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Why are you here?

There are a few of us at Cisco that write here regularly. We care about what is going on in Manufacturing in general, but more specifically, in terms of integrating the manufacturing networks into the Enterprise and speeding adoption of open standards to enable more efficient production.

I will later this month be launching a series on how Machine Builders can more readily enable productivity by integrating more closely with their end users (call that “convergence”) or by helping their end users be more productive by enabling secure remote access. But that is later this month.

Today I want to talk about how we all communicate. It isn’t just by wires. It isn’t just by mouth. We have a plethora of communication means available to us. I’m talking about us people to other people in the industry. It is by building contacts with people in industry and spreading the word. That is what we at Cisco are doing.

We don’t have every answer. We think we’ve got a number of good ones. We’re enhancing some of the areas. But this is not a commercial for Cisco. This is a commercial for open dialogue between those that care about Manufacturing.

There are a few good spokespeople for this effort, and I want to call them out. And I admit right upfront this is not a complete list. But please bear with me.

Jim Pinto has a regular email and blog where he calls out trends in manufacturing and automation. He sometimes tends more into bashing one company or another, but all in all he calls things fairly straight. His columns are informative and sometimes you need to read between the lines, but he is considered by many to be worth reading. He speaks his opinion.

Keith Nosbusch is one of Jim’s regular targets. Keith is Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, and Jim regularly chastises Keith for one thing or another (fair disclosure, I am a former employee of Rockwell Automation and I see Keith a few times a year). Keith doesn’t have a blog that I know of but he is involved on a world level with the future of manufacturing and anything you hear attributed to him can be taken to the bank.

Gary Mintchell is Editor in Chief of Automation World. I have known Gary for a number of years and he recently asked in his Feed Forward blog why engineers should learn to write. (Gary, one reason is to write blogs like this…). He continually writes interesting articles and asks thought provoking questions.

There are a number of other trade publications that we all refer to every day. None will have the total answer. But the answer will get better if you, the reader, respond. Help us to help you.

There are a variety of other social media sites, including a LinkedIn community that Cisco sponsors. You can find that here. There are continual updates from us and our field sales partners and you can benefit if you join in the discussion.

I write this as an employee of Cisco – we provide the networks that enable the Internet and open standard networks all over the world. We are part of your manufacturing environment and certainly we want to be more of that, but we need your help! Tell us what you want to hear about. Contact the others I referenced, and the like-minded people from other vendors. Help us to help you become more productive. Join the discussion!

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2 Comments.


  1. Hi Mark,

    Just happened to catch this post and added the blog to my feed reader. Thanks for the kind words. (I talk to Jim Pinto often, and can’t figure out his position on Rockwell–something about an HBR article, but I’ve read it and disagree.)

    By the way, I noticed on the tags a “Jim Mintchell.” I have found no other Mintchells (save one in Scotland) on the Web other than my immediate family, and there are no Jims.

    I’m back home after a few weeks on the road. There is no doubt that networking, especially Ethernet, is top of mind in automation.

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  2. Mark Wylie

    Hi Gary, fixed the keywords. My mistake when typing the keyword list. SORRY!!! Glad you found the post and glad to hear the continued interest in Ethernet in automation. Thanks!

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