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Big Results at the Biggest Events

It is only a matter of time before all the major sports venues throughout the world will be connected. Consider this – five years ago, Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, the only high-density solution of its kind, was in the development stage. The pace of innovation has been exponential, and this past month, AT&T Stadium, host of the NCAA National Championship Game, saw nearly five terabytes of data come across the network. To put that in perspective, the entire printed works of the US Library of Congress is 10 terabytes, so half of that amount crossed the network in just a few hours!

Or, look at this past weekend in Arizona as American football’s Big Game took place. It was the sixth consecutive year that a Cisco Connected venue was chosen to host arguably the biggest one day sporting event in the world. And, what did you see? Scores of fans using the network, sharing photos and video, and engaging through technology. Collaborating with CDW and the Arizona Cardinals has been seamless, and our collective expertise makes the experience fans have at University of Phoenix Stadium flawless.

“There is nothing we get more excited about than seeing fans having a fabulous time using their mobile devices to consume, interact and share content at University of Phoenix Stadium,” said Mark Feller, VP, Technology, Arizona Cardinals. “We worked with Cisco and CDW because they have the track record for being the best in the industry at connecting the unconnected. As host of the Big Game at our Stadium, we needed a network and Wi-Fi platform that would be flawless – and Cisco and CDW delivered.”

Not enough? Look at one of the leagues that is hyper-focused on connectivity and innovation – the NBA. This year’s All-Star Weekend will be held in two venues, Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, both of which are utilizing Cisco Connected Sports solutions, including Connected Stadium Wi-Fi.

Think about where we will be in 2019? The vast majority of venues will be connected, however, during that time people, things, data, processes and more will also become connected as part of the Internet of Everything (IoE), and the opportunities for fans, players and organizations to capitalize on that connectivity will be transformative. The entire fan experience will always be based on the excitement of the live event. Nothing replaces that, but the opportunities to customize that experience, through analysis of data coming from everything being connected to the network, is incredibly powerful, and it excites us about the future.

This is not just a US phenomenon. It is happening globally as already more than 275 venues in 35 plus countries are operating Cisco solutions. We enjoy a global market leadership position because we focus on delivering solutions that work, and giving fans the connected experience they are looking for in this Internet of Everything hyper-connected world of today!

We are incredibly bullish on how the Internet of Everything is going to benefit the sports and entertainment industry; from the emotional and connections that fans will make with their favorite teams and players to how venues and leagues will create new revenue while also creating efficiencies.  Nothing will trump being in a stadium with 20,000 or 80,000 screaming fans as the game comes down to the last play or shot. But there isn’t any reason that experience can’t be enhanced when it is connected  and part of the Internet of Everything.

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Beyond the Internet of Things: How Convergence Can Help Governments Support Their Rising Tide of New Devices

The accelerated growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) already has created a cascade of changes across public sector. With more devices producing more data (and demanding more IT services), government agencies have been working to add more storage, security, increase network bandwidth and system management tools – all while supporting a growing range of applications which let them take advantage of their mountain of new data.

In order to truly take advantage of a growing variety of available solutions, many agencies still have a great deal of work to do. This includes working to merge parts of their existing infrastructure. The challenge is where to start. We see two significantly different types of converged infrastructure. Read More »

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Is the Internet of Things the New Dot-Com Era?

Fifteen to twenty years ago we were in the middle of another frothy, technology-hyped revolution — the Dot-Com era. Mass adoption of the Internet promised radical changes in business and our everyday life and a new social and economic Utopia. In those halcyon days, stock prices were on a tear, venture capital money flowed like water, and countless start-ups greedily chased the pot of gold. Could the most recent technology revolution, the Internet of Things, be another Dot-Com experience?

Like the Dot-Com revolution the Internet of Things is the culmination of radical advances in four core technology pillars: 1) Connectivity (dial-up modems of yesteryear vs. mobile data and high-speed broadband today); 2) Data (the browser vs. big data and analytics); 3) Cloud (CompuServe and AOL vs. cloud storage and computing); and 4) Things (PC computer vs. smart phones, sensors and other machines). Like the Dot-Com era, technology visionaries and strategists could see that the perfect storm of the disruption in these core technology pillars would herald Read More »

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Hamburg and Germany Seize the Internet of Everything Opportunity

During my recent business trip throughout Germany, the Hamburg Senate adopted a visionary “Digital City Strategy” to optimize value from the new era of massive digitalization. As MSalon_Hamburg 2015part of the initiative, a Digital City Control Center will be established in the Senate Chancellery to analyze data and improve citywide processes and projects with strategic partners.

“If Hamburg wants to shape this policy, now is the time to act,” said Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz.  And at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also asserted that “a digital offensive would create high-quality jobs and would help boost EU employment.”

Digitalization efforts are gaining momentum throughout Germany, fueled in part by the country’s Industry 4.0 initiative, and Hamburg in particular should be commended for its enterprising actions.  Officials and industry leaders here recognize that a citywdide information infrastrcuture is essential to extracting full value from digitalization and the Internet of Everything — the connection of data with people, processes and things

At the bustling Port of Hamburg, Europe’s second largest and only growing  port, CEO Jens Meier attributes recent record results and efficiency gains to technology. While here, Jens invited me aboard the, “CSCL Globe (China Shipping Container Line) ”,  the world’s largest container ship.  Longer than four soccer fields, the ship can transport 19,100 (TEU) containers. Hamburg was the mega ship’s first European port-of-call on its maiden voyage.

Boarding Largest Ship in HamburgIoEis playing a significant role in reducing operating costs, synchronizing the lifting and lowering of bridges with road and water traffic, improving collaboration among employees and citizens in adjacent Hamburg. Without these advances, the port would not have been able to accommodate and attract such a mammoth vessel or prepare for a doubling of container volume over the next several years, said  Jens.

The port and city of Hamburg are transforming into a powerful Seatropolis. The digital interconnectedness of port and city is a prime example of the “network multiplier effect”: The more inter-connections among nodes the greater the value of IoE.  We’re proud at Cisco to be partnering with the Port of Hamburg, and we’re confident our advances will make a big splash when it showcases IoE projects as Hamburg hosts the World Ports Conference in June.

Read More »

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See It. Learn It. Build It. Launch It.

Walking through the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live in Milan, I was struck by two things. First, we have an amazing array of platforms for developers who want to write applications that take advantage of the network – platforms that enable software-defined networking, collaboration, security, connected mobile experiences, data analysis at the edge, analysis of data in motion and more.

And second, our team has really focused on getting developers up and running with hands-on experiences as fast as possible. The DevNet Portal is a one-stop-shop for the resources DevNet Softrware Screenshot2_cmprssddevelopers need most. It speeds their development time by stepping them through their choice of learning tools, developer kits, APIs, forums to engage with Cisco engineers and lots of supporting documentation.

Then, a sandbox of developer tools provides access to the latest Cisco software and hardware platforms online. Developers can test in a real-world environment and quickly know that their code is verified to work with Cisco production equipment.

In fact, our APIC-EM controller sandbox set a Cisco record for the most users in its first two months of availability. Even now, the only way to get the latest early-field trial (EFT) version of APIC-EM is through either the EFT program or DevNet Sandbox.

The DevNet Zone and the DevNet Portal are innovative catalysts, helping the developer community to create new apps and automation functions on the network-as-a-platform. The personal and virtual interactions are inspiring.

Developers play a pivotal role in the progress of the Internet of Everything. Here this week in Milan, developers can see it, learn it, build it and launch it.  I was amazed.

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