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The Digital Vortex: Relentless, Disruptive, Chaotic — and Empowering

I have good news and bad news. First, the bad news: across industries, digital disruption is threatening to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history. Now the good news: companies can take control of their own destiny by embracing digital transformation and the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Let’s take a closer look. By “digital disruption,” I’m referring to the effect of digital technologies and business models on a company’s current value proposition — and its resulting market position. Digital disruptors innovate rapidly, and then use their innovations as a powerful competitive advantage to gain market share and scale far faster than challengers still clinging to traditional business models that can’t keep up with the pace of change.

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Developing a new angle on an established relationship

Over the past few years, Cisco and Intel’s collaboration has extended into the realm of Internet of Things, allowing the strength of each organization to bring the industry as a whole, forward. In the Internet of Things, devices need applications, analytics, network connectivity, security, storage, and computing power.  The partnership of Cisco and Intel offers comprehensive solutions working alongside several ecosystem partners.

Recently, during Cisco Live in San Diego, CA, we jointly showcased innovative IoT solutions and highlighted our collaboration on NFV:

  • A smart city demonstration, featuring Legos and Fog Computing, was on display in the Intel booth showing how easy it is for cities to implement IoT solutionsLego Smart City
  • Carlos Morales presented a captivating “Pre-Zen-tation” on Fog Computing, elaborating on how companies can extend the cloud to the edge
  • A highlight during the show was partaking in a #CiscoChat with Brad Haczynski, Intel’s Global Account Director, Sales and Marketing Group, encompassed around making IoT and IoE tangible with the power of collaboration. brad and jaishree

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Fog Computing: Bringing Cloud Capabilities Down to Earth

When we think of “cloud” we think of a vast collection of compute, network, and storage capabilities that resides somewhere high above us—a massive repository of functionality that can be accessed from anywhere and any device with enough bandwidth to handle the data flow.

With practically unlimited power and scalability, cloud technology has been a key enabler of the Internet. But the Internet of Things (IoT) demands something more. IoT is a broad collection of sensors, cameras, smartphones, computers, and machines—all connected to and communicating with applications, websites, social media, and other devices. To maximize value, much of the data generated by these “things” must be processed and analyzed in real time. For example, sensors and cameras in and around a large retail store may continuously collect data about customer volume and traffic flow. The store can derive some value from all this data by sending it back to the cloud to analyze long-term trends. But the value is multiplied if the system can process the data locally, in real time, and then act on it immediately by sending more cashiers to the check-out line just before a surge in customer traffic.

This sort of real-time, high-bandwidth application requires a new distributed cloud model that brings cloud networking, compute, and storage capabilities down to earth—to the very edge of the network. My friend Flavio Bonomi has worked tirelessly with both academia and other industry partners to advance the concept of fog, inspired by the way the San Francisco fog extends the cloud to the ground. Fog computing creates a platform—what we call a fog node—that provides a layer of compute, storage, and networking services between end devices “on the ground” and cloud computing data centers. Fog is not a separate architecture; it merely extends the existing cloud architecture to the edge of the network—as close to the source of the data as possible—to enable real-time data processing and analytics. Read More »

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IoE and Managing Assets in Motion: Making Better, Smarter, Faster Organizations

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting everything everywhere — on the land, in the air, and even on the sea. Cisco recently helped a competitive yacht crew win regattas using the IoE to provide the competitive edge. The vessel was outfitted with an IoE ruggedized platform combining boat sensor data; GPS, wind, and weather information; and a local Wi-Fi network to help the crew make critical decisions almost instantaneously.

Tony Shakib Blog Pic

I’m particularly excited about this implementation of Cisco’s Mobile Asset Management. The program highlights our ability to connect data from billions of things so people can make smarter decisions about how to live, work, and play. This is a perfect example of the immense power of the IoE to solve real-world problems through connectivity, insightful data and analytics.

The most impressive attribute of the Mobile Asset Management Suite is that it applies to all industries. It helps customers identify, track, control, monitor, and secure IT and non-IT assets across buildings, remote sites, retail locations, manufacturing facilities, and more.

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IoE Innovation Hinges on Hyper Collaboration

Once upon a time, the world’s greatest inventions always seemed to come from individual geniuses locked in a room day and night on their own.  We often think of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone by himself, Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb solo or Johannes Gutenberg working mostly alone to develop a mold that led to the first printing press.

Alex G Blog Pic 1Solo inventors will always play pivotal roles in developing “the next big thing” even as we we’re half way through the second decade of the 21st century.  Think Mark Zuckerberg masterminding Facebook  on his own in his dorm room at Harvard.

More and more, however, we’re discovering that in today’s Internet of Everything world, where complex technologies increasingly connect and converge, innovation hinges on all types of hyper collaborations.  Today, innovation requires open interaction among businesses, universities, startups, incubators, developers and others.  Now, collaboration makes innovation happen! Read More »

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