WMU News

Experts give two presentations on wireless networks

Nov. 26, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Two information technology experts will discuss mobile and wireless computing as part of a Western Michigan University workshop Thursday, Dec. 5.

Karen Downard of Secant Technologies will discuss "Mobile and Wireless Computing and Your Business," followed by a presentation on "Planning a Successful Deployment: Real-World Examples" by WMU alumnus Rob Kerr of Kerr Technologies. The one-hour talks will take place sequentially, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Federal Room of the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce building, 346 W. Michigan Ave. Part of a monthly series of workshops offered by WMU's Women's Business Development Center, the program is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Patricia Guenther at (269) 387-2714 or by sending e-mail to <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

In her talk, Downard will address how mobile and wireless computing can enhance the workplace as well as describe how some West Michigan organizations have successfully implemented solutions. She will touch on the basics of mobile and wireless computing, security measures and software applications.

Kerr will also address how wireless networks and mobile devices can help employees become more effective and responsive to customer needs. He will profile real-world deployed solutions and discuss how to plan successful mobile computing initiatives.

Downard, business development manager for Secant Technologies, has more than a decade of experience in the computer industry. She recently led Secant's partnership with WMU to take the campus wireless, and she has worked in a similar role with WMU and Kalamazoo College to provide wireless computing for the USTA Boys Nationals Tennis Tournament. A graduate of Western Washington University, Downard has also worked for Hewlett-Packard and Sharp Microelectronics.

Kerr is a principal with Kerr Technologies, a Kalamazoo-based company that provides mobile and wireless software solutions to business clients. His recent projects include mobile solution deployment for DuPont, Armstrong International and Pharmacia Animal Health. Kerr earned his bachelor's degree in computer information systems from WMU.

WMU's Haworth College of Business established the Women's Business Development Center in 1999 to offer support to female professionals and entrepreneurs by providing training, problem-solving consultation, current business information and networking opportunities.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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