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Exploring the Internet of Everything in Canada

We sat down with Victor Woo to see how the Internet of Everything is creating innovation in Canada.

Victor, when we first talked, you were just settling in your new role with the Internet of Everything. Since we last spoke, is there anything interesting that you have noted about IoE in Canada?

Absolutely.  One aspect is that Canada is well known for its natural resources with a high concentration of industries in the energy sector. In oil and gas, for example, there is constant requirement to improve performance of existing assets, reduce capital expenditure and operating costs, and increase efficiencies with a limited number of experienced personnel. The opportunity to attach and intelligently connect sensors, or converge multiple systems and equipment used in energy extraction or delivery would yield tremendous benefits. The result of collecting vast amounts of data and turning it into meaningful, real-time information through big data analytics that optimizes the business of oil extraction, production and transport on a continual basis would create huge efficiencies and, at the very least, be transformative.

FOCUS is highlighting people across Cisco and in different parts of the world that are focusing on IoE. How are you approaching the IoE opportunity in the Canada market versus other parts of the world? How is IoE in Canada unique?

Cisco has outlined a vision of being a catalyst for innovation in Canada. Our approach to IoE leadership in Canada is similarly aligned. We seek to help Canadian organizations understand the potential of IoE and to realize how it can be transformative for them in achieving much greater levels of productivity and innovation. Our Cisco objective is to be good for our customers and good for Canada, and as such our strategy focuses on how IoE might help solve some of our national challenges in productivity and innovation, and create new and exciting opportunities. We are looking to change the innovation trajectory of Canada by establishing research chairs and investing in Canadian university research centres to support the advancement IoT/IoE technologies. And, we are working to increase the Cisco Canadian engineering footprint for the development of IoE related products.  Ultimately, our IoE strategy aligns and contributes to Cisco’s vision for Canada: to create a more productive Canada that invests in research, development and job creation.

One of the items you discussed in your first blog post is the importance of innovation and productivity in Canada. As you noted, Canada is ranked 14th in productivity for the second year in a row by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). There is a natural tie between innovation and IoE. Can you share a more of your thoughts about Canada’s role in being an innovative country and how IoE can help?

The importance for Canada needing to improve innovation is crucial. Canada’s growth in labour productivity has been weak – less than 1% annually on average for more than 10 years. It’s among the lowest rates throughout OECD nations. And it’s putting this country at risk to maintain its current standard of living, which is directly linked to productivity and innovation. Canada’s low rate of investment in IT for business also means innovation is likewise weak – especially among small and mid-sized companies where ICT investment in general is extremely low. Innovation fuels improvements in labour productivity. It’s all tied together.

IoE presents an opportunity to perhaps address these things. If we choose to lead the way in IoE adoption, Canada can position itself for success in today’s global economy AND perhaps address many of our current challenges in low ICT investment, which as mentioned ties to innovation, productivity and ultimately raising Canada’s standard of living.

And there are significant profits to be had. For 2013, the Canadian IoE value at stake is estimated to be $57 billion. With approximately $30 billion of value currently realized in the market, there remains much more on the table. The time to move towards innovation and productivity is now.

Can you comment on Canada’s progress on IoE?

I think we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible for Canada. As you might expect, adoption of IoE is limited, but there’s strong belief and support for the concept. A recent Cisco Consulting Services survey of more than 7,500 businesses and IT decision makers from around the world shows that 80% of Canadian respondents surveyed say they’ve already seen the value and significance of IoE.  In healthcare, we see efforts to bring telemedicine into remote parts of Canada. An inspirational example is how patient care is being improved in Takla Landing by extending frequency of healthcare delivery to this remote community by using video connections to physicians located in urban locations. In the transportation industry, Cisco technology is connecting sensors and controllers, processes and personnel. For example, Bombardier, a global transportation industry leader is embedding IP technology to help its customers enhance rail operations and provide superior customer experience. In energy, BC Hydro is implementing a bold smart-grid initiative. More than 1.9 million smart meters have been deployed, all connected through an intelligent infrastructure to efficiently manage and monitor utilization while providing information to customers and helping them to better manage consumption. On the research front, Cisco Canada has partnered with the University of Waterloo in the area for the advancement of smart-grid research. These are just some of the examples of how the Internet of Everything is changing Canadian lives for the better. And it’s only the beginning.

Are there another opportunities that you would like to see Canada take a leadership role with the Internet of Everything.

Well, Canada is well known for its love of ice hockey. I have no doubt that we’ll see sensors on pucks and players in the near future. I’m excited to see how we work to transform the fan experience through the potential of the Internet of Everything!

 

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Industrial Grade SDN

September 9, 2013 at 6:55 am PST

The software defined network has become all the rage lately for reasons that seem to vary and are caught up in interesting perceptions.  One view was that it allowed a single network to be controlled centrally and divided up logically to prevent different groups from interfering with one another, well that’s true.  Another view is that it provides a central place of management that configures and monitors the network for performance and faults, well that is true.

The basis is really the separation of the control plane (configuration and management) onto a server that centrally controls many network nodes.  From the data plane which are the switches and routers that pass the data for the application from one end device to another, or many.  The SDN controller communicates over a secure communications path using an API supported by the network device.

Yet what may be the most significant possibility of SDN is the ability to use programmatic control from the very applications that use the network for transport to stipulate any number of services that application needs from the network.  We are seeing this in data centers that will allow end user departments to define a complete network for say ERP from within the ERP application and no help from IT.  Why not for controls?  And since SDN is based on open source initiatives the ability for anyone to create and market applications for say a controls system is very real. Read More »

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Cisco Manufacturing Honored by Frost & Sullivan

September 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm PST

Frost & SullivanI am happy to share the great news that the Cisco team received industry accolades last week when it was recognized by Frost & Sullivan for delivering a seamlessly connected enterprise collaboration solution across industry verticals.  The award, based on Frost & Sullivan’s Vision of the Future of Manufacturing Production 2.0 (Visi-MAP 2.0), identified the top 50 game changers in manufacturing hardware and software. The Visi-MAP 2.0 initiative uses this platform to identify companies that refuse to take a ringside spectator view of industry developments and instead, lead in the visionary innovation process.

I know I speak for the entire Cisco Manufacturing team when I say that we are honored to be recognized for our integrated, vertically relevant solutions for business and operations networks as well as our strong ecosystem of partners.  We have advanced our solutions greatly over the past few years and are excited for our future and continued growth. Our industry-leading solutions continue to set us apart from our competitors and we are excited that the industry is recognizing us as a leader.

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Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

September 6, 2013 at 11:12 am PST

Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

Dave Cronberger

Dave Cronberger

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a key member of the Cisco Customer Global Enterprise Solutions Group. Dave is a customer solutions architect, working with and supporting key global customers, especially in the automotive industry. As an Infrastructure architect he is focused on physical and logical networks and network based services in industrial automation in discreet and process control environments.

He is a 14-year Cisco veteran with a background in IT networks, network security, IT and OT infrastructure, networks and security, with additional focus on collaboration technologies that use voice, video, and web to improve manufacturing process.

Dave is no stranger to the cutting edge of the automotive industry. He has initiated fleet connected vehicle solutions for Cisco, associated with an IP enabled vehicle using a variety of wireless connections, and today he is focused on Industrial Automation Networks and supporting systems along with network architecture and design for control systems in discreet and process manufacturing systems. This also includes systems supporting the plant floor such as communications, remote expert solutions, wireless networks and security. Read More »

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Internet of Things – What is Cisco doing for Business with IoT?

August 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm PST

 I recently had the pleasure of talking to Tony Shakib and Navdeep Johar at a recent Cisco Live event, and asked both to talk about The Internet of Things and what it means for business, particularly industrial businesses.

" here's... Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions

Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions, Cisco

After a great session presented by Tony Shakib at Cisco Live, I talked to Tony and Navdeep , Cisco Johar and gained insight into what the Internet of Things (IoT) actually is, and how the technology is being applied in a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, (process and discrete), oil and gas, and transportation, and how customers can monetize this for their organization’s benefit. IoT is real and it’s happening now!

“Internet of things is the foundation; how do you make the sensors a lot smarter; how do you generate a lot more data from it; and how do you monetize and control the data so that you could put it into interesting applications….the next step is we’re trying to put all these technologies in the context of vertical [industry] applications”

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