As my colleague Jim Grubb points out, the IoE itself is no longer a prediction in-and-of-itself. The joining of people, process, data and things to transform information into actions and create new capabilities, richer experiences and unprecedented opportunities is already a global reality. Just how IoE impacts our economies and industries —including what many believe to be an American Manufacturing Renaissance— is what remains for our collective imaginations, innovations and entrepreneurial ingenuity.
To gain some insights and guidance on manufacturing movements, I turn to industry analyst expertise. Bob Parker, IDC Group Vice President, last week hosted the IDC Manufacturing Insights 2014 Predictions: Worldwide Manufacturing, one in a series of annual web conferences where IDC analysts share their industry outlook for the upcoming year in the form of a Top 10 Predictions. Below, I provide a recap of what Bob and his team had to say about global IT investment trends and business initiatives relating to key process areas within manufacturing, along with my contentions around the impact of IoE on the manufacturing economy and why I believe we will see a growth inflection in the industry next year. Read More »
When a patent is essential to implementing a standard, standards developing organizations (SDOs) typically require that the Standard-Essential Patent (SEP) holder license implementers on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) terms. In recent years, an increase in the number of high-profile SEP disputes in the mobile device sector has focused attention on what RAND commitments really mean and how they can be resolved more efficiently and without resorting to litigation. Many have pointed to arbitration as a possible means of resolving them.
The road to the connected factory was made easier today by the announcement of new features which will be highlighted in two new design guides for industrial networks. The design guides help manufacturers deploy an industrial network that pulls best practices from operational technology (OT) and IT.
Many manufacturers are looking to gain the business benefits of a connected factory. A connected factory gives the business more access to real-time information on factory operations, inventory, supply chains, the machines on their production lines, and more, so that manufacturers can better manage their businesses. By converging industrial and enterprise networks, manufacturers can advance their business agility and build a gateway to the Internet of Everything. Many manufacturers have been challenged by the task of connecting these industrial factories, so Cisco, together with industrial partners like Rockwell Automation, are enhancing these design guides to ease the convergence process.
In my last blog post, I discussed how mobile collaboration is bringing flexibility to the manufacturing industry, offering transformational benefits in a variety of functional areas including R&D, operations, customer service and sales. Today, I want to take a deeper dive into not just how collaboration can reduce cost, but how it offers manufacturers the potential for real revenue growth.
The Opportunity Along with rapid acceleration of the bring your own device phenomenon and the forecast that there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita by 2017, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the manufacturing workforce is evolving and going mobile. Yet, many manufacturers are still trying to substantively leverage collaboration and take full advantage of its benefits in a way that impacts the bottom line.
One key opportunity is to use collaboration to better connect product experts and customers. However, without effective collaboration tools, it can be difficult for sales to broker this communication. Mobility solutions enable sales teams and customers services reps efficient access to newly connected plant floor expertise, helping facilitate customer product questions in real time via phone call, text, e-mail or even videoconference. Not only is customer satisfaction improved, but also sales conversion rates increase when the salesperson or service rep secures answers to difficult customer questions before the competition can.