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Trading Mobile Dollars for IoT Pennies

Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal coined the prescient expression “Trading analogue dollars for digital pennies” in 2008 to describe the huge gap that he was observing between the lucrative promises of online and digital advertising and the reality of the meager revenues that it was in fact producing.  Could the same be true of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution?  Are we trading the hundreds of dollars that we are generating from mobile users for the pennies that providers get for connecting “things”?

Connecting the 50 billion projected devices, or things, to the Internet is the cornerstone of the Internet of Things.  Given the challenges of remoteness, mobility and the cost of wiring up these devices, many of these connections will be made over mobile networks.  In fact, Beecham Research estimates that the number of cellular machine-to-machine connections will grow to 1 billion by 2020, up from 172 million in 2013.  It is no wonder that the mobile operators are salivating at the prospect of all this new revenue to be earned from connecting inanimate objects.  This windfall is especially at a time when there traditional mobile business is under attack.  Changes in voice usage and bundled minutes are causing voice revenues to decline and data revenues are under attack from Wi-Fi connections and over-the-top providers (see The Mobile Paradox). Read More »

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Manufacturing Customer IoE/IoT Globe Trotting: Part 1

From my home in North Carolina to San Diego, to Atlanta and all the way to Greater China—Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei—throughout April, I am presenting at several Manufacturing industry, Supply Chain executive, and Internet of Things (IoT) regional events, along with visiting all types of manufacturing customers. Earlier this month, I was at a customer advisory where we met with industrial thought leaders eager to share experiences (see Tony Shakib’s blog, “The Digital Factory: Real Solutions and Real Outcomes”). In the meantime, several of my colleagues exhibited Cisco industrial solutions this past week at Hannover Messe in Germany. Across the globe, manufacturers are wrestling with how to capture the opportunity and value associated with IoT and Internet of Everything (IoE) strategies. The good news is that the industry is thriving, alive and well and at the forefront of IoT adoption.

At the IoT Regional Forum in Atlanta last week, I had the opportunity to meet some manufacturing companies from the region and hear first-hand the challenges and address questions they had regarding automation and networking and the convergence of IT and OT, from technology to culture to organization. What I hear repeatedly are questions on how to tie together the various islands of automation and information that exist throughout most factories and across manufacturing enterprises. In addition, the lack of one integrated view results in delayed decision-making and responses to issues and problems that arise, and inhibit the introduction of new products and business models.

Often, we will assist our industrial customers with this IT/OT convergence by recommending a pilot or proof of concept approach to adopt wired-and-wireless networking architectures for use cases that demonstrate quick results and impact, and then more broadly adopt the technology across that and other plants within the enterprise. Interestingly, ARC analyst Greg Gorbach recently wrote up a blog proposing a “Let’s Just Try it” approach in profiling our customer Stanley Black and Decker.

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Beyond the Theory of IoT: Real Solutions and Answers

At this year’s  Hannover Messe International (HMI), the world’s largest industrial fair, it was more about how industrial companies are leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to evolve Industry 4.0 from theory to practice.

The Internet of Things was everywhere at this show.  Almost every vendor on the show floor had an IoT message, in addition there were numerous keynotes and panel discussions centered around IoT.    There was a lot of excitement around Industrie 4.0, which facilitates the vision for a smart, digital factory enabled by IoT.

Cisco’s presence at this event was to show how we are taking IoT beyond the theoretical.  Cisco partners and customers demonstrated leadership in defining, implementing and showcasing connectivity for the production floor from cloud down through to the sensor.  Visitors to the booth this year began to understand and realize that a tested and validated Cisco Connected Factory architecture is the best path to accelerated business value.  One engineer from a large automatic company told me, “Ok.  Now I get it.  Your value is the architecture. You’re taking the complexity out of deploying a stitched together product solution.”

Oliver Tuszik, head of Cisco Germany, reiterates in this video how Cisco is a source for real solutions and practical, proven approaches to IoT including Cisco’s integration with Profinet:

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How Banks Can Begin the Journey to IoE Readiness

Cisco’s recent survey of 7200 banking customers in 12 countries left me with a crystal-clear takeaway: consumers are ready for the Internet of Everything (IoE) — and they want it now.

But to meet that demand, banks need to assess their own capabilities as they begin to light up their own “dark assets” with network connectivity and embark on the journey to IoE readiness.

In our survey, we tested five key IoE-enabled banking concepts related to advice (virtual financial advice, virtual mortgage advice, and automated financial advice) and mobility (branch recognition and mobile payments). These concepts resonated with customers globally: 75 percent of all respondents would move their money to another provider for one or more of the five concepts. And while the interest is significant everywhere, in emerging markets, respondents are twice as likely to move their money. Read More »

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Secure Access Control in the Internet of Everything

In my role leading the development of Cisco’s IoT Systems and Software, I spend a fair amount of time speaking at industry events and talking with customers and partners. There is a lot of excitement about the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the intelligent connection of people, processes, data and things to the Internet – as it continues to take hold, bringing unprecedented economic opportunities to both the private and public sectors.

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