On Tuesday we announced Cisco Kinetic, a first-of-its kind IoT operations platform designed to unlock the power of data from the billions of connected devices being added to the network.

In recent years, companies across the globe have embraced the idea of a hyper-connected, digital world. Now I’m starting to see a level of maturity within those companies, an understanding that they need to move beyond the test-and-learn phase to truly master IoT as a way to drive massive business growth.

At Cisco, we’re committed to making it faster and easier for these businesses to get their IoT initiatives from proof of concept to implementation to scalable bottom-line results. Cisco Kinetic will help companies accelerate their progress by leveraging the network, automating management of their IoT devices, and extracting value from the terabytes of IoT data at their disposal.

Cisco Kinetic does this by solving three substantive IoT challenges for companies, within a single platform:

  1. Easily connect their devices on the world’s enterprise networks
  2. Benefit from a highly distributed computing environment to deliver fast decisions
  3. Ensure data is securely extracted and routed to where it can deliver the most value

Connection Management

The sheer scale of IoT demands a new, automated way to onboard, authenticate, monitor, and manage IoT devices. There are billions of devices yet to be connected, and as we’ve learned after 10+ years in IoT, ensuring that every connection works as flawlessly on day 3000 as it did on day one is absolutely critical.  After all, if you can’t get the data from the device to an end point, nothing else matters.

Cisco Kinetic is designed to solve that problem by deeply understanding how to turn connected things into trusted IoT devices, and making the enterprise network a welcoming, secure place for those devices to connect.

Imagine you’re installing a connected vending machine – or a copier, lightbulbs, a security system, etc. – in an office building. As the manufacturer of that IoT device, you simply want to plug it in and walk away and know that it will work as intended. With Cisco Kinetic – coupled with Cisco DNA Center – we’re streamlining and automating the complex processes of getting the local network to recognize it, authenticate it, apply the right kind of policies, and ensure the data gets to its intended destination without co-mingling it with other devices on the network. And when you want to add other devices, we apply the same principles, giving everyone the tools needed to ensure working connections throughout the service lifecycles of these products.

Fog Computing

One critical effect of connecting billions of devices is that computing will be highly distributed – from the public cloud down to the furthest reaches of edge devices, and everything in between. The simple truth is that, when devices are generating terabytes of data, it’s not practical to send everything offsite.

Cisco Kinetic addresses this by significantly increasing the efficiency of how and where data is processed, automatically determining what needs to stay local, be shared on site, or delivered to the cloud. With fog computing, we make it possible to process data at the edge and execute fast decisions close to the action, when and where that information is needed most.

Take the example of Chevron, who realized it was inefficient to send massive amounts of data thousands of miles from oil well sensors to the engineers responsible for optimizing their production. With Cisco Kinetic, they now can process much of that data onsite, then parse and send only the essential data to the subject matter experts in Houston, Texas. As a result, they have been able to reduce time-to-decisions from 2 weeks down to a matter of seconds. This approach also reduces bandwidth needs and latency, helping companies like this to manage costs while extracting maximum value from their IoT hardware and network.

Data Delivery

One of the biggest challenges in IoT is how companies can extract maximum value from the terabytes of IoT data at their disposal. Cisco Kinetic helps companies achieve this by making it easy to extract, normalize and securely deliver data, across all the participants of an ecosystem, based on rules defined by the data owner(s).  We play a vital role in enforcing the rules that have been negotiated between parties.

One example of this is some of the work we’re doing with Industrial Machine manufacturers like FANUC or Makino, who benefit greatly from extracting data from their products running on a factory floor.  However, many of those factory owners are concerned about enabling a connection to a 3rd party and what data is being collected and shared with whom.  Cisco Kinectic is there is ensure both parties – the Thing Maker and the Thing Owner – get access to the data they are authorized to access, while protecting the connection from threats and vulnerabilities.

The Foundation for IoT Success

By consolidating Connection Management, Fog Computing, and Data Delivery within a single platform, Cisco Kinetic will help enterprises accelerate the path from proof of concept to implementation, give our partners a powerful foundation on which to build additional services, and enable companies worldwide to maximize the value of their IoT data.

For questions or more information, e-mail to CiscoKinetic@cisco.com.


Macario Namie

Head of IoT Strategy

IoT Business Group