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The Internet of Everything: Where Technology and Innovation Meet To Make the World a Better Place

What will the future be like? As depicted in today’s popular movies and books, the future is either one of bright promise—where the world’s greatest problems have been solved by technology and greater human enlightenment—or it’s a dystopian world where today’s problems have only gotten worse, technology has gone bad, and the very survival of humanity is at risk.

As Cisco’s chief futurist, it’s my job to think about what the world will look like in a few years, and how our actions today will impact that future. And while I’m not ready to put on my rose-colored glasses just yet, I do have an optimistic view of what the future may bring, enabled by the Internet of Everything (IoE). Within 10 years, there will be 50 billion connected things in the world, with trillions of connections among them. These connections will change the world for the better in ways we can’t even imagine today. But here are just a few things I can imagine:

Better supply of food: Sensors all along the food supply chain, together with Big Data analytics and the intelligence of the cloud, will help us optimize the delivery of food from “farm to fork.” Sensors in the field will be combined with weather forecasts and other data to trigger irrigation and harvest times for each crop. And sensors on the food itself will alert merchants and consumers about when the “sell by” and “use by” dates are approaching to prevent spoilage. All of this will significantly reduce food waste—which today amounts to about one-third of total world food production.

Better supply of water: Similarly, about 30 percent of our water supply is lost due to leaks and waste. Just one faucet or leaky pipe dripping three times a minute will waste more than 100 gallons of water a year. “Smart” pipes can reduce this waste significantly by sensing and pinpointing the location of leaks that would otherwise go undetected for months or years.

Better access to education: Affordable access to education is one of the most important ways to lift people out of poverty. Soon, time and distance will no longer limit access to an engaging, affordable, high-quality education. With connection speeds going up, and equipment costs going down, distance learning is going beyond traditional online classes to create widely accessible immersive, interactive, real-time learning experiences.

Better access to healthcare: Urbanization and population growth are putting a strain on healthcare resources—especially in rural areas. After the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, Cisco was a strategic partner in creating a networked medical delivery system, including four telehealth networks that allow doctors to meet with and examine patients remotely. But those capabilities are just the beginning of what IoE will make possible. Soon, women with high-risk pregnancies will be able to wear a tiny, always-on fetal monitoring electronic “tattoo,” which will communicate to the cloud whenever the woman is within range of a wireless network. The analytics capabilities in the cloud will alert doctors at the first sign of trouble, and even tell the mother-to-be when she needs to drink more water, or get more rest.

While sensors and machine-to-machine communication are important parts of these solutions, it’s not just the “Internet of Things” that is making all of this possible—it’s the Internet of Everything—the networked connection of people, process, data, and things. And Big Data analytics is what brings the intelligence to all of these connections, enabling new kinds of processes, and helping us make smarter decisions.

I’ve highlighted just four areas where IoE will change the world for the better. But there is not a single part of life that will not be impacted in some way—whether that means improving your drive to work, speeding you through the checkout line at the grocery store, saving energy through smart lighting, or minimizing your wait at a traffic light. The Internet of Everything is not a silver bullet that can solve all the world’s woes, but with the spark of human innovation, IoE can be the engine for a better future.

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Designing the Next Generation Branch for Business Impact

register for webinarsThere is no denying the changing role of IT. The traditional govern and build approach is too slow for the new world of cloud and mobile computing.  IT departments, who once carefully metered out which services they would offer and how they would be delivered, are now being led by a completely new set of drivers.

The model has been upended: employees and customers now decide by proxy what they want and it falls upon IT to scramble and deliver it instantly.  These days the face of the technologist is your average high school student, retail shopper, hotel guest, hospital patient, and even branch office employee.   This “consumerization of IT” has transformed these beings into powerful, roaming, high-octane data seekers assuming connectivity at all times. In essence, they expect access to any application on any device from anywhere with a high quality experience. Read More »

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Post-event: The Ultimate Omnichannel Experience – Cisco FSI at BAI Retail Delivery 2013

Enthusiasm was at an all-time high at BAI Retail Delivery 2013 in Denver, CO last week as we continue to see major transformation in the banking industry.  Within the Cisco booth, we demonstrated a series of solutions that enable digital and physical channels to become more interactive and sales focused, while improving the customer’s banking experience. Attendees were excited to walk through various live customer business scenarios – all enabled by the same infrastructure – and available today.

BAI Cisco Booth 1

Cisco’s Omnichannel Booth Experience
The Cisco Financial Services team led the booth tours that took attendees through an end-to-end omnichannel experience. Participants were asked to play the role of an existing customer for the entire demonstration and were shown how Cisco can assist financial institutions in their desire to be more intimate and responsive to their clients’ needs. We demonstrated a seamless customer experience that can drive increased satisfaction and wallet share. Read More »

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If Time is Money, Then it’s Time to Rethink BYOD

Ken Trombetta Cisco blog - 10 31 13When Benjamin Franklin coined the famous phrase, “time is money,” I am sure the advances of mobile technology were not on his mind. However, the adage is more relevant now than ever before as organizations evaluate their mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies.

BYOD is Here to Stay

Earlier this year we announced the results of the Cisco IBSG BYOD Financial Impact study. The global research revealed interesting statistics about the financial impact of BYOD including:

  • Mobile users are willing to invest in BYOD. Mobile employees who BYOD (“BYOD-ers”) spend on average $965 on their devices, and use 1.7 personal devices for work. They spend an additional $734 per year on voice and data plans for their BYOD devices.
  • BYOD is delivering productivity gains around the world. Even with a broad mix of BYOD implementation levels, the typical company is, on average, saving money and its employees are more productive.
  • Comprehensive BYOD pays for itself in hard cost savings. Apart from productivity gains, the major cost savings are in three areas: hardware, support and telecommunications costs. Read More »

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Imagine a World With True Any to Any Collaboration

True any to any collaboration means you can collaborate via rich media in real time no matter where you are and who you want to collaborate with.  You can use the device you want and collaborate the way you want with voice, video, messaging, or content sharing – imagine never again hearing the phrase “I will take care of that when I get back into the office.”

Cisco is striving to make this vision a reality and has made significant progress.  For example, Cisco recently announced capabilities for:

  • Mobile and teleworkers:  Making voice, video, messaging and content available outside the corporate network to mobile Jabber users and teleworkers without needing a VPN.   Best of all, our customers can realize these benefits with no additional costs.*
  • Intercompany and consumer collaboration:  Enabling real-time voice, video, and data-sharing capabilities for businesses to collaborate with consumers and business partners using Jabber Guest.  Customers or partners simply click a URL, website link, or mobile application to start the interaction. Organizations can build these capabilities into their website or mobile application with the included SDKs.

These capabilities are made possible by the Cisco Collaboration Edge Architecture and an important component of this architecture, the newly released Cisco Expressway – they enable bridging of collaboration islands to enable any to any collaboration.

The diagram below shows the use cases that the architecture delivers. Read More »

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