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The Data and Analytics Year in Review

What an exciting year for data and analytics! As I think back on our 2015 accomplishments and also think about some of the predictions that were made for the year, I’m confident that Cisco data and analytics is right on track for doing big things in the future. Here are some of the 2015 major highlights I’d like to share.

Cisco Data Preparation

In December 2014, IDC predicted that, “Visual data discovery tools will be growing 2.5x faster than rest of the BI market; investing in this enabler of end-user self service will become a requirement for all enterprises by 2018.” Our team was ecstatic to see this prediction, as we were already hard at work on this amazing new product. Driven by business’s accelerating demand for analytics, Cisco Data Preparation (Data Prep) makes it easy for non-technical business analysts to gather, explore, cleanse, combine and enrich the data that fuels these analytics, all in a self-service application.

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IoT World Forum: Translating IoT Innovation into Business Value with Analytics at the Edge

Heading into the holiday season, I can safely predict that my kids’ excitement levels will increase steadily as December 25th draws nearer. They, of course, are anticipating Christmas morning and all that it entails – a break from school, delicious brunch, hot chocolate, family time, and, just maybe, some gift giving. Well, I am pretty excited myself, because along with the holidays, December also ushers in the Internet of Things World Forum 2015 (IoTWF) in Dubai!

Cisco is hosting its third rendition of the IoTWF at the Dubai World Trade Centre from December 6-8, and this event just gets better and better each year. The forum is an opportunity for the companies leading the way toward digital transformation with the Internet of Everything (IoE) to showcase dramatic transformations now gaining momentum across every global sector. It’s a chance to learn, share, and partner – to see tangible examples of digital progress and to collaborate with industry leaders to plot the future of the digital global economy. It’s kind of like a condensed holiday season for the world of digital innovation.

Each year, the forum is a great time and place to measure the progress we are making toward digital transformations of every global industry. When we held the first IoTWF two years ago, digitization and the IoE seemed like distant, albeit imminent, visions. We focused on the big picture, needing to comprehend and contextualize the massive opportunity and far-reaching implications of this fourth industrial revolution. Now, more than two years in, our focus has shifted: It’s no longer about convincing people that digital transformation is real, necessary, and valuable, but about connecting the dots between the vision for where to go and the strategy for how to get there. Read More »

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The Digital Manufacturing Landscape and the Path Forward.

Any discussion on digital transformation and IoT leads to the fundamental question – “What are the possibilities and impacts in my industry?” The manufacturing industry has been dealing with this question for the last 50 years and in fact, has been an early adopter of technology to enable transformation.   For example,  in the mid-to-late 20th-century, automated inventory control systems (ICS),  material resource planning systems (MRP), and  enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) had a tremendous impact on the foundational operations within manufacturing across the world.  Then in the later part of the 20th-century and the early part of 21st-century transformations within this industry were enabled by the emergence of the PC, explosion of the internet, realization of e-business, availability of IP-based technologies, universal  adoption of RFID and proliferation of wireless components.  All of these innovations marked the first era of digital manufacturing.  This era had a primary focus on using technology to achieve efficiencies, effectiveness and productivity gains particularly within the supply chain, and product lifecycle management functions.

Digital Manufacturing

Today pioneering and prominent manufacturers are looking at the next generation of digital manufacturing which will utilize technology to enable new customer experiences that enhance profitable revenue growth. The German government is credited with calling this next era Industry 4.0. They characterize this era as a time when “people, machines, and industrial processes are intelligently networked.”

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As Manufacturers Go Digital, Customer Value Expands

Every single day, I’m reminded that a digital revolution is taking place—from researching local coffee places on the dashboard of my car to ordering coffee on my mobile device—it’s clear that our lives are becoming more digitized. This is also apparent for the businesses and industries that manufacture the goods that we use everyday. In order to compete today, manufacturers must respond to complex and constantly changing demands from their customers. That requires the agility, rapid innovation, and fast execution that only digital manufacturing can deliver. Too many manufacturers, however, still lack these critical capabilities and suffer from fragmented and siloed organizational structures.

This was reinforced by new research from Cisco on the current and future state of digital disruption in manufacturing. The study included economic analysis, interviews with manufacturing industry thought leaders, and a survey of more than 600 senior leaders from 13 countries, representing both industrial machine builders and end-user manufacturers.

Our research confirmed that manufacturers get it. They understand that a digital revolution is taking place, and they want to be part of it. Seventy-nine percent believe that digital disruption will drive a moderate to major impact at their companies in the next three years. Moreover, they see digital technologies such as cloud, IoT, and analytics as having the biggest impact on their production — not more manufacturing-centric technologies such as robotics and 3D printing.

However, in terms of driving new value, many are faltering. Their service strategies, for example, are seen as a key opportunity for new revenue, but they are not driving expected levels of growth.

Digital business transformation is the solution, but it can’t be done in a piecemeal fashion; it must be implemented across the entire organization and beyond, throughout the ecosystem. Analytics, cloud, machine-to-machine connections, and collaboration tools all enable new opportunities for sharing data insights. Getting those insights to the people (or machines) who need them most, on the other hand, can be challenging. In this context, silos — between IT and operational technology (OT), engineering and design, and so forth — are the enemy to progress.

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Accelerate Data Center Operations with Analytics

I had the distinct pleasure to meet Stephen Sorkin, Chief Strategy Officer for Splunk and talk to him about his views on the challenges enterprises face as they adapt to the mobile, social, cloud, and big data changes happening with their customers, competitors, and industry.  The recording below is the result of our discussion.  Stephen talks about the new connected environment where the end user experience is defined by the full stack running in the data center or the cloud.  There are components like the underlying bare metal, the hypervisor, the network, the storage that all have to be tied together in order to understand what the user’s experience is really going to be like.

Splunk and ACI

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