Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Perspectives

A Day in the Life of the ecobee Smart Thermostat Part 1

In my last article I talked about my thermostat and the Internet of Everything [read here] I questioned the true value my smart meter was providing to my home and my wallet. I said what’s missing is a thermostat that helps me understand my energy consumption habits, allows me to stay within budget (and save money!) and eventually take advance of spot prices on energy. Wouldn’t that be cool?!

The good news is that there are products on the market today that are heading in the right direction. Nest, recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion [read here], offers a “learning thermostat” which Bill MacGowen wrote about earlier in his post: My home thermostat and the Internet of Everything” [read here].

The Nest acquisition is a big deal and there’s already discussions starting to surface on what Google plans to do with the data they will gather from Nest devices. Why is Google getting into the energy management and HVAC market? What will they do with the data? Will there be ads showing up on my Google thermostat? This led me to wonder who else was in this market space? Are there any alternatives to Nest? Of course there are but they’ve been overshadowed by Nest because of the origins of it’s founder (Apple) and Google’s recent purchase.

One of them is ecobee, a Canadian company. While they may not be a household name (yet) they’ve been around since 2007 plugging away and growing their business organically. I reached out to ecobee because I wanted to learn more about the company, it’s founder and his thoughts on where he sees the future heading for IoT/IoE. Below is part one of my email conversation with the founder and CEO of ecobee, Stuart Lombard.

ecobee logo

 

Stu_440x275 (1)1)Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?

I started my career building control systems for large international electric utilities. Then I caught the ‘Internet’ bug and founded two successful companies – one of the first internet service providers in Canada, InfoRamp Inc., and one of the first virtual private networking companies, at the time called Isolation Systems Ltd. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

R&D Cloud solutions within the Corporate Environment

With “clouds” being the hot new term in IT, many high level executives are looking for ways to incorporate clouds into their enterprise environment. Sometimes, these decisions are rushed, and poorly designed solutions are thrown into place. These solutions almost always fail to gain traction within the corporation due to lackluster features, or they are just plain too hard to use. Cloud solutions in the corporate environment can be a very powerful tool that can extend to all parts of the company.  It just needs the proper design and implementation to be successful. Remember, just how every corporation is different, so needs to be the cloud solution. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

The Price of Being First

New technology is always exciting. There are always groups within the organization that have seen some product demo at a convention or user group and need that new functionality right now!

But sometimes the infrastructure is not there to support it. Or it’s the first time this type of technology has been introduced into your organization. Both of these pose their own distinct issues and challenges.

Some initial questions we ask ourselves are the following:

•    Does our current infrastructure support the requests?
•    Do we need to procure hardware or do code upgrades?
•    Will this pass a security sniff?
•    Will this support the entire organization or is this a one off that will sporadically be used?
•    Who is the first department willing to pilot this?

EricBlog51

Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

The “Next Gen” Network Engineer

A subject very close to my heart at the moment is what skills I will need to have in order to support the Next Generation of Software Defined and Application Centric networks.

It is of no surprise that Networking like most other towers in IT has embraced abstraction as the way forward to provide levels of flexibility and agility never before seen in the Network.

What is perhaps a bit of a surprise, is the speed in which these new concepts are being developed and deployed. It seems like only last year terms like SDN were still viewed as “Way down the line” technologies. But here we are at the start of Q2 2014 and it seems like if you don’t already have an SDN plan you’re already behind.

So what skills will we need in order to design, support and deploy these new networks? Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

#CiscoChampion Radio S1|Ep8 IWAN

April 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm PST

#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about Intelligent WAN (IWAN) with guest moderator, Cisco’s Lauren Friedman (@lauren)

Listen to the Podcastcisco_champions BADGE_200x200

Cisco Subject Matter Expert: Hugo Vliegen, Director of Technical Marketing

Highlights:
How IWAN benefits business
IWAN and Security
IWAN monitoring and configuration management
Levels of IWAN
How IWAN related to ACI Read More »

Tags: , , ,