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Cisco Demonstrating Solutions for a variety of utilities needs at DistribuTECH

The theme of Cisco during its 6th participation in Distributech will be “Providing powerful networks for the world’s most critical infrastructures”, and that is exactly what the demos in our booth will be…

Field Area Networks
The Cisco vision for the Field Area Network (FAN) is to help enable pervasive monitoring and control of energy distribution networks to enhance energy delivery and build a low carbon society. Addressing the need of multiple use cases such as advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation, and remote workforce management, this demo will showcase some of the latest additions to the Connected Grid product portfolio including:
● Cisco IR 500 Series Distribution Automation Gateway
● PLC NAN modules
● WiMAX WAN modules for the Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Routers
● The Connected Grid Network Management System

Substation GridBlock
See how you can securely manage millions of endpoints over multivendor, multitechnology, multiservice utility communication networks with our connected grid network management solution. This solution provides enterprise-class visibility, as well as end to end monitoring and control across your network communications by supporting integration with application layer platforms.

Security
If some of your more pressing needs are around security, you will get a first-hand look at a better way to manage cyber-security risk in industrial control networks and critical infrastructure networks. The Secure Ops demo will showcase situational awareness and compliance dashboards that make it easier to manage assets and secure the perimeter between enterprise and operational networks. In the Industrial Cybersecurity demo we’ll demonstrate the security measures an organization can take to detect, prevent, and remediate cybersecurity incidents.

Collaborative Solutions
During hurricanes, ice storms, and other natural disasters, first responders need to be able to connect and collaborate with a common operating view. Come learn how our incident response and workforce enablement solutions unify command and control communications. Enhance safety and security operations. And deliver better situation awareness with mobility and rich media. So our heroes can connect and collaborate over any device, network, or media whether in the field, operations center, or a remote location.

Enabling Your Own Applications
Here we will be showcasing our Cisco IOx platform. In this demo area visitors will learn how they can develop their own smart applications to capitalize on the power of fog computing. Cisco IOS Software, the industry-leading networking operating system, comes together with Linux, the leading open source platform, to enable developers to create IoT applications such as data aggregation, control systems, and access control and have them run on edge network devices.

Visit us in booth # 3413 to see demonstrations of our expanded portfolio and continued commitment to helping utilities succeed in providing better and more reliable customer service, while helping workers stay safe and helping organizations lower costs.! Read More »

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Getting Value from Professional Organizations

As a Cisco team member, I’m convinced that the value of professional organizations cannot be understated. It’s understood that employees across various industries have a lot on their plate these days. Data centers, SDN’s or large solutions that help a manufacturing plant to become more “connected” are more than enough projects to keep us busy. However, employees often forget the value of professional organizations that are relevant within each industry. Whether an employee belongs to a professional organization or not, employees must realize the value that these organizations have: professional credibility, influence messaging on a ground level and increasing visibility for Cisco are some of the most important aspects that being involved with professional organizations can bring about.

Professional Credibility

Professional organizations are a place where I can network, learn and help deliver Cisco messaging as well as educate, engage and contact customers through community involvement.  When I first joined Cisco 15 years ago, I regularly attended and presented at monthly users group meetings, but over the years, Cisco’s participation at these meetings has waned and appears to be trending down. Often, I think we take for granted the value of professional organizations, but they provide a standard for professional credibility and give Cisco a broader visibility. As a member of an industry professional organization, specifically the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), I get tremendous value through education and networking.  I know my colleague Rick Geiger, who is on the Gridwise Alliance Board of Directors, would agree. At the local and state level, large impacts are possible as professional association members are able to drive professional credibility, influence agendas and position topics to society members who work or interact with our customer base.

For example, several months ago I received a monthly newsletter promoting a seminar on Software Defined Networking (SDN). One line stated “Software Defined Networking has got Cisco shaking in their boots because it just might completely transform what types of equipment are needed to build a network.  Do I have your attention now?”  Needless to say, I registered and attended – member discount to boot.

Education of members was the primary purpose of the seminar, meaning attendees expected the delivery of neutral, fair and technically accurate presentation on the future of software defined networks.  As I saw it, the presentation on SDN was focused on a Google approach to SDN architecture for data centers, and included a good amount of Cisco bashing. Nonetheless, the seminar provided an opportunity to influence the messaging at ground level and the topics discussed seemed to be informative and beneficial for all those in attendance.

Influence Messaging and Topics at Ground Level

Understanding the messaging and positioning of the local technical mavens presents a golden opportunity to counter and influence at street level. The bottom line, secure all forums to get Cisco’s messaging to our end users.  The IEEE meeting provided a good opportunity to secure a date and timeslot to present Cisco’s SDN and Application-Centric Infrastructure strategies as well as an opportunity to counter any negative perception the audience picked.  As Mike Robinson, Practice Architect states:

“As a member of UTC’s Smart Network Council, I get to collaborate with leading utilities in the United States who are dealing with the industry’s pressing issues. This is hugely valuable. It offers a direct path to decision makers, a seat at the table as they develop their strategies, and it builds trust as a colleague (as opposed to coming across just as a vendor). Also, through UTC I get the opportunity to speak at conventions, periodic forums, and regional meetings.”

Broader Visibility for Cisco

Cisco will also have an opportunity to drive thought leadership to influencers – Mavens and Sales specialists who will attend the upcoming session I secured. Account managers, engineers and other members of the sales team should make it a priority to get engaged with professional organizations, user groups and other community influencers.

Read More »

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DistribuTECH, Cisco, Business and Technical (IT and OT) Solutions. See them all in San Diego February 3rd-4th

DistribuTECH #1

Once again Cisco will be taking part at DistribuTECH this year, and we look forward to welcoming you onto our Booth 3413 (map below). The event is being held at the San Diego Convention Center is southern California from the 3rd to the 5th February You’ll learn how utilities worldwide are working with Cisco, together with our partners, to lower costs and deliver more services on a single, intelligent, secure platform. 

HAK22620 - for webWe at Cisco get a lot of requests from customers to meet up and discuss their special problems whether to do with IT or Operational Technologies (OT), business process issues or industry-related concerns such as regulations, security or compliance. After a short discussion we often find that they are not alone. Many of the challenges they have are similar to those other organizations in the industry. That’s where our expertise comes in. We can show you where we’ve helped customers in the utility sector already.

As a result, I’m happy to tell you that there will be opportunities to meet up with industry experts and technology specialists at our booth to discuss your most pressing concerns and how Cisco and and our partners can help. Here’s how: to schedule a booth tour or customer/partner meeting, contact Samantha Bullock. Sandra will help make it happen.

We’ll have an exciting set of demonstrations available, showing Field Area Networks, Industrial Cyber-security (THE hot topic these days), Collaborative Solutions, Substation gridblock, and Fog computing in the form of Cisco IOx and partners. More about them in our next Energy Industry Blog! Read More »

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Summary: Cloud Computing Coming to an Oil and Gas Company Near You

brabecht

Director of Cisco Canada’s Oil and Gas vertical business, Brad Bechtold

Brad Bechtold started a series of Oil and Gas discussions on our Cisco Canadian Blog which I know our readers would be interested  in here.

As Director of Cisco Canada’s Oil and Gas vertical business, Brad starts by saying that for many in the Oil and Gas industry cloud computing might seem like a confusing IT buzzword with very little substance.

Trying to wade through the complexities of all its offshoots (public, private, on-premise cloud) without understanding the base concept probably just makes things worse.

So is this just technology for technology’s sake or are there some real benefits to cloud computing for Oil and Gas?

He goes on to describe that the term isn’t really so new after all, how history is actually repeating itself, and how a new paradigm, or business model, is being embraced in the oil and gas industry.

Read his part one here:

Cloud Computing, Coming to an Oil and Gas Company Near You

In the second part of the discussion, Brad goes on to  explore why cloud computing will be adopted in the Oil and Gas sector and discuss its specific benefits to the industry.

Read his part two here: Read More »

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Welcome René Pluis to the Cisco Energy Blog

Please join me in welcoming René Pluis to the Cisco Energy Blog. René is a member of my global energy team and has vast experience of Cisco architectures and technologies and how they can be applied to our customer’s business and technical challenges to create positive business outcomes.

Rene Pluis

Rene Pluis

René has been working in the industrial network domain for several years now.  His focus has been on enabling business imperatives through the deployment of communication networks, connectivity and collaboration.

His main focus is the Oil & Gas Industry, both onshore as well as offshore. Deployment of wireless technologies to connect sensors (IoT – Internet of Things) and enabling mobile wireless clients (track & trace) in hazardous areas and pipeline operations are just two of his focus areas in this industrial network domain. He is also very familiar with other areas of the energy industry such as utilities and energy management.

He combines both a technology and a business view on the solutions at hand. He has spoken at several events and conferences and is considered a consultative subject matter expert by many industry and customer groups:

Please welcome René!

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