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2018

It’s official: Keysight Technologies is now certified as a Great Place to Work by the leading global authority on high trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Great Places to Work® surveyed our employees, who said that they enjoy a great atmosphere, great challenges, and great rewards. As a result, 92% are proud to tell others they work at Keysight, which explains why over half of our employees have been with us for more than 10 years. So what is it that makes Keysight a great place to work?

 

Put simply; it’s a combination of fantastic people and the innovative programs that Keysight runs. This combination gives all our employees a powerful sense of being part of a culture that is truly unique and special. The roots of this culture go back 80 years, to when Bill Hewlett and David Packard founded their company in a Palo Alto garage, based on business principles that became known as the “HP Way.” We strive to honor that culture by maintaining a best-in-class work environment that fosters respect for individuals, their ideas, and contributions.

 

Getting onboard

This starts even before a new employee joins Keysight. Instead of using external recruiters, our college recruiting teams are employees in the jobs that candidates will be doing. This gives candidates the opportunity to talk with employees that they can relate to. During the interview process, we bring candidates on-site to meet with team members for a realistic job preview, featuring site tours, lunch in the cafeteria, and lab tours to give our candidates a clear preview of the work environment and culture. 

 

And when new employees join Keysight, we ensure they have a front row seat to see our culture in action. Leaders can be seen and heard helping employees directly. These everyday interactions bring to life Keysight's policy and practice of treating all employees with dignity, courtesy, and respect. They also create an environment where ideas are shared freely at all levels, helping to instill our culture through positive influence.  

 

Inspiration and learning

The positive influences extend through initiatives such as mentoring and “buddy” programs, training, stretch assignments, and special projects. Managers explore the interests, passions, and strengths of new employees and connect them to a team to best utilize those strengths. We also believe deeply in personal and professional development, which is why we offer resources such as Keysight University, which enables timely and personalized employee-driven education based on individual needs and interests.

 

 

Real help in times of real need

In early October 2017, the devastating wildfires in Santa Rosa, California impacted our headquarters and the homes of more than 1,500 employees. Led by our CEO, Ron Nersesian, we immediately put in place a comprehensive crisis management plan. We contacted each employee to check on and offer support for them and their families, and to assure them they would receive full pay while they began to pull their lives back together. We set up a disaster recovery center and gave direct financial assistance to those who lost their homes or were displaced.

 

To help employees get back to their normal lives, we set up an Employee Relief Fund, to which Keysight employees around the world have donated more than $1 million, and a share vacation bank that allowed employees to donate their time off to those impacted by the fires. We also offered professional support and counseling to affected workers in the aftermath of the fires.

 

Supporting diversity

Keysight is committed to diversity and has set up programs to attract the most diverse pool of candidates, along with outreach efforts to empower under-represented groups. We are truly an equal opportunity employer, and our personnel policies and practices are built on the principle that all employees are treated with dignity and respect. A particular focus is investing in the success and advancement of female employees, helping to develop the next generation of engineers. That’s why we foster long-standing relationships with organizations that empower and inspire women — such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). We also run programs in schools and universities to introduce women to engineering and technology subjects.

 

Driving positive change

At Keysight, we believe the purpose of corporate social responsibility is to do good, not just to look good. We have a long tradition of outstanding corporate citizenship, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played to enrich the many communities where we operate. We continuously assess our impact on the environment, reducing our emissions, and conserving more energy and water every year, as outlined in our recent blog. A key part of our CSR programs is also actively supporting employees in working on philanthropic and environmental projects, and education-based initiatives, to help them reach their full potential both inside and outside of the workplace.

 

These are just a few of the many reasons why Keysight is a great place to work. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming part of our valued team, why not start your journey here?

As a millennial, I want to work for a company that meets three top criteria:
1. Offers innovative work opportunities
2. Has an ethical and prestigious business reputation
3. Maintains realistic environmental and socially responsible practices.

 

In searching for an internship, I reviewed several company 10Ks, websites, and blogs to find the right company that aligned with my values. Eventually, I landed my summer position at Keysight.

 

What first attracted me to Keysight was its business involvement with cutting-edge technologies like 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and radar. And while I was not familiar with the Keysight name, I did recognize its heritage from well-reputed HP and Agilent. Check off two of my top three criteria right there!

 

Then, in talking with Keysight about a specific internship opportunity in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) team, I knew that Keysight had a vested interest in the practices I valued – check off my third criteria! My choice to accept Keysight’s internship offer was easy.

 

Fast forward three months – as I enter the final week of my internship, I have been reflecting upon my time with Keysight, its CSR program, and the valuable experiences I’ve had. There has not been a dull moment!

 

Keysight employees exemplify the company’s values

Tasked with researching and developing global response materials for the environmental and social responsibility area, I was able to engage with Keysight employees across several departments and across the world. My research spanned from  investigations to individual employee conversations including the company’s senior executive staff. It was a unique experience that showed me the diversity of the company as well as how strongly Keysight employees, and their work practices, emulated the company’s values and CSR vision.

 

The company walks the talk on CSR investments

Additionally, I found Keysight’s environmental and sustainability practices impressive. Locations across the globe actively invest in low-emission building amenities, including some leading-edge installations, to offer a comfortable, beautiful work environment for its employees. The installations were both practical and innovative. My favorite Keysight initiatives have been the transfer to natural gas to power electricity, goats to maintain fire breaks in the landscape, and native grass planted to replace higher energy and water consuming grass.

 

Specifically related to CSR, I’ve been impressed with Keysight’s strong support of its local communities around the world, especially in STEM education for all levels and in crisis support and recovery. I had first-hand experience being located at Keysight’s headquarters where last year’s wildfires damaged the facility. In the face of this crisis, Keysight has remained stable, illustrating the high aptitude of the employees and the business support infrastructure, all while supporting the local community.

 

Taking a piece of CSR learnings with me

As I leave my internship this week and head back to complete my MBA at Penn State University, I’ll take with me a new perspective that I learned from Keysight. Work-life balance is not only important for morale, but also it is important for local communities. Rewards come from building relationships within local communities as it grows the local economy and innovative solutions come from these collaborations. Not to mention, it’s enjoyable to step away from the office! Being a person of action, I plan to organize a CSR-related event when I return to school. After all, my fellow millennial classmates will welcome the opportunity to give back.

 

Diana at her internship at Keysight/

 

See the Keysight CSR Web page for more information. Diana returns to Penn State University in mid-August to complete her MBA. If you would like to contact her, please message directly on LinkedIn.

Marie Hattar

One Step Away from 5G

Posted by Marie Hattar Employee Aug 10, 2018

One of the challenges with introducing a revolutionary new technology is that people want to be able to use it right away. They don’t want to have to wait to enjoy its promised benefits. 5G is a good example: it’s been publicly showcased at scale, and initial rollouts are under way. But it will be 18 months or more before services start on the path to ubiquity. And in the meantime, customers are demanding ever-faster mobile data connections.

 

Ericsson’s Mobility Report from June 2018 stated that monthly data traffic per mobile device in the U.S. will increase by nearly 7x, from 7.2 GB today to 49 GB in 2023. This upward trend has been steady since 2011, representing a 43% compound annual growth rate in traffic per smartphone subscriber. Further, cellular networks are becoming the central platform for connecting IoT devices and enabling M2M communications. The result is that service providers have to satisfy these growing, seemingly insatiable demands now, while they continue to build, test, and deploy their 5G networks.

 

The good news is that implementing new capabilities of 4G LTE can help to meet those demands. 4G LTE-Advanced Pro (also known as 4.9G) can satisfy subscribers’ appetite for data and connectivity, as it offers incremental improvements to existing 4G networks. Put simply, 4.9G supercharges conventional 4G LTE with use of carrier aggregation and large antenna arrays, meaning that 4.9G-enabled sites can deliver greater capacity and much faster performance on compatible devices. This offers a stepping-stone to full 5G services and gives providers a testing ground for full 5G applications and business models, without the huge upfront investments.

 

However, evolving an existing LTE network to 4.9G does present challenges that service providers need to overcome to maximize their capabilities. These challenges fall into in five areas:

 

Making networks gigabit-ready

4.9G should offer gigabit speeds, to help bridge the performance gap to 5G. To take full advantage of 4.9G technology, service providers should focus on optimizing spectrum usage and network capacity, with carrier aggregation and rolling out pre-5G FD-MIMO. They should also ensure that networks are optimized for 4.9G by working with network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) on an upgrade path that supports these areas and invest in platforms that offer software-defined capabilities to future-proof network upgrades.

 

Network virtualization

Migrating to a cloud-based, virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) platform is an initial step that allows more efficient deployment of network resources. Many service providers are doing this by implementing network functions virtualization (NFV), to enable a more flexible and adaptable 5G-ready platform. It’s also important to evolve the RAN to maximize 4.9G performance. By implementing LTE-A and LTE-A Pro, 4G LTE networks can evolve in terms of FD-MIMO and NB-IoT to offer more capacity, lower latency, more connections, and a more flexible architecture.

 

Both the RAN and the core will need to be extensively tested to determine how the infrastructure handles the massive amounts of data driven by 4.9G technologies, with minimal latency. This is especially important in networks supporting real-time traffic and mission-critical applications.

 

Gaining experience in new business models

5G will support a broad range of use cases, with the focus on enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low-latency communications, and massive M2M connectivity. Implementing 4.9G will take service providers a step closer to 5G, using current 4G technologies such as CAT-M1 and NB-IoT. These offer experience in operating the type of network that can support wide-area, low-bandwidth, low power consumption services.

 

This is an opportunity to build a customer base, explore potential use cases in vertical industries, and engage in large scale IoT initiatives such as smart grid/smart city prior to the release of 5G standards and technologies. 4.9G means providers can pilot business models and develop a 5G-like ecosystem ahead of the curve.

 

Efficient, flexible spectrum use

Given the huge costs of spectrum, a 4.9G strategy must be planned out, including 5G coexistence. Service providers’ spectrum holdings should be used now to gain experience with technologies such as MIMO, carrier aggregation, unlicensed shared spectrum using license-assisted access (LAA), and small cells. This gives more options for repurposing existing spectrum resources and helps to develop a long-term plan that supports coexistence of 4.9G and 5G.

 

Investing in future-proof infrastructure

4.9G shares many performance attributes with 5G and requires similar infrastructure hardware upgrades when considering sub-6 GHz frequency bands. Upgrade considerations include antenna modernization and cell densification, as well as deploying new cell sites. Underneath all of this is the requirement for a reliable, secure backhaul network, which means building out fiber networks. Given the costs of doing this, from securing leases and regulatory approval, through to construction and commissioning, an end-to-end test strategy to validate the performance of the network as a whole is essential.

 

Evolving to 4.9G by implementing LTE-Advanced Pro will help to meet customers’ data demands, as technology and standards advance towards 5G. The service providers who invest the time and resources in understanding the implementation challenges now, and in comprehensive testing of how their systems perform as they evolve, will be well positioned to lead the market.

 

Find out more by reading our new white paper on maximizing 4G LTE networks.

 

 

 

 

In my short time with Keysight at Santa Rosa, I’ve been amazed by its attention to sustainable environmental practices. Signs dot the lawn indicating “Recycled (non-potable) water used here.” Solar panels cover a huge portion of the employee parking. Three acres to be exact. Vegetable gardens located near the office buildings are cultivated by employees. Compost trash is collected in the employee breaks areas.

 

During an employee 5K walk on the 200-acre property, I discovered that half of the landscape is covered with native trees and grasses on rolling hills in their natural habitat. And, Keysight has a recycling center on its property!

 

With all these sustainable amenities in place, I should not have been surprised by some unusual practices too.

 

Walking out of the office one late afternoon I heard an unusual sound: hundreds of goats grazing near the parking lot! Not what I was expecting when I left for the day. Later that week the goats appeared again, only this time they grazed closer to the office buildings and near the vegetable gardens. Employees interacted with the goats by taking pictures and even petting the young kids.

 

As I watched, I could see that goats were effective in clearing the dried grass surrounding the property, and I wondered if they were doing more for the health of the landscape? I contacted Tricia Burt, Keysight’s site manager, to find out more about the goat herd. Tricia informed me that Keysight used goat and sheep herds annually to maintain the fire breaks around the property. Keysight started using herds nine years ago. Goats are preferred as they eat invasive plants, like Scotch Broom, and lower tree limbs which keep the landscape maintained to code levels. Tricia said that locals informed Keysight that areas where the goats had grazed the grass and underbrush last year were less impacted by the 2017 fires.

 

I was not in Santa Rosa during the fires, but I still see the environmental and emotional impact left behind. So, while these goats have been entertaining to watch, they also play a crucial role in maintaining the natural landscape. And in a sustainable way that does not interrupt the natural habitat surrounding Keysight Santa Rosa.

What are some surprising sustainability practices that your company has done?

If my 35-year career in the tech industry has taught me anything, it is that we need to educate children in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills NOW to prepare them for our future tomorrow. If we miss this opportunity, we may see these fields start to slip behind their potential in the not-too-distant future. We are already on the cusp of such impact. The Smithsonian Science Education Center has projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled this year. That statistic alone should be a wake-up call for the tech industry to not only support but actively push opportunities for STEM development within school systems worldwide. If not for our collective future, for the future of their businesses.

 

The good news is that I have seen a lot of mobilization in this area in recent years. Many organizations and companies, Keysight included, have programs focused on STEM education and outreach to school-aged students. As an example, my colleague, Rice Williams, recently discussed the Keysight After School program in his post Making STEM Visible to Children through Invisible Forces – Figuratively and Literally! Such efforts provide hands-on experiences for children in a rich learning environment supported by individuals active in STEM fields. It is great hearing about, and actively participating in, such programs. But that is not what I want to talk about today. Today, I want to talk about a different angle to STEM education. One that supports the same goals, but through a different, yet critically important avenue … the teachers.

 

Teachers are on the front-line of educating future engineers and scientists

While they have many tools to choose from, for many teachers, private industry is a mystery. Some have never worked outside a classroom and have no experience understanding the needs and expectations of the companies that will ultimately employ their students in the future. That is where companies can help: educating our educators on what technology companies do, who they hire, why they operate, and the skills needed in their future workforce. Ultimately, such engagements can help teachers develop learning plans that align to corporate needs while answering the age-old question from students of “why do I need to learn this?”

 

To this end, Keysight employees collaborated with the CTE (Career Technical Education) Foundation and Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) to develop a Teacher Externship Program. The goal of the program is for teachers to gain local industry experience for a week, enabling them to develop project-based learning (PBL) lesson plans from their experience to take back to the classroom.

 

As an example of the program in action, Keysight headquarters recently hosted six teachers from Rancho Cotate High School and Tech Middle School for a week of full-day sessions. In this event, a broad cross-section of teachers – in math, English, language arts, and fashion design disciplines – engaged with Keysight presenters that shared their own journeys at the company, their roles, and the future employee skillsets needed in their fields. In addition, the event had teachers take part in a role-reversal, playing the role of students. In a unique twist, during the event, an 11th-grade teacher participant had lunch with a former student who now works at Keysight. They chatted about how high school did and did not prepare him for work here.

 

By exposing these teachers to what it takes to work in a technology company and experience the student perspective, they gained new insights about the process of learning and what it means to work in a technology company. A participating 6th-grade teacher noted to me that the Keysight employee stories were invaluable and motivated them to create and implement new classroom projects. And as Brandon Jewell, Director of Industry Engagement, CTE Foundation noted, “your team provided unique insight into the skills needed to enter the industry while also giving teachers a hands-on experience that will be critical as the teachers build their projects and will positively impact their future teachings going forward.”

 

Teacher Externship Program for STEM: gaining traction and recognition

While the program was developed in 2014, it has now spread to several other companies across Sonoma County and other Keysight offices, fostering value-added connections between teachers and local industry. Over the last several years, the program has been extended to other local companies and collectively have trained dozens of teachers and impacted thousands of students as we help to build the STEM workforce of the future. I was thrilled when Keysight and the SCOE were recently recognized by the State of California Department of Education at the California STEM Symposium for the program, giving it increased visibility as a program that any tech company can consider.

 

Now it’s your turn. If your business has not already started a similar program, consider this concept as an opportunity to expand efforts in the STEM education space. You won’t regret it!