Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Innovation

Drones: Just Buzz or Real Business?

“Why Cisco?” I was asked repeatedly after speaking on a panel about drones. “Why not Cisco?” was my passionate response.

Drone 1The occasion was the recent NASA UTM Convention at Silicon Valley’s historic Moffett Field to explore creative traffic management solutions for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), popularly known as drones. At Cisco, we see a full spectrum of public, enterprise and consumer opportunities, as well as an amazing ecosystem of partners evolving around “connected” drones. This isn’t just buzz, but a real business opportunity.

After all, drones capture and transmit “ungodly amounts of data,” as Cisco’s Helder Antunes noted during his keynote session and CNBC interview. Cisco’s network backbone, solutions and applications enable the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the connection of people, processes, data and things – and drones represent important, mobile, data-rich nodes on the network. Please also read Helder’s blog on drones and the IoE here.

drone 2When it comes to drones and many other remotely connected and mobile devices, it’s really all about Collaboration, Cloud, Fog Computing – and Analytics, whether at the edge, across the network or in the cloud. To seamlessly transform raw data from sensors and images into actionable insights, an end-to-end platform is needed to optimally capture, store, share and process data most anywhere.

For example, one of the biggest challenges for drone operations today is to efficiently collect and effectively transfer colossal amounts of data over weak or non-existent network links in remote areas. Many times, these processes take days or weeks before the collected data can be processed and meaningful insights can be derived.

High-value crops such as grapes may suffer significant business losses due to such time-lagged decisions. Again, what’s needed is the connection to a reliable, high-speed platform. Cisco’s hardware and software technologies enable virtually real-time decision making without experts having to physically download and tackle the data deluge challenge on-site.

drone 3

Precision Agriculture, Safety & Security and Field Asset Inspection are some verticals that could immensely benefit by leveraging unmanned aircrafts due to their unique abilities to navigate in complex remote environments.

At the NASA event, Angelo Fienga of Cisco Italy and I demonstrated an interesting use case of how one can utilize Cisco’s collaboration infrastructure to unleash “remote expert” capabilities using drones. We successfully exhibited that by relaying the live camera feed of the drone over to WebEx and TelePresence infrastructure, allowing an agronomist thousands of miles away across the globe to precisely observe, guide and control data collection operation in the field.

drone 4

So all this and more is why “Cisco and drones” make a lot of sense. I’m excited about the possibilities here, and will share some more ideas during my keynote address at the upcoming InterDrone conference in Las Vegas from Sep 9-11, 2015.  I hope to see you there.

Meantime, what applications do you think are better suited for a drone business?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Making the Right Connections Opens New Doors to Digital Business Success

Making the Right Connections Opens New Doors to Digital Business Success

The digital transformation of business isn’t just about the connection of things, though those connections are certainly important.  Industrial or IT automation can take many forms, whether it’s connections between people, the connections between people and things or, perhaps most importantly, the processes that that enable connections of all kinds to happen quickly and intelligently. Without order, digital business transformation runs the risk of becoming digital chaos.   What’s most essential in every case is creating the desired business outcome.

Hyper-Distribution: Billions of Connections Shouldn’t Mean Billions of Headaches

But connecting all these things isn’t easy.  50 billion things are projected to be connected to the Internet by 2020. Along with this hyper-distribution of things also comes the hyper-distribution of data.  No longer is data only found in large centralized warehouses – it is being dynamically captured and acted upon at the edge of the network to respond to events in real time.

Organizations are struggling with the management of business processes in this expanding, hyperconnected world. Value chains are increasingly global, yet the decisions that need to be made are becoming increasingly local — and they need to be made in real-time.  Hyper-distribution is fragmenting traditional business processes. Dealing with this growing complexity was identified as the number one IoT management challenge in a 2014 business study.

Not surprisingly, companies are being forced to re-imagine their processes and many are turning to software to turn what is being imagined into business reality.  And they are calling upon new forms of automation and analytics to do it. Real business transformation will only occur when things connect with both people and process to turn information into actionable intelligence.  Automation facilitates the new connections.  Analysis gives the connections new meaning. Da Vinci instructs us, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Finding ways to make the increasingly complex world of hyperconnectivity both simple to understand and simple to implement is the ultimate challenge for the networking industry.

What do I mean by hyper-distributed business process? Let’s take a look Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Fostering Innovation in the Startup Community

At last year’s Mobile World Congress, I had the honorchallengeup of co-announcing a new start up accelerator program along with my industry peers at Intel and Deutsche Telekom. Challenge Up! is a program created jointly by our three companies to help inventive startups from the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) region go-to-market faster through joint projects, mentoring, high-value networking and corporate assets.

We received over 300 applications from 40 countries! After a grueling week of mentoring sessions, workshops and pitching at ‘Acceleration Week’ last month in Krakow, I’m happy to share 12 startups were selected to participate in the four month Challenge Up! acceleration program.

All participants are early stage companies with disruptive technologies in the Internet of Everything, Data & Analytics as well as Connected and Smart solutions. To see the action for yourself, check out the video below of highlights from the week. This program, geared towards bringing these startup’s ideas to reality, will take place at multiple events in Berlin, Dublin and London over the next three months. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Pssst, IT Operations Analytics Is Actually Cool

OK, using data to make decisions to streamline operations is not a new concept, but the resources and types of data that we have at our disposal is unprecedented. Gone are the days when we had to rely on data only available in the data center. There are new exciting ways to sift through terabytes of data to proactively predict problems before they impact service, optimize your IT and application infrastructure and gain an end-end view of operations.

Today there are more and more applications, devices, users, and tasks. They are generating a large amount of structured and unstructured data at the edge of the network. The net result is the old – read 5 years ago — centralized approach is no longer sufficient enough to guarantee true operational efficiency.

Let’s talk about some of the technology break-throughs and solutions that are driving this:

  • On premise Hadoop offerings are replacing high cost Multi Parallel Processing (MPP) Platforms.
  • Customers are now leveraging NoSQL Databases with Hadoop to uncover analytics from live interactive data to create operational analytics platform.
  • Security solutions are now focusing on meeting the challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) that addresses concerns over malicious intruders and malware.
  • Business users and data scientists are now able to easily and iteratively derive insights from the unstructured data.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Data and Analytics Event of the Year!

Today, I’m excited to share with you some details on the 2015 Data and Analytics Conference, October 20-22 at the Hilton Chicago. The inaugural event will showcase some of the most innovative data and analytics thought leaders.

My favorite part of the event is listening to the customer presenters. I’d like to share with you a little background on these speakers and topics they will be presenting to get you excited as you’re planning your trip to Chicago.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,