surges in demand experienced at large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events.

“O’SHARE is ultimately about sharing network resources to deliver better results for users,” according to Dr Ruffini. “Take the Electric Picnic, for example, when up to 50,000 people gather in a field in County Laois. The cellular network suddenly experiences a surge in demand – up to a thousand times more than usual. The available capacity reduces dramatically and using a mobile device to access Facebook or to share a video becomes very frustrating.

“All mobile-phone masts are connected to a fibre-optic backhaul network. This will be the focus of O’SHARE’s work as we explore ways of dynamically allocating resources to areas of poor connectivity.

“We will also focus on multi-tenancy which allows several service providers to operate the optical access networks at the same time. This will also lead to greater competition in the market, resulting in cheaper data plans for users.

Professor Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT, welcomed the launch: “The ideas in O’SHARE are cutting-edge. As the name suggests they are about cleverly sharing network resources which will lead to reduced costs while delivering the services users need.”

The project, funded through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Investigator Programme, will involve collaboration with several industry partners including Bell Labs and Vodafone. It will also see the recruitment of two senior researchers and two PhD students at the CONNECT Centre in Trinity.

“O’SHARE also plans to develop an international testbed to demonstrate Passive Optical Network virtualisation,” added Dr Ruffini. “Our testbed in Trinity will link to the ‘Bristol is Open’ programmable network developed by the University of Bristol. The plan is to demonstrate how operators can use virtualisation to control different parts of network infrastructure and offer seamless services spanning multiple network domains.”

The project launch was welcomed by Doris Alexander, Research Development Manager in Trinity Research & Innovation who said: “Dr Ruffini’s project, O’SHARE, is one of only 23 research projects selected for funding nationally this year via SFI’s Investigator Programme. We were delighted to support Dr Ruffini’s project proposal which is a wonderful add-on to the SFI-funded CONNECT Centre, a flagship research centre for communications networking, services, applications and technologies.”