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“Second Wave” IoE Study Identifies U.S. Public Sector Value

At Cisco, we have identified the Internet of Everything (IoE) as the next wave of the Internet, an explosion of connectivity among people, process, data, and things. We have estimated that these connections in the IoE offer a staggering $19 trillion in Value at Stake over the next decade for both private and public sectors. And now that IoE is here, it’s important to talk about how both enterprises and public-sector organizations can take full advantage of this market transition. To help, Cisco is offering two comprehensive pieces of thought leadership to illustrate a roadmap for IoE. A Fast IT strategy helps enterprises capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake. The Internet of Everything in the Public Sector research explores how IoE is transforming government to demonstrate how public-sector organizations can capture their share of the IoE Value at Stake.

By Pat Finn

When we look at the concept of the Internet of Everything (IoE), we talk about how people, processes, data and things can help generate real business value and assist with better decision making.

But how is IoE properly embraced and executed within the U.S. public sector?

In January 2014, Cisco released an IoE public sector value at stake study that stated IoE could generate $4.6 Trillion in value for public sector organizations over the next decade. This week, Cisco unveiled a “second wave” public sector value at stake study that profiles more than 40 individual public sector jurisdictions around the world and how they’ve embraced IoE.

Furthermore, Cisco unveiled a Top Ten Tips List to teach organizations about practical approaches to IoE.

In this new study, we see that many U.S. jurisdictions have successfully deployed initiatives around IoE and therefore have become models for other jurisdictions.

Below are three stand-out use cases profiled in the study.

Chicago Plows Forward with Data

It’s no surprise that the Windy City often experiences severe weather conditions. But as many local residents know, snowfall can be unpredictable and hit different areas of the city more than others. So to more efficiently dispatch plows to areas that need snow removal, the city of Chicago utilizes existing traffic cameras to monitor the streets for snowfall.  The city also placed GPS tracking devices on the plows themselves so that they could monitor what streets had already been plowed.

When cities capture data in this way, they not only create more efficiencies in day-to-day operations, they also make roads safer for residents.

Snow monitoring is just one example of how Chicago is thinking creatively about how to leverage data to produce smarter processes within government. Through bus and train tracker applications, the Chicago Transit Authority gathers, analyzes, and disseminating bus and train location information to more efficiently monitor performance for these modes of transportation.

But leveraging data internally isn’t the extent of Chicago’s innovation efforts. As a proponent of open data, the city has made roughly 500 city data sets available through an open, online platform that developers can access for creating their own apps. Civic hacking is just one more way to provide city data more directly to the residents.

To say that Chicago is a leader of IoE would be an understatement. And as the host location of this year’s Internet of Things World Forum this coming October, I look forward to watching Chicago expand and develop innovation as they prepare for this influential event.

UVA Telehealth Connects With Patients Remotely

Access to quality healthcare can often be a challenge for individuals who live in rural areas or in countries that have limited healthcare services.

To address these challenges, the University of Virginia (UVA) Telehealth program was developed so doctors and clinicians can connect virtually with patients using solutions like immersive telepresence and unified communications. Using these solutions, doctors can provide basic medical examinations and services in nearly 40 specialties for patients.

Not only are these doctors able to connect with patients located in the distant corners of Virginia, but the UVA Center for Telehealth program has been expanded so doctors can virtually connect with other doctors in areas of developing countries that are medically underserved. Having that capability to share medical knowledge and best practices will help doctors make better medical decisions and improve communication among doctors who work with each other within a single hospital.

Beyond patient-to-physician and physician-to-physician interaction, using these innovative technologies will open up opportunities for remote mentorship in the medical field all while saving money, time and travel.

San Antonio, Texas, Thinks IoE for the Municipal Court and the Streets

For some jurisdictions, embracing IoE could mean a long road ahead. But San Antonio, Texas, has proactively invested in IoE technology as a way to empower its agencies now and in the future to do more, better by connecting people processes data and things. According to the new value at stake study, a host of agencies in San Antonio have innovated on top of the city’s pervasive wired and wireless mesh network infrastructure – in many cases, in ways that were not thought of when fiber optic was laid.

San Antonio deployed a city-wide traffic control system that synchronizes and manages more than 1,200 traffic lights at the city’s intersections. By deploying a system that automates the timing of traffic lights, the city can expect smoother traffic flow, which may seem like a small matter of just a few minutes per vehicle. But according to city officials they estimate that city residents and business were spending an extra $2 billion prior to the project starting, based on the value of time and gas no longer spent while waiting at traffic lights.  To take it to the next level, the system also provides control over some traffic cameras, which can provide better visibility of traffic activity to the city’s traffic managers.

Off the streets, the city piloted a remote video system so Municipal Court judges and citizens can complete court hearings through video conferencing technology available through kiosks and link centers in the city. As an extension of this service, constituents may also complete other court related matters such as paying traffic tickets through an online payment mechanism.

Capturing IoE

San Antonio, like other leading jurisdictions, has identified not only practical, but cost-saving approaches that will allow for smoother, more efficient operations in the long term all while embracing IoE. These three profiles, and others in the research, are paramount examples of how jurisdictions large and small have successfully leveraged their existing technology resources, drafted long-term plans and goals for tangible benefits, and found the right partners to execute on projects which improve citizen experience and financial health of the organization – all with IoE technology.

Let these profiles be your guide when planning your own IoE strategy. If jurisdictions learn from one another and teach each other best practices, they can truly capture the benefits of IoE.

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Why CXOs Must Get Moving When It Comes to Mobility

With the frenzy that comes with new phone releases, the excitement that new app launches cause, and our increasing ability to establish connections with anyone virtually anywhere, it’s safe to say the Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing everything about our global network.

And while the Internet of Everything describes the connections that link people, places, process, data and things, the convergence of all of these elements is the source of its growth.

On their own, increased mobility, enhanced cloud and Fast IT are changing the business and IT landscape. A new model for IT that accounts for the convergence of these technologies is essential to accelerating the trajectory of the Internet of Everything to new heights.

Mobility has especially emerged as a key factor, with 25 billion devices estimated to be connected to the Internet by 2015. For this reason, tracking (and staying ahead of!)  top mobility trends remains a priority for every organization. Read More »

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Turning the Retail Store into a High-Octane Digital Experience

Digital innovations have upended many assumptions about the art of buying and selling. But the brick-and-mortar retail store is far from extinct. And while digital technologies continue to disrupt traditional business models, they also present retailers with exciting opportunities to make their stores more immersive, interactive, and, well, digital.

Recently, I had the privilege of discussing the future of the retail store with Doug Stephens, one of the world’s foremost retail industry experts and author of the book, The Retail Revival: Reimagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism. Listen to the full interview here.

As Doug describes it, “media is becoming the store and the store in essence is becoming media.” In short, he argues that the store itself has to embrace many of the capabilities and services that have made online retailers so successful, while retaining and enhancing some of the advantages of the physical retail experience. The store should become a “high-octane experience,” as Doug puts it.

Cisco_RetailStoreHighOctane_5.16.14

I wholeheartedly agree. In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, an explosion of new connections is driving new sources of value. And the physical retail store can capture these new sources of value — just as their online counterparts have.

The key lies in blending the two experiences in a seamless manner.

As in-store consumers, we expect to interact with a product viscerally in a physical retail setting; online we enjoy access to rich product content. Combining the two will go far to engage and convert consumers while cementing brand loyalty.

Here are a few of the ways in which retailers are creating new digital in-store experiences:

  • Data analytics present a precise picture of an individual shopper, their online research and shopping history, and their real-time, in-store browsing, as tracked through their smart device and/or in-store video.
  • Wi-Fi and mobile technologies enable new connections during each step of the shopping journey, offering real-time prompts, expert advice, and incentives to “seal the deal.”
  • RFID tags and other sensors — combined with data analytics — provide precise tracking of products and inventory and enable such in-store experiences as “magic mirrors” and digital signage. These utilize detailed information on individual shopper behavior and buying history to transform the real-time experience.

Doug and I agree that, moving forward, it will be essential for retailers to gain the trust of consumers. If they are to be tracked in-store and engaged in real time, customers will need to feel confident that retailers are fully transparent throughout the shopping journey.

Surveys show that consumers have their doubts about sharing data. But when trust is established and clear benefits and value are established, they are willing to op-in. In effect, the nature of the exchange has to be clear, and education is crucial. Then, the full power of merging digital technology with the brick-and-mortar world will be evident.

The end result, I believe, is a win-win for retailers and customers alike.

But the key for retailers is to lead not follow. Waiting to see what other retailers are doing is not an option. Through data and analytics, they can get to know their customers better than ever. And by knowing their wants and desires, create a digital in-store experience that is more exciting than ever before.

For more on innovation in retailing check out our new BizWise video to learn how one mall owner has transformed relationships with shoppers using an omni-channel approach.

Future of Mobility Podcast Series: Turning the Retail Store into a High-Octane Digital Experience from Cisco Business Insights

Additional Resources:

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Parking Gets IoE Smart

Ooh! That gal’s pulling out…Wait, Wait! If I can just get over 2 lanes…Ahhh, quit yer honking! NO WAY!!! That hotshot in the red convertible just stole my spot! Now I have to go around the block again…!

You know you’ve been through this and you’ve probably also been behind someone trying to get across 2 lanes to capture a spot and causing mayhem. It’s estimated that 30% of all traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by drivers circling and struggling to find a parking spot. With cities growing at an estimated 10,000 people per hour, the situation isn’t going to get any better unless we make some changes.

Solving the parking madness

Cities--perhaps yours--can now implement a new Internet of Everything solution — Cisco Smart+Connected City Parking — to help alleviate many of their parking (and resulting traffic) headaches. The solution not only serves spot-seeking drivers, but can also support traffic enforcement officers to locate violations more easily, generate more revenue from citations, and reduce vandalism and other safety issues via video surveillance. Finally, the solution provides date to city operations centers to improve planning and development decisions. Read More »

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As Technology Changes ‘Everything,’ Don’t Forget About People

In a constantly changing world, getting the right talent focused on the most pressing challenges is essential — not just for companies, but for service providers, cities, and countries.

Today, the key driver of that rapid change is technology, particularly the explosion in connectivity known as the Internet of Everything (IoE). Cisco predicts that IoE will have connected 50 billion “things” by 2020, compared to 10 billion today. But for all the talk of things, IoE is not just about embedding sensors in shoes, jet engines, refrigerators, and shopping carts. The true opportunity arises when people, process, data, and things are connected in startling new ways.

In such an environment, collaboration is critical. Indeed, IoE-related innovations have the potential to improve and transform our world in profound ways. But no one company can solve these challenges. They will require partnerships and the open sharing of ideas and talent.

Technology companies, in particular, will need to change the ways in which they utilize their talent. For many decades, there was one way to access talent — by hiring it. Today, workforces are flexible and may be spread across time zones and continents. Knowledge workers still contribute as employees on company payrolls, of course. But increasingly, they are just as likely to collaborate on a specific project as partners or as subject-matter experts sharing knowledge within cross-functional or cross-industry groups.

That is why I feel so strongly about a recent out-of-court settlement in Silicon Valley regarding the free flow of talent from one organization to another. Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe agreed to pay more than $300 million to 64,000 engineers who claimed that the companies’ hiring policies were hindering their career paths and access to higher salaries.

Read More »

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