We are embarking on a new technological journey that will fundamentally change forever the economy, society and the way that we live. Wired magazine described a new era where “the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.” The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a world where up to 50 billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.
Businesses are beginning to completely re-design their processes, operations and business models to benefit from this new era. We are already starting to see the emergence of smart cities, connected utilities, connected railways, connected factories, connected cars, and even connected mines, to name but a few. All industries are looking to IoE as a breakthrough technology to help them optimize their business, enter new markets and enhance their relationship with their customers. This is why industry analysts, like IDC, estimate that businesses will spend up to $20 trillion over the next three years to realize the promise of the Internet of Everything.
But, The Internet of Things is More Than Just “Things”. As I described in this recent article, the Internet of Things is really a short-hand for the four technology pillars (mobility, cloud, big data and things), wrapped in security, that are forging a revolutionary new, and revolutionary, connected world. Successful IoE implementations don’t happen in isolation or independently. Cisco is discovering that successful implementations require a technical and business platform into which different solutions can be easily plugged to efficiently and effectively achieve the promised business benefits. The cornerstones of this IoE platform include a robust connectivity and technology infrastructure, operational and management services and a range of vertical and horizontal solutions.
In Cisco’s experience, all IoE implementations require all of these technical and business elements to be successful. Our vision is that effective IoE deployments will build an IoE platform that can be extended across the business, or even entire industries, to deliver a range of unique, value-added IoE solutions.
Starting from the bottom, the layers comprise:
Network Connection – connecting all of the solutions, data and applications through fiber backhaul or licensed cellular.
Network Access – a managed Wi-Fi, or other unlicensed wireless network, to connect all of the sensors and applications.
Technology Platform – a platform to allow new devices and solutions to readily and securely “plug and play” into the overall architecture, and to connect to cloud storage and compute services.
Vertical and Horizontal Solutions – the combination of devices and applications that deliver the unique solutions for different vertical and horizontal industry segments.
Platform Monetization – in some verticals, like smart cities and B2C, opportunities exist to leverage the platform and network to create new sources of revenue.
Shared Operating Platform – a shared platform to consolidate the management, customer care and service issues across all of the solutions.
Professional Services – services to support areas such as systems integration, planning and design.
Program Leadership – services to program manage the entire implementation, operations and partner ecosystem.
Successfully deploying and capturing the tremendous potential benefits of IoE is not just about cool things and applications. A comprehensive technical, operations and management IoE platform is required to turn vision and promise into reality.
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It has been 15 years since Kevin Ashton popularized the term the Internet of Things. How could we have known then what that would come to mean and the huge impact that it would have on our lives? Cisco projects that 50 Billion things (or devices) will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet. This exponential growth of connected devices is fundamentally impacting both society and the economy—changing our lives forever.
However, with all of our focus and media attention on the Internet of Things, we are really missing the fundamental technology revolutions that are reshaping our world. Radical advances in processing, storage, wireless technologies and new ways of delivering technology are reshaping our world -- all at a much faster speed and drastically reduced price.
In my view, the Internet of Things is really a short-hand for the five technology pillars that are shaping a revolutionary new, connected world. Read More »
Hong Kong Academy (HKA) is an International Baccalaureate school with students ranging from pre-school to grade 12. They are a relatively small school in terms of total employees and students. Their goal is to offer a personal and individualized form of learning.
HKA identified that the best way to achieve their goals was to encourage the use of technology to create a community amongst teachers and students. They recently constructed a new building and had the opportunity to build a network to meet their current and future requirements.
Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands is one of the top 10 art and history museums in the world.
We live in an era where information is available in the palm of our hands and traditional institutions such as museums are inevitably facing the consequences of this. Even though the museum dates back to the 1800′s with artifacts from the middle ages, they have embraced modern technology to adapt to the changing landscape. This was as a matter of survival considering the competition from other institutions.
Today’s blog post is by a guest author, Adel du Toit, who is currently spearheading the effort by Cisco’s internal IT organization to deliver IT-as-a-Service internally, dubbed the Cisco IT “eStore.” Recently, the eStore team took home multiple awards, you can read more about that here. (If you’re not familiar with the eStore, be sure to check out my other blog posts regarding the eStore here and here.)
Over the last few months I had to take a few steps back and admire the passion and dedication of the team as our Vision is starting to become a reality. For those less familiar with the Cisco IT eStore, have a look at the latest customer case study here. You can also check out the demo video below:
In the last few months the eStore team has delivered IT services, to any device, simply, while achieving broad adoption while showcasing Cisco as the #1 IT Company thanks to Cisco Prime Service Catalog, which is the underlying foundation for our end-user storefront interface.
Delivered IT services:
We have 2 ways of delivering IT services and apps. In estore.cisco.com employees can find the IT services that one needs to order from a desktop or laptop computer. As for mobile devices, employees can go to eStore for Mobile to install the apps he or she needs to stay productive whilst on the go.
Today we have nearly 290 IT services and mobile apps that our users can choose from:
To Any Device:
It is important to embrace BYOD and at Cisco we live this every day. It was important that the store we created could be used by any device.
Below is a breakdown of the device types that have accessed both eStore over the last 6 months.
User experience is important to us and we wanted to make sure that the store provides a similar experience to what you would expect when shopping at Amazon or eBay, for example.
In both our mobile and web interface we have the ability to surface the apps and services most needed by our end users:
The Cisco IT eStore (Desktop Version)
The Cisco IT eStore (on iOS mobile)
Adding spotlight content and recommendations is important to help with findability and user experience. This was made possible by the latest release of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, which introduced a next-generation user interface and powers the storefront that the eStore is built on. Be sure to check out Phillipe’s post on the latest release here.
Achieving broad adoption…
One of the most recently added features in the internal Cisco IT eStore has been the addition of desktop software for employees to download. Going forward, we expect to see around 20k unique visitors a month ordering Desktop Software from eStore. For the first time we will have a single, unified platform for both Mac and Windows users to install their software from.
In addition, during our Global Sales Conference (GSX) in Las Vegas in late August we had the requirements to support 18,000 Sales users downloading the recommended mobile apps during the event. We had to be ready to surface the apps, but also support 18k users downloading the event app in a 15 minute period!
Lots of long hours and planning later, we made sure that all of this happened seamlessly, here are a few statistics from the event:
- 89% of the GSX attendees installed eStore for Mobile
- During the event we had 5.4k average visits a day
- 81% of the attendees installed the GSX event app from the store
- 49% of the attendees also installed other apps in addition to downloading the event app
- Very few support issues (less than 40 total!)
- Our max CPU stayed below 12%
- With an average load response time of 1.7 secs
If we take a step back and also look at our overall adoption for Q4, FY14 the numbers look very healthy. Nearly 50k requisitions in the 3 months period from May to July 2014.
…While showcasing Cisco as the #1 IT Company
The Cisco eStore team is no stranger to awards, and we continue to add our trophy cabinet with our latest award, the Gold Stevie Winner for Information Technology Team of the Year. For more information on the latest awards, be sure to check out this blog post detailing all of the awards we won this year at the International Business Awards.
Want to learn more? We have a webinar coming up on October 8th at 8 am PDT where we will discuss best practices for delivering Enterprise IT-as-a-Service, and delve deeper into the latest developments in both the Cisco IT eStore and Cisco Prime Service Catalog. You can register here.
Thanks for reading. For more info be sure to follow us on Twitter @CiscoIT to learn more about the Cisco IT eStore, and follow @CiscoUM for the latest info on Prime Service Catalog.