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Krones AG – Connected Manufacturing for Data Center and Operations

August 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm PST

Krones boosts production efficiency in data center and executes safe migration from RISC platforms for mission-critical applications

Krones bottling2Here’s a great story about the Machinery and Engineering company Krones Group, out of Neutraubling, Germany. The company manufactures machinery and complete plants for process, bottling, and packaging technology.

Millions of bottles, cans, and specially shaped containers are processed daily on behalf of breweries, the soft-drink sector, and manufacturers of wine, sparkling wine, and spirits as well as for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industry.

Krones Group quoteThe company’s data centers are a key enabler for business growth. Consisting of 200 physical servers and 700 virtual machines spread across three locations, this critical infrastructure previously used a mix of technologies from different vendors. During a typical day, the three facilities handle around 1.3 petabytes of data and, in the case of the largest SAP database with more than 6TB, serve 5500 users concurrently. This data center environment relied on reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processor architectures for business critical applications such as SAP and databases, mostly running Solaris operating systems.

Krones selected a Cisco Smart+Connected™ Manufacturing solution, based on the Cisco® Unified Data Center. This pre-validated architectural approach combines server respective computing performance, network, and management into a platform designed to automate IT as a service across physical and virtual environments. The end result is increased budget efficiency, more agile business responsiveness, and simplified IT operations.

Krones Group quote #2At the heart of the solution are Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) B-Series Blade Servers, which run numerous standard server software along with a host of Oracle databases, SAP systems, and Microsoft applications including SQL server, Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, and Citrix.

Migration from RISC/Solaris to Cisco UCS/Linux has begun and is already improving agility. IT infrastructure can now respond quicker to changes andrequirements in the development of application and business processes. Read More »

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Internet of Things – What is Cisco doing for Business with IoT?

August 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm PST

 I recently had the pleasure of talking to Tony Shakib and Navdeep Johar at a recent Cisco Live event, and asked both to talk about The Internet of Things and what it means for business, particularly industrial businesses.

" here's... Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions

Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions, Cisco

After a great session presented by Tony Shakib at Cisco Live, I talked to Tony and Navdeep , Cisco Johar and gained insight into what the Internet of Things (IoT) actually is, and how the technology is being applied in a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, (process and discrete), oil and gas, and transportation, and how customers can monetize this for their organization’s benefit. IoT is real and it’s happening now!

“Internet of things is the foundation; how do you make the sensors a lot smarter; how do you generate a lot more data from it; and how do you monetize and control the data so that you could put it into interesting applications….the next step is we’re trying to put all these technologies in the context of vertical [industry] applications”

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Then and Now: Why Manufacturing isn’t what it used to be

August 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm PST

Cisco Manufacturing: Transformation TuesdayIt’s interesting to think back to the times when a manufacturing job meant hard labor, a lack of automation and crowded plant floors. Flash forward to the manufacturers of today and the differences in productivity and efficiency are incredible. In a previous post, I mentioned that the misperception of the manufacturing industry is a dirty, assembly-line-type of work, too blue-collar to be both a dream job and provide a level of success that is ‘expected’ in today’s society. In reality, the manufacturing industry has experienced incredible transformation and is one of the most advanced industries today.

The U.S. manufacturing sector generates $1.7 trillion in value each year, but oddly enough in this time of high unemployment, it has more than 600,000 unfilled jobs. The push to innovate and change minds about the manufacturing industry should be at an all-time high.  We need to encourage students at all education levels – elementary, intermediate, high school and college— to seize these opportunities and educate them on what a manufacturing job and career really looks like today. It’s not what it used to be. Read More »

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From Concept to Execution: Connecting the Car

Cars are important to Cisco.

With Cisco’s heritage in networking the enterprise, we understand how to create a secure, scalable and high performing networking framework – one that enables connectivity and new user experiences. In a nutshell, this has been the foundation for our efforts in connecting cars. We’ve taken some of the key aspects of our enterprise core in defining how we view the car of the future. With a highly secure and reliable networking infrastructure as the foundation of a connected vehicle, you enable a full spectrum of partners to create new experiences for end users and you enable tangible benefits for the automotive industry and its customers.

In Traverse City, Michigan this week, we’ve had a very exciting demo to show off. With tier 1 supplier Continental, we’re announcing the very first proof-of-concept of a connected vehicle using Cisco technology. With the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars as the backdrop, we’re showcasing for attendees the impact of Cisco’s enterprise-grade, secure and seamless wireless network technology on the connected vehicle.

Main Slide

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Mercedes Improves Customer Service Through Video

July 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm PST

Have you ever put your car in for service and it came back with a ‘door-ding’, or some other damage? Now, to be clear you probably can’t be 100% sure it didn’t happen in a car parking lot, or was it kids being too rough with there toys?  And where did that scratch come from on your newly delivered car -- was it already there? Who knows?

Well, if you were dealing with Mercedes-Benz Czech Republic (MBCR), you might find out!  Located in Prague, MBCR employs 400 people, and sells, services and supports Mercedes-Benz vehicles throughout the Czech Republic.

Mercedes Reference

Mercedes success story -- click picture to view pdf on Cisco Case Studies  Slideshare site

The subsidiary was eager to maintain its excellent standard of service. One issue that was a constant source of customer complaints was vehicle damage. Customers were sometimes wrongly accused of damaging cars when the cars had been scratched or dented in transit. Damages could  also occur in the showroom or repair center and be wrongly ascribed to customers. MBCR had an analogue camera system in place to cover these incidents, but the pictures that it produced were of poor quality. In many cases, identification of number plates and faces was not possible. Administrators also could not easily locate the footage that they needed, and recordings only stretched back two days.

After investigating various offerings, MBCR decided to select a Cisco® closed-circuit TV (CCTV) over IP solution from its trusted service partner Clarystone.  Capable of monitoring multiple sites from a single location, the security solution allows administrators to:

  • Access live video anywhere over the Internet
  • Locate specific dates, times, or incidents in video archives in seconds
  • Cost-effectively add new cameras and video storage

Exterior cameras film cars being loaded into the showrooms and record details of every number plate. If a vehicleMercedes Quote is scratched in transit, the cameras record the incident. This arrangement helps ensure that customers are not wrongly blamed for the damage. Interior cameras film the reception, showroom, and repair center areas. Any accidents or incidents involving theft or vandalism are instantly captured. Customers who leave their vehicles for servicing or repair can rest assured that they are now covered for any loss or damage.

miklemenI asked Michael Klemen -- Cisco Executive Automotive Manager in Europe (EMEAR) where video was going in the automotive industry and he said:

“New digital tactics are becoming more important to the auto industry in all areas,. As this matures the appetite for video content is growing at an insatiable rate: Show it, see it while being connected is important – digital dashboards, I-Services Kiosks, configuration & visualization from Car Design to Sales, After Sales services is what everyone builds into the value chain today !”

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