Happy 1st Birthday to our IoT Design-In Program!  

Last year at Partner Summit, Cisco IoT launched our Design-in Program with the goal of dramatically reducing our partners’ new solution development efforts and accelerating the time to value for business results. Over this last year, we’ve had dozens of partners – Industrial Control System (ICS) vendors, Machine Builders, Building Automation System vendors, Smart Instrumentation vendors, and Rail Integrators – join the program. 

With our documented best practices and implementation roadmaps, these Design-In partners are using Cisco networking products, embedded boards, security, and edge software to digitize their products and services quickly, without compromising on security.  

Let’s look at a few ways our partners have accelerated their digital transformation journey with the Cisco Design-In Program. 

Creating smart, connected, and secure business 

With 135 years of technology expertise, Johnson Controls is a global leader in creating intelligent, secure, safe and connected buildings. They turned to Cisco to accelerate their journey to smarter buildings by reliably connecting Building Management Systems (BMS), video surveillance, Fire, HVAC systems to enhance occupants’ comfort, safety and productivity.

“Johnson Controls has a long history of working with Cisco. Cisco IoT networking products (Industrial Ethernet) power portions of the Johnson Controls next generation Metasys platform,” noted Jason Christman VP, Chief Product Security Officer Johnson Controls.

“Now, we are expanding our collaboration with security offerings where Cisco Cyber Vision will enable us to offer differentiated cybersecurity services and network assessments to protect and prepare our customers for the next generation of building technologies – delivered jointly with Cisco plus accelerated with global sales enablement programs and close go-to-market collaboration.”

Building a connected experience 

Customers turn to Ventev – an engineering services firm – for turnkey Wi-Fi solutions, including infrastructure, software, and services. Ventev has been working with Cisco to simplify integrations, reduce risk, and accelerate their time to deployment for their solutions. 

“We are thrilled to join the Cisco IoT Design-In Program and to partner with Cisco’s engineering and sales teams to develop collaborative solutions and cultivating joint go-to-market opportunities to meet our customers’ IoT needs,” added Thad Lowe, General Manager of Ventev. “With Cisco’s new Industrial Ethernet 3300 Series switches, we can offer more robust IoT solutions for video surveillance, power distribution automation, and asset management for our buyers.”

Delivering an exceptional customer experience 

To retain customers, every business is focused on delivering world class customer experiences. This is particularly true for rail operators looking to improve the rider experience. With the growing competition from ride-shares, a Design-In partner used Cisco’s IoT portfolio, including Fluidmesh, to power on-board Wi-Fi networks in St. Petersburg and Moscow. We also have Service Provider partners, like BAI Communications, leveraging the Design-In Program to grow their transportation business.  

“At BAI Communications, we deliver high quality communications infrastructure to large-scale transportation, transit and integrated rail systems around the globe. We Design-In many Cisco and Fluidmesh products, ranging from industrial networking, to security, and the data center,” added Ian Gallagher, VP Smart Transit and Infrastructure. “We rely on Cisco components to operate at large scale for both stationary and mobile locations. Cisco is a valued partner both for the capability and reliability of the products, and even more so because of the knowledge and experience of the people behind the products.”

Getting started with the Design-In Program 

Most businesses I talk to are looking to digitize their offerings. They are looking for new ways to leverage data generated to deliver new outcomes for their customers – like achieving higher uptimes with remote monitoring/predictive maintenance or capturing new revenue streams via a Machine as-a-Service model. 

We know that in today’s macroeconomic environment, you need to move fast with simple, secure, and scalable solutions. So, we’re accelerating the partner journey with these three key capabilities.  

1) Step-by-step guidelines and support to speed the creation new assessment and monitoring services 

We know that connecting to edge services with a secure and reliable network is the foundation of all successful digital transformation initiatives. Many projects are initiated with no assessment of the end-customer’s network capabilities or its security readiness. Design-In partners are then challenged to deliver on the promised outcomes, or worse, unintentionally expose customers to cyber-attacks and security risks. 

Cisco enables our partners to develop assessment and monitoring service offerings with Design-In Cisco technologies with step-by-step network and security implementation roadmaps. 

2) A broad product portfolio to deliver intelligent IoT edge services

Digital transformation projects require accurate data from the IoT Edge. Higher volumes of data at that edge, however, increase the threat landscape. And extracting the data from its source, transforming it so it is usable, and securely deliver the right data to the right applications to put it to work is a complex task. 

Cisco offers Edge Intelligence orchestration software to simplify the edge to multi-cloud data flow, enabling edge analytics like asset monitoring or predictive maintenance. Partners can enable this software capability on Cisco’s IoT network and benefit from flexible licensing options – opening the door for new revenue streams. Additionally, Cisco Cyber Vision provides device and traffic visibility to deliver cyber security at the IoT Edge.

3) Industry-tested and validated solutions to help ensure success

In the new era of IT and OT convergence, industrial automation solutions are complex. Success requires multiple vendor products and close collaboration of all stakeholders to transform ideas into end-to-end innovative solutions. Customers have invested for decades in their infrastructures and need to have 100% confidence before adopting new solutions. 

Cisco delivers experience and credibility to you and your customers – helping you accelerate your customer’s journey. Cisco is the global IT and IoT leader – trusted by IT and Security buyers. We work collaboratively with our Design-In partners to navigate complexities and help design repeatable, scalable, and profitable solutions. Cisco remains fully committed to the long-term success of our partners, including well-defined and field-proven joint-GTM programs, sales enablement initiatives, and validation of all products in our Design-In solutions.

Next up?

As they say, we’re only just getting started.  

“It’s been exciting to see how IoT technologies are key enablers to meet the challenges in front of us, like the new macro-economic conditions, global energy transitions, and dramatically changed work environments,” noted Nick Holden, Vice President of the Global Strategic Partner Organization, Cisco. “Companies are increasingly turning to digitization and automation and our partners are in ideal position to accelerate those efforts. The Cisco Design-In Program tightly combines the unequaled business value brought by our industry partners with the broad, trusted portfolio of Cisco IoT secure connectivity solutions to help customers thrive.” 

I couldn’t agree more Nick. And that’s why we’re gearing up to triple the size of our Design-In Program this year! 

  • We’re introducing a “Design-In: Get in the Know” webinar series in January 2021 where you can hear first-hand from partners about their journey and ask our team members questions directly. Email design-in-webinar@cisco.com to pre-register for our first session.
  • We’ve got an entire team of technical, industry and product experts dedicated to drive partner success that are with you from Day One – from validating designs through joint go-to-market programs.
  • Check out one of our partner success stories with Sandvik.
  • If you’re ready to get started today, visit CiscoDevNet for reference guides and learning labs.

Don’t miss out on the #IoTOpportunity. Your customers are on their journey to digitization and it’s a perfect place for you to deliver value and capture new revenue streams. 

Visit our Cisco Design-In Program or reach out to us directly at ask-iot-bd@cisco.com. And for more on how Cisco IoT is helping our partners, check out our new blog here.



Vikas Butaney

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco SD-WAN, Multicloud, and Industrial IoT