During my recent business trip throughout Germany, the Hamburg Senate adopted a visionary “Digital City Strategy” to optimize value from the new era of massive digitalization. As part of the initiative, a Digital City Control Center will be established in the Senate Chancellery to analyze data and improve citywide processes and projects with strategic partners.
“If Hamburg wants to shape this policy, now is the time to act,” said Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz. And at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also asserted that “a digital offensive would create high-quality jobs and would help boost EU employment.”
Digitalization efforts are gaining momentum in Germany, fueled in part by the country’s Industry 4.0 initiative, and Hamburg in particular should be commended for its enterprising actions. Officials and industry leaders here recognize that a citywdide information infrastrcuture is essential to extracting full value from digitalization and the Internet of Everything — the connection of data with people, processes and things
At the bustling Port of Hamburg, Europe’s second largest port, CEO Jens Meier attributes recent record results and efficiency gains to technology. While here, Jens invited me aboard the “CMA CGM” the world’s largest container ship. Longer than four soccer fields, the ship can transport more than 16,000 containers. Hamburg was the mega ship’s first European port of call on its maiden voyage.
IoE, in particular, is playing a significant role in reducing operating costs, synchronizing the lifting and lowering of bridges with road and water traffic, improving collaboration among employees and citizens in adjacent Hamburg. Without these advances, the port would not have been able to accommodate and attract such a mammoth vessel.
The port and city of Hamburg are transforming into a powerful Seatropolis. The digital interconnectedness of port and city is a prime example of the “network multiplier effect”: the more inter-connections among nodes the greater the value of IoE. We’re proud at Cisco to be partnering with the Port of Hamburg, and we’re confident it will make a big splash when it showcases IoE projects as host of the World Ports Conference in June.
Back on land, I experienced the future of living at the IoE-enabled Apartimentum, a fully connected complex of ultra-smart apartments in the center of Hamburg pioneered by entrepreneur Lars Hinrichs, who clearly values the benefits of smart technology.
When these “instant comfort” smart homes are available later this year, residents will live at the center of the digital and physical worlds. With sensors embedded most everywhere and in most everything throughout the complex, combined with a robust network communicating with mobile devices, residents can use digital keys, regulate temperatures remotely, get alerts when milk is low in the refrigerator, set preferred shower programs, control LED lighting and much, much more.
Cisco provides the IP-enabled network infrastructure here, enabling lights, phone, music, lighting and more to run over Internet addresses, reducing energy and costs while enhancing comfort and convenience.
IoE-related forums appear regularly now throughout Germany, such as the MLove Salon Smart City Summit I attended while in Hamburg. I also had the honor of addressing industry and government leaders at the Rotary Club of Hamburg’s annual New Year’s event. Here too interest and enthusiasm were stimulated by how the Internet of Everything can address our major social, economic and environmental challenges.
All in all, Hamburg and Germany appear well positioned to take advantage of the Internet of Everything’s digital revolution.
Cisco’s consultants calculate that the Internet of Everything unleashes a $19 trillion opportunity in profitability and cost savings worldwide over the next decade. For Germany, we calculate that IoE can create $913.8 billion in value — $736 billion in the private sector and $177.8 billion in the public sector.
While in Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg, industry executives from global brands and local government officials wanted to explore how to advance opportunities to digitalize their operations to enhance productivity, asset utilization, innovation, customer experiences and more.
Walking through the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live in Milan, I was struck by two things. First, we have an amazing array of platforms for developers who want to write applications that take advantage of the network – platforms that enable software-defined networking, collaboration, security, connected mobile experiences, data analysis at the edge, analysis of data in motion and more.
And second, our team has really focused on getting developers up and running with hands-on experiences as fast as possible. The DevNet Portal is a one-stop-shop for the resources developers need most. It speeds their development time by stepping them through their choice of learning tools, developer kits, APIs, forums to engage with Cisco engineers and lots of supporting documentation.
Then, a sandbox of developer tools provides access to the latest Cisco software and hardware platforms online. Developers can test in a real-world environment and quickly know that their code is verified to work with Cisco production equipment.
In fact, our APIC-EM controller sandbox set a Cisco record for the most users in its first two months of availability. Even now, the only way to get the latest early-field trial (EFT) version of APIC-EM is through either the EFT program or DevNet Sandbox.
The DevNet Zone and the DevNet Portal are innovative catalysts, helping the developer community to create new apps and automation functions on the network-as-a-platform. The personal and virtual interactions are inspiring.
Developers play a pivotal role in the progress of the Internet of Everything. Here this week in Milan, developers can see it, learn it, build it and launch it. I was amazed.
Customers’ expectations have never been higher. They want choice and flexibility. They require intelligent networks and infrastructure that’s intuitive, secure, easy to use and manage, and able to adapt to the specific requirements of their applications.
Today we’re excited to announce Cisco ONE Software, which offers a simplified solution to the most relevant, frequently-used customer scenarios in the data center, wide area network and local access networks. Cisco ONE is a big deal, and it’s an important piece of our larger software strategy in a world where value is increasingly delivered to customers through software.
Think about the technology disruptions and market transitions our customers are experiencing today. Cloud, virtualization, big data, software-defined networking, software-as-a-service (SaaS), the Internet of Everything – software is the enabling mechanism at the heart of each. In recent years, software has played an increasingly key role in our technology and solutions. Today, we are the fifth-largest software company in terms of software revenues, and the third-largest SaaS provider.
Let me start with a few ideas that should be pretty uncontroversial:
Digitization is transforming even the most old-school industries. Who would have thought the taxi cab business would get turned on its head by an app?
The old way of doing IT—where every company builds and maintains its own vast infrastructure—is going to change. For decades, survey after survey has said that companies spend 70 or 80 percent of their IT resources just to keep the lights on.
Companies want to shift their IT risk onto IT companies. They want to press the proverbial “big red ‘easy’ button” on their networks so they just work.
Cisco is taking a giant step in that direction with Cisco-Meraki cloud managed IT. The idea—which should be pretty uncontroversial—is to make the network as easy to operate as your iPhone.
When Cisco acquired Meraki a couple of years ago, people thought of it as a company that supplied wireless networks to midsized businesses. But it’s never been just about Wi-Fi or small and medium-sized businesses.
Last week, Cisco CEO John Chambers attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A major theme of the week was security and the implications of the Internet of Everything…the topic which John focused on in his contributed article to the WEF blog, Agenda. You can read the full article here.
In the article he stated:
WEF graphic -- John Chambers on Security 2015
Additionally, last week, Cisco issued our Annual Security Report which includes data about the number of breaches, attacks and how to mitigate these increasing threats. Cisco SVP and Chief Security Officer John Stewart blogged on this report here. A key call to action of the report is for corporate boards to take a more active role and focus on security as they help run their companies. He also talked to BloombergWest’s Cory Johnson. You can view that interview here.
In Davos, John Chambers talked to a few reporters about the implications of more things being connected…overall, of course, the impact will be very positive. As we move from 14B connected devices to 50B by 2020, John argues that each of those end points cannot be trusted to be secure, therefore you need to focus on security from an architectural approach…something, of course, where the network has a distinct advantage.