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New Citizen Services in Kansas City Enabled by Mobile and Cloud

Today’s digital organization relies on information gathered across the network and out to the individual – from customers to employees to citizens.  Whether your user is a commuter looking for a train schedule or a tourist using a retail app, Cisco’s Connected Experiences software lets you gather data on that interaction, analyze the findings, and respond in real time. With this ability to connect to each person, in any location, you provide a new level of intimacy with users while gathering data that will shape those relationships into the future.

Kansas City brings this vision to life through its new captive portal powered by Cisco Enterprise Mobility Services Platform (EMSP). In 2015, the city deployed interactive digital kiosks throughout the downtown area. Through these kiosks, urban social apps allow citizens to report on issues in real time, making city problems more visible and leading to faster resolution.  Users can also access content and context-aware data and location-based services to help navigate their way through shopping and sightseeing. Read More »

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Internet of Everything’s Sea-Worthy Innovations Show Potential for All

Though the high seas action of a competitive regatta and the halls of your office may not seem similar, those two worlds suddenly become alike when leaders in both environments use real-time data to steer critical decisions when seconds count for optimum outcomes.

As businesses race to innovate their environments and outpace industry competition, the sheer number of devices comprising the Internet of Things (IoT) – estimated to number 50 billion by 2020 – promises new levels of connectivity and an influx of critical data. This data and the resulting analytics continuously connect an expanding number of people, processes, data and things – the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Cisco recently took IoE to the decks of the Foxy Lady 6 – a fierce competitor in the Asia Yachting Grand Prix, which takes place over the span of six months. In a timeframe of two weeks, a series of IoT sensors, routers and wireless set-ups, and IoE advancements were installed to help the boat’s skipper and crew guide their race strategy and differentiate the Foxy Lady 6 as the competitor to watch.

In the past, data about various race conditions were pulled from a variety of sources. Predictably, this hodgepodge of information sources resulted in time-consuming efforts to sort, filter and organize the data that truly mattered. Now, an entire network Read More »

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IoT Meets Standards, Driving Interoperability and Adoption

For years, industrial control systems have been characterized by proprietary devices, protocols, communications, and applications. However, at the Hannover Fair last spring, virtually every exhibitor showed products that support IP, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi interfaces—something that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is driving this change, with an exponentially growing number of connections among people, process, data, and things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key enabler of this evolution. By 2020, according to Cisco’s analysis, there will be 50 billion connected devices—all needing a common way to work together.

As I discussed in my last blog, the worlds of Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) are converging—and they are converging around standards. The good news is that the industry is recognizing that a fragmented, proprietary model does not scale, and inhibits the value of IoT deployments. The IoT standardization efforts are focused on four different areas: Read More »

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In the Digital Vortex, Disruption Blurs the Lines Between Industries

Recently, I spent a week in Asia with clients, partners, and our various teams. One of the most common themes I heard from clients is that the pace of disruption in today’s markets can be overwhelming. Yet, despite the speed and pace of change resulting from todays’ technology forces, most leaders recognized that the disruption also presents opportunity — and that cutting-edge innovation can provide the path to success amidst all the change.

Lately we’ve been looking at a new concept of how ideas constantly collide, combine, and reform, and how the disruption rate varies by industry. It’s an interesting topic and has yielded some fascinating insights. One of the areas we’ve unveiled involves what we call the “Digital Vortex” — and you can read more about it in this post by my partner Martin McPhee.

Out of that swirling, chaotic “Digital Vortex” comes game-changing innovations that upend existing business models and blur industry lines. It’s exciting, yes, but more than a bit unsettling, especially for industry incumbents.

However, I believe that even market incumbents can gain an edge by understanding the nature of the Digital Vortex in which they compete — along with the “combinatorial disruption” that redefines industries by combining and recombining value drivers such as cost, experience, and platform. Read More »

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IT Is from Venus, OT Is from Mars

Bringing Alien Worlds Together in the Internet of Things

In the 1990s, I, like millions of others, read the book Women Are from Venus, Men Are from Mars. This best-seller suggested that the frequent misunderstandings between genders make it seem as though men and women are from different, alien worlds. But it’s not just men and women who appear to be from different planets. Today, every organization that has begun an Internet of Things (IoT) deployment is bumping up against a fundamental disconnect between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). In many cases, these two groups are alien to one another—with separate technology stacks, network architectures, protocols, standards, governance models, and organizations.

In the first wave of the Internet, data and technology systems fell solidly in the realm of IT. IT systems focused on the flow of data across an organization, and with a few exceptions, did not get involved in production and logistics environments.

However, in many companies, a parallel organization—commonly called operational technology —has grown up to monitor and control devices and processes that act in real time on physical operational systems, such as assembly lines, electricity distribution networks, oil production facilities, and a host of others. Read More »

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