Digital Transformers
Episode 753

I go back to this Andreessen Horowitz quote from about 10 years ago, which is, 'software eats the world.' And software has absolutely eaten the telecommunications world for breakfast.

-Dustin McIntire

Episode Summary

Interlife™. The Internet of Space. eSIM. MEID.

No, these are not terms plucked from a science fiction novel. Instead, they’re the key concepts defining the future of security for the telecommunications supply chain. In this episode, host Kevin L. Jackson sits down with three technology pioneers, Dustin McIntire, Eric Adolphe and Joshua Pendrick, to discuss new approaches to establishing trust and provenance within a supply chain that is increasingly both digital and physical. As AI arrives at the edge, SIM cards become eSIM services, the Interlife overlays digital and physical spatial elements, and MEIDs acquire NFTs, both the private and public sector face exciting new prospects for tracking the entire lifecycle of products – with all the metadata they might need. Don’t miss this chance to peek into the future of enhanced connectivity – and figure out why Burger King might just be our best philosophical guide along the way.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain Now, the voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:31):

Hello, everyone. This is Kevin L. Jackson, and welcome to Digital Transformers. Today is quite a special show in that we have three guests that are collaborating to make your cyber world safer. This show is a bit of a follow-up on a show that we had in January with Chris Poli from CommScope and Dave Stehlin, the CEO of the Telecommunications Industry Association. During that show, Dave and Chris explained the renewed focus on and the importance of securing the telecommunication supply chain. On today’s show, we have representatives from three companies that are doing just that. Eric Adolphe, the CEO of Forward Edge-AI, Josh Pendrick, CEO of Rypplzz, and Dustin McIntire, the Chief Technology Officer of COMSovereign Group. Welcome all. But before we meet our guests formally, let’s first thank our sponsor, Digital Names by Total Network Services. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find answer and subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. So, starting with Dustin, please introduce yourself, your company and how you’re protecting us in cyberspace.

Dustin McIntire (01:58):

Excellent. Thank you for inviting me today, Kevin. Really appreciate it. This is a quick introduction of myself. Again, my name is Dustin McIntire. I’m the CTO or Chief Technology Officer at a company called COMSovereign. So, in that role, that means I’m responsible for developing our products and solutions. So, who’s COMSovereign? COMSovereign is really a combined diverse set of companies in the wireless and related industries. That includes a US-based approach to a full service 5G equipment provider. COMSovereign provides products and solutions really across the ICT sector, including 4G, 5G, additional things like wireless transport infrastructure. But uniquely, we also do other things like airborne solutions like drones and aerostats to complement our communication side, but also additional things like power systems. And, I would say more pointing today’s conversation is that we brought in a new key piece called Mobile Edge Computing or MEC, which really amplifies or accelerates the 5G picture into the next realm which is the application solutions.

Dustin McIntire (02:59):

So, our company was built, you know, basically out of scratch from best of breed technology components. We’re only a couple of years old and those components really are both startup acquisition, sort of best of breed solutions, but also mature product companies, which are now being folded together to integrate into a common technology portfolio. And, what that does that that really brings together a harmony of leading edge, next generation capabilities, such as our L-eXtreme in-band full-duplex technologies, so it’s a radio technology, our silicon photonics piece, which relates to the fiber optic networks, but also our mature product companies that bring forward manufacturing capabilities and know-how. So, I think your question was, and what are we doing to protect ourselves from the cyber threats today? Well, I mean, just to take that conversation and play it back, I think most of the listeners will be very aware of the rip-and-replace project that’s ongoing with the US government.

Dustin McIntire (03:52):

And that was fundamentally a decision that was made that – a decision based around trust that certain global vendors are not to be considered trusted and pose threats to the integrity of our critical infrastructure. And, one of the fundamental principles of trust is transparency. And, today we base our trust really around where we built something. So, I trust this place, but I don’t trust this place. But in reality, there’s really no way to fully detangle that global supply chain. You know, implementing this type of decision-making is a little bit arbitrary because it depends on deciding what matters and what doesn’t matter as far as how we decide trust. But trust is, you know, kind of a qualitative metric, right? So, I trust but I don’t trust, I sort of trust, but that decision really could be boiled back into a quantitative measurement, quantitative data.

Dustin McIntire (04:43):

So, for example, I think we’re all familiar with the TIA’s working group for the Supply Chain 9001 Initiative. It’s really kind of re-looking at this and saying how do I go about my decision-making process for what is trustful. And, this community here in our conversation today will be a bit around what we as a group or a community are also contributing from a technology standpoint around how we see our capabilities playing forward to bring back the concept of trust that has a bit more fundamentals to it. How do we reach a technology solution to what has previously been more of an empirical decision? So, today’s conversation is really all around how we, as companies, are bringing our technology solutions forward to help drive that conversation.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:27):

Wow. That’s pretty cool. You guys are doing telecom and drones. So, Josh, tell us more about Rypplzz.

Josh Pendrick (05:37):

Yeah. Thank you for having us on, Kevin. Really appreciate it. It’s great to be here with you guys today. My name is Josh Pendrick. I’m the CEO of Rypplzz. We are a spatial computing company. Well, I guess, taking a step back, you know, the primary question for why Rypplzz has existed in its infancy was, you know, that we would think about it is, you know, how do we connect people and things more efficiently and securely. And, that’s really kind of the question that sort of started it all and along the way we ended up with some really cool technology. And so, what that cool technology is, you know, what we do, what we really do is we connect the digital and physical world in some really interesting and unique ways. We have a patented spatial computing system that essentially overlays a digital world on top of the physical world.

Josh Pendrick (06:27):

So, if you can kind of just imagine, even in the rooms that we’re all sitting in right now, this airspace around us being, you know, just imagine this invisible 3D grid of cubes of space, airspace existing, you know, and digital files being able to exist in these cubes of space. That’s basically what our system does. You know, it maps the space, it stores addresses of physical environment and allows the ability to program digital files or, you know, digital computing commands to these areas of space. And you can kind of think of it as, you know, in the same way you see invisible [inaudible] or we don’t see there’s invisible atoms in the air around us, you know, this matter. You know, we’ve kind of enabled this digital matter to exist. And, what you can do with it is, you know, all sorts of different applications. Of course, there’s a lot we’re going to be talking about today in terms of supply chain security, but, really, it’s just this new reality, environment reality that we’ve enabled and that’s what we call interlife, this world of a digital world overlaid on the physical and really Rypplzz is just the glue between this physical and digital space.

Kevin L. Jackson (07:41):

Wow. You know, and over the past year, I mean, we have all become fully digital. I mean, fully digital, fully virtual. And, it seems that you’re trying to merge us, right, to make that a normal thing.

Josh Pendrick (07:57):

You know, companies, you know, there’s all this talk about digital transformation. I know it’s a major topic of what you’re talking about on a regular basis, Kevin, and, you know, from our point of view the physical is not being incorporated into that discussion nearly enough because the reality is the world is physical internet of things as physical devices. And, so, you know, if you can kind of take this next layer, which in the way that we look at it’s going, not just the internet things but there’s internet of space, essentially that we enable and marry that in, you get a really nice holistic kind of landscape to take commerce and business and just general life applications to a whole new level.

Kevin L. Jackson (08:50):

Wow. That’s amazing. And, Eric, I mean, the name of your company, Forward Edge-AI, artificial intelligence, that could be second stares on [inaudible] beginning. So, tell us what does Forward Edge-AI do?

Eric Adolphe (09:09):

Yeah, Kevin, it scares me too. And, I would say every time I listened to Josh, I’m just like blown away. When I was in college, I actually studied physics. And, what Josh is doing is something called, well, when you look at space time, it’s called a cube universe, which is interesting. So, we’re moving in the direction that Einstein talked about.

Josh Pendrick (09:34):

That’s how we see it, too.

Eric Adolphe (09:34):

Anyway, I’m Eric Adolphe –

Kevin L. Jackson (09:36):

[Inaudible]

Eric Adolphe (09:37):

Yeah. Very cool, very cool. So, anyway, so I’m Eric Adolphe and I’m CEO and Co-Founder of Forward Edge-AI. And, as the name says, you know, we focus on bringing the artificial intelligence to the edge. That’s how we came up with a name, right. And, we think about – so we’re talking about supply chain, protecting supply chain. So, there’s a physical supply chain and there’s also software, right? So, as these edge devices become smarter, we have to start thinking about the software supply chain, and there’s not enough work that’s been done in that particular space.

Eric Adolphe (10:15):

So, as an example, it costs about $240,000 on average to deploy a new – and I’m going to use acronyms AI ML algorithms, right. About $240,000. So, a lot in industry had sort of, I don’t want to say cut corners but they’re leveraging what’s already existing like pre-trained models to shorten that life cycles development. The problem with that is we don’t have a good sense of the providence of the model, right, and the data that is being trained on. So, we did some fairly, you know, straightforward tests to demonstrate what we’re talking about. And, it’s very easy if we understand where those models came from, and a lot of times they come from the same places. We can very easily fool those algorithms to misclassify information, right? So, I can trick one of the algorithms to think that an alligator is a hammer, for example, right? This is called single pixel attack.

Eric Adolphe (11:21):

So, understanding and protecting the provenance of the models and the training data is going to be a huge problem as these devices become more and more intelligence. So, people now are focusing on worth, as we were talking about earlier, as Dustin mentioned, where things are manufactured. Well, we’ve got to start thinking about where software’s manufactured too, not just where it’s manufactured but where’s it going. You know, what’s the whole supply chain?

Eric Adolphe (11:50):

So, Forward Edge is tackling this and other problems. And, we’re specifically, and we kind of fell into this because we were developing technology to protect people against scams and disinformation and misinformation, that kind of thing. And then, in doing that, we had to be able to develop what’s called a real-time machine learner, which means, you know, de-centralized what’s happened locally, train the models, you know, back propagate it and then distribute it so that we’re protecting people’s privacy. And, we’re only lessening their data. We’re just sending the model updates. And from doing that, and Dustin, this is for you, you know, we’re doing this over 5G. So, it’s a federated, it’s a federation over 5G.

Eric Adolphe (12:41):

But in doing this, you know, we learned so many things about the threats that are out there and we’re like, oh, my god, we just can’t do this. We got to address some of these threats. And, we’re seeing a lot of this stuff. And, again, as I said, it’s related to the fact that people are using pre-trained models and frankly, this is an emerging field, but there is not a set of standards about how we audit AI and how do we audit models, right. It’s a nascent field. There’s not much in the way as far as the government has put out as far as how do we manage, you know, the provenance in the governance of AI. So, it’s really kind of like, you talk about being scared. It’s like Thunderdome out there, you know.

Kevin L. Jackson (13:30):

Well, one thing, I mean, you know, not the boot, I want to say that the work that you’re doing, you’re not just in a [inaudible] actually do a lot of this, did a lot of this under a grant from the National Science Foundation. Isn’t that correct?

Eric Adolphe (13:46):

Yeah. Yeah. And, thank you. You said thank you to your sponsors. I’m going to say thank you to my sponsor, which is National Science Foundation. So, we got an awesome, awesome grant. It’s called the Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Science Foundation that enabled us to launch and tackle this problem. And, they understand the challenge that we’re undertaking here. In fact, I think the National Science Foundation is going to be in a major way involved in developing how do we do governance of AI. So, yeah, big thanks to the National Science Foundation.

Kevin L. Jackson (14:24):

Okay, great. Now, each of your companies have been collaborating with our series sponsor, TNS, on enhancing the security of mobile devices, including the smartphones that have sort of become appendages to us all. So, Josh, can you tell us a bit about the software you’ve been developing on the TNS Blockchain infrastructure? I think it’s the MEID, right?

Josh Pendrick (14:51):

Yeah, absolutely, Kevin. Absolutely. Yeah. So, we’ve been essentially really working very closely with TNS. You could kind of say we’re attached at the hip and particularly focused on this MEID product and project. So, as probably most of the folks, the listeners, you know, and this audience will be aware, but just in case we’ll kind of take a step back and say, you know. So, every smartphone device has essentially a manufacturer equipment identification number, which is distributed by an organization that we’ve referenced a little bit earlier, I think, the TIA, Telecommunication Industry Association. And, basically it has, you know, works like a serial number for the device. So, every telecommunication device has a MEID number, and essentially in partnership with TNS, you know, we have come up with is the concept of attaching that MEID number on a blockchain, you know, with a non-fungible token that could represent that physical asset or even a digital asset.

Josh Pendrick (16:04):

And then, you can add data, you know, to these fields whether it be the hardware or software [inaudible] of materials or other types of data, like location data, which our platform provides. And, once you do that you can do all sorts of interesting things to support with the supply chain security matters for the industry, you know, first and foremost, that enhances an organization’s visibility and tracking for even just where this device has been, where it was manufactured, where the software was manufactured, component provenance, and also just internal change management process that can be layered into that. Then, you add the geolocation, extra geolocation component, you know, that our platform is providing to the stack and now you can do things well. So, if you’re adding time tag geolocation data, right, and capabilities for controlling different functions with the location. So, an organization could do, for example, is disable access to a device or access to a certain software or content based on the location of that device and layered in with other rules, you know, certain permissions or whatever, but you can really do some really interesting things.

Kevin L. Jackson (17:34):

Wow. I mean, you are really merging that physical and virtual. So, Dustin, your team actually has taken this security to a higher level with known, I guess, as the electronic SIM card. Can you explain to us how the eSIM and the MEID could actually work together?

Dustin McIntire (17:56):

Sure. I think before I get into the depth of that, maybe I’ll just expound a little bit from Eric’s conversation earlier about the activity of the software realm, because the contractor was digitization and what does that mean to us. And, I think from my perspective, the way I wanted to describe this is digitization to me has been the transformation from a hardware-centric world to a software-centric world. So, myself as a telecoms guy, I looked back in time and I say most of what I did in the past was specialized equipment for singular purpose. It was a radio to do function X connected to something else through another dedicated piece of hardware. That has completely flipped around. So, we do software defined everything today for software-defined radios, which means I put software on a piece of hardware to create the wave forms to transmit over the air, software defined networking, which means I basically put a computer out in the world and I tell it all the different fancy protocols has to run.

Dustin McIntire (18:54):

Essentially everything has been transformed into a software problem. And, I think it’s very important to sort of translate that beyond our original supply chain question, which was, how do I verify hardware? How do I know where my components came from, which is sort of the fundamental layer of understanding origin. But as we take this forward, it is very important. It’s vital for these conversations we get into eSIM and the rest of the authentication and trustability to be able to not only say what was on this at the day it was born, but what has been on it ever since it was born until the day it dies. Basically the entire life cycle of a product has to be known because if I have some weak points somewhere along that trajectory and I’m able to find a way to get in there, I’ve sort of lost the battle. I no longer can fully believe that I have confidence that I own this device anymore. And so –

Kevin L. Jackson (19:45):

You’re really talking about the provenance of not just your hardware, but the software.

Dustin McIntire (19:51):

Right, exactly. Because, again, it is. And I like to go back to this Andreessen Horowitz quote from about 10 years ago, which is software eats the world. And software has absolutely eaten the telecommunications normal for breakfast. [Inaudible] is a software. It is almost completely a software-based world taking everything that the cloud did over the past decade and pushing it out to the edge of the network and saying we’re going to call this telecommunications. And so, everything that we do now as a company from my perspective is based around that fundamental concept that we’re turning into a software company. And so, all of those principles and practices, again, kind of going back to not only understanding who built the software, but where did it come from. How do I assert that everything that went into that software is something that’s known to me. You think about the solar [inaudible] phenomenon. That was basically a side channel from a third party coming in and destroying essentially the provenance of the product itself.

Dustin McIntire (20:45):

So, I guess take this back to the conversation at hand today, which is starting points of technology that we can baseline everything we’re doing from. So, we started with this discussion of the MEIDs and, again, kind of taking it into common conversations today and this device in my hand right here and the eSIM technology. So, today I go buy my phone at Best Buy or whoever it may be. And then, Verizon, let’s say I’m a Verizon subscriber. I get a SIM card, that little funny piece of plastic that I stick in the phone, and says now they know who I am because I put this piece of plastic in there. And so, I have this trust relationship inherent to me and my provider because I gave it this little piece of hardware.

Dustin McIntire (21:24):

Well, that doesn’t really scale in the telecommunications world because I can’t go putting little chips and everything to just sort of set my root of trust. So, we’ve created this concept of eSIM, which is basically an online provisioning of that trust relationship through doing something that I have to physically do. So, whether that’s scanning a QR code or a two-factor, we all have these two-factor authenticators on our phones now. How do I sort of establish myself, use that as the baseline to create this connection between two endpoints to start building the trust relationship. And so, we’ve been using this eSIM concept to sort of bootstrap the whole idea to be able to now take that as the starting point, the nexus or genesis for building out this chain of trust, which then, as Josh has mentioned, it kind of builds this ledger, right? How do you create a historical record from cradle to grave of everything that’s ever happened that I find interesting. So, all this metadata the piles on top of the story, I have to have that, and I have to be able to assert that it’s true. So, how do I create the story of, I know the information but you have to believe me or we don’t have a trust relationship.

Dustin McIntire (22:27):

So, all of this kind of [inaudible] a back to how I facilitate that with the technological components that I have at my disposal today, as well as those ones that we can develop with this group of teams to be able to create an ecosystem, if you want to think of that, as an ecosystem of trust building so that all of the equipment [inaudible] as a solutions company can go out into the world and say, through transparency of everything we’ve done in the past, you should be able to see that what we have is a trustful product. So, that’s kind of the cornerstone of everything we’re building at this point.

Kevin L. Jackson (22:59):

Wow. That’s amazing. You’re taking the physical aspects of trust and basically eliminated them so that you can do everything virtually and still have trust and then putting the record of what has been done with either hardware or software on this immutable blockchain so that you have not only the state or the status of that item now but what it’s been for forever in the past.

Dustin McIntire (23:37):

Exactly. I mean, I think of it as, in an engineering company, we have a process to build a product. And through that process, there are things like ECOs or engineering change orders, which mean in the process, we have agreed to make this change and therefore the process is being augmented. Well, that’s fine to give me the idea of being able to establish a competence level that what I will build this is trustable. But how do I know each and every thing that has come out the other end in the numerous permutations of things that may have come down the road with all the software changes, et cetera? How do I continue that story from an individual product level? That’s where we have to build all this technology in order for us to facilitate the, how do I know from beginning to end that everything has been transacted on this device is something I can believe.

Kevin L. Jackson (24:25):

Wow. That’s huge. So, Eric, I know Forward Edge-AI is taking all of these ideas and they’re not concepts, you’re actually creating products and you’re going to market and actually delivering to customers. So, how are you actually taking these advanced security solutions in the marketplace? What industry verticals or what customers can you share with us?

Eric Adolphe (24:54):

Yeah. So, before I do that, so Dustin said some pretty cool things and is very interesting because as I listened to all the speakers today, it just reinforces how digital transformation means different things to everybody, depending on their industry, their vertical and their perspectives. And, for me, digital transformation is really, you know, business transformation that’s enabled by digitalization. So that digital moniker is a bit of a misnomer because the essence of digital transformation is changing business process enabled or forced by digital technologies or digitalization technologies. And, one example of this is the convergence of what was called information technology and operational technology. That OT is typically like a control system. It may be a SCADA or an IOT device. I think as smartphones as like the ultimate OT device. I mean, people today are using their smartphones to control their home security. They’re using their smartphone for medical device interface. They’re using their – for all kinds of things, so.

Kevin L. Jackson (26:12):

Yeah, that’s on a side. I was in a hotel out in California and instead of using the remote control for the television, you had to use your smartphone, you scan the QR code, and then your smartphone became the control for the television.

Eric Adolphe (26:30):

Yeah. And, in fact, in some hotels, now you can actually use your smartphone to actually open your door. No more keys. So, the verticals that got me really, really excited, the transportation, so-called smart cities, you know mobility-related verticals, federal, state and local healthcare, financial. I know you said limited to two, but those are –

Kevin L. Jackson (26:58):

No. Tell me more. Tell me more.

Eric Adolphe (27:02):

Those are the big four for me. And, you know, I’m really interested to see where this goes as far as, particularly 5G with where this goes through as far as like self-driving vehicles, intelligent transportation systems, all that applies. But I think the bottom line is with all of these verticals within the OT, operational technology domain, this creates the need for more better governance due to cyber security concerns. So, even what Dustin was talking about earlier, you know, we’re doing things in a new way because of digitalization, right?

Eric Adolphe (27:38):

So, now if I have the ability to open my door with my smartphone, what kind of problems does that create? Right? Somebody will be able to open my door, you know. So, we have to start thinking about these things in a different way, and, you know, the customers themselves are going to need the governance and a provenance strategy that leverage digital technology. And that’s where I think a lot of this comes in, the eSIM and TNS, because TNS for us is giving us the ability to do that provenance. Right? And, I think eSIM is going to be just another, you know, empowering tool that’s going to enables us to do that kind of provenance as well and secure this future. So, very excited about that. And, yes, Kevin, we are deploying these technologies just a quick plug.

Eric Adolphe (28:36):

Our first product is Gabriel, which is protecting users against vishing and smishing scams, and we’re focusing on these scams that are targeting vulnerable populations. But we’ve got a second product that’s in the hopper. It’s called Blaze. And, essentially what Blaze is, it’s a handheld Android device that is able to detect COVID, E. Coli, MRSA, all kinds of pathogens on your keyboard, doorknob, et cetera. So, we envision a world where you’ll have this smartphone on your belt or your purse and you’ll be able to pull it out, scan a doorknob, see if there’s something bad on it before you touch it, or restaurant or cruise liner. So, that’s our second product we’re going to be deploying. So, all of this is linked to everything we’re talking about here today. And, this digitalization is, it’s a brand new world. And, you know, and that transformation element is going to require, you know, leadership at the top, the CEOs to embrace it, to champion it in order for it to succeed because it’s going to be a cultural change as well.

Kevin L. Jackson (29:51):

Wow. Yeah, absolutely. And, Dustin, I mean, I know you call yourself a telecommunications company, but you have so many components and you’re even a manufacturer. I mean, you’re not, you know, my grandfather’s telco. So, what about your customers? Who are your customers you’re targeting with this and, what does it mean to them?

Dustin McIntire (30:19):

Well, it’s an interesting question because if you would ask me that a year ago, I would’ve had one answer and now I would say I have potentially another answer. So, obviously, the drive behind this originally was a public conversation brought about by the US government making the observation that there were folks out there doing things that they claim to be nefarious, which then became a political argument and so on and so on. And so, you know, we have customers in many different spaces. One of them obviously is in the federal space, US government entities, such as Homeland Defense, public and, or excuse me, first responders in police and fire services. So, a lot of them are based in government funding that would require us to obviously comply with all of the priorities coming out of both Congress and the White House related to supply chain management.

Dustin McIntire (31:16):

Last year and this year still, we also saw the additional edict about certain numbers of UAS, that is what we call drones, no longer being allowed for government use as well. And so, we started to see that this trust issue propagates well beyond what we thought of originally as just a communication sector issue to covering so many different things. And so, I think fundamentally, we have to think of it as not just a 5G thing or not just about communications but it really is absolutely comprehensive to everything we do going forward. Because to be honest, again, everything’s sort of related, it’s all a software world, everything’s talking to everything. And so, we have to think of this holistically as a comprehensive solution towards all of the things we’re doing. So, to take it back again to our customers, the public sector, of course, has a very high priority to deal with these as, you know, the face of the government, but, you know, equivalently, I would say now, again, coming back to this year, moving forward is that it has begun to have traction with commercial space.

Dustin McIntire (32:23):

So, if you look at a lot of enterprise-type customers, especially those in environments like mining and gas and some of the others, where we saw what happens when things get hacked, gas pipelines go down, bad things happen. How do we, as a company, help to promote the fact that even the commercial side folks should be very invested in this as a solution long term? So, I think we have seen that that is becoming a priority, not only from a government mandate, but really being driven from our commercial side customers who are seeing the liability of not addressing this now. And, we as a company, having invested our time effort, blood, sweat, and tears to be a leader here believe that to be a strong differentiator for us in the future. And I think a compelling thing for us as a nation to be a technology leader in, because that is, I think, a clear value that we as Americans have and I think that the world we’re appreciate.

Kevin L. Jackson (33:17):

Wow. Yeah, I really appreciate it. I mean, but, Josh, your company, you said it not me, is a geospatial engineering company. So, how does that fit in with all of this telecommunication security?

Josh Pendrick (33:31):

Well, I mean, it kind of goes back to a little bit of what I was just saying earlier, right? So, specifically with – so we’re basically associating digital files to physical space, right? And so, what we really do with this, we call it an environment operating system or spatial operating system. But what we’re really doing is capturing kind of the spatial flow of the movement of digital assets or physical assets through these locations and capturing that in, you know, in a ledger, basically capturing a ledger of activity at locations.

Josh Pendrick (34:10):

And so, when you add that data into, you know, if the MEID application we’re talking about, then you’re going to be able to do things like verify where this device was, just have this ability of knowing, you know, its movement over time, being able to grant permissions or deny permissions based on a location. And so, that just really, it just gives organizations I guess a lot more control into being able to kind of, not just manually make these decisions, but to set up systems that can be automated based on business rules and such to be able to create, check for flags and vulnerabilities and take actions based on certain conditions and region.

Kevin L. Jackson (34:58):

Sure. That reminds me of a saying I heard long ago, everything has many places in times, so you’re just blinking all of those places in time to everything.

Josh Pendrick (35:12):

Well, yeah. And, here’s the other thing I think that’s really unique to specifically Rypplzz, right, so for us, ’cause there’s different types of, you know, companies focused on certain supply chain applications, you know, even leverage in blockchain and such, but they’re more siloed to a specific focus use case. And, going back to what I said at the beginning where, you know, Rypplzz’s reasons for existence was to essentially create, you know, how do we connect things, how do we make things more efficient, connect people more, you know people and things more efficiently and securely as well. And so, for us, we’re never really looking at a specific business use case or application for industry. For us, it was more about how do we make the human experience more optimal. How do we enhance the flow of life? And that involves kind of mobility amongst different applications. So, we’ve built this system so that it can integrate across any applications to plug into this so that there was just the best, well, I guess, to get just real simplified with it, you know, data in, data out, the best contextual data to produce the most optimal outcomes and efficient outcomes.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:26):

Wow. That’s just really interesting. It’s sort of a different view of all of these technologies and industries. You’re saying that they all sort of have to work in the same light space. So, this is –

Josh Pendrick (36:42):

Yeah. [Inaudible] have to. In order to produce the best outcome, you’re going to have a better just overall human experience, a more efficient, better resource management, the more that we can have this stuff streamlined. But the only way you can do that is if you have things like where you are able to maintain privacy and security and things, you know, these things that Eric was talking about and Dustin we’re talking about. Otherwise, you know, you won’t even really have a system to do it or you won’t be able to do those types of things. So, this is a major step forward in being able to actually, you know, make that a reality.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:17):

So, security, the underlying security of any system that’s operating in today’s modern world has to be assured. And it’s great to see that these technologies are coming together. Unfortunately, we’re running out of time, but before we wind up, I’d like each of you to give us sort of a glimpse of your company’s future and our future and how the audience members could really reach out to you. Starting with Dustin, what’s next for COMSovereign?

Dustin McIntire (37:50):

Well, it’s secret. I can’t tell you.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:56):

Okay.

Dustin McIntire (37:56):

But if I could tell you, here’s what I would say. You know, we’ve been investing heavily as have many, right. 5G is the word of the year, I could almost think of it as. A lot of folks now kind of seeing it as real. It went from planning, talking about to it is and slowly manifesting into the tip of the spear. It is now we look at the major service providers having basic services. But 5G in the long run, [inaudible] remember was Burger King, it’s basically your way, right? So, this is a network that’s built your way. So, it’s designed around being customized to the individual essentially. We use words like slicing, which basically means I’m customizing the connections between these things to suit exactly what you need. In addition, as I mentioned, this edge compute piece, which is being built behind the scenes to facilitate and enhance the applications, because, you know, from my view, 5G is an interesting thing that allows us to move things from one place to another. But, in reality, it doesn’t do anything. It’s actually needs something else behind it to be the doer.

Dustin McIntire (39:00):

We think about how the cloud has absolutely revolutionized everything we do. My handset over here is filled with apps to do next to nothing, except communicate with some cloud server somewhere in a room full of computers. You know, that has been an absolute shift to how everything works today. Well, 5G is going to rip that up and take all the pieces and spread them out all over the world. And so, from my standpoint, we, as COMSovereign, are really looking at those use cases where you’re taking the network and bringing it to the customer, right? So, traditionally, I had to wait for my service provider to show up and put a tower near me for my network to really be something I can use. And, if the connection wasn’t good enough, too bad I had to move.

Dustin McIntire (39:41):

Well, now that’s not the problem. I actually can take the network and bring it with me. If I’m out in the middle of, you know, Sub-Saharan Africa, I can bring a network with me. I can create my own connectivity solution, call them private networks. I can either operate them completely on my own. I can create satellite connectivity through things like Starlink and some of those amazing LEO satellite constellations now being deployed to create this connection fabric all over the world. So, this ubiquitous connectivity with the ability to carry my solution with me is an absolute game changer for how 5G is going to transform things. Once you aggregate that and bring it together with this edge compute to be able to bring the applications, both temporally and spatially, wherever I need them to follow what I have to be doing, that is together going to be a, I won’t say, you know, the killer app, because to me the killer app for 5G is that there is no killer app. Everybody gets their own. You know, you get your stuff your way no matter where you are. And so, from my standpoint, that is where we are positioning ourselves into really those key focal areas for where I believe the 5G and MEC technology are going to take us.

Kevin L. Jackson (40:46):

Wow. That’s amazing. And, Eric, where is Forward Edge taking artificial intelligence?

Eric Adolphe (40:54):

Yeah. So, and more like where’s artificial intelligence has taken us. We’re not [inaudible]. But with regards to the MEID, I could say this. I think that is like, and, Kevin, you and I talked about it before, this is the final bit that we needed that brings that governance piece to every smartphone in a way that really doesn’t take away from introducing innovative new features and capabilities. You think about how, you know, some of the manufacturers like Apple, for example, really locked down the phone’s capabilities and it’s hard to innovate because of their policies. Well, if we give, just like Dustin was saying, if we let people do it their way and sort of like, you know, Burger King model, I think we’re going to see a lot of innovation coming out of the community. So, I’m excited and I think, I guess I just said this is the final piece that’s kind of needed. So, I’m looking forward to partnering with you guys and bringing our product to market.

Kevin L. Jackson (41:56):

Great. Thank you. And, Josh, what’s next for Rypplzz? I love the name by the way.

Josh Pendrick (42:03):

Thank you. Yeah. Flow like water. You know, we got a busy roadmap ahead just, you know, with our MEID solution and, you know, working with you fine gentlemen. I’m really excited about that. So, that’s a big, big part of what’s next to come and, you know, even, it seems, you know, some of the things that Eric has on his side of the fence. You know, we’ll be pretty busy with some of that, you know, for the next several months and that’s fantastic. And then, you know, outside of this kind of whole space of everything we’ve been talking about today in the world of telecommunication and supply chain security, we actually have quite a bit going on and I guess it feels like we’re living a double life, but we have a quite a bit going on in the world of entertainment as well.

Josh Pendrick (42:54):

It’s particularly the world of location-based entertainment. So, you think places, you know, physical venues that people go to, stadiums, entertainment districts, attractions, things like that, where high foot traffic for recreational purposes. You know, we’re going to be deploying over several of those types of venues over the next six to 12 months. And, we also have a consumer-based product that’s actually a new kind of social media platform entangling the digital and physical world. And that will be actually launching pretty soon. So, you guys will be able to see that coming out here in the next several months.

Kevin L. Jackson (43:34):

Wow. Josh, you got to take some COMSovereign’s networks into those places. So, tell me, how can –

Josh Pendrick (43:41):

Actually, you know, Dustin, we got to talk offline. I was already [inaudible]. We got to talk software to find radios, so.

Dustin McIntire (43:48):

All right. Good. Yeah.

Kevin L. Jackson (43:50):

So, Josh, as we wind up, Josh, how could our audience reach out to you or Rypplzz?

Josh Pendrick (43:56):

Yeah, sure. So, well, rypplzz.com is probably the easiest way to go there. You can just put a question on our site, or reach out –

Kevin L. Jackson (44:03):

You got to spell it.

Josh Pendrick (44:03):

R-Y-P-P-L-Z-Z dot com. I trust Kevin will provide the link as well in the show notes. And then, also you can find me on either Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, just @JoshPendrick.

Kevin L. Jackson (44:22):

Great. We will have all this information in the notes. And, Eric, how could the audience reach out to you and Forward Edge-AI?

Eric Adolphe (44:29):

Yeah. So, if you have a can with a string attached to it, you can reach me. So, forwardedge-ai.com is our website. And you could hit me up on LinkedIn, Eric Adolphe at LinkedIn. Hit me up on LinkedIn.

Kevin L. Jackson (44:48):

All right, great. And COMSovereign. Dustin, how can people reach out to you and COMSovereign?

Dustin McIntire (44:55):

You can find me right there. I think you can see that. There we go. Yeah. So, that’s how you find me. So, we’re [inaudible]. The website’s great. We’re out at a lot of trade shows, so finally back in gear with a lot of the major trade shows back in person. We’ll be at Mobile World Congress here in about three weeks. So, anybody who wants to hook up then, that’d be great. But other than that, you can always reach out to me. I’ll make sure that Kevin’s got my contact.

Kevin L. Jackson (45:19):

Well, great. Yeah. And, we’ll put all this information in the show notes. So, thank you all for protecting our future. We are out of time. So, I would like to invite everyone to check out the wide variety of industry thought leadership at supplychainnow.com. You can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. So, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin L. Jackson wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.

Intro/Outro (46:00):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now Community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Dustin McIntire developed his career over 25 years building end-to-end solutions for the consumer electronics, wireless communications, and Internet of Things markets. As a Chief Technologist and Systems Architect, Dr. McIntire has a proven track record of successfully leading projects and teams from early stage concepts through high volume production. His broad technical knowledge is a result of both a comprehensive education and an extensive career working in the computer architecture, low power electronics, embedded software, and wireless communications systems fields. Dr. McIntire’s achievements include both commercial product development and core research accolades. Examples of these include co-founding a successful IoT cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company hosting hundreds of thousands of devices for numerous Fortune 500 companies and developing a highly scalable edge computing system to perform distributed target tracking via multimodal sensing assets. Notable product launches include the first connected residential garage door opener, residential oven, and smart home monitoring products sold in the United States. In addition, Dr. McIntire has authored numerous patents, peer reviewed journal articles, and conference papers covering diverse topic areas. As a leader Dr. McIntire has managed cross domain engineering teams starting in an early stage startup and transformed these into a full size, agility driven division. Connect with Dustin on LinkedIn.

Josh Pendrick is a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader with a track record of driving transformational results for Fortune 500 organizations and startups. He is currently the CEO of Rypplzz and advises startups. Prior to Rypplzz, Josh founded and ran multiple successful companies. Over his career, he served as a marketing executive for global brands including Atari and Evite, ran a marketing agency, and advised Fortune 500 executives on digital strategy when he was at Salesforce. Connect with Josh on LinkedIn.

Eric Adolphe is a technology-savvy executive with over thirty years of success building high-growth firms focused on mission impact, revenue, and margin attainment, primarily in the national security sector. Eric’s expertise covers mega-project scale, high-availability and highly performant software for a range of customers and use cases. Eric is a National Capital Business Ethics Award winner, Federal Computer Week (FCW)/Fed100 awardee, Service to the Citizens awardee, National Inventor’s Hall of Fame Honoree, winner of one of NASA’s highest civilian honors, and the first African American Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Tibbett’s award winner. Forward Edge-AI, Inc., is Eric’s new startup focused on AI for the benefit of humanity.  Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Digital Transformers

Subscribe to Digital Transformers and all other Supply Chain Now programs

COMSovereign and TNS Advance Wireless Infrastructure Security Utilizing the Blockchain for Mobile Electronic Device Verification

WEBINAR- Successfully Navigating the Supply Chain Squeeze in 4Q 2021 & Beyond

WEBINAR- Fueling Excellent Customer Experience Through Visibility, Diversification, and Agility

WEBINAR- The Supply Chain of 2022 and Beyond: Building Resiliency and Agility

2021 State of Supplier Diversity Report

2021 U.S. Bank Q3 Freight Payment Index

Check Out Our Sponsors

Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

Connect on :

Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

Connect on :

Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

Connect on :

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

Connect on :

Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

Connect on :

Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

Connect on :

Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

Connect on :

Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

Connect on :

Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

Connect on :

Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

Connect on :

Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

Connect on :

Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

Connect on :

Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

Connect on :

Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

Connect on :

Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

Connect on :

Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

Connect on :

Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

Connect on :

Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

Connect on :

Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

Connect on :

Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

Connect on :

Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

Connect on :

Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

Connect on :

Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

Connect on :

Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

Connect on :

Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

Connect on :

Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

Connect on :

Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

Connect on :

Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

Connect on :

Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

Connect on :