2015 New England Patriots' Draft

The New England Patriots’ Draft

Looking to fill in some big holes in their offensive line as well as having a serious need for a cornerback, a linebacker and a defensive tackle, for the New England Patriots’ draft, they had a very specific list of needs they sought to fill to have a strong, adaptive roster.

 

They were able to fill the position for a defensive tackle straightaway in the first round with former Texas linesman Malcolm Brown, who was humble at the press conference until he boasted that the team was going to get the “best player ever drafted,” meaning him. Time will tell if that’s indeed the case.

 

The second round was another defensive one as Jordan Richard of Stanford joined the team as a safety. Known to be smart among his former teammates (Stanford grads, no less), the Patriots can look forward to a player who is quick and agile and plays for the love of the game, or so he claims. NBC Sports’ Josh Norris is less charmed, though, thinking that the Patriots would have been better off waiting to get someone like him later in the draft.

 

The Patriots met their need for a linebacker in round three as Geneo Grissom was recruited, a player who struck observers as very humble and emotional on hearing the news. Grissom is so eager to play, he claims he would have played any position at all just for a seat at the table. He is apparently looking forward to moving to New England, as he is a big Bruins fan.

 

The fourth round was the first in which the offense got some attention with Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason, as well as defensive end Trey Flowers, who’s mission in life is to stop the other team’s runs. Georgia’s Mason is seen by many as the best player the Patriots have gained in this draft; in the words of Josh Norris, “he’s the best run blocker in the entire draft. He’s an absolute mauler … he’s nasty.” Florida’s Jackson is also generally seen as a strong player, and oddly enough he and Mason have been friends ever since they briefly attended school together in Georgia before Jackson went to the Sunshine State.

 

Long snapper Joe Cardona was picked up in the fifth round. He grew up watching the Patriots play and is raring to go. He claims he had a feeling New England would be his new home since they were one of the only teams looking for a snapper.

 

The sixth round saw the acquisition of tight end, AJ Derby, and a second linebacker, Matt Welsh. Two relatively unknown players, they are both waiting to make their mark on the game and are pumped for the opportunity.

 

The elusive cornerback was finally recruited in round seven. Darryl Roberts describes himself as “a little versatile. I can play press, a little zone.” He looks to be a great addition to the team and is likely to make a real name for himself in New England. The last pick of the season, defensive end Xzavier Dickson, is a very experienced, tough player who looks to add some serious speed to the team.

 

NCGIT becomes your outsourced CIO. We’ll work with management to create an overall business strategy that allows technology to overcome your business challenges. The end result of partnering with our information technology team? You’ll make more money, save time, and reach your business goals.

Baseball Technology

How the Boston Red Sox Use Technology to Increase Their Batting Average

If you’ve seen the movie Moneyball, you’ll remember that the Oakland A’s general manager bought into the idea of using computer programs, statistics and graphs to decipher which players would make up the best team. This strategy lead the A’a to the Championship. The end of the film alluded to the Red Sox employing the same formula to take their team to the top after being plagued by the “Curse of the Bambino” for decades. While this method of technology is one way the Red Sox boosted their team’s record, there is now a new technology being used to increase the team’s batting average and overall performance.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media Technology

Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) is a new technology used during MLB games that is a new way of analyzing plays. It works by combining radar, algorithms that crunch data and high-end cameras to analyze and provide clarification any play with meticulous detail and accuracy.

What MLBAM Does

With Major League Baseball Advanced Media, action is slowed down and viewed through a player tracker, and on the screen is a wealth of metrics, including how many miles per hour the pitch was thrown, its perceived velocity and rotations per minute. The hitter’s exit velocity is then displayed, along with how many feet the closest fielder is from first base, how many seconds it takes him to move to pick up the ball and how many feet away it is from him when he scoops it up. The information is extremely detailed down to the second and inch.

All-New Information

 Major League Baseball Advanced Media is creating data that no one has ever had access to in the past, especially the movement of outfielders. The information is useful because if you can correlate the position of every outfielder with pitches and batter performance, eventually managers and players will be able to see patterns that they can work into their game strategies. By having a player move over a couple feet in the outfield when particular pitchers and batters are up against one another, this could be the difference between winning and losing a game. Not only will it work for field positions, but with batters as well. While speed and pitch types have been analyzed for years, all this detailed data will give hitting coaches a host of new ways to get their team’s batting average up.

Moving Into the Future

Major league baseball had already made a change when it introduced instant replay, taking away some of the excitement of mangers kicking dirt at umpires when disagreeing with a call. While traditionalists didn’t like this, the majority of reviewed calls have been overturned. Now MLBAM technology will make the game evolve even more. Statistics have always been a huge part of baseball, and with all this new data, true baseball fans will be able to get deeper into stats, using them to criticize or defend plays and their favorite teams. It will make the jobs of managers and scouts easier and more accurate, and will help players improve their game in ways they never thought of before this technology came about.

5 Ways a Virtual CIO Improves Business in One Year

Technology is changing the way business is conducted every day. Outsourced IT services are increasing in popularity as companies are seeing the benefits of having trained IT professionals handle their computer equipment and infrastructure. Not only do they have people working remotely to oversee their operations 24/7, but now businesses are working with virtual CIOs. The job of a Chief Information Officer is to analyze data and put forth strategies that increase productivity using a variety of technologies. If you’re a business that does not have a CIO in the budget, we are giving you 5 ways that a virtual CIO will improve your business in one year.

 

1. Planning for Disaster

When a business loses important data due to error, theft or natural disaster or has a security breach, it can set them back for a long time. When you have a virtual CIO, they can provide your business with strategies for disaster management and risk mitigation. The CIO is an expert in this field and likely more experienced than anyone working in-house. They will be able to accurately assess any current and possible risk in the area of theft and breach, and figure out what must be done to block any potential security issues and also have in place a plan for data recovery.

 

2. Same Service With Less Cost

When a business has IT staff on site, they will troubleshoot when a problem occurs and get to work repairing it right away. With a virtual CIO through outsourced IT services, they do the same thing, without having to pay as much. Virtual CIOs don’t require a salary, benefits and tax contributions like a full-time employee does. The virtual CIO comes as part of your outsourced IT services with no separate billing for individual jobs.

 

3. Fast Response With Less Downtime

Even one hour of downtime can cost a business thousands of dollars. If you have a problem with your network or equipment, in-house staff can be there right away, only if they are not working on any other projects already. Virtual service gives you instant response time, any time of the day. With remote access and monitoring the virtual CIO can get to work from any time and any place.

 

4. Clean Up Your Network

Spyware, pop-ups, viruses and malware can slow down and destroy a computer and get installed on the network through only one device. This means all of your employees can become infected and slowed down. Your virtual CIO will keep on top of the latest in security and eliminate the bugs and vulnerabilities so your system keeps running fast.

 

5. Plan for Growth

Good virtual CIOs from your outsourced IT services are able to assess the business’s current state and where it is going in the future. Planning for change and growth is key to a successful business. The CIO will be able to determine what type of software, equipment and network infrastructure is necessary to allow the company to expand. This lessens the amount of possible issues that arise with system scalability and capacity during growth spurts.

 

If your IT department, or worse yet your non-IT employees, are constantly trying to keep your network running and assisting with technology issues, they’re not focused on the activities that create an efficient workplace or generate more revenue. Let NCGIT become your outsourced CIO. We’ll work with management to create an overall business strategy that allows technology to overcome your business challenges.

 

Reasons You need an IT Partner

5 Reasons Why Having an IT Partner is Important

Ask yourself, what is the goal of my job and position as a business leader? Where does IT monitoring factor into your answer? It doesn’t, and it doesn’t for your non-IT employees either. As a business owner and mentor, you need an IT partner on your side, and it does not have to break the bank. Having an IT partner is critical to your business’ success, but you just may not know it yet. Explore the five main reasons why having an IT partner is important.

1. Your business can cut expenses

An in-house IT team can be pricey and pay-by-occurrence solutions can quickly smother your company’s budget. Nothing is predictable when you run a business, especially when technology is concerned, but your IT can be. An IT partner does not charge by individual services, but it delivers constant support and maintenance for a low, predictable rate. If something happens, you will not have to fear a large bill. Business owners and the IT departments that support them do not have to stress about technology; the partner takes on the responsibilities and supports your business can focus on the operations that make money instead waste it.

2. Your IT partner creates a personalized business strategy

There is no one-size-fits-all technology model, but too many businesses rely on large, blanket systems because they do not feel as if they have access to affordable tools and resources to carefully tailor a unique IT strategy. An IT partner reviews your business’s unique needs, future goals and concerns, and strategically devises the best IT plan for you and your business, not anyone else’s.

3. Risk is low and security is high

Your business reduces threats by eliminating the risk for intrusions and data loss. Customers, clients, vendors and partners are not likely to do business with a company that has an unreliable safety, security and plan for data recovery. Your IT partner ensures your business has firewall and network infrastructures, e-mail and web-based attack prevention, backup and disaster recovery services, and 24/7 system monitoring.

4. Business receives 100% attention

When your business collaborates with an IT partner, your company is not just another number. Your IT partner provides 1-on-1 support, security and monitoring. An IT partner addresses your business’s needs and concerns swiftly and without compromising the current flow of daily operations.

5. Productivity increases

The smallest changes can dramatically increase employee productivity. When your employees can focus on their jobs and maintain constant communication, domestically, internationally, and remotely, without worrying about IT problems and security challenges, productivity soars. When your employees are working, they can meet more clients, close more deals and reach out to more prospects, all of which result in more money flowing within the business.

 

Sports events in Boston

The Boston Sports Scene

Boston is the ideal city for touring historical sites, getting good food, and especially for catching a sporting event. The city is well-known for housing World Series Champs, the Red Sox, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beantown has something for everyone, from running, to lacrosse to hockey and basketball. We may be technology people, but we’re into the local sports scene! If you’re looking for a getaway to catch your favorite games, check out all the upcoming sporting events in Boston:

Boston Bruins Hockey

Fans of the ice will love watching the 5 time NHL Stanley Cup champs fight for the pennant at the TD Garden. The Bruins are well respected in the hockey world, and were the first team to be awarded a franchise in the NHL back in 1924. For a list of 2015 home games at the TD Garden, visit www.boston.worldweb.com/Events/SportingEvents/

The Boston Marathon

For runners who love going the distance, but may not have qualified, come down and cheer on the racers of one of the oldest marathon events. The Boston Marathon is the most prestigious marathon in the world, attracting celebrities and the globe’s most elite runners. Watch the city come alive on Patriot’s Day, April 20, 2015 for the 119th running of the race, and get more info at boston.marathon2015.com

Boston Celtics Basketball

The Boston Celtics have some of the country’s most loyal basketball fans. That could be partly because they’ve won 17 world championships, including a record-setting 8 in a row between the years of 1959-1966. Check out their 2015 schedule at www.nba.com/celtics/schedule

Boston Red Sox Baseball

Since they’ve overcome the “Curse of the Bambino”, the Red Sox are drawing more fans to Fenway Park than ever. Bring the kids for a great day of fun with the Green Monster, but don’t get caught with a Yankees shirt on! To buy tickets to a 2015 game and find out how spring training is going, visit boston.redsox.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=bos

Head of the Charles Regatta

If you’re into boats, you’ll want to see the world’s largest two-day rowing event that thousands flock to watch in the Charles River. Since 1965, this regatta has been popular, and includes over fifty-five racing events on October 17-18, 2015. For more about the event, visit www.hocr.org/about-hocr/

New England Revolution Soccer

As America finally increases their interest in soccer, catching up the rest of the world, fans are visiting Gillette Stadium in droves to see the New England Revolution. This Major League Soccer franchise’s 2015 schedule is available at www.revolutionsoccer.net/schedule

Boston Blazers Lacrosse

Lacrosse fans must check out the Boston Blazers. The professional lacrosse team for New England share the TD Garden with the Bruins and Celtics so they are destined for greatness.

For 2015 tickets go to www.ticketmaster.com/Boston-Blazers-tickets/artist/821857#!

The Harlem Globetrotters

For a lighthearted and fun night out of basketball, bring the whole family to see the Harlem Globetrotters. For over 50 years this team has been delighting fans of all ages. On March 28, 2015 they’ll be at the TD Garden. If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, visit http://boston.eventful.com/events/harlem-globetrotters-/E0-001-079775755-9@2015032819

benefits of voip

Unexpected Benefits of VoIP For Small Businesses

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way of taking telephone analog signals and transforming them into digital data over the Internet. This means you can skip the phone company and the charges that go with it to make a call. You can also communicate without using a telephone. All that’s needed is a computer with speakers, a microphone and a working Internet connection. Even use your mobile phone and certain land line phones. More and more businesses are using VoIP as part of their unified communications systems. It’s not only large companies that are reaping benefits of this technology, but smaller ones are finding that it helps their bottom line.

Free Perks With VoIP

There are lots of professional features included with VoIP that would have extra hidden fees with a landline service. A few of these perks include:

  • Call forwarding
  • Unlimited long distance
  • Caller ID
  • Voicemail
  • Call conferencing

Keep Up With Larger Companies

With all that VoIP offers, it makes your small business look larger than it is, making VoIP an equalizer. With a premium setup, you could receive an “auto attendant” feature that allows callers to experience an interactive menu and pick the correct extension. Your business will be more professional and on par with the big boys. VoIP suppliers offers packages to suit your needs, and they can include features that help you stay competitive:

  • Music on hold
  • “Follow me/find me” call routing for employees on the roadway-safety
  • “Do not disturb” during important meetings
  • Door buzzer integration
  • “Presence” technology to see if an employee is available and how to get in touch with them

With the above features and more it would be difficult to distinguish a small business from a major corporation.

Cut Costs

VoIP helps you cut costs in so many ways. First, you trim long distance charges that come with land line services. Travel expenses are reduced because of web conferencing, video calls, “presence” technologies and other collaborative devices. Save money on having to invest in a new infrastructure or hardware equipment maintenance. Your small business will be able to stay up to date without the need to put in extra time and effort in keeping up with evolving technology. Your VoIP provider will do that for you. If there is a problem with the system, the VoIP provider will take care of it, instead of handling communication problems in-house, which takes up valuable time. This way you can focus on your core business and not be worried about technical difficulties that arise.

Technology at the Super Bowl

Patriots Win the High Tech Super Bowl

Approximately 114.4 million people tuned in to watch the New England Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Super Bowl XLIX is destined to be the most remembered Super Bowl, and not because of the fan base.

The Patriots win of 2002 pales to their win of 2015.

The buildup to the Super Bowl may have been dominated by controversy (deflated footballs, anyone?), but the Super Bowl itself has ushered into the age of sports technology. Being a company that uses technology to improve businesses, we are fascinated by the growing use of technology on the sports fields and of this year’s “High Tech Super Bowl”.

Technology on the Football Field

In 2002, we weren’t able to peek over Tom Brady’s shoulder as he called the plays. It wasn’t until 2003 that the NFL started using Skycam and Cablecam, the cable-mounted systems that loom overhead to capture the action on the field.

Seeing highlights from the game is one thing. Being able to see and hear the reactions of players and coaches is another thing entirely. Pete Carroll’s reaction to the Malcolm Butler interception and the Patriots flocking to Butler as he comes off the field are certain to be replayed for years.

In action for this game were several 4K cameras, enhancing the images so sharply that they can be blown up numerous times, making it THE ideal technology for instant replays.

XLIX is also the year Zebra Technologies joined the NFL. Zebra’s innovative radio chips inside player uniforms instantly track their speed and movement patterns on every play.

Sensors lined up along the catwalk above field gather data from the chips on the players as well as in the AHEM game balls. A team of Zebra employees work to gather the data to display on the video boards and send to the broadcast booth.

Technology on the Sidelines

Technology has found it’s way to the sidelines, too. Thanks to a $400 million sponsorship with Microsoft, coaches are now using Surface tablets. The Surface tablet enables coaches to quickly review plays and make corrections as opposed to the playbooks of the old days.

For the past three seasons, NFL has deployed injury analysts that use instant replay gear and software that can tag video clips of the hardest tackles. The analyst transmits those images to the athletic trainer on the sidelines, who can assess the situation.

In the Stands or On the Sofa

Technology certainly enhances the fan experience for both the couch crowd and those seeing the game in person. Since fans in both atmospheres follow the game on their smartphones, the NFL equipped all stadiums with high-quality Internet, charging stations, and cellular data connections.

Eventually the NFL hopes to be able to publish the data collected from the Zebra chips during games, so fans can use their smartphones to chart the performance of their favorite athletes.

For the first time ever, NBC broadcasted the entire 11-hour Super Bowl hoopla…for free. On any computer, iOS, Android, or Windows tablet, you could watch all the commercials, the pre-game, and after game wrap-up. NBC has also created a Tumblr page for the commercials so you can watch them all again.

 

What do you think of technology in the Super Bowl and sports in general? Does it improve the sport? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Hiring staff

We’re hiring!

We are looking for an experienced Senior Systems Engineer to join our team. We need someone with strong management/leadership skills and an instinctive understanding of a wide variety of technologies. Strong candidates will also have an appreciation for providing excellent client relationships and a love for helping others.

See our jobs page for full description

image of companies merging

Merger Announcement

Network Control Group, of Stoughton MA and Consolidated IT of Melrose, MA announce plans to merge business & operations

The combined Network Control and Consolidated IT teams will form a new company, NCGIT, LLC. This merger is the culmination of over seven years of close partnership between the two companies and will bring a wealth of benefits to our customers, employees, and partners. Our organizations share common values emphasizing customer service coupled with sound technical counsel. They also complement each other in key areas of technical specialties, market focus, and staff experience.
Customers will maintain access to our existing teams and services as they traditionally have. Your primary points of contact will remain the same, and no one on the team is leaving as a result of this merger. We plan to assist customers as we always have, with additional capacity and capabilities.
The new scale achieved as a result of this merger will allow us to be more responsive as well as offer new and enhanced services. Among the major benefits are:
• A larger team of 10 full-time professionals focused on providing outstanding technical and customer service
• Deep expertise in the emerging fields of virtualization, IP telephony, and enterprise security
• A management team with over 75 years combined experience in the IT industry and specific skill serving growth businesses, regulated industries, and professional service firms
• Greater flexibility in scheduling projects, responding to emergencies, and tailoring service plans to specific requirements
We’re looking forward to introducing you to members of our expanded team over the coming months.