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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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Five Keys to Success Leading Digital Business Transformation

As we explored in my previous blog, today’s rampant pace of innovation can be likened to a Digital Vortex, where ideas, technologies, and even entire industries are swept to the center of the Vortex — recombining and merging into disruptive new business models.

In such an environment, digital business transformation is critical — and demands decisive top-down leadership. Nevertheless, as our Digital Vortex research revealed, 45 percent of companies don’t consider digital disruption a board-level concern.

That represents a dangerous level of complacency, especially for market incumbents. We all know the names of seemingly immune incumbents that rested easy as innovative disruptors combined technologies into new business models — challenging and disrupting them from seemingly out of nowhere. Those disruptors were innovative, agile, and, of course, digital (see chart below from our Digital Vortex research).

Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

As Chris Skinner, author of Digital Bank, told our team, “If banks aren’t digital Read More »

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#CiscoChat: Industrial Security: Critical for Digital Manufacturing?

Cisco_Chat_Industrial  Security_TWITTER[1]

Manufacturing is undergoing radical advancements, much like the ones we’ve seen in healthcare and education, thanks to the Internet of Everything (IoE) and all of the people, data, processes and things it connects.

By 2020, it’s estimated that there will be 50 billion devices and objects connected to the Internet, including many of the devices in the manufacturing world. “Smart” factories where machines “talk” to one another, fleet vehicles such as trucks and forklifts with sensors that monitor their movements, and even wireless inventory tracking devices are all in play at manufacturers across the globe. Manufacturers are embracing a new generation of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Person-To-Machine (P2M) systems, as well as mobile applications and cloud-based services that drive efficiency and innovation across their value chain.

All of these connected “things” and processes allow manufacturers to Read More »

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Drones: Just Buzz or Real Business?

“Why Cisco?” I was asked repeatedly after speaking on a panel about drones. “Why not Cisco?” was my passionate response.

Drone 1The occasion was the recent NASA UTM Convention at Silicon Valley’s historic Moffett Field to explore creative traffic management solutions for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), popularly known as drones. At Cisco, we see a full spectrum of public, enterprise and consumer opportunities, as well as an amazing ecosystem of partners evolving around “connected” drones. This isn’t just buzz, but a real business opportunity.

After all, drones capture and transmit “ungodly amounts of data,” as Cisco’s Helder Antunes noted during his keynote session and CNBC interview. Cisco’s network backbone, solutions and applications enable the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the connection of people, processes, data and things – and drones represent important, mobile, data-rich nodes on the network. Please also read Helder’s blog on drones and the IoE here.

drone 2When it comes to drones and many other remotely connected and mobile devices, it’s really all about Collaboration, Cloud, Fog Computing – and Analytics, whether at the edge, across the network or in the cloud. To seamlessly transform raw data from sensors and images into actionable insights, an end-to-end platform is needed to optimally capture, store, share and process data most anywhere.

For example, one of the biggest challenges for drone operations today is to efficiently collect and effectively transfer colossal amounts of data over weak or non-existent network links in remote areas. Many times, these processes take days or weeks before the collected data can be processed and meaningful insights can be derived.

High-value crops such as grapes may suffer significant business losses due to such time-lagged decisions. Again, what’s needed is the connection to a reliable, high-speed platform. Cisco’s hardware and software technologies enable virtually real-time decision making without experts having to physically download and tackle the data deluge challenge on-site.

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Precision Agriculture, Safety & Security and Field Asset Inspection are some verticals that could immensely benefit by leveraging unmanned aircrafts due to their unique abilities to navigate in complex remote environments.

At the NASA event, Angelo Fienga of Cisco Italy and I demonstrated an interesting use case of how one can utilize Cisco’s collaboration infrastructure to unleash “remote expert” capabilities using drones. We successfully exhibited that by relaying the live camera feed of the drone over to WebEx and TelePresence infrastructure, allowing an agronomist thousands of miles away across the globe to precisely observe, guide and control data collection operation in the field.

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So all this and more is why “Cisco and drones” make a lot of sense. I’m excited about the possibilities here, and will share some more ideas during my keynote address at the upcoming InterDrone conference in Las Vegas from Sep 9-11, 2015.  I hope to see you there.

Meantime, what applications do you think are better suited for a drone business?

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Drones and the Internet of Everything: Where Does Cisco Fit?

Earlier this summer I was privileged to be the closing keynote speaker at the UTM Convention, sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s Silicon Valley chapter. The convention took place at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, and focused on the unmanned-vehicle traffic management (UTM) aspect of drones.

Helder Antunes spoke about the Internet of Everything and drones at the UTM Convention in July.  Photo Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

Helder Antunes spoke about the Internet of Everything and drones at the UTM Convention in July. Photo Credit: NASA Ames Research Center

You might be thinking, “Cisco is a networking company, why would you be involved in a drone conference?” Well, drones have to be connected, and that’s what Cisco does. They transmit massive amounts of data that must be collected, sorted, and analyzed. This is exactly where Cisco should be playing. Read More »

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