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Global Paint Manufacturer Shows the Colors of the Future

CIOs around the world are at the center of technology trends such as cloud, social media, consumerization of IT, and mobility. This is the first blog in a four-part series exploring and sharing how CIOs around the world are responding to these trends and creating new ways to innovate, grow, and deliver superior customer experience.

The manufacturing industry has been hit harder than most as a result of the global recession. As the market recovers, however, manufacturers are finding that IT has also changed. Consumers are more demanding, and expect new products faster. Read More »

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Executive Perspectives and AkzoNobel – Manufacturing Industry CIO/CXO Special – Part 1

November 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm PST

I feel I should tell you first of all that I wrote this blog on an Airplane. I also connected into a WebEx meeting and met up with my fellow Cisco employees to talk about Industries and find out what was going on in San Jose whilst I was in the air somewhere between San Jose and Dallas. I surprised my wife by calling her via my laptop and saying ‘Hi’!

This is therefore our first Cisco Manufacturing Industry blog written and published whilst flying. Wow, we’ve come a long way since I was a trainee!

Anyway, I’m actually more excited that I don’t have to stop blogging and can bring you the news of a great video reference that Cisco collaborated with AzoNobel on:

In the video AkzoNobel’s CIO, Pieter Schoehuijs describes how converging technologies empower an integrated supply chain. As a 14bn Euro concern operating in over 80 countries worldwide, they are the largest paint and coatings company in the world, and a leading producer of specialty chemicals.

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Machine Builders in my Factory?

As you know there are many changes in manufacturing operations today. These certainly relate to Operations Excellence, Continuous Innovation, Energy Management, even the Supply Chain and Customer Service world. There are technology changes and personnel changes. There are Global impacts as manufacturing companies compete in new regions and those same new regions sprout new manufacturers. And at the end of the day (or maybe the beginning?) there is a need for someone to build a specialized machine.

We have already seen the power of a converged (technologically) network. Ethernet/IP helps the controls world provide information to the IT world. We see this every day, where older proprietary networks are replaced by standard Ethernet. Here are some thoughts as they relate to specialized machine builders:

So, we have this technology that can unify us, Ethernet. Who knew that years ago I sold against Ethernet? But that was a different version. Today is new, with managed switches, managed services, and tomorrow is your new today.

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Made in the USA, again Part 2

October 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm PST

In my previous blog, “Made in the USA, again,” I discussed a report from BCG which claimed that by “by 2015 manufacturing in some parts of the US will be just as economical as manufacturing in China.” While this may sound very encouraging, 2015 may be a bit overly-optimistic. Even one of my colleagues tweeted about my blog: “2015 seems too early and not sure I agree.”

This issue, and BCG’s report, were reported recently in my favorite magazine (I know, I know — they refer to themselves as a “newspaper”), The Economist. Read More »

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Trends, Care-abouts and Industrial Networks: Guy Denis – Cisco Insiders Series

October 31, 2011 at 10:23 am PST

About the ‘Cisco Insiders Series’ -- You won’t find product pre-announcements, insider trading tips or other things we can’t tell you about here! You will find, however, nuggets of information from provoking thought leaders that you would easily miss if we didn’t bring them to you here. Get a competitive blog-edge by reading this series!

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Guy Denis recently.  He has been one of those instrumental in forming Cisco’s approach to Industrial Automation – both inside Cisco and for our customers. He’s been focused on how industrial processes can be improved with emerging technologies, and how the IT and plant-floor systems are converging to provide business and industrial process benefits.

Right now the Internet is abuzz about the Cloud and what it means for customers, suppliers, IT and Service Providers. A lot of buzz too about ‘The Internet of Things’, which talks about billions of devices on the network in a few years time. But you know me -- I wanted to move the conversation more to the factory. What’s clear is that the Cloud is not just for commercial and carpeted areas. It’s moving to the plant floor and beyond. Not just people and computers talking to each other, but machines talking to people and to other machines. So I wanted to learn more about how the network is evolving to cope with industrial automation and embrace the cloud from a machine perspective.

First off, I asked Guy what he thought of as the major trends emerging in industrial automation that he believed would impact the market for the next 10 years. Read More »

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