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How To Gain an Edge by Taking Data Analytics to the Edge

In Part 1 of this blog series, I talked about how data integration provides a critical foundation for capturing actionable insights that generate improved outcomes. Now, in Part 2, I’ll focus on the two other challenges that must be met to extract value from data: 1) automating the collection of data, and 2) analyzing the data to effectively identify business-relevant, actionable insights. This is where things, data, processes, and people come together.

Let’s start with automation.

After IoT data is captured and integrated, organizations must get the data to the right place at the right time (and to the right people) so it can be analyzed. This includes automatically assessing the data to determine whether it needs to be moved to the “center” (a data center or the cloud) or analyzed where it is, at the “edge” of the network (“moving the analytics to the data”). Analytics at the Edge

The edge of the network is essentially the place where data is captured. On the other hand, the “center” of the network refers to offsite locations such as the cloud and remote data centers — places where data is transmitted for offsite storage and processing, usually for traditional reporting purposes. The edge effectively could be anywhere, such as on a manufacturing plant floor, in a retail store, or on a moving vehicle.

In “edge computing,” therefore, applications, data, and services are pushed to the logical extremes of a network — away from the center — to enable analytics knowledge generation and immediate decision-making at the source of the data.

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Welcome Matt Morris to the Cisco Energy Industry Blog

matmorri

Matt Morris, Cisco Systems Inc.

Please join me in welcoming Matt Morris to the Energy Industry Blog.

Matt is the Global Solution Lead for Cisco’s Internet of Things (IOT) Solutions practice (Oil & Gas, Utilities, Manufacturing, Transportation and Mining), where he leads the strategy, development and go to market of Cisco’s “big bets” and transformational solutions. This includes the Cisco Secure Ops Solution, a solution that delivers critical infrastructure security as a managed service, along with household names in ICS Security.  His duties at Cisco include – leadership and governance; spearheading strategy, business and technology innovation; performing due diligence for strategic acquisitions; building/fostering new partnerships to scale the business. Matt also leads and participates in various special projects at Cisco.

Matt has spoken at, or appeared at, many events, conferences and shows as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Cisco in the areas of security and threat response :

Recently, Matt lead the launch of the Secure Ops Solution. This ground-breaking offering from Cisco provides for “Critical infrastructure security as-a-service” and uses a convenient service wrapper and attaches a set of service level agreements. Read about it here: Unveiling Cisco Collaborative Operations and Secure Ops Solutions. It supports cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments. You can also read about how an oil company use of Secure Ops in Peter Granger’s blog: Cisco to Provide Secure Ops Solution to Royal Dutch Shell.

Prior to Cisco, Matt worked for Landis+Gyr (L+G), a prominent Smart Grid player. As Director of Product Management & Marketing, Matt’s responsibilities included portfolio management of L+G’s North American products and solutions, partnerships and alliances, portfolio and brand strategy, mergers & acquisitions, and complex deal negotiations. This included AMI, DA, HAN, and Cybersecurity solutions.

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Cisco Partner Case Study in Oil and Gas – Canadian Natural Resources by Provist

Cisco partner Provista IP Communications* provided a solution to Canadian Natural Resources that delivered a flexible off-shore wireless network supplying data mobility whilst remaining secure and manageable.

When you search for case studies in Oil and Gas there are lots that cover the carpeted areas of organizations – office areas mainly, but fewer that actually reach outside to places like manufacturing or refinery areas, or even oil rigs. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to read the case study from Provista. Provista are a Cisco partner based near Glasgow with a presence in North-East Scotland and the Midlands in England.

You’ll hopefully remember my blog: Ferguson Group Ltd keeps an Eye on Operations with Cisco Physical Security, in which I talked about the coming of a new ‘space-age’ equivalent for Scotland. In that blog we looked at physical security and video in particular. With this Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) case study we can see how the Cisco technologies go further out to inhospitable environments and help keep workers away from danger, and more productive if they have to be off-shore.

Read the case study and you’ll see the provision of Cisco wireless technologies helped enable CNR overcome some business challenges:

1.  “The cost of resourcing engineering consultancy and deployment time was significantly higher due to travel restrictions.”

2.  “It would be difficult to ensure that installed wireless networks would remain active in the event of a single device failure.”

3.  “Canadian Natural regularly had guest visitors to their off-shore oil platforms and thus requested a secure, but separate, connection for guests to make use of.”

Provist goes on to say that there were some major business benefits are being achieved:

  1. Cost/Safety: “Provista’s solution ensured that there was no need for highly-trained technical staff to be present at the remote sites.”

  2. Lower Downtime: “Canadian Natural technical staff have a longer window of time to deploy replacement equipment in the event of a failure.”

  3. Worker/Guest Productivity: “Employees and guests can be more productive off-shore as a result of the wireless network access.”

The case study goes on to talk about the implementation and Cisco elements for management and control. This is an example of how Oil and Gas customers will often start building networking infrastructure in the carpeted areas (like CNR did) and then extend out to non-carpeted areas such as oil platforms. The number of oil rigs that have a pervasive WLAN is actually relatively low. Sure, there are numerous proprietary networks for sensors and the like, but we’re now seeing the implementation of WIFI on rigs that are providing converged (i.e. compatibility and convergence with IT and OT – or Operational Technologies systems and networks), as the Internet of Things, and the Internet of Everything continues its journey of becoming more pervasive. This is a convergence based on Industry standards.

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Cisco’s New Service Provider Technology Specializations to Help Partners Capture New IoE-Driven Market Opportunities

The service provider environment is going through unprecedented change, requiring service providers to respond quickly to new market trends in order to stay competitive, monetize new services and drive optimization while continuing to deliver “carrier class” services ubiquitously.

Additionally, the increased emphasis on cloud computing is placing new demands on the network. For cloud services to be seamless, the underlying network must be intelligent, carrier-class and virtualized.

But as the saying goes, with change comes opportunity, and for partners the evolving service provider market opportunity is huge. Just how big are we talking? Take a look at the figures below.

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Source: Infonetics Research

These numbers only address the pure technology opportunities; the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the other key ingredient to this story, an opportunity estimated at $19 trillion. Today, 70 percent of people and 99 percent of things are not connected. As new industries emerge around IoE, the solutions that will be introduced will need service providers to provide the connectivity and often times the value-added services. Read More »

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Go to the Edge to Unlock Value in the Internet of Everything

Cisco_Infographic_Analytics Tony Shakib Blog

Now that we are connecting billions of things to the Internet, companies are faced with a huge opportunity and a huge dilemma. Connected things are generating an explosion of data that has the potential to save and earn tremendous amounts of money, time, and resources for companies. However, much of that potential is wasted because that data is most valuable in the moment it is generated, and the time it takes to send that data to the cloud for analysis is too long for real-time decision making. Read More »

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