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Amsterdam Embraces the Internet of Everything, Paving the Way for a More Connected City

When people think of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, they often think of bicycles, canals and progressive social values. Some may even know about its leadership in international trade, catalyzed centuries ago by the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational corporation. Others may be more familiar with Amsterdam because of U.S. President Obama’s recent visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses the world-famous painting The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

However, close 21st century observers know that Amsterdam is also a modern-day capital of collaborative innovation and some of the world’s most advanced Smart City deployments. Amsterdam was the first city in Europe to be connected to the Internet[1]. It was also one of the first cities to appreciate the importance of extending fiber-optic connectivity to its residents and businesses. At the same time, “green” is a priority and a practice in Amsterdam: The trams and streetcars run on green electricity, and the numerous data centers located in and around the city are required to comply with strict environmental rules.

These forward-thinking uses of technology help make Amsterdam one of the 15 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey 2014: innovative, attractive, competitive, and connected! This early Internet pioneer is now set to take the next step by fully embracing the Internet of Everything and all the value it can deliver economically, socially and environmentally.

Amsterdam MoU SigningcroppedCisco is proud to play an important role in this evolution. Two days ago, (April 8), on behalf of Cisco, I had the pleasure of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, to jointly develop and implement a long-term Internet of Everything strategy for the city that connects people, processes, data, and things (see photo to the left). Cisco and the city of Amsterdam have been working together on a variety of Smart City endeavors for ten years now, including citywide optical fiber to the home, a Smart Grid, Smart Work place and Public TelePresence capabilities. By creating a more holistic Internet of Everything strategy for Amsterdam, the agreement will further strengthen our partnership Mayor and allow us to pursue new opportunities while protecting citizen security and privacy.

We will work with city officials to build a large local ecosystem to bring great exciting new innovations to this city and its citizens, initially focusing on smart lighting, smart parking and smart security in Southeast Amsterdam

According to distinguished Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, the City is human kind’s greatest invention. Imagine combining this with the greatest invention of the modern era: the Internet of Everything. In Amsterdam, and other great cities around the world, we are exploring new ways to more smartly manage water, traffic, energy, pollution, healthcare, travel, waste, lighting, crime and even parking.

In this age of rapid urbanization, I am convinced that cities that don’t embrace the Internet of Everything will be at a competitive disadvantage, and even be left behind. Cities with ambition and vision must help to lead the way. This MoU with Amsterdam is an important step for the Internet of Everything, for all Dutch citizens and for cities and citizens around the world.

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Service Provider Wi-Fi Connects the IoE in the City of Barcelona

maywongBy Maywun Wong, Service Provider Mobility Marketing Manager

Mobility is here to stay.  According to a recent survey, 70% of all consumers use Public Wi-Fi, spending an average of 44 minutes connected to the Internet.  It’s not just people connecting, but processes, things, and data, too, leading to the revolution called the Internet of Everything.  At CES this year, John Chambers showed how the Internet of Everything could represent as high as $19 trillion in global opportunity in the next decade .  For the public sector alone, IoE could generate up to $4.6 trillion in value in the next 8 years.

Cities around the world are using the IoE to provide intelligence to provide a better experience for their citizens and visitors.  They are installing Wi-Fi across town so everyone can connect with their friends and family.  They are also placing sensors in parking spaces, bus stations, light poles, and others such that the public knows what resources are available.  Wim Elfrink, Cisco EVP of Industry Solutions and chief globalization officer, recognizes that “cities have the opportunity to transform the way citizens experience urban life.”

The city of Barcelona has embraced IoE in a true Smart+Connected City.  They have Read More »

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Digital Britain: RAPTOR, a Catalyst for Economic Growth

August 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm PST

I have previously penned a few posts about the projects I am involved with at Cisco, including RAPTOR – the start-up grant program that’s based out of the Greenwich Peninsula.  My prior stories focused on the digital business start-up element of this program, rather than the wider initiatives being led by our United Kingdom and Ireland (UK&I) Strategy and Innovation Team Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, A Better Economy in the Cloud

My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:

1. Big Data (Smart City)

2. Consolidation

3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making

4. Mobility and broadband deployment

5. Cyber and network security

6. Cloud-based solutions

7. Legacy/modernization, RFP

8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)

9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)

10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)

What would you add or subtract?

I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.

Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:

Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: A Brighter Tomorrow

In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.

As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)

There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.

1.     Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.

This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.

2.     Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.

Read More »

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