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Making a splash: Why Innovation is Like Platform Diving

Alteration. Risk-Taking. Bravery. Curiosity. Breakthrough.


Me diving, a sport I took up in midlife.

When you think of innovation, these are the synonyms that come to mind. These characteristics are intimately related to platform diving – a sport I took up at the age of 40.

That was four years ago and I now dive competitively around the world. I also have a passion for innovation, in all its forms, and I push myself to work and think innovatively.  These two pursuits have more in common than you may think.  In fact, I’ve come up with six ways that being a competitive platform diver and striving to be more innovative share a common thread. Read More »

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Cisco Provides Leadership in Newly Formed OpenFog Consortium

The OpenFog Consortium has made its debut as an ecosystem of industry and academic leaders to foster an open architecture for fog computing in the Internet of Things (IoT). This is an important milestone that will accelerate IoT deployments and maximize their value across a wide range of industries.

AP46072_small_croppedMy friend and colleague, Helter Antunes, has been a pivotal force in forming the OpenFog Consortium and has worked tirelessly with other founding members to iron out the myriad of details involved in creating this sort of multi-party organization. He has also been instrumental in developing Cisco’s own fog computing strategy. That is why I am particularly pleased to congratulate him on being named the OpenFog Consortium’s first chairman, who will guide the group through its formative stages. Read More »

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OpenFog Consortium: An Ecosystem to Accelerate End-to-End IoT Solutions

Over the past several months,OpenFog Logo V1.01 I have been privileged to represent Cisco in working with other industry and academic partners to form the OpenFog Consortium, which was announced earlier today. You can learn more in the press release about what this new organization is, but I want to focus on why such an organization is so important at this stage of development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Earlier this week, my colleague Maciej Kranz discussed the city of Barcelona’s fog computing proof of concept, which was showcased at the Smart City World Expo Congress. The proof of concept demonstrated that fog technology can bring intelligence to a range of urban services, including transportation, parking, lighting, traffic and waste management, public safety, and law enforcement.

But smart city services are only the beginning. Fog computing can provide immense value across all industries. For example, it might take 12 days via satellite to transmit one day’s worth of data to the cloud from a remote oil rig. With fog computing the data is processed locally, and safety or equipment alerts can be acted upon immediately. In manufacturing and transportation, preventive maintenance applications can process a huge amount of sensor data to trigger needed maintenance before there is an equipment failure. In retail, data from parking lot video cameras can not only provide security surveillance, but can also work with fog analytics capabilities to predict store traffic flow and optimize checkout staffing.

OpenFog Chart

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Catalysts for 10x Innovation (Part 1)

“Why does a computer need a fan? I want my computer to be quiet and small!” Steve Jobs actually provoked that question when he started the journey that led to the creation of Apple II nearly four decades ago.  And, of course, the journey made history and continues on into new frontiers of technology.

Asking an unsettling question that breaks the status quo – in any era – is one of the key catalysts to ignite innovation exponentially. This is especially true today because of the unprecedented levels of innovation made possible by the digitization of society through the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, processes, data and things.Cisco Leadership Forum_Biren presenting

A provocative question that turns things upside down gets the innovation journey under way.  However, it’s just one of many key catalysts we have identified from extensive research and experience that accelerate innovation 10 times or more.

My colleague, Hagit Oron, and I recently had the honor of conducting a highly engaging workshop – Innovation Catalyst – at Cisco’s bi-annual Leadership Forum, an event series tailored for people leaders.  Igniting innovation is one of our company’s highest priorities as we transform from a hardware product company into an end-to-end solution provider delivering business outcomes to customers in vertical markets.

Encourage Inclusive, Diverse Culture. First, we emphasized that leaders must foster a climate of innovation with their full teams – not just by hiring a few outliers – but as a collective team to solve problems and develop new products and services. That means assembling teams with a full spectrum of diverse backgrounds, skills, perspectives and approaches, enabling them with the right tools and resources as well as empowering them to innovate collaboratively. Read More »

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Building Scalable, Sustainable, Smart+Connected Communities with Fog Computing

This week, Cisco is showcasing innovations across our Smart+Connected Communities portfolio at the Smart City World Expo Congress in Barcelona.

We’ve entered the digital age and smart cities worldwide are embracing technologies to streamline their operations and meet the growing expectations of their citizens. Today, citizens in the most vibrant cities are already seeing many initiatives designed to make urban services smarter, whether for transportation, parking, lighting, traffic and waste management, safety or law enforcement.

Urban services powered by the Internet will certainly enhance citizen quality of life, but developing this new generation of services requires integrating together many disparate technologies and billions of “things,” or devices. Today, it’s estimated that some 15 billion devices are connected, and this number is set to explode to 50 billion by 2020, particularly in and around urban centers. This complex assemblage will generate and transmit unimaginable amounts of data from all kinds of sensors, mobile devices and smart “things” to and through the Internet.

As the network of connected things grows, an increasingly significant volume of the data will be produced at its edge, where the data will also need to be processed, analyzed, and secured. As a result, new computer processing technologies must also be placed at the network edge to manage this new deluge in a distributed way across a citywide network to intelligently connect and inform people, processes, data and things. These technologies must deliver computing power at an unprecedented scale and help cities ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability.

What does that mean in practical terms?

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