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I am meeting old colleagues again. Are you?

IoTG OandGRecently I have join the Internet of Things (IOT) Solutions Marketing team, supporting the oil, gas and mining industries and suddenly in my new role I am meeting with old pals from oil, gas and mining industries again, finding them in different events, conversations, and blogs that just some months ago I would never had thought I would.

IOT is bringing together different industries and companies that had been in parallel tracks for long time. And blurring the lines between different divisions within big companies as well.

In the past, operations, sales, marketing and technology used to interact with different people, and tackling very different problems:  they were different divisions with no common objectives or language.  It used to happen as well between the consulting services and software division and the networking and infrastructure functions within big IT organizations.

Cisco, usually was rarely present in oil and gas industry events such as OTC, Oilcomm, and ENTELEC (see Cisco’s activities at ENTELEC here).  IT big shows were distant from industry events.  In events such as Cisco Live it would be impossible to find oil & gas applications, less chance even to find big industry players in the exhibition floor.  Well, all that is changing. This year in Cisco Live  (read Roberto De La Mora’s blog on Cisco Live here), companies like Rockwell , Schneider and EATON are having booths and speaking sessions and Cisco will be showcasing solutions for Oil & Gas. Read More »

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What Does IoT Mean to You?

April 28, 2014 at 5:45 am PST

What does IoT Mean to YouA few weeks ago I started to prepare my session for the great meeting of the minds at Cisco Live in San Francisco. I have to confess that at the beginning it felt a bit weird creating a presentation about Internet of Things (IoT), a market that is targeting Operational Technology (OT) decision-makers, for an event that for many years now has been a “mecca” for Information Technology (IT) professionals felt incongruous.

But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got about the opportunity. As the IoT market gets better defined and developed, and grows in size and relevance, it presents an unprecedented opportunity for IT professionals to engage in the conversation and bring in their experience, skills and perspective. The IoT solutions required by OT professionals are ripe for innovation, the type of innovation that IT professionals are great at.

Resilient, scalable and secure converged networks, simplified and automated management, new computing models (Fog) that deliver distributed intelligence, and system-wide application enablement are building blocks for more advanced and smarter solutions for IoT. In a previous blog I talked about some of the characteristics of these new environments, and how the extension of the traditional IT environments outside the “carpeted office” can deliver incredible gains in visibility, automation and control. Think about these examples in terms of business value enabled by Cisco’s IoT portfolio: Read More »

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The Extended Network Requires Security That’s the Same, Only Different

April 23, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

IoT Double Edged SwordWhen I was in grade school, my best friend had a favorite saying whenever he disagreed with somebody’s observation that two things were really similar. “It’s the same, only different,” he would quip. Though this phrase was mostly intended to be flippant and evoke an emotional response from the recipient, I’ve finally found a topic where his phrase is 100 percent legitimate; IoT security. That’s because when it comes to securing IoT, we’re not talking about a single, homogeneous network, but rather the extended network which comprises both Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) environments.

While existing IT networks have included cloud and perimeter security for many years, OT environments have traditionally been air gapped from the Internet, and therefore only required physical security components to ensure a high level of secure access and safety for plant personnel. And since IT and OT networks were completely separate, the radical differences in their approach to security didn’t make much of a difference – users of each simply lived in blissful isolation. But IoT is changing all of that! Read More »

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Cisco Live 2014 San Francisco: Security Technology Track

Cisco Live, May 18-24, 2014, is quickly approaching and registration is open. This is the 25th anniversary of Cisco Live and we return to the Bay Area at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Educational sessions are organized into technology tracks to make it easy to find the topics that most interest you. With network and data security being top of mind, I’d like to highlight the Security technology track’s exciting content lineup. Read More »

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Catalyst Virtual Switching System and Instant Access (VSS – IA) Lab at Cisco Live US

March 31, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

CLUS14May is fast approaching.  Many people at Cisco, myself included, are making a lot of preparations for Cisco Live US which is May 18 -- 22, 2014 in San Francisco. This is a special year when Cisco Live returns to San Francisco. You might be wondering what’s special, and here’s a quick tip.  It happens only every five years, when it’s a major Cisco anniversary year.  Last time it happened, it was 2009 when Cisco celebrated its 25th anniversary.  Over 10,000 people attended Cisco Live US that year. This year is Cisco’s 30th anniversary. The attendance is expected to be more than doubled. Here’re a few reasons that explain the rapid growth, based on 2013 the Cisco Live surveyed attendee feedback:

  • 99% believe that Cisco Live was a good investment of their time
  • 98% advised they gained valuable knowledge at the event that can be implemented by their company

Every year, new content and topics are being added so that you can keep up with technology evolutions and progress. I want to bring your attention to an exciting new hands-on, instructor-led training session: LTRCRS-2004 Catalyst Virtual Switching System -- Instant Access (VSS -- IA) Lab. It was first offered at Cisco Live Milan in January this year. It was a full house event – many people were put on the wait list because they did not register early enough. Read More »

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