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An Internet of Everything Startup Spotlight: John Funge, Co-Founder & CEO, BrightContext

Today I’m introducing a new series that focuses on the collective power of connections in the Internet of Everything (IoE) — and some of the new companies that are creating value from those connections. The industry is ripe with emerging IoE-focused startups that deserve to be recognized for their work in building the Internet of Everything, brick by web-enabled-brick. These various startups are making an impact in education, healthcare, home automation and more. They are led by thinkers and doers who are helping to create the future. Periodically over the next several months, we’ll take a look at some of these startups and learn more about how IoE is enabling their success — and how they, in turn, are enabling the Internet of Everything.

Recently, we had a chance to talk with John Funge, co-founder and CEO of BrightContext, a cloud-based data-stream processing platform that is helping to turn Big Data into actionable insights. Here’s how BrightContext is pioneering the growth of the Internet of Everything:

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John Funge, Co-Founder_CEO of Bright Context

John Funge, Co-Founder & CEO, BrightContext

What is BrightContext? And how does your business meet new demands in our increasingly connected world?

BrightContext is an ultra-scalable, cloud-based data-stream processing platform that makes it easy to deliver real-time stream analytics from any data source. BrightContext is used for stream analytics, live visualization, monitoring, and generating alerts from high-volume data sources such as web click and activity data, mobile activity data, social media, audience sentiment data, point-of-sale data, and transactional data.

BrightContext is taking on one of the major problems of the century – how to process a deluge of data in real time, immediately derive insights, and take action. BrightContext provides companies with a platform for monitoring and analyzing streams of Big Data in motion. It enables customers to mine that information instantly to make it actionable. This, in turn, makes it easier to use input streams to create and distribute sub-streams for others to use.

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#ExecInsights:Brazil Spotlights Innovation and the Internet of Everything

As Cisco’s executive sponsor for Brazil, I had the honor and privilege to launch our new Rio de Janeiro Center of Innovation on August 22.

IMG_8644I am very excited about the opportunities the Rio Center of Innovation can provide to enable growth – this venture is just one of many investments we are making to develop applications and solutions to foster what we call the Internet of Everything – expected to generate $613B in global profits in 2013, and $14.4 trillion of potential economic “value at stake” over the next decade. The facility will support local companies to develop applications and solutions intended to connect the 99 percent of things that still remain unconnected in the world today.

The Rio Center of Innovation will allow local companies to take advantage of some of the foundational technologies Cisco provides. We will join forces with our partners to create software, solutions and innovation for Brazil. Initially, we will support various sectors, such as: oil and gas; sports and entertainment; healthcare; education; public safety and security; and Smart grid.

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Internet of Things: The Bigger Picture

It’s clear that the number of connected devices is growing exponentially.  We’ve already passed the 10 billion mark earlier this year and will most likely reach 50 billion by 2020. The opportunities and challenges of all these devices coming online have tremendous implications for how we live and work.

As devices are proliferating in the Internet of Things (IoT), complexity is growing. IoT-based connections tend to be in silos, independent systems with analytics that are focused on a single purpose.  So it’s important to look at the landscape holistically, to apply a systems approach and address the challenges of building an infrastructure that can meet and interact with an IoT world. That means integrating intelligence, convergence, visibility, and security into the infrastructure.

I’m always interested in hearing or reading points of view on the evolving Internet of Things. Case in point, “A Blueprint to the Internet of Things,” which was a great discussion between ReadWrite’s Taylor Hatmaker and Bump’s David Lieb about how devices need to talk to each other better to make the user experience simple and seamless.  Device interface is an important part of the Internet of Things (IoT), but it’s just the starting point.

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Why Connections (not Things) Will Change the World

Much has been made of the “Internet of Things” and a growing array of “smart” things that will soon change nearly every aspect of our lives — from Google’s driverless car and iRobot’s Ava 500 video collaboration robot to “smart” pill bottles that will automatically renew a prescription and remind you when to take it.

While we often think that it’s all about the things, it’s not actually the “things” that create the value, it’s the connections among people, process, data, and things — or the Internet of Everything—that creates value.

You can see the power of connections by adding a sensor and an Internet connection to any “dumb” thing. Consider, for example, your front door lock. It has no “intelligence” of its own — it’s simply a mechanical device that allows you to open and close the front door of your house. But if you add a sensor with a connection to the cloud, that “dumb” device can take an image of your face, send it to the cloud for analysis, and determine whether or not to let you into the house, based on facial-recognition technology. The lock itself doesn’t have the intelligence or compute power to make this decision, but the cloud does. It’s the connection that makes this “dumb” thing “intelligent.”

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Collaboration, Video and Mobility Drive Value in the Internet of Everything Economy

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy, there will be leaders and laggards, winners and losers. And collaboration, video, and mobility technologies will play a crucial role in determining who captures their share of the value at stake, which Cisco projects as a staggering $14.4 trillion. That’s equivalent to a 21 percent increase in corporate profits over the next ten years.

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The Internet of Everything (IoE) is already changing our lives in unimaginable ways as everything from clothing, cars, jet engine parts, and roads, to name a few, become “lit up” with data-generating sensors. The resulting explosion in connectivity among people, processes, data, and things —

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