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Connecting Windshield Wipers to Weather Forecasts with The Weather Channel

Bryson Koehler, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Weather Channel, shares his perspective on The Weather Channel and the Internet of Everything.

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Did you know that the weather affects about 35 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, every day? And, as you might guess, humans make decisions every day that are completely based on the weather. Weather is the most primal decision making factor to everything we do. Just as a person’s demeanor can change if it’s raining or sunny, business decisions and outcomes can change in the same manner. The more information we have about the weather, the smarter we can be. So we, at The Weather Channel, have been utilizing the Internet of Everything to gather and analyze data and assist businesses, cities and everyday consumers like you and me.

The Internet of Everything has changed the game of what our teams at The Weather Channel can do. While our company began as a 24-hour network devoted to weather programming, we have adapted a number of innovations over the years, and today have become a tech-led media company. We’ve grown from providing accurate forecasts for 2.2 million locations, four times an hour, to forecasting 2.8 billion locations, 15 times an hour. With the IoE we have been able to bring weather information to people across the world, giving them the information they need when they most need it.  As a CIO, I try to unleash innovation. The more our technology tools can work autonomously of us, the more we can focus on our output and what they can do to impact our everyday lives.

Moving our forecasting platform to the cloud enabled more scalability and flexibility with our computing platform. This not only improved our processes, but it enhanced the data we gather. By embracing the new technology of the Internet of Everything, we have created a system that is unmatched when it comes to closely analyzing atmospheric data. The Weather Channel can now dig deeper and pin point the weather of a specific city, street corner or even a singular home address.

To further improve our data and weather models, we utilize state-of-the-art sensors to evaluate specific weather conditions. For example, phones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Apple iPhone 6 have imbedded pressure sensors, as do things like windshield wipers. All of these allow us to analyze storm systems, humidity levels and weather patterns in real time in any given area. Internet of Everything-enabled devices like those sensors allow us to continue to work to keep local residents informed and safe. The faster we can receive and interrupt data about a storm, the quicker we can inform local citizens of impending danger.

It’s not just local residents that we can assist when we spot an incoming storm, either. We can provide insurance companies in advance with information about the storms that will affect their policyholders, so they can send out proactive alerts. Say 50% of the people who receive an alert about an impending hailstorm, for example, will put their cars inside. That can save insurance companies money by limiting the number of payouts and makes policyholders happier with their choice of insurance company.

From hailstorms to sunny days, we can simultaneously improve businesses’ understanding of their customers’ behavior. Businesses that use weather trends can better predict spending patterns for their specific area. For example, we know that 34 degrees in Miami is an entirely different beer sales weekend than 34 degrees in Chicago. What drives a company’s product consumption? It could be humidity. It could be wind. It could be cloud coverage. Through the data we are collecting, we can provide businesses with the insights they need to understand how weather is driving consumer behaviors, both in real time and ahead of time.

At the end of the day, innovation requires risk. At The Weather Company, we have taken those risks and evolved from a cable network into a technology-led media company. Using Cisco’s technology and the Internet of Everything, the data we can collect lets us deliver so much more than a basic weather forecast.

How does the weather impact your business? How can the Internet of Everything help? Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #InternetOfEverything.

Read more  #InternetofEverything Perspectives

Transforming Property Management with IoE by Roger Vasquez– Director of Engineering of Transwestern

Integrating Cities with IoE and City24/7 by Tom Touchet – CEO of City24/7

Driving Smarter with Technology and UPS by Dave Barnes – CIO of UPS

 

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Location Based Services Enabling Smart Connected Cities

Smart Cities and the Internet of Everything have become commonly used terms over the past year or two. Both represent huge opportunities for both business growth and also for the delivery of better services and experiences for consumers and citizens alike. The size of this IoE opportunity has been widely predicted to exceed $14 Trillion[1] and within this just the Smart Cities component has been estimated to be worth $1,266 Billion[2] by 2019.  With this scale it is little wonder that it attracts a lot of interest and therefore a lot of very interesting innovation.

lbs1.1The Internet of Everything (IoE)  brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.  Smart and Connected Cities takes this and applies it in an urban environment to create new capabilities , richer experiences and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries.

While the Internet of Everything is about a connected grid of people, processes, data and things, what touches most of us is the ‘connecting people’ part of this equation.Within the greater IoE world, the Foundation for Delivering Next-Generation Citizen Services is how organizations and municipalities find innovative mechanisms to engage with us all. Read More »

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Manufacturing, IoT and Innovation – What’s the Missing LInk?

My colleague Chet Namboodri recently discussed, “The Internet of Things and the Future of Manufacturing” with Manufacturing Revival Radio.  In the interview, Chet discussed how best in class manufacturers like GM and Stanley Black and Decker are driving innovation and capturing real business value across their value chain by developing and executing an IoT strategy.

Manufacturers like GM and Stanley Black and Decker are creating this platform for innovation by deploying open standards–based Internet Protocol (IP) technologies that converge their enterprise and plant floor networks. The convergence enables tight integration of operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT), creating a flexible and scalable platform to:2439633

Speaking of security, it is cited by most manufacturers as the key barrier to IoT adoption and innovation.  The prospect of connecting millions, potentially billions of sensors, actuators, motors, gauges, valves, and machines with Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) applications like MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications can make VP of Supply Chains, Operation Managers and the like want to go back to the old island of automation model that Chet cited in his interview.

As daunting as security may be to innovation and IoT adoption. The skills workforce gap in the industry is the biggest threat and concern for manufacturing executives and managers. ThomasNet conducted a survey of over 1200 line of business manufacturing professionals .  The survey cited that Generation Y (18-32 years old) employees will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, but three-quarters of manufacturers report that 25 percent or less of their workforce are in the Generation Y age group.

Cisco recognizes that new skills and education are the missing link required to drive innovation and realize the value afforded by IoT in the manufacturing industry.

To prepare and attract the next generation manufacturing workforce Cisco has launched the Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist Certification for information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) professionals in the manufacturing, process control, and oil and gas industries who install, maintain, and troubleshoot industrial network systems. This certification ensures candidates have the foundational skills to manage and administer networked industrial control systems. It provides plant administrators, control system engineers and traditional network engineers with an understanding of the networking technologies needed in today’s connected plants and enterprises.

What are your major barriers to IoT Adoption?  Security, transitional workforce, ….?  In the meantime, be sure to visit the Industrial IP Advantage website for more information around how you can leverage IP technologies to accelerate your path to IoT value.

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The Future of Cloud, Part 1: Six Cloud Providers and Their Vision

This year’s Cisco Live! was tremendous, with 25,000 attendees on-site and another 200,000 attending virtually.  There was a lot of excitement around all things cloud, from how the Internet of Everything will change the way we live, to the role of the Intercloud in forming a seamless fabric between the world of many clouds.

During the show, I spent time with six of our partners who offer Cisco Powered cloud and managed services.  In this series of blogs, I’ll introduce you to each of them and what they shared with me about the future of cloud.  Each of them had a different perspective, but all of them agreed: the cloud represents an incredible opportunity for businesses around the world.

Here are some of the highlights I’ll share in upcoming blogs:

Part 2: Chris Kemmerer, Director, Mobility Solutions, Verizon, shared that part of Verizon’s mission is to bring together the pieces needed to unlock the value of the Internet of Everything for their customers.  “The Internet of Everything has deep meaning to us as everything becomes connected, whether it’s business to business, people to people, people to machines, or machines to machines.  When you have all these things exchanging data, you can improve the way enterprises interact with each other, how consumers interact with enterprises, by leveraging all that connectivity.”  He also shared how Verizon adds value to cloud services by layering applications on the underlying architecture.

Part 3: The importance of transparency in the high performance cloud was described by Dusten Tornow, Director of Infrastructure Products, from OneNeck IT Solutions.  “When we decided to build out our cloud infrastructure, we knew that we wanted to align with enterprise vendors like Cisco because their technologies resonate with our customers as being high performance.  They recognize that if they were to go out and build their own cloud, it would likely look and feel a lot like what we’ve built.  Being able to be transparent with what our equipment is made out of and built upon is a huge advantage for us.”

Part 4: Derek Siler, Director, Solution Engineering – Channel Sales, Sungard Availability Services talked about how building a resilient cloud that can carry businesses into the future requires a resilient foundation.  “We’re building our cloud future around Cisco and around enterprise-grade architectures.  For us, Cisco is absolutely vital.”

Part 5: The value of integration to cloud services was another important topic at Cisco Live!  For Chris Ludwig, SVP GTM Cloud and Hosted Solutions from NWN Corporation, applications integrated with on-premises equipment still have to work when migrated to cloud.  “That was something we did a lot of research on, to make sure that all of the third party companies that we work with on-premises are going to work in the cloud.  We certainly look to Cisco for guidance.  It’s very helpful knowing that if they’re part of the ecosystem, we know that they are going to be a good partner.”

Part 6: Steve Harris, Senior Vice President, National Alliances at Peak 10, echoed the value of a partner ecosystem.  “Today it takes an ecosystem to deliver the business outcome that clients are looking for.  We’ve gone beyond the point where clients are just interested in the technology.  They want the technology to provide a business outcome for them.  Being able to provide that seamless solution with the Cisco ecosystem of partners is incredibly important.”

Part 7: Finally, I spoke with Andy Bird, Executive Director, Product Management and Development at eLoyalty, a TeleTech Company.  He expressed his excitement about Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric.  “Imagine trying to take your data from one cloud and move it to the next.  It’s very difficult to do, because when you look at clouds, you end up getting hooked into them, just like if you were to buy premise gear.  What Cisco has been starting to enable to happen is the idea of creating a fabric between the clouds that allows me to migrate data.  When somebody gets on my platform, they have the ability to go and leverage Cisco in other places.  So they have a different level of confidence.”

Next time: my interview with Chris Kemmerer at Verizon.  Until then, you can read more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series Wrap-up: IoE, Smart+Connected Communities, and the Future of Cities

Imagine what a city could and should look like in several years. What do you see?

  • What will be top of mind for citizens?
  • How will citizens be accessing information and engaging with city agencies?
  • What tools will be needed in this future of cities?

Well, look no further because the city of the future is here today. Insight related to those questions, and many more, is provided by Cisco’s Wim Elfrink in Huffington Post, as he explores innovative concepts for urban sustainability and new possibilities for an improved citizen experience, as well as how the Internet of Everything (IoE) can help enrich people’s lives.     Read the full article via Huffington Post, published today.

IoE, the Smart+Connected Communities Framework, and the Impact on the Public Sector

Throughout the New Cities Summit, as well as throughout our #SmartConnectedCity blog series, we took a look at how IoE and technology are helping to re-define cities by providing a framework for city and local government leaders to improve agency agility and performance, to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs, and to enhance on-demand citizen services. Below, for additional insight, Anil Menon and Wim Elfrink elaborate on this topic from New Cities Summit last week, as well as kick off a discussion about the subsequent impact on the public sector, which includes expanding access to education and healthcare. 

To see more actual examples showing the impact of technology and IoE on cities and the public sector, click on the image below. Read More »

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