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Everyone Is a Winner at the DevNet Zone Hackathon

I love new projects and new initiatives. That’s why I am so interested in the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live! in Milan. Because it’s all about developing new solutions.

DevNet Hackathon

Left to Right: Wim Elfrink, Alberto Sarullo, Loris Bottello, Andrea Germinario, Andrea Desiato, Rick, Tywoniak

This week, we held a hackathon where 100 developers, on 20 teams, competed for 24 hours to create the best new apps on Cisco platforms. I was honored to present US$5,000 to four winners who created an app called “Pillbox.”

This team addressed a real-world issue: how to keep track of whether you have taken your medications. The Pillbox app leveraged a combination of our Enterprise IOT infrastructure (EIoT), Data in Motion data monitoring and filtering software, and the Jabber APIs.

After the doctor prescribes your medication and enters it into a cloud system, Jabber alerts you when it’s time to take your medicine. Then a sensor in the pillbox connected to Cisco’s EIoT system records that the medicine has been taken and keeps track of each dosage and when taken. If the sensor isn’t triggered within a certain time after the medicine is supposed to be taken, the app alerts your doctor via Jabber. Or the patient can contact the doctor directly through Jabber. The team built this app in under 24 hours!

There were many, many other deserving applications that came out of the hackathon—such as a fire detection system and an air quality management system. I wish they could all win!

Of course, most applications will take more time and investment to build. Another way we are helping developers create new projects and initiatives is with our growing network of Innovation Centers. From Tokyo to Toronto, we are making Cisco engineers, academic researchers and experts in a variety of vertical industries available to developers working on our platforms, so they can build the best apps in the shortest possible amount of time.

It’s an exciting time to work with Cisco!

Hamburg and Germany Seize the Internet of Everything Opportunity

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 MSalon_Hamburg 2015part 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 throughout 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 and only growing  port, CEO Jens Meier attributes recent record results and efficiency gains to technology. While here, Jens invited me aboard the, “CSCL Globe (China Shipping Container Line) ”,  the world’s largest container ship.  Longer than four soccer fields, the ship can transport 19,100 (TEU) containers. Hamburg was the mega ship’s first European port-of-call on its maiden voyage.

Boarding Largest Ship in HamburgIoEis 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 or prepare for a doubling of container volume over the next several years, said  Jens.

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 our advances will make a big splash when it showcases IoE projects as Hamburg hosts the World Ports Conference in June.

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See It. Learn It. Build It. Launch It.

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 DevNet Softrware Screenshot2_cmprssddevelopers 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.

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Cisco’s Software Strategy and Cisco ONE Offering: Helping Rewrite the Rules of IT

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.

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Cloud Managed Networking is the “Easy Button” for the Network

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 Meraki Cloud misconceptions 800x800 v2 (2)

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.

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