Across the U.S. Federal government, new teams are being created to explore the growing opportunities to leverage wireless technologies for greater efficiencies and improved services. But the world of wireless is constantly evolving so it can be difficult to understand which technologies are the best fit for your agency’s mission. That’s why Cisco is helping simplify your journey to effective operational and industrial wireless through a simple and easy to use tool designed with your needs in mind.

I joined Cisco after serving 12 years as an active-duty naval officer. During my service in the military, I was a helicopter pilot so I consider myself tech savvy. A prime example was the need to develop an intimate knowledge of all the electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems of a nearly 100’ long and 60,000 pound flying machine. Despite all that experience and a technical background, the transition from the military to information technology was very daunting.

Wireless can be complex, but does it have to be?

Joining Cisco brought forth a new corporate culture, new acronyms, and obviously, new complex technologies. As I sat through various training sessions, where multiple products touted their “single pane of glass” or “AI/ML engines,” I promised myself that I would strive to make operational and industrial wireless offerings easier to understand for our customers.

Let’s be honest, if you think the inner workings of avionics, hydraulics, and power plants sound complicated, then let me introduce you to wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6. Then we’ll move on to LTE, RFID, BLE, LoRaWAN, and RFID. And finish up with CURWB, CBRS, Sigox, Zigbee, NFC, and Nb-IoT. The list goes on and on.

Understanding operational and industrial wireless

I’ve been working at Cisco for three years and I’m still not sure I fully understand the technology landscape. This feeling is not unique to me as I often hear the same views expressed from the Federal agency teams I work with. Enterprise wireless teams have questions about 5G and Wi-Fi 6. Operational Technology (OT) practitioners have questions about industrial Wi-Fi and RFID. They’re often part of new teams within their agencies called “Emerging Technologies” or “IoT Projects”. And they will contact us seeking help on navigating the landscape of not only Wi-Fi and cellular, but of all the other industrial or IoT-focused technologies I mentioned above.

There’s so much going on with wireless today—and emerging soon over the horizon—that it’s becoming clear to me that technology companies serving the U.S. Federal government may sometimes be failing at making the wireless landscape accessible.

A guide to operational and industrial wireless

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely one of the many new teams being created to address wireless opportunities in government. If so, I imagine you’re being asked to evaluate and recommend technologies that will not only expand connectivity but promise to improve organizational processes, or to directly impact your mission. That’s a daunting task. But, in keeping with the promise I made to myself three years ago, I’m going to try to make it simple for you with just one link: the Cisco Industrial Wireless Advisor Tool.

Choosing the right industrial wireless solutions for your agency can be confusing.
Cisco’s Industrial Wireless Advisor Tool helps make it easy
—in just three easy steps.

Just answer a maximum of eight questions about your basic requirements and the tool will produce a report with technologies tailored for you and ranked by fit – it’s that simple.

I hope this tool helps you better understand the wireless landscape. And I hope it saves you time so you can focus on the vital work you do in supporting your agency’s mission.

Additional resources


Emory Miller

Senior Business Development Manager

US Public Sector