Grid Connect Named One of 2017 Best Places to Work in Illinois

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 19, 2017 11:08:37 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Best Places to Work in Illinois, Events, Featured In, General, Press Releases

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Grid Connect was recently named as one of the 2017 Best Places to Work in Illinois. The awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state's economy, workforce and businesses. The 2017 Best Places to Work in Illinois list is made up of 29 companies in the small employer category (15-99 U.S. employees), 25 companies in the medium employer category (100-499 U.S. employees), and 21 companies in the large employer category (500 or more U.S. employees). Grid Connect has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois. In the small business category.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have at least 15 employees working in Illinois;
  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity;
  • Be a publicly or privately held business;
  • Have a facility in the state of Illinois; and
  • Be in business a minimum of one year.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Illinois and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Grid Connect will be recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony coordinated by The Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 18 and will be profiled in a special publication on June 26. The final rankings will be announced at the event and announced on the Business Ledger website (www.dhbusinessledger.com).

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Illinois program, visit www.BestPlacestoWorkinIL.com or contact Jennifer Aquiler at 717-909-1570 x3244.

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ConnectSense Introduces Power Monitoring to Smart Outlet

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 20, 2016 3:55:07 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in app, Apple HomeKit, ConnectSense, connectsense, Featured In, General, high tech homes, HomeKit, power monitoring, press release, Press Releases, Products, smart home, smart home tech, smart outlet, tech, technology

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Smart Outlet Price Dropped to $59.95

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — (October 20, 2016) — ConnectSense, a developer and manufacturer of home automation products, announced the addition of power monitoring to its ConnectSense Smart Outlet and the ConnectSense app.

With the ConnectSense app, users can easily create integrated scenes and rules for the Smart Outlet and other home automation devices regardless of manufacturer, with just a few simple steps. Users can control their smart devices with the touch of a button or using Siri voice control.

With detailed power monitoring, users have insight into the power consumption of devices plugged into the Smart Outlet, as well as how long devices have been turned on. This allows users to adopt more energy efficient habits or to replace energy-hogging devices or appliances with more efficient choices.

Unique to the ConnectSense app is the ability to create rules based on power usage. For example, a homeowner can set a rule that says if the television has been on for three hours, turn it off. Also, for safety, rules can be set to turn off hot or potentially dangerous devices, such as flat irons, if they have been left on for an extended period of time.

More complex scenarios also can be set up to automate environments. For example, in a home theater, a homeowner can set a rule that says when the projector turns on, the room lights dim.

“We are happy to provide our customers a way to monitor their energy usage, and give them more control over their devices,” said Adam Justice, founder of ConnectSense. “Among the reasons to automate a home is to make it more energy efficient and to save money, and power monitoring will be an important tool in this effort.”

The ConnectSense power monitoring feature is available via firmware update free to existing customers in the current ConnectSense app.

ConnectSense also announced it is dropping the price of its ConnectSense Smart Outlet to $59.95. The Smart Outlet features two Internet-connected electrical sockets that enable users to control devices plugged into them using Siri via their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

About ConnectSense
ConnectSense develops and manufactures home automation products, including the ConnectsSense Smart Outlet and a line of wireless sensors that monitor changes in your environment then notifies you by email or text when something goes awry. ConnectSense can be found at www.connectsense.com and on Twitter at @ConnectSense.

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For information contact:

Linda Muskin, 847-432-7300
lmuskin@teamclarus.com

Mara Conklin, 847-816-9411
mconklin@teamclarus.com

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2016 Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards honorees

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 12, 2016 3:06:59 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Daily Herald, Employee Spotlight, Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, Featured In, General, Mike Justice

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Mike Justice, President and Founder of Grid Connect, was recently honored with the IMG_0868Lifetime Achievement Award by the Daily Herald Business Ledger.

Mike Justice is a serial entrepreneur, industrial networking expert, and has successfully built and sold several technology ventures.

In 2003, Justice started Grid Connect inviting many employees from a previous company in which he was involved to join his new venture.

Grid Connect is a rapidly growing manufacturer and distributor of networking products and wireless sensors with more than $13 million in sales worldwide.

Culture and professional growth are two of Justice's key elements at Grid Connect. Every Wednesday employees are treated to free lunches, complimentary massages on Thursdays and frequent table tennis matches at lunchtime.

Grid Connect has been named as a "Best Place to Work in Illinois" for the last two years and named a "Top 10 Small Business to Work for in Illinois."

Justice is also locally involved with Naperville North High School's Robotics Team, where he helps develop and sponsor young engineers.

Read more about the other nominees, here: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161010/business/161019928/

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Top suburban entrepreneurs honored at Business Ledger event

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 16, 2016 11:59:02 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in EEA, Employee Spotlight, entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, Mike Justice

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IMG_0868

Last night was dedicated to risk taking and overcoming failure as 19 local entrepreneurs were honored during the 17th Annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, hosted by the Business Ledger and its sponsoring partners. Mike Justice, founder, president, and CEO of Grid Connect was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more about some of the top entrepreneurs in the Chicago suburbs here: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160915/business/160919140/

 

 

 

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How Time-Sensitive Networking Enables the IIoT

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 5, 2016 10:17:20 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in DeviceNet, Ethernet, Ethernet IEEE 802, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, IIC, IIoT, Industrial, Industrial Internet Consortium, Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0. Machine, Internet of Things, IoT, M2M, machine to machine, operational technology, PROFIBUS, tech, technology, testbed, time-sensitive networking, TSN

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The world’s first time-sensitive networking (TSN) testbed is being developed in a collaborative effort to change network infrastructure so that it will enhance the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). As this develops, it is essential that Industry 4.0. Machine designers, builders, and users have reliable and secure access to smart edge devices. This will force the current, standard network technologies to transform in an effort to meet the requirements of the next generation of industrial systems.

The testbed itself was designed to assist in creating a new wave of innovative technologies, products, applications, and services for the industrial internet market. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), comprised of the corporations developing the testbed, are attempting to create a TSN in an “ecosystem of manufacturing applications,” which is based off of new Ethernet IEEE 802 standards. The goal of the testbed is to provide insight on the security of a TSN as well as highlight its real-time capabilities through the use of standard and converged Ethernet.

In order for TSNs to be taken seriously, it will be crucial that there are sufficient security measures utilized in order to protect the safety of IIoT users. It is essential that the TSN security is integrated as a layered system, meaning security is implemented throughout the network, because simply adding security as an additional feature at the end of development (air-gap security) leaves the network vulnerable as it is only a perimeter-based measure of defense. One beneficial aspect of time-sensitive networking is its ability to determine the exact instance data was sent and when it is supposed to arrive; if anyone intercepts packets of data it will be easy to tell. That being said, TSNs require a central management aspect that have the power to alter entire networks, which could be a challenge in terms of developing security.

The use of deterministic Ethernet will alter the various safety systems for TSNs by allowing messages to be scheduled from safety applications in order to provide high availability for safety systems. The real-time, synchronous mechanisms of the deterministic Ethernet will enable the connection of more devices and more machines, creating a powerful and integrated IIoT. Mike Justice, president of Grid Connect, believes that its use as a control network has the potential to replace other existing networks such as Profibus and DeviceNet.

As the real-time capabilities of deterministic Ethernet continue to develop, there will be several applications that will benefit from the use of a TSN. Machine-to-machine communication would improve as it needs to operate with low latency and high synchronization. Safety-based communications could access data more efficiently as it is currently mostly done through hardwiring. General motion and robot controls would improve as accessing data through standard communication could be done with ease. Essentially any latency-sensitive application would be much improved through the use of a TSN.

Another interesting application of a TSN can be observed through cloud and edge computing as they provide an infrastructure that will improve the functionality IoT technology. The use of deterministic Ethernet through TSNs could theoretically allow for machine control to be executed within a cloud environment, but there isn’t much room for error regarding latency in communication. Even though consumer and industrial applications of cloud-based machine control have different demands in terms of real-time dependency and data consumption, they are still in the foreseeable future if network stability can be established. Private, local clouds have had success in controlling machines, but large public clouds are more concerning with problems such as technical issues, data confidentiality, and security.

Time-sensitive networking is a feasible option for advancing the IIoT as long as it delivers on its promises of speed and security. It will be a major improvement to converge from information technology (IT) to operational technology (OT) in regards to the security and integration of cloud services. Justice states that “The controls industry is conservative and will follow the IT market in a few years after security issues are well-addressed.” The ability of TSNs to connect machines to the cloud and create real-time data messaging and analytics will improve the overall functionality of the IIoT.

 

Read more at: https://www.controldesign.com/articles/2016/how-time-sensitive-networking-enables-the-iiot/?start=4

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Local Entrepreneurs to be Honored

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 18, 2016 11:02:56 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Business Ledger, Employee Spotlight, Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, Mike Justice, Press Releases

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Nineteen local entrepreneurs will be honored in the 17th Annual Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards hosted by the Business Ledger and their sponsoring partners.

The awards will be presented at a reception beginning at 4:30 p.m. to be held on Thursday, September 15 at the Hilton Hotel Lisle/ Naperville, 3003 Corporate W Drive, Lisle.

Presenting sponsors for this year’s awards program are: Focus Capital Advisors, Northern Illinois University School of Business; and B. Gunther & Company.

Awards will be presented in 7 categories. The honorees will also be profiled in the October 17th issue of the Business Ledger. This year’s honorees are:

  • Early Stage: Jill Foucre, Mache, Glen Ellyn; Kathy Steele, Red Caffeine Marketing & Technology, Lombard; Quinten Thompson, QT3 Systems, Aurora; Kelly Yearwood, Pits for Patriots, Bensenville.
  • Growth: Lynn Day, Bottle & Botega, Glen Ellyn; Chad Holstead, Business Knowledge Systems, Plainfield; Marc LeBlanc, Gages Lake Auto & Light Truck, Gages Lake.
  • Innovation: Padmini Sriman, EmotiPlush, Naperville; Denise Smith, Smith Physical Therapy & Running Academy, Crystal Lake.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Mike Justice, Grid Connect, Naperville.
  • Outstanding Service to Entrepreneurs: Kathleen Caldwell, Caldwell Consulting Group, Woodstock; Mike Cavanaugh, Small Business Advocacy Council, Chicago; Leslee Cohen, Hershman-Cohen, Chicago / Deerfield; Joe Micaleff, Grow Up Sales, Libertyville.
  • Regional Spirit: Sue Cain, Corporate Learning Institute, Wheaton; Claude Gendreau, La Banque Hotel, Homewood;
  • Young Entrepreneur; Gina Hines, Alder Grove Counseling, Downers Grove; Andre Janus, Cristaux International, Elk Grove Village; Chris Lesner, Project World Impact, LLC, Wheaton.

Cost to attend the reception is $55 per person. You must register online at http://www.dhbusinessledger.com no later than September 9. For additional information call Jim Elsener (jelsener@dailyherald.com), at 630-955-3593.

 

The Business Ledger is the leading provider of business news and information about businesses and the economy in suburban Chicago. The Business Ledger is a sister publication to the Daily Herald and part of the Paddock Publications family.

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Technology Leaders Converge for Six Events in Las Vegas this November

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 11, 2016 4:12:38 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Events, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, Internet of Things, Internet of Things West, IoT, Las Vegas, M2M, machine to machine, November, tech, technology

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A vast majority of the technology industry’s leaders and innovators are coming together in Las Vegas this November. Through a series of six different conferences, all covering different technological specialties, the industry’s brightest minds will connect and discuss the most advanced technology. These companies will be working together in an effort to discover new market opportunities and pave the way for future technological advancement.

During these conferences, several very important technical topics will be dissected. The topics of interest include cloud-based control of devices, interoperability, cyber security, advancements in wireless connectivity and low power design, and the development of the advanced technology for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) applications. Grid Connect was recognized as leading and emerging IoT player, and will be considered one of the technical experts at the Internet of Things West conference.

For more information: http://www.remotemagazine.com/main/news/technology-leaders-converge-for-six-events-in-las-vegas-this-november/

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Better with Age: Chicago’s Top Ten Startup Founders over 40

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 9, 2016 10:42:35 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 40, Chicago, Chicagoland, culture, Employee Spotlight, Featured In, General, Grid Connect, IoT, Mike Justice, startup, startups

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Successful startups are driven by experience, knowledge, and an overall understanding of respective industries. This type of wisdom enables older founders to be well-equipped to envision the ideal workplace, with its unique office perks that are often associated with startup cultures. While most people picture a youthful individual as the stereotypical startup found, this does not pertain to a lot of startup companies. The average age of founders for successful startup companies is around 40 years old. The Chicagoland area is riddled with successful founders over the age of 40, showing that startup success is not tied to youth.

Grid Connect, a manufacturer and distributer of networking products, has been recognized due to the fact that President Mike Justice is one of the seasoned founders mentioned above. He started his successful company in 2003 as purely a networking company, but as it continued to expand, Grid Connect started to manufacture their own wireless sensors and IoT products. The sensors give users complete control over their home as they are designed to notify the homeowner of any environmental changes in their home. They also manufacture the powerful HomeKit-enabled ConnectSense Smart Outlet, which allows users to control any product with Siri voice controls. The company has been able to create quality products like these and thrive under the control and vision of this successful founder!

Read More: http://tech.co/better-age-chicagos-top-founders-40-2016-08/gallery/6#scroll-to-gallery

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Customer Service and The Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 22, 2016 2:09:11 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in client services, customer service, Featured In, General, Internet of Things, IoT

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Customer service could be substantially reformed due to advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT). Data collection, customer engagement and client solutions can all be improved through the advanced analytical capacity and network ubiquity of connected technology. Real-time improvements and software updates can be achieved with more fluidity to the greater satisfaction of the customer.

For more information on how client services can be upgraded with technological advancements in the IoT, visit: http://corpdyn.com/blog/207-customer-service-and-the-internet-of-things

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Managing Big Data: Moving analysis back to the edge

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 21, 2016 4:08:27 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Adam Justice, clout, Edge IoT, Embedded Computing Design, Featured In, General, Internet of Things, IoT

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The Internet of Things (IoT) and its wide range of devices are growing at an unfathomable rate. With an increase in size, comes an increase in the collection of massive amounts of data. In this article written by Grid Connect’s Vice President, Adam Justice, he stated, “The IoT relies on data — and massive amounts of it — to fuel connected devices and give us drastic advances in monitoring and automating our environments.” The overwhelming amount of data being generated at such a rapid pace is making it more important than ever for the issues of data management to be resolved.

The cloud is a centerpiece for the management and analysis of data collected through the embedded sensors of various devices. One solution to reduce the burden on the cloud and make data more manageable is to move analytics back to the device itself, which is called moving towards the edge. Utilizing edge IoT analytics could help drive efficiency as it is a cost-efficient solution that reduces the amount of bandwidth being used. Devices that have the ability to synthesize their collected data locally will be much faster and more reliable. Moving data analytics to the edge is an innovative IoT solution that will drastically improve the functionality of these devices.

For the full article by Adam Justice, click here: http://embedded-computing.com/28918-managing-big-data-moving-analysis-back-to-the-edge/

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