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Building the Platform for the Internet of Everything

We are embarking on a new technological journey that will fundamentally change forever the economy, society and the way that we live.  Wired magazine described a new era where “the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.”  The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.

Businesses are beginning to completely re-design their processes, operations and business models to benefit from this new era.  We are already starting to see the emergence of smart cities, connected utilities, connected railways, connected factories, connected cars, and even connected mines, to name but a few.  All industries are looking to IoE as a breakthrough technology to help them optimize their business, enter new markets and enhance their relationship with their customers.  This is why industry analysts, like IDC, estimate that businesses will spend up to $20 trillion over the next three years to realize the promise of the Internet of Everything.

But, The Internet of Things is More Than Just “Things”.  As I described in this recent article, the Internet of Things is really a short-hand for the four technology pillars (mobility, cloud, big data and things), wrapped in security, that are forging a revolutionary new, and revolutionary, connected world.  Successful IoE implementations don’t happen in isolation or independently.  Cisco is discovering that successful implementations require a technical and business platform into which different solutions can be easily plugged to efficiently and effectively achieve the promised business benefits.  The cornerstones of this IoE platform include a robust connectivity and technology infrastructure, operational and management services and a range of vertical and horizontal solutions.

IoE Impressions 11.6

In Cisco’s experience, all IoE implementations require all of these technical and business elements to be successful.  Our vision is that effective IoE deployments will build an IoE platform that can be extended across the business, or even entire industries, to deliver a range of unique, value-added IoE solutions.

Starting from the bottom, the layers comprise:

  1. Network Connection – connecting all of the solutions, data and applications through fiber backhaul or licensed cellular.
  2. Network Access – a managed Wi-Fi, or other unlicensed wireless network, to connect all of the sensors and applications.
  3. Technology Platform – a platform to allow new devices and solutions to readily and securely “plug and play” into the overall architecture, and to connect to cloud storage and compute services.
  4. Vertical and Horizontal Solutions – the combination of devices and applications that deliver the unique solutions for different vertical and horizontal industry segments.
  5. Platform Monetization – in some verticals, like smart cities and B2C, opportunities exist to leverage the platform and network to create new sources of revenue.
  6. Shared Operating Platform – a shared platform to consolidate the management, customer care and service issues across all of the solutions.
  7. Professional Services – services to support areas such as systems integration, planning and design.
  8. Program Leadership – services to program manage the entire implementation, operations and partner ecosystem.

Successfully deploying and capturing the tremendous potential benefits of IoE is not just about cool things and applications.  A comprehensive technical, operations and management IoE platform is required to turn vision and promise into reality.

Want to learn more and chat with our Cisco subject matter experts? Tweet us @CiscoSPMobility.

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Accelerating open innovation on all fronts at Cisco

I introduced Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) earlier this year as a cornerstone in our strategy of embracing open innovation at Cisco. I also shared how we were extending Cisco EIR and open innovation across the US through local incubation partners, and I announced the launch of Cisco EIR in Europe. Now I would like to share updates on the great progress we are making with Cisco EIR as a catalyst of open innovation at Cisco.

Startups Selected to Join Cisco EIR in Europe

Last week we were excited to announce the six startups that will be joining our Cisco EIR program in Europe at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. The six winners – innovating in the areas of Smart Cities, Internet of Everything (IoE)/cloud and Big Data/analytics – were chosen through a rigorous multiphase selection process conducted in collaboration with Pioneers. More than 350 applicants from 39 countries applied to join Cisco EIR Europe, with 15 finalists pitching live at the Pioneers Festival in front of Cisco experts and our European partners. Winners were selected based on the viability of their business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s IoE vision and strategy.

We were impressed beyond our expectations by the vision, passion, talent and technology of all 15 finalists. These startups made us more excited and convinced than ever that Europe was the right platform to discover and nurture the next generation of disruptive ideas for our industry and for Cisco.

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Video Games, Video Conferencing and YouTube: The Job Search of the Future

In this guest blog, Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace and Co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins) shares her insights on the future of work in an Internet of Everything (IoE) landscape. The description of the new hire process in the blog post below is adapted from Chapter 1 of her book, The 2020 Workplace.   

Job searching, hiring and our daily work life are rapidly changing thanks to technological innovations.  Knowledge workers are gaining greater control and flexibility over their employment experience.  This will start from the moment job seekers begin an employment search.

According to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, more than 60% of workers report that their current or future job searches will not be limited to their hometown, or even country.

Organizations will need to evolve their processes to find and hire the best talent in the future.  Today’s methods won’t work with tomorrow’s workforce.  Consider the case of “Katya,” a top graduate from a well-respected university in 2020. After graduation, Katya will land her first job at D&Y, one of the country’s last two major accounting firms.

Submitting an online resume and completing several rounds of in-person interviews will not be the way Katya gets hired. Read More »

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Predictive Maintenance: The Business Impact of IoE for Mining Companies

What if an industrial vehicle or piece of equipment could tell you to change a part or warn you before it breaks?  The impact for mining and other industrial companies would be tremendous in terms of reduced downtime and maintenance costs.  As I spent time with mining executives at the recent SAP Mining Forum, many interesting discussions were around the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) in their operations. In fact, Cisco and SAP have been working on using (or ‘mining’) the wealth of data from sensors and machines in new and innovative ways.  

The most immediate impact of IoT on mining is in the improvements to maintenance of mining heavy machinery and assets.  Based on the many conversations I have had with industry experts,  it is apparent that many in the mining industry  are using a ‘break to fix’ mentality on their assets.  They ‘push’ the asset to a point that it breaks.  The issue here is that this approach is unpredictable and incredibly costly to the operations of the business. Waiting until a machine breaks leads to downtime which leads to lost revenue. Read More »

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Ensuring Security and Trust Stewardship and Accountability

In our increasingly interconnected world, the Internet of Everything is making trust a critical element of how people use network-connected devices to work, play, live, and learn. The relentless rise in information security breaches underscores the deep need for enterprises and governments alike to trust that their systems, data, business partners, customers, and citizens are safe.

Consequently, I see an evolution taking place regarding accountability in cybersecurity moving up to the boardroom level, an issue I discussed earlier this year in Fortune. In a recent Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) report, 55 percent of corporate directors revealed that they have to personally understand and manage cyber as a risk area. The National Association of Corporate Directors recently published a document on corporate directors’ ownership and management of risk in cyber for public companies. In March of this year, an SEC commissioner said that the SEC plans to create a requirement for corporate directors regarding managing cybersecurity as a risk.

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