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Writing a new chapter of my story: Taking on the Internet of Things opportunity at Cisco

This week I’m excited to participate in an event we are organizing in Chicago, home of the 2014 Internet of Things World Forum.  We’re meeting with some of our partners and customers as we make a few joint announcements – including a new IoE Innovation Center in Barcelona, and showcasing some new solutions built on our platform by some of our partners. Additionally, I’m getting a preview of some of the amazing smart & connected deployments in Chicago – a preview for the IoT World Forum.

I am writing this blog as I gear up to lead Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) Systems & Software Group. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent time getting to know the group and have been struck by the tremendous energy and focus on customers and partners the team has.  I’m also excited about how dynamic the Internet of Things space is.

While we’ve calculated the total economic value at stake for Internet of Everything by 2020 – $19T – and the number of potential connected devices – 50B – these nearly unfathomable numbers may, honestly, not pan out exactly to the decimal.  The Internet of Everything could be smaller or, more likely, much much larger – but the overall point is that more and more people, process, data, and things are connecting.  Professor Michael Nelson of Georgetown University has said that “Trying to determine the market size for the Internet of Things is like trying to calculate the market for plastics, circa 1940.”  At that time it would have been nearly unfathomable for the numbers of existing things – milk containers, furniture, industrial components – to be made into plastic.  And just as plastics have pervaded every part of our lives and enabled new industries, the connections created by Internet of Everything will too. I think that’s a great way to think about the untapped potential of this market. Read More »

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Securing What’s At Stake with the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has made a profound impact on our lives.  However, it also means that more personal information and business data will be passed back and forth in the cloud, and with that comes new security risks, new attack surfaces, and new kinds of attacks. And with an unprecedented number of companies staking the future of their businesses on the pervasive connectedness that the IoT world promises, business leaders need to empower their technical teams to create secure IoT networks.

Most organizations deploy disparate technologies and processes to protect key elements of their businesses, including the information technology (IT) that is typically focused on information protection and operational technology (OT) charged with managing control networks that support critical infrastructure, as well as physical spaces.  I recently encountered a company that implements more than 80 security products for different tasks.  Many of these systems don’t work together, which in turn limits the level of security this company can achieve.

In an IoT environment, we need to accommodate the priorities of both IT and OT networks, balance physical safety and security requirements, and also begin to implement cybersecurity solutions to equally protect all networks from attack.  Solutions must be put into place to protect the device, control levels of the network, and the data contained and shared. We need to shift our mindset from considering each object in isolation, to looking at the whole. Attackers are taking a holistic view of the IoT and defenders must do the same.

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Launching Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence in Europe

I recently wrote about how we are extending Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR)  and our open innovation strategy beyond Silicon Valley through local incubation partners in Chicago, San Diego and Berkeley.  Our presence in these innovation hubs will enable us to discover, influence and learn from new ideas and talent at early-stage startups with potential to disrupt our industry.

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Cisco EIR Europe, extending our program to a non-U.S. innovation hub for the first time.  Cisco EIR will be located initially in Vienna, where we plan to launch a small cohort of early-stage European startups by January 2015 – to be supported & incubated by Cisco – drawn from across EMEAR.  As with Cisco EIR in Silicon Valley, we will look for game-changing entrepreneurs in IoE, security, Big Data/analytics, Smart Cities & other transformational opportunities that are in Cisco’s strategic line of sight.  Also as in our Silicon Valley program, the startups will be supported by Cisco engineering & product teams as well as our EMEAR partner ecosystem.  The Vienna-based program is intended to serve as the beachhead – our “Phase 1” – for a broader EU-wide footprint for Cisco EIR.

Key to our success is how we leverage the startup ecosystem that already exists in Europe.  To this end, starting in Vienna, we have partnered with Pioneers, a leading startup community organization in Europe.  More partnerships are in the works.

I know all of you will agree innovation knows no national boundaries.  Europe, with its deep entrepreneurial talent, large market and history of innovation, presents a unique opportunity for usEurope is also one of the key regions for our Smart Cities – as you saw from our recent announcement of a new Smart Cities initiative in Copenhagen, following similar projects in Barcelona, Amsterdam Chicago and Hamburg.

We are thrilled to forge relationships in the European startup community – and support entrepreneurs as partners in open innovation.

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Connecting the Unconnected

Connecting the Unconnected

“The Internet of Things is the next technology transition where devices will allow us to sense and control the physical world by making objects smarter and connecting them through an intelligent network”, Lindsay Hiebert, Senior Marketing Manager, Internet of Things, Cisco Systems

The Internet of Things in a Manufacturing Plant Environment

The Internet of Things in a Manufacturing Plant Environment

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet.  These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.  This technology allows objects within such places as manufacturing floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities, and transportation systems to be controlled from virtually anywhere in the world.   This connectivity also means more data can be gathered from more places, with more ways to increase efficiency and improve safety and security.   The Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything (people, process, data and things) is about connecting the unconnected.

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New Edge Devices are Having a Cascade Effect on Public Sector IT Consumption

Multiple changes are on the horizon for public sector information technology managers. Over the next two years, IT organizations could be heavily impacted by these transformations, via a very distinct series of events.  Government and education CIOs, program managers, and business process planners will need to keep an eye on these looming changes as they embark on long-range IT plans.

IDC Government Insights recently worked with Cisco to develop a detailed InfoBrief –  as a way of highlighting these crucial issues. It’s titled Public Sector Reacts Positively to the Changes in IT Consumption.

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