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Focus Magazine Explores the Future of Energy

If you could look into the future and get information about when your car might break down, or your water heater leak, you would probably find it very helpful. The information would allow you to take care of any potential problems before they actually develop. Many industries are now taking advantage of this kind of predictive knowledge, made possible by sensor technology, which allows for remote monitoring of assets. 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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20 Years Hence – What Do Oil, Dating, Digital, and Analytics Have In Common?

How often do you think about the linkage of today’s digital Internet technologies with the gas that we put into our cars and the fuels that heat our homes? Probably not very often. In fact, for many years, I envisioned them as two separate worlds. Here’s why…

Back in 1995, when I met my wife and we were first dating, I distinctly remember talking with her father (now my favorite father-in-law!) Bill Dalgetty about his career at Mobil Oil. Like most senior Mobil executives, Bill started his career at a Mobil gas station and worked his way up over many years, eventually serving as the General Manager of Environment, Health and Safety for Mobil’s operations around the world. Read More »

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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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Cisco Wireless enables RSL Care customers to stay connected indoors and outdoors

RSL Care is one of Australia’s largest providers of retirement living, community care and aged care services with more than 28 communities throughout Queensland and New South Wales. This not-for-profit organization offers high quality Homecare, Retirement Living and Residential Aged Care services. In the words of the award-winning CEO of RSL Care: “We are focusing on guiding our customers to make the most out of life through wellbeing and independence”.

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We talked to Ian Youngson, the Manager of IS Operations, to understand the wireless deployments at RSL Care. The business outcomes that the wireless deployment enables are support for a voice-over-Wi-Fi for the nurses, the ability to provide guest access to residents and visitors, as well as support for mobile devices carried by the staff and doctors.

At a Glance: Read More »

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