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Road to the Connected Factory is made Easier

The road to the connected factory was made easier today by the announcement of new features which will be highlighted in two new design guides for industrial networks.  The design guides help manufacturers deploy an industrial network that pulls best practices from operational technology (OT) and IT.

Many manufacturers are looking to gain the business benefits of a connected factory.  A connected factory gives the business more access to real-time information on factory operations, inventory, supply chains, the machines on their production lines, and more, so that manufacturers can better manage their businesses. By converging industrial and enterprise networks, manufacturers can advance their business agility and build a gateway to the Internet of Everything.  Many manufacturers have been challenged by the task of connecting these industrial factories, so Cisco, together with industrial partners like Rockwell Automation, are enhancing these design guides to ease the convergence process.

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How Collaboration is Increasing Revenue for Manufacturers

November 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm PST

In my last blog post, I discussed how mobile collaboration is bringing flexibility to the manufacturing industry, offering transformational benefits in a variety of functional areas including R&D, operations, customer service and sales. Today, I want to take a deeper dive into not just how collaboration can reduce cost, but how it offers manufacturers the potential for real revenue growth.

Mobility Makes Real-time Impact_Cisco Manufacturing

The Opportunity
Along with rapid acceleration of the bring your own device phenomenon and the forecast that there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita by 2017, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the manufacturing workforce is evolving and going mobile.  Yet, many manufacturers are still trying to substantively leverage collaboration and take full advantage of its benefits in a way that impacts the bottom line.

One key opportunity is to use collaboration to better connect product experts and customers. However, without effective collaboration tools, it can be difficult for sales to broker this communication. Mobility solutions enable sales teams and customers services reps efficient access to newly connected plant floor expertise, helping facilitate customer product questions in real time via phone call, text, e-mail or even videoconference. Not only is customer satisfaction improved, but also sales conversion rates increase when the salesperson or service rep secures answers to difficult customer questions before the competition can.

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Automation Fair 2013 – Final Thoughts from Houston

As Automation Fair was wrapping up yesterday, all of my Cisco colleagues were expressing gratitude to our hosts at Rockwell Automation. We want to congratulate our partners at Rockwell Automation for once again, putting on a very successful user conference. Our partnership has evolved into a truly collaborative and demonstrably successful model for joint product and solution developments, go-to-market effectiveness, industry and thought leadership, all aimed at the same goal: our mutual customers’ success.

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Automation Fair 2013: Industrial IP Advantage

As I blog today from the show floor at Automation Fair in the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, the second day of one of the largest industrial automation events is underway. We have had a lot of traffic and interest in the Industrial IP Advantage booth (#1223).

In fact, many booth visitors are asking us, “I get OT (or the reverse, ‘I get IT’)- how can we work together?”  As my Cisco colleague Dave Cronberger mentions in the video below, the relationship has now evolved and certainly both sides see the merit of working together.    Our Industrial IP Advantage community can certainly add to the conversation and give guidance on next steps in getting the most out of IT/OT convergence in order to move towards an IP-centric industrial network.

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Day 1 Wrap-up from Automation Fair

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Cisco has a significant presence at Automation Fair  in Houston this week.  This event is not only the largest gathering of Rockwell Automation users, it is also one of the most well-attended conferences for controls and industrial automation. Cisco-auto-fairThe day was busy both in the exhibit floor and throughout the sessions, industry forums and demonstration areas.

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