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Our Innovation Ecosystem Shines Brilliantly at IoTWF in Dubai

As the sun rises on the third day of the third annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) this year in the super smart city of Dubai – the brilliance of the Internet of Things (IoT) market and the robust ecosystem that supports it continues to shine brightly. Rapid IoT prototyping and other innovative solutions that are transforming business and society flourished during three days of demos, case studies, keynotes, breakout sessions, hackathons, smart city tours and much more.

It’s fitting that this year’s IoTWF came toward the end of the calendar because it mirrored a full year of explosively disruptive growth and value – all made possible by connecting the unconnected through a digital platform we call the Internet.

Cisco's Innovation Engine_StaticIoT and its continuous evolution to the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, process, data and things – is maturing at unprecedented speed. The evidence was all around us with examples of how cloud, fog, mobility, sensors and other technologies are converging to create a new digital world. These outcome-based solutions are capturing new value in industries ranging from oil and gas, retail and healthcare to manufacturing, transportation and the public sector. The excitement, opportunity and optimism for IoT/IoE was literally tangible at IoTWF.

I know there is overwhelming statistical research and myriad examples of IoT’s expanding landscape. However, for me, one of the clearest signs of market acceleration is seeing the robust ecosystem of accelerators, incubators, startups, entrepreneurs and app developers that are coming together to drive innovation in this area.

At Cisco, we believe the next big idea can come from anywhere and we’ve built our own innovation engine around build, buy, partner, invest and co-development to reflect this. Specifically with IoT, we’re looking at how we apply this strategy – be it partnering with peers to introduce industry standards or encouraging the entrepreneur spirt with industry challenges. Coming out of this event, I am particularly proud of our work with our extended ecosystem showcased at this year’s IoTWF to bring IoT to life.

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The Future of IoT Is Now: Proof at the upcoming IoT World Forum

IoTWFWe’re now less than a week away from the Internet of Things World Forum, located in Dubai. This premier industry event, on December 6-8, will showcase many of the exciting transformations made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) gaining momentum across the globe. The agenda is packed with keynotes by industry leaders, breakout sessions, a hackathon, a startup showcase, and a smart-city tour of Dubai. But there are two events I’m particularly proud to highlight.

Research and Innovation Symposium

Designed for industry leaders, academic researchers, R&D directors, and technology professionals driving IoT, the symposium provides unique insight into the emerging technologies and research that will shape the future of IoT. This year, the symposium will explore “the two faces of IoT”—the endless possibilities for innovation, and the haunting technology questions and challenges that must be addressed and overcome as we move toward an ever more connected world. The symposium will run in two information-rich 75-minute sessions over the course of two days. It will highlight the insights of distinguished speakers from around the world representing perspectives from industry, government, and academia. If you want a glimpse into the future of IoT, don’t miss it.

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Back to Business: IoT Makes Traditional Industries Cool Again

The U.S. space program in the 1960s and ‘70s was a classic example of an innovation model that began with a government initiative, was applied to enterprise issues, and finally filtered down to consumers. Internet innovation in the early 2000s turned that model on its head by focusing first on consumer needs, consumer applications, and consumer-oriented technologies such as e-commerce, mobile, social, and cloud.

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is inverting the innovation yet model again, bringing enterprise-oriented business-to-business (B2B) technologies and applications back into vogue. IoT is making traditional industries such as manufacturing and logistics “cool” again.

One indication of this trend is the large number of startups focused on enterprise solutions. I meet with several startups every week, and all of them seem to be focusing on some aspect of IoT—analytics, fog computing, vertical applications, sensor connectivity, and more. These startups see the huge transformative business opportunity of IoT, as the connections among people, process, data, and things become more pervasive. Millennials are driving this digital transformation. We can see their influence as consumers in the auto industry, for example, where new cars have essentially become smartphones on wheels. But now Millennials are also driving IoT innovations as participants who insist on using mobile devices and state-of-the-art software and tools to access and control IoT operations.

The Internet of Things is sparking innovation in traditional industries.

The Internet of Things is sparking innovation in traditional industries.

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IoT Disruptors: Announcing Innovation Grand Challenge Semi-Finalists

I am thrilled to be the first to announce our 15 semi-finalists in Cisco’s second annual Innovation Grand Challenge. Culled from more than 3,000 entries in over 100 countries since June, I can sum up the semi-finalists’ innovations in one word: Disruptors.

Innovation signI want to congratulate all the semi-finalists for making it this far. It gives me tremendous pleasure to identify them below. I wish all of these bold pioneers much success in the weeks ahead as we begin the countdown to the three winners in early December at the IoT World Forum in Dubai.

Will One Be the Next Uber?

Will one of the semi-finalists emerge as the next Uber, Airbnb or Pandora that disrupts and transforms whole markets with unforeseen business models? By looking over these entries, which leverage the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), I can easily imagine this distinct possibility.

These IoT trailblazers also validate my view that today’s daring new developments can come from anywhere in the world. These 15 are dispersed throughout North and South America as well as Europe, including Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Another observation is the power and potential of converging technologies around IoT have captured the attention and imagination of the entrepreneurial community worldwide, reflecting the growing trend of globalization and diversity of technical talent.

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IoT Innovation: Accelerating Rapidly and Exponentially

Co-Innovation. Hyper-Collaboration. Sharing Economy.

Whatever you call it, it’s clear to me that the global community of innovators around the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps accelerating — rapidly and exponentially. I have personally experienced this disruptive growth in just the past three months, especially in how co-innovators are focusing more and more on solutions for the public and private sectors.

I wrote here three months ago that I anticipated greater participation in Cisco’s 2nd annual Innovation Grand Challenge, which we launched on June 22nd. I was expecting solid, steady growth of entries in key industry markets, such as Manufacturing, Smart Cities and Energy/Utilities.

But we were completely overwhelmed by the response!

Alex Internet of ThingsBy the time entries were closed two weeks ago (Sept. 7), we had received more than 3,000 entries in more than 100 countries from startups, incubators, entrepreneurs and independent developers. That’s three times the number of submissions as the first year of the competition and more than all four of our annual Grand Challenges combined. The top 10 countries with the most entries reflect the geographic scope and diversity of IoT innovation: United States, India, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Mexico, the Russia, and Indonesia.

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