Manufacturing New Business with the Internet of Everything

May 16, 2014 - 3 Comments

Manufacturing ArmIn a recent article for Manufacturing Digital, “Cisco highlights Internet of Everything potential in 2014,” the manufacturing industry has been touted as a one of the top sectors benefitting from the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Internet of Things (IoT) trends. Along these lines, I recently discussed the transformative power of IoT in manufacturing in a blog on this Cisco IoE blog, Making Smarter Manufacturing and IoT a Reality Today.  It’s becoming apparent to me that the propensity of leading analyst and press coverage around these topics is evolving beyond far-off visioning or thought-provoking industry trend discussions into the practical exchange of ideas and experiences around real-life scenarios and applications for the production environment, supply chain, voice of customer (VoC) and all the critical business interests of a typical manufacturer. Manufacturing is leading a charge to create the next generation of real-time, connected and smart factories, integrated supply chains, in-context collaboration and work flows for global design teams and more, and IoE is a critical building block for the transformation of these business processes to excite greater revenues and profitability.

On the subject of VoC and design flows, you may have seen a TV commercial from Cisco illustrating the very real example of how IoE is transforming product innovation in manufacturing.  While the example scenario in this ad may seem fanciful, what is truly exciting is that the technology and capabilities for this use case exist today and are being leveraged by savvy manufacturers now. It’s remarkable that when products, design, supply and production are connected very directly to the customer, manufacturing business is really taken to the next level.

Earlier this week, I participated with a manufacturing customer advisory group, where line of business (LoB) senior executives from a variety of global automotive, consumer packaged goods, machinery and equipment and life sciences manufacturing companies exchanged insights on the business imperatives that are driving their focused investments. With the sustained momentum and positive economic outlook in 2014 for the industry, global manufacturers are clearly reemphasizing and refocusing their strategic execution around the longer-term differentiators of product, business model and process innovation. It’s also clear that, like the example illustrated with the ‘Sneaker Ad’ above, best-in-class manufacturers are leveraging IoE to advance their offering portfolios and to balance between sustaining and disruptive innovations.

What are your thoughts about manufacturing as a driving sector for IoE and IoT? We’d love to hear from you! Please share your manufacturing value chain examples and business scenario use cases that are driving your adoption in your particular production environment.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Thanks Chet, for your response. Yes, point taken. Clearly, manufacturing and energy industries attribute the highest growth opportunity in IoT space over the next 10-15 years. Do watch out for our post on Cisco C-scape, which summarizes some of what you have elucidated here.

  2. A thought-provoking post. Just shows the limitless potential of IoT and IoE. Thanks to pioneers like Cisco, end-users are rapidly becoming aware of business imperatives and solutions to overcome the same. However, where do you think the impact is the biggest – Process or Discrete manufacturing?

    • Hi, Ram. Thank you for taking time to read the post and comment! I would be hard-pressed to determine whether IoE/IoT have greater impact with the Process Industries than with Discrete Manufacturing. The multi-factor, typically non-linear interaction of inputs (chemicals, temperature, pressure, flow rate, etc.) that yield output for continuous process might indicate a greater impact of IoT by being able to sense with more precision and scale, However, there is so much opportunity to optimize against energy consumption and quality, for example, with discrete operations (including cutting, welding, sorting, assembly, torquing, etc.). Furthermore, the impact of IoE/IoT within discrete is expanded by applying new abilities to connect and create valuable “product-as-a-service” offers, for example. At Cisco, we’ve estimated that between Manufacturing and Energy (O&G, Utilities) the incremental value at stake (impact potential) is almost $5T (Trillion, with a “T”) and crosses five main use case archetypes: Asset Utilization; Employee Productivity; Supply Chain/Logistics; Process/Product/Business Innovation; and Customer Experience/Engagement.