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In the Digital Age, Fortune Favors the Bold

The ancient Roman poet Virgil might feel at home in the Digital Age (once the initial future shock wears off!). He famously said, “Fortune favors the bold.” These words have never been more prescient.

In a recent article, we likened the current climate of ever-present disruption, innovation, and change to a Digital Vortex, in which ideas and technologies constantly break apart and recombine — often into highly disruptive and sometimes unexpected new business models (Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and Fortune magazine’s list of unicorns have benefited from this phenomena).

In the Digital Vortex, bold innovation and gutsy, disruptive new business models are a necessity. That is, if you want your company to be a disruptor rather than disrupted.

By their very nature, startups exemplify this bold approach. They are smaller, more agile, able to experiment, innovate and execute faster, and recover from minor missteps more quickly. Above all, they are digital. Read More »

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Using Health IT to Detect Breast Cancer

This week marks the convergence of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Health IT Week.   Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease and to promote early detection, while National Health IT Week is a collaborative forum to advance health through the best use of information technology (IT).

While these may seem like unrelated events, they really aren’t.  Health IT, specifically the Internet of Everything (IoE), is beginning to use technology to change how breast cancer is detected and diagnosed.

Rob Royea, a scientist and entrepreneur, has developed a medical innovation called the iTBra, a bra patch embedded with IoE sensor technology.  The iTBra solution contains comfortable, intelligent breast patches which collect up to 12 hours of data for analysis.

The iTBra can detect abnormalities, such as tiny temperature changes, in breast tissue.  These tiny temperature fluctuations may indicate breast cancer, at an early state when it can be treated and possibly even cured.  The iTBra is tissue agnostic so it even works with dense breast tissue, which can be difficult to detect with traditional screening and often results in false negatives during mammography.

Cisco is helping fund a documentary about the iTBra called DETECTED. This documentary will chronicle Rob’s journey to create the iTBra and shed important light on how internet-enabled bras can make a difference in early cancer detection.

Throughout the month of October, you can follow inspirational stories from Cisco employees who are breast cancer survivors. Their personal stories highlight the importance of early detection, positive attitudes, and a determination to live each day to the fullest.

By using the IoE for early cancer detection, you can see that Health IT has the potential to advance healthcare in innovative and intelligent ways.  At Cisco, we know that IoE is more than just big data and sensors – it is the positive impact on human lives through transformed patient care.

Is your organization planning to use IoE to transform patient care?  If so, let us know – we’d love to hear from you.

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Oil and gas operations made safer, more efficient, and more secure

The oil and gas industry is going through challenging times. Clearly the reduced price of oil is top of mind, and organizations are therefore accelerating their move towards digital business to address major business concerns such as profitability, market share, cost controls as well as safety and security. Here is a guest blog from our Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas, Serhii Konovalov that addresses many key areas of concern for our clients:


Serhii Konovalov, Global IoE Solutions Lead for oil and gas

When our energy customers discuss business issues, two areas of concern often come up. Across the board, physical and cyber security are top-of-mind. They are also concerned that worker productivity levels should be higher.

Together with Schneider Electric, we have developed a Smart Connected Pipeline solution, which addresses both of these areas of concern. This solution helps to make pipelines more efficient and safer, and can reduce costs from losses and leaks. It will be of interest to oil and gas customers looking to implement green field (new) installations, or brown field installations where they are looking to upgrade existing pipeline infrastructure.

This new solution addresses the broad pipeline infrastructure, including the control center and converged telecommunications systems. Schneider Electric is particularly versed in pipeline control systems and leak detection systems. They’ve combined their strength in operational technologies with Cisco’s experience in IT networking, security, and enterprise infrastructure. Together we’ve developed a solution tailored for the pipeline industry that:

  • Provides pipeline automation across a unified end-to-end network providing improved visualization in real-time, reducing accidents and detecting leaks faster
  • Can be implemented faster and delivers earlier return on investment because it is pre-engineered and validated.
  • Works with third-party intrusion (TPI) prevention and leak-detection systems (LDS)
  • Offers real-time control room visibility and response to out-of-line situations

Who’s using Connected Pipelines today?

A major integrated European oil and gas company that operates in around eighty-five countries around the world is using the solution to address some critical concerns.

The first concern was the risk of leaks: they wanted to detect and manage leaks better along the pipeline.

The second concern was security: they wanted to implement new physical security services along the pipeline itself, reducing theft and lowering losses. They also wanted to optimize the maintenance downtime to improve product throughput.

They had a mature infrastructure, about twenty years old, and wanted a more agile, responsive, and up-to-date digital solution.

They chose Cisco not only because of our existing IT relationships but also because of our strong relationship with partners such as Schneider. The Cisco and Schneider validated design was key to winning the hearts-and-minds of the customer as we showed a cost-effective converged IT/OT approach. The customer is now enjoying:

  • Improved real-time detection and remediation of leaks and losses
  • Higher levels of cyber and physical security
  • Lower downtime owing to optimized planned, and reduced non-planned, maintenance

To gain a broader perspective, make sure you catch the Tony Shakib blog that addresses Cisco’s Solution Framework for the Digital Journey. He talks in detail about Cisco having a robust portfolio of industry solutions that provide value in a range of industries where digitization provides critical value. In particular, Tony references the Cisco Digital Industry Solutions announcement, which highlights our unique approach to help customers capture the promise of digitization.

To find out more about the Connected Pipelines solution, go to For more about the Cisco and Schneider solution, click here.

Let me know what you think by commenting on this blog!

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Digital Manufacturing: Transforming Your Business Model

digitalindustries banner

Today’s announcement of Cisco’s Digital Solutions for Industries at the Global Editor’s Conference highlights our unique approach to help customers capture the promise of digitization. As Tony Shakib’s blog notes, “Digital transformation necessitates a combining of business and IT strategy that connects everything, embraces analytics, and takes a holistic approach to data security that spans technology and operations.”

Digital disruption is already happening across manufacturing and other industrial sectors, and we’re stepping up to help businesses in these segments harness the benefits of digitization across their value chains. For example, using innovative models like machines securely connected (thru Cisco Connected Machines) for real-time monitoring and analytics across Cisco’s Intercloud, digital manufacturers are optimizing their plant operations with improved control, increased efficiency, less downtime, higher productivity and duty cycles, and more flexible manufacturing.

Research suggests that a significant number—as many as 40 percent—of incumbents will be left wounded, probably mortally, by digital disruption over the next five years. In the face of these pressures, CEOs recognize that those companies who can leverage digital technologies and business models will come out ahead. This video provides an overview on the challenges, opportunities and benefits of Digital Manufacturing:

For forward-thinking manufacturers, digital transformation is not just a new challenge but a major opportunity—maybe the most significant in decades—to pull ahead of competitors. Digital Manufacturers are seizing the opportunity Read More »

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A New Approach to Connect Processes in a Hyper-distributed World

In a recent blog  written by Mala Anand, she discussed how hyper-distribution of assets in organizations is creating demands for new insights and enabling new interactions and experiences across every industry. Mala shared how our hyper-distributed world has created remote centers of data which require access by people and processes within and beyond your organization. And, it is your ability to connect data, connect processes and connect experiences that will be the cornerstone to succeeding in this new digital era. Through this blog, I want to focus on some of the top considerations when deploying and integrating systems and processes in today’s complex hyper distributed environment.

Surviving in this hyper-distributed and digital era requires new levels of business agility and re-imagining existing processes. Yet there exists a big divide. A report published by Gartner Research Consulting—Cisco IoE Engagement Findings, December 2014 states: “78% of organizations have not yet established the capability to manage and transform processes across different parts of their organization.” This transformation requires extending the value of existing infrastructure; integrating partner ecosystems to streamline and automate processes within your enterprise and across your value chain of partners, service providers and customers.

Cisco_DigitalBusiness-Infographic1 process

Figure 1: The importance of integration.

Here are some key considerations as you embark on this journey:

Read More »

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