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The Internet of Things: Moving Beyond the Hype

We recently wrapped up a spectacular Internet of Things World Forum 2014 (IoTWF) in Chicago.  By reviewing the highlights, it’s clear that the Internet of Things is here, it’s now… it’s big, and it’s bold. And by all accounts, IoT is advancing multiple times faster than any other technology movement in history.

More than 1,500 thought and industry leaders shared visions and real-world use cases of IoT adoption and advancement, ranging from mining and oil and gas operations to caring for the elderly with remote- and self-controlled robots. Our second annual event featured 13 keynotes and 36 workshops laser focused on setting a strong foundation for IoT developments, encompassing security, standards, protocols, governance models and much more.

We had an opportunity to hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, and CIO Brenna Berman, who in addition to their hospitality shared with us their goal of establishing Chicago as THE IoT Center for cities.

Participants learned that while IoT gets most of the current buzz from consumer-driven products, more rapid growth and value are shifting rapidly to enterprise-wide applications that already have improved operational performance and efficiency. Today, 37% of total device (things) connections to the Internet come from industrial applications, and industrial connections will surpass consumer-based connections in 2017.

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Copenhagen Accelerates Green Growth with Internet of Everything

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Copenhagen again, five months after signing an agreement with three local mayors to establish an Internet of Everything (IoE) strategy throughout their municipalities in greater Copenhagen.

My purpose was to catch up on progress made since our May 28th Memorandum of Understanding, and to collaborate with the fellow signatories on next steps for implementation.

I like working with bold city leaders who not only have visions for transformation, but also who create and execute to deadlines.  Copenhagen’s leaders clearly exemplify all these characteristics. The greater Copenhagen municipality has a bold collective vision and detailed plan on how to become carbon neutral by the year 2025 – and its execution toward that goal continues to be on track.  Tangible progress here serves as a global role model for public entities everywhere that want to deliver on climate and sustainability goals.

Copenhagen’s Internet of Everything strategy – connecting people, things, data and processes to the Internet — is an integral part of its overall green game plan. I am delighted that we were able to quickly agree to “go live” dates next year for a number of IoE-based projects to digitize urban services through application-centric infrastructure.  City of Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen, Albertslund Mayor Steen Christiansen and Vinge Mayor John Schmidt Andersen, and their highly capable staff, should all be commended for their rapid decisions to accelerate deployment of ambitious IoE projects in each of their locations.

Surveying DOLL progress with the Cisco team

Surveying DOLL progress with the Cisco team

Amazingly, considering the MoU was signed just a few months ago, two other IoE projects here are already under way.

The first is the Denmark Outdoor Light Lab (DOLL), which went live in September. In Albertslund in western Copenhagen, DOLL has carved out one square mile of the town as kind of “outdoor living laboratory,” where 37 competing outdoor LED light solutions have all been installed over six miles of roads.

A Cisco city Wi-Fi network covers this area, connecting the light solutions, providing online controls, digitized information, public access and video – all converged onto one network. The architecture reflects proven experience from work done in our IoE-based Smart City engagements in Nice, Barcelona and Chicago.

What is new in DOLL is that so many different outdoor light vendors are converging their solutions onto one network, thereby creating a seamless communications standard for the light industry. I’m excited about this innovative and unique lab, which is set to expand to a larger array of networked urban services

For more information, you can view this video, www.albertslund.dk/newlighting

The second current IoE development is a traffic monitoring proof of concept, which has gone live in downtown Copenhagen. This pilot represents the first step towards a broader traffic management platform providing real-time views of traffic that can help reduce congestion and travel times.

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IoT, STEM, Women, Innovation, Manufacturing and the 52% Opportunity

I can humbly say that I can now understand, embrace and apply the phrase that my grandfather often spoke, “Son, I’ve lived a little.  Trust your eyes more than your ears.   May the HOPE experienced by your ears be the reality of your eyes.”

I, one day HOPE that the reality of equality and opportunity for all people regardless of culture, socioeconomic status, gender or sexual orientation is achieved in my lifetime.

So, what does all this HOPE stuff have to do with IoT, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Manufacturing, Innovation and Women? Stem Women

Well, let me explain……….

Here’s some metrics you may be familiar with:

  • IoT global value opportunity estimated to be over $8 Trillion
  • Over the next 10 years it is estimated there will be two million unfilled STEM related jobs globally
  • 82 percent of American manufacturers surveyed reported a moderate or severe shortage of high-skilled workers
  • Of the 52% — of women who earn STEM degrees, 52% leave the field within 10 years.

2014 IoT World Forum

…. But HOPE descended upon the Windy City of Chicago last week in the form of The Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum sponsored by Cisco Systems and its partners, including Rockwell Automation and Panduit.  The forum brought over 1700 thought leaders, executives, and creators representing companies and entities in the public, private, and education sectors

The event served as a platform and opportunity for participants to leverage the mindshare, perspectives and experiences from their peers.  The objective of the event was to evolve the IoT conversations FROM determining the IoT value opportunity TO “how” value can/is being realized from the IoT paradigm.  The HOPE is to leverage IoT to bring real and positive disruptive change to all sectors of society including education, finance, politics, environment, education, food, business and technology.  This can only be achieved by soliciting, including and welcoming a diversity of perspectives obtained from both women and minorities.

The 52% Opportunity

The event agenda was well put together with a broad range of diverse and engaging IoT topics being presented and discussed.  One of those agenda topics was entitled, “Women in IoT (STEM and the Lost 52%)

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As Industrial Networks Converge, Skill Sets Must Broaden

As we reflect on the Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) last week in Chicago, workforce readiness – or workforce availability – was a big topic of conversation among attendees. It’s also an issue I addressed on behalf of Rockwell Automation at the event.

Those of us in the industrial sector are acutely familiar with the challenges of workforce readiness. Many of us have been working for years to find, attract and inspire the next generation of workers who will fill the place of many long-serving and soon-to-be-retiring skilled professionals.

But retirement isn’t the only issue affecting worker readiness. Major changes to how manufacturers and industrial organizations operate are proving to have equally major impacts on their workforces.

Specifically, the convergence of information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) presents significant challenges to the professionals who are responsible for installing, maintaining, upgrading and troubleshooting those technologies.

IT and OT professionals historically have worked in silos, with IT delegated to the business side and OT to the industrial zone. The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing that. Today’s industrial organizations can connect, communicate and collaborate across the entire enterprise, from executive suites and corner offices to plant floors, supply chain partners and remote locations.

As a result, the lines that have traditionally divided IT and OT are blurring. These workers increasingly require skills beyond their core areas of expertise to be able to support IT, networking and control-system functions.

Cisco recently introduced the Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification to ensure IT and OT professionals are equipped with the broad skill sets they need to manage and administer industrial network systems. The certification exam tests both hands-on skills as well as knowledge of critical topics, such as the Open System Interconnection (OSI) model, network and industrial devices, safety protocols, and environmental and industrial standards.

Rockwell Automation and Cisco are launching a hands-on, lab-based course this month to prepare IT and OT professionals for the exam and give them the foundational skills they’ll need for the connected enterprises of tomorrow. The first-of-its-kind course, Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS), aims to help IT and control-system engineers install, maintain and troubleshoot industrial network systems, as well as help engineers achieve network availability, reliability and security.

The IoT presents opportunities that today are only limited to our imagination. Leading organizations already are taking advantage of smart devices and converged-network technologies, and most others will soon enough discover they need to embrace them if they want to remain competitive. New technologies are accelerating access to insightful possibilities but we should never forget that our greatest assets will always be our employees, and we must educate and empower those who can best make this great leap forward a successful one.

Looking forward to Automation Fair and continued discussions around how other industries are leveraging IoT to address the skills gap.

 

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Mobile Making It Happen at The Internet Of Things World Forum

So during last week’s IoT World Forum in Chicago more than the 1,500 Internet of Things (IoT) industry experts came together for the second annual conference. The IoT is opening up a world of real opportunities for service provider growth while rapidly transforming our communities, our cities, and our daily lives. Still as discussed during many of the sessions at the IoT World Forum, there are a number of questions that need to be answered to accelerate IoT globally.

  • #1 Concern is Security -- New way of thinking “don’t trust, verify”
  • #2 Faster Time-To-Market (TTM)
  • #3 Lower TCO
  • Another top reason was the need for improved asset utilization and risk management.

So during the break-out session the The Value Delivered by the Service Provider in IoT many attendees listened to service providers discuss how they are addressing these areas, and make money while doing it.

The Panel:

  • AT&T SVP, Kevin Petersen – AT&T Digital Life
  • Sprint Director, Mohammed Nasser – Connected City
  • Orange Deputy Director, François Duquesnoy — Orange Smart Cities & Territories

The Topics Covered:

Smart Home Security, Home Health Care, Home Automation, Energy, Connected Car, Telematics, Connected Agriculture, Connected Transportation, Asset Tracking, Cloud Delivery.

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Figure 1 From L to R; Doug Webster VP of Cisco SP Marketing -- moderator, Francois Duquesnoy Director Orange Smart Cities, Kevin Petersen President AT&T Digital Life Inc., Mohamad Nasser Sprint -- Director of M2M Product and Marketing

Below are some key quotes overheard at the panel: Read More »

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