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Last month at the SPS/IPC/Drives Show, I spoke to a Vice President of Operations for a large semiconductor manufacturer. He is responsible for the global operation of approximately 20 wafer fabrication facilities. He glanced at our logo and my name badge and with a puzzled look asked the following simple question, “Why is Cisco at the SPS Drives show and how can Cisco help my operation?”

Well, my first inclination was to enthusiastically communicate our whole offer converged Industrial Intelligence and Manufacturing solutions, but I paused and replied, ” I’m not sure we can help you, but I have 7 years of previous experience working in your industry and I’m very interested in knowing …. What keeps you up at night these days?” The following is a summary of our conversation as it relates to his communicated supply chain, operational management, design and business value challenges. Are you experiencing the same headaches? And are they keeping you up at night? Does Cisco have a solution to cure those sleepless nights? 
A narrative summary of his challenges…..

Managing the dynamic and short Product Life Cycles in an increasingly competitive globalized market is an extreme challenge. The average life cycles for some of our products have been reduced from 18 to14 months. So, it is extremely critical for our part suppliers, engineering/design partners, OEM machine builders and production teams to work in a tightly integrated and collaborative way. A system that supports real-time 24x7 management of our entire business and operational value chain is required.

If one line in our production facility is down for an hour it can cost us millions of dollars in lost “opportunity revenue.” Our manufacturing process is becoming exponentially more complex as we move to sub-90nm technology. In addition, the economic challenges of the past few years have required our company “to do more with less.”  This has put pressure on the organization to improve our time to market performance and operational metrics that effect our overall Six Sigma performance, customer satisfaction and bottom line financial contribution to the company. How can we meet the demands of our customers with fewer resources?

We also require a platform that is secure and allows us to protect not only our Intellectual Property, but that of our partners.  We view this as one of our greatest assets and value to our customers.

Cisco is addressing our customer’s challenges with an Industrial Intelligence solution. Our Industrial Intelligence solution enables enterprises to more intelligently and responsively manage industrial operations globally. Cisco is leveraging IP-networked data and control flows converged with voice, video and virtualization to create a more intelligent platform for innovations that connect devices to measure, monitor, and manage resources for greater efficiencies, that connect people in less time and space, and that connect ideas to generate solutions to today’s industrial, operational, and environmental challenges.
We’ve developed a resilient, secure, scalable and proven Converged Plantwide Ethernet reference architecture that seamlessly integrates data from the plant into business systems.

What are your thoughts and ideas around leveraging Industrial Intelligence to produce products that transform the way we take care of our environment and improve the quality of our lives?

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