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An Internet of Everything Startup Spotlight: Alex Hawkinson, Founder & CEO, SmartThings

Last month I kicked off a new series focusing on companies and start-ups that are helping to move the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. Today, I am excited to share some insights from Alex Hawkinson, founder of SmartThings, a platform for automating connected objects.

Alex shares an interesting perspective with us about the value of increased connections and how creating an open, low-cost way to automate our lives is key to achieving the full benefit of the Internet of Everything. Here’s a look at how Alex and SmartThings are pioneering the growth of IoE.

AHawkinsonSmartThings is garnering a lot of buzz in the industry for adding intelligence to everyday objects to achieve home and office automation. In which ways is SmartThings leading the way by connecting the previously unconnected?

The dream of the Jetsons-style house has long been just that – a dream. Different smart devices have come to market but, generally speaking, they’ve been hard to buy, set up and use. With SmartThings we set out to create a single platform and single app interface from which you can control all of the connected objects in your life. When you purchase a SmartThings kit, you can connect pieces of your home in minutes once you plug in the hub and download the app. You can mix and match third-party devices with those created by SmartThings to build the connected space that makes the most sense for you. SmartThings is simple enough that the average smartphone user can bring a connected world to life, but sophisticated enough that an inventor can create completely new devices and applications to custom fit his or her needs.

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Perceptions and Benefits of Employers and Users in UC&C

This is the fourth post in a series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

In a previous blog post based on this research, we heard about evidence that the implementation of some technologies is no longer the end goal in UC&C but have become a ‘ticket to the game’. In this most recent blog, Nagi Kasinadhuni, general manager converged communications and customer interaction solutions, has expanded on those ideas with his opinion on where this will lead clients in the future.

According to Kasinadhuni, when studying the UC&C study closely, some interesting nuances can be seen. In general, his opinion is that the decision maker survey is predictable, except in areas or markets where the adoption of bring your own device (BYOD) is high. High growth markets also tend to have higher BYOD adoption rates as opposed to more mature markets. Read More »

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Care Networking, Care Anywhere, Care Customization

Join Cisco, Intel, and other leading healthcare and  technology organizations for a series of leadership webcasts on October 23-24 that address the top challenges facing healthcare and IT professionals today.  The third annual Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit will focus on relevant topics such as care networking, how mobility expands care from the hospital to the community, and customizing care with big data. This free, unique online event includes:

  • Live webcasts
  • Networking opportunities
  • Live interaction
  • White papers
  • Case studies

Get a preview of this online event by listening to Barbara Casey, Senior Executive Director for Healthcare at Cisco, discuss clinical mobility devices and connecting the unconnected.

Register for the 2013 Intel Health & Life Sciences Innovation Summit webcast series on October 23-24 to hear more about how mobility can expand care from the hospital to the community.

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MegaTrends: Network Programming and Cisco ONE in Enterprise Networks

How do we evolve the IT architecture to enable an ever-increasing set of services while multiple MegaTrends are rapidly transforming the environment? How do you deliver the best possible experience to your users and applications while maintaining agility and keeping cost under control?

Today, in my first blog after the summer break, I’d like to start exploring a topic which is critical to building this new architecture supporting current and upcoming Megatrends – and which can be seen as a Megatrend itself as well: Software Defined Networking (SDN) and the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy and architecture.

Bruno Klauser, Consulting Engineer in my team has been focusing on Network Programmability and network-embedded automation for some time – and is currently working with many of the early adopters across EMEAR.

Q: Bruno, with Software Defined Networking  being an increasingly  popular discussion topic we’re hearing a lot of of comments – from “nothing new at all” to “complete revolution of IT” – what, if anything, is different from how we built solutions in the past? Read More »

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Mobile Devices Will Transform Your Business IT

There’s no question that more people around the world are connecting to wireless networks at home, work and play via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This rise in mobile device usage begs the question: How soon will it be (if not already) before these mobile devices dominate the mobile network, especially in the workplace?

Chris Spain - with header FINALJust recently, I read an article in Forbes, by Louis Columbus, that addresses the issue of increased mobile devices and unprepared network infrastructures. The article examines a study by IDC that predicts that 87% of sales for connected devices will be tablets and smartphones in next four years. As many employees prefer working from their own mobile devices, corporate networks, as they’re currently designed, will not be capable of successfully managing such a large volume of mobile data traffic generated by these mobile devices. With such expansive growth expected, the majority of businesses will either need to adapt an existing strategy to support this increase in mobile devices or adopt a new strategy.

Currently, there is a clear need for enterprises to better prepare and invest in their IT infrastructure. As more employees use their own devices at work for business and personal use, it’s imperative that business organizations require a secure mobile device and BYOD strategy to accommodate their business needs and employee preferences. However, the decision to adopt BYOD comes with a set of challenges for IT organizations.

Many of the benefits of BYOD, such as having the choice of device and anywhere, anytime access, are somewhat adverse to traditional IT requirements for security and support. In the past, IT pre-determined a list of approved workplace devices, typically a prescribed desktop, laptop, and perhaps even a small, standardized set of mobile phones and smartphones. Employees could choose among these devices, but generally were not permitted to stray from the approved devices list. With BYOD, IT has to approach the problem differently. Read More »

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