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Manufacturers Go Mobile

Mary Ann Azevedo

Mary Ann Azevedo

Guest Blog by

Mary Ann Azevedo is an award-winning journalist based in Silicon Valley.  She has covered business and technology issues for Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the San Francisco Business Times and the Houston Business Journal.

An excellent piece by Mary Ann Azevedo is now available on the “The Network” (originally published June 24 , 2013) which expands upon many of the themes we have discussed on this Cisco Manufacturing Blog site. Start reading here, and the ‘Read More’ link will take you to the full article:

Ten years ago, an employee at a manufacturing firm would have to use pen and paper to conduct a plant floor inspection or quality control check. With handwritten notes, there was the potential for mistakes. The time it would take for a discovered problem to be addressed would vary considering how long it took for someone to learn about it and find the resources to solve it.

But as mobile technology has advanced, those same workers now have the option to instead use a mobile device such as a tablet or an iPad to perform the same functions. And those that do are finding that they are saving time and money while reducing the risk for errors and increasing safety in the workplace.

Manufacturers may have been slow to adopt mobility in the workplace but that reluctance seems to be gradually fading as once more conservative manufacturers are viewing the use of mobile as a way to get a leg up on their competition, notes Heather Ashton, research Manager for IDC Manufacturing and Retail Insights.Manufacturing employees “are becoming the smart connected worker by taking the technology with them,” she notes. “They’re moving throughout their workday connected at all times, which is huge.”

Not only they are adopting the use of mobile more, they are actually developing their own applications.According to a spring 2012 IDC survey (see chart in main article ), nearly 40 percent of 373 surveyed manufacturers across a variety of sectors said they intended to develop half or more of their applications for mobile platforms in 2012.

Eaton Corp. is one example of a company that has developed its own mobile application to enhance operations. John Gercak, vice president of information technology for Eaton’s $4 billion vehicle group, said his team in the United States and India spent about seven months developing the “Powertrac.”

The mobile application, which went live last December, uses a global positioning system (GPS) on an iPad and a cellular network to track the company’s test vehicles for supporting its products.

“With this app, the driver takes the iPad with them in the vehicle while on the track and we’re able to see in real time on the Web exactly where the vehicle is at all times,” he said.  Gercak said this is particularly useful because “if there’s a safety issue, we’re able to tell and notify the drivers in advance so as to avoid any potential accidents. Before if a vehicle was broken down, we weren’t able to know right away and contact the other drivers so from a safety perspective, it’s very helpful,”  Read More >

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Swan & Dolphin Resort Showcases Connected Mobile Experiences at Cisco Live!

As part of Cisco Live! last week, Cisco hosted a Connected Mobile Experiences Dinner last night with senior executives of some of our customers and partners in  Shula’s Steak house at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. One of the key points of the night was the presentation by Chet Patel, Director of IT at the Swan and Dolphin.

Chet discussed how Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution has been deployed at the resort and the insights and benefits they are starting to derive already. The resorts executive business management are starting to get heavily engaged with the project and understanding the value that CMX can contribute.

cmx dinner Read More »

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The Internet of Everything: a Future Vision, Arriving Today

This week I had the privilege of speaking at Cisco Live 2013 about the coming explosion in connectivity among people, processes, data, and things, which Cisco calls the Internet of Everything (IoE).

This massive technological and societal shift promises to transform and accelerate our lives in profound ways as the number of connected objects soars from 10 billion today to 50 billion (and rising) by 2020.

Yet even before I left for Orlando or gave my first Cisco Live presentation, I saw ample evidence that IoE is not just a vision of the future. Increasingly, it is the Internet of today—and evolving rapidly all around us.

IoE represents the orchestration of a bevy of emerging technologies, including Big Data analytics, video, mobility, cloud, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. And it will ultimately infuse almost everything—roads, jet-engine parts, shoes, refrigerators, soil, supermarket shelves, you name it—with cheap, tiny sensors that will generate terabytes of data to be sifted for key insights.

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Cisco Live 2013 Shows Life in 2023, Thanks to the Internet of Everything

Join the conversation with @DaveTheFuturist #IoE2023

Join the conversation with @DaveTheFuturist #IoE2023

It’s probably no surprise to you that my favorite part of Cisco Live is discussing future technology. This year, there are so many ways the Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting people, process, data and things.

For example, we are looking at a world where our clothes, our glasses, even the pills we swallow, will be connected. In the business arena, IoE enables new processes and creates new value. The data we consume and create is providing new insights. And we are connecting things at record rates. Today there are about 10 billion things connected to the Internet, a little more than one for each person on the planet. By 2023, there will be five times as many—50 billion things—connected. And there is $14.4 trillion of potential economic “value at stake” for global private-sector businesses over the next decade, as a result of the emergence of the Internet of Everything.

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Government Roundtable at Cisco Live!

Tomorrow at Cisco Live!, I will be moderating a roundtable discussion featuring four government thought-leaders:

During the roundtable, each customer will discuss how they are using technology to address current challenges – such as greater demand for mobile technology, fewer resources, limited budgets and new models for delivering citizen services. Read More »

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