Last month, the Internet of Things was added to Oxford Dictionaries Online.  IoT was added along with such august terms as BYOD, Bitcoin, and even selfie.  While the ODO isn’t the OED – it’s the younger, hipper sibling focused on current English and modern meanings – this addition is just one more datapoint on the growing awareness around the coming Internet of Things.

Internet of things has been around as a term since about 1999, however, it’s recent popularity is due to a few emerging trends.  In the consumer space there’s been wide adoption of connected products such as smart thermostats and intelligent pedometers.  In the enterprise (and here I am using enterprise to represent many types of larger organizations – including local and national governments, non-profits, academia and companies) we’ve seen the rise of BYOD which you could argue is the first mainstream IoT form-factor.

With BYOD, companies are faced with the challenge of allowing personal devices (laptops, smartphones and tablets) to both run on the enterprise’s network and access company information.   While BYOD is nearly a mandate today, it’s a bit of a challenge for the IT team – you don’t own the image running on a BYOD laptop or phone and you don’t control where a mobile device might go or how it’s used.  And that is just the challenge with opening up your company to a few new form-factors and potential operating systems. Now imagine what happens when a huge percentage of the once non-connected objects inside and outside of a company are IP enabled and asking to be part of the network.  The business might not even be touching the objects that are part of its network, but they will have to handle the data from those objects.

At Cisco we’ve been developing technologies to help businesses and governments harness the potential intelligence in the Internet of Things for years.   But we aren’t doing this alone or in a vacuum.

IoTWF Brought to you by 7

To further accelerate the transition towards IoT, we want to bring together the best and brightest working on, and using these technologies.  That’s is why, in October 2013, Cisco is hosting the Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona, Spain.

Internet of Things World Forum – Why?

In October, Cisco, along with Oracle, IBM, Rockwell Automation, AGT, Schneider Electric, SAP, Zebra, Intel, Qualcomm, and many other sponsors will hold the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona.  The goal of this invitation-only event is to create an open forum where the swirling ideas and issues around IoT can be shared, dissected, debated, structured, quantified and progressed.   By bringing together this dynamic and experienced group of talented people we’re aiming to help organizations learn how they can take advantage of this monumental technological shift, arm governments and nonprofits with the knowledge they need to prepare for it, and provide developers and vendors with deeper insights into the challenges businesses are facing and the needs those challenges create.  The IoT World Forum will be a vendor-neutral space to discuss what needs to happen to help enterprises (governments and NGOs too) take advantage of the tremendous opportunities IoT presents.

Internet of Things World Forum – What makes this Event different?

After surveying the landscape of Internet of Things meetups, symposiums, and conferences, there still remained a need for an event focused on addressing the specific needs of enterprises.  Consumers may be dabbling in IoT with a smartphone here and an IP chip in their shoe there, but businesses can’t dabble.  They need a concerted and cost-efficient way to harness this IP-connectedness coming their way.

Internet of Things World Forum  – Who will be there?

Along with the above-mentioned sponsors, we’ve gathered a large steering committee of thinkers, doers, and innovators to guide and focus the event.

The IoT World Forum will have CxOs, VPs and Directors from companies all over the world and across a wide range of industries.  As part of our effort to address the needs of enterprises and governments, we’ve invited those in organizations who have the power and desire to affect change.  Beyond that, we have noted thinkers, activists, and other creative people who will be instrumental in helping the Internet of Things reach its potential.  I suspect that one of the more exciting outcomes of the IoT World Forum will be the serendipitous relationships and connections established by meeting people who share similar technology interests and objectives.

I will be giving the welcome, John Chambers our Chairman and CEO will be giving a keynote along with

  • Chris Baker, SVP, Oracle
  • Geoffrey Baird, President, Product & Technology Group, AGT International
  • Keith Nosbusch, Chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation
  • Pascal Brosset, Senior Vice President, Innovation, Schneider
  • Phil Gerskovich, SVP of New Growth Platforms, Zebra Technologies
  • Rob Chandhok – SVP and President of QIS, Qualcomm
  • Rob Soderbery, SVP/GM, Enterprise Networking, Cisco
  • Steve Lucas – President, SAP Platform Solutions
  • Wim Elfrink, EVP and Chief Globalization Officer, Cisco

We have many more speakers and keynote leads being confirmed every day.

Internet of Things World Forum – How do I sign-up?

IoTWF for blog small

To keep this event intimate, we are keeping the numbers of attendees small and have sent out initial invitations.  If you have received the invitation, you’ll need to register with the unique username and password you’ll find in the invitation email.  If you haven’t received one, you can sign up or refer a colleague for review.   The key ingredient is the quality of attendees, so, I hope to see you in Barcelona!Cisco_BlogBanner