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Making peace between IT and Operations – Plant Engineering Article

September 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm PST

Bridging the gap between IT and Operations

Understanding the shared goals can bring peace – and value to manufacturers.

Check out last quarters’ ‘Plant Engineering” Magazine (May 2012) and you’ll find Cisco’s published article where we discuss how the world of IT and Operations are coming together -- and it’s no longer a clash of corporate titans, more a collaboration of corporate allies.

We talk about the convergence between IT and OT (Operational Technologies) as businesses are embracing open standards and enjoying increased value at lower costs, and the issues that can raise.

The article covers how important it is to remember that the fundamental purpose for the IT organization is to provide the availability and the protection of critical information. The manufacturing operations group on the other hand, needs to build a product to sell to customers for money. Sometimes, the two groups are at odds with each other over their respective priorities. It is possible, however, to reach a mutual understanding that can meet both groups’ priorities and goals.

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Welcome Marc Girardot, IBSG, to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

September 25, 2012 at 10:04 am PST

Please Welcome Marc Girardot to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Marc Girardot as our latest Manufacturing Industry Thought Leader. Marc has a distinguished career at Cisco and is currently managing director of the Global Automotive Practice in the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).

As a core team member of IBSG’s manufacturing senior staff, he provides strategic assistance to car manufacturers and to related organizations looking to capitalize on the transformative power of new technologies. Marc consults with senior executives from the auto industry and coordinates Cisco’s global efforts to accelerate innovation and industry  transformation in automotive.

Throughout the globe, Marc and his team have worked for most Auto OEMs on topics such Innovation, Connected Car, Customer Experience, Next Generation Dealers, the Car of the future, Distributed Engineering, and Corporate Culture.

Most recently, Marc co-authored with Michael Schwarz an industry-changing point of view called Electronics-ization in Automotive: Reinventing the Car Industry Model to Boost Profitable Innovation“  which I encourage you to read. Read More »

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Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7 Facilitates Plant Floor Security Management

September 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm PST

Today, about half of the video surveillance cameras sold are IP (versus analog) cameras.  Manufacturers are using video surveillance to ensure safety and security on plant floors and to reduce shrinkage in warehouse and retail locations.

Neil Peterson, the senior manager for wireless marketing at Emerson Process Management was recently quoted in a Control Engineering article, saying that “process plants identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as critical to the country’s infrastructure must be secured against all threats: cyber and physical”.

In support of the growing demand for IP-based video surveillance in industries including manufacturing, Cisco recently introduced Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 with a suite of hyper-scalable connected physical security solutions.  These can help manufacturers support their video surveillance deployments and configurations in a hyper-scalable and flexible manner.

Cisco’s Guido Jouret, General Manager Emerging Technologies and CTO, discusses Video Surveillance Manager 7

Video Surveillance Manager 7.0, along with Cisco’s related end-to-end Connected Physical Security Solutions give plant and IT managers access to robust video surveillance scalability, network aware intelligence, streamlined implementation and simplified management. 

For more information, please see Cisco’s recent press release or contact your local Cisco account representative.

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Cisco Innovations, Moving Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

September 5, 2012 at 9:51 am PST

As Kevin Sullivan points out in his recent blog, partnerships are an important strategic approach to today’s R&D and innovation.  Kevin recommends strategies that industry-winning manufacturers can follow.

Investments in innovation are exciting.  They inspire creativity and they fuel our economy.

What an afternoon of innovation looks like at Cisco

I was thrilled to discover that an institute for manufacturing innovation was recently launched in Youngstown, Ohio.  This effort embodies a publicly and privately-funded partnership aimed at fueling R&D and innovation.  Along with the U.S. federal government, a consortium of impressive manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges and non-profit organizations formed a partnership called the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).  They contributed a combined $70M to the Youngstown manufacturing innovation effort.

Motivated resources from a variety of academic, manufacturing and business backgrounds will come together to advance technology and manufacturing.  And what will this Youngstown institute focus on first?  Additive manufacturing.  What is additive manufacturing?  It’s the more formal name for 3D printing.  And it’s quite cool.

But what does 3D printing have to do with Cisco?

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R & D Moves to Partnership Model: Technology Strategy is Critical

Recently, the Economist highlighted the shift from government funded models to private funded models for R & D.  As we know, R&D serves as the font of new ideas and leads to mass transformation of industries.  Concepts such as the internet and satellite communications resulted in part from publicly funded R&D.
This is a real change for leading corporations. This puts more pressure on manufacturing companies to find and leverage key technologies to deliver new products and compete.  Most manufacturing companies focus on core capabilities. They typically licensed or purchased technologies that enabled continued operation.  But these were not partnerships. This could be very effective for a ‘fast follower’ company.  Innovative companies have typically used a range of R & D funding sources, especially internal, to fuel innovation.
But the rules are changing! New industries are emerging that require a new strategic approach to R&D and innovation. Companies that do not adapt will be disrupted. Read More »

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