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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.

In the past three months, we Read More »

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Unleashing Value with Today’s IoT Innovation Leaders

Who is innovating the next big thing? Where are they? Will it be you?

Whether in a garage, lab, university, startup or coffee shop, we at Cisco are searching the world over for entrepreneurs developing the next innovative game-changers around the Internet of Things (IoT).

How will we find you?alexbloginnovationgrandchallengepic1

On Monday, June 22, we launched the second annual Innovation Grand Challenge to discover the latest and greatest IoT innovators over the next six months. We’re enticing them out of the shadows and into the spotlight with $250,000 in total prizes and $150,000 to the overall winner. Further, winners will gain access to Cisco’s IoE Centers of Innovation, premier resources, mentorships and vast opportunities with partners and investors to change the way we live, work, play and learn.

When will we identify the winners?

The submission period runs from June 22 through Sept. 7, with the top three innovators to be announced on Dec. 7 at the IoT World Forum in Dubai. Information about guidelines and submitting entries can be found here. Read More »

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Game Theory and the Power of Innovating as an Industry

The recent passing of John Forbes Nash made me wonder how his ingenious game theory can be applied to technology innovation.

Very simply put, Nash’s theory of equilibrium puts forth that outcomes are more attainable for all parties when they work cooperatively toward a goal rather than against each other in isolation. Knowing each other’s mindset and working together gives each party a better chance at achieving his or her objective than working on their own.

This theory has been used to analyze everything from wars and sports to evolutionary biology and games of skill. Read More »

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