Now more than ever, integrators, equipment builders and industrial control system vendors are building IoT into their products and solution to offer new services and more value to their customers. Equipment as a service, data and analytics offerings, or just gaining operational efficiencies for themselves and their customers are examples of how they are using IoT. But anyone who has delivered a connected IoT-enabled solution will tell you that it is a long and painful process. Every integration use case is different. Every project starts from scratch. Historical knowledge, repeatable solutions and standard processes are non-existent. At Cisco, we believe IoT projects should be easier. So today, we are announcing the industry’s first-ever systematic industrial networking program, called Cisco IoT Design-In.

“Cisco IoT Design-In Program accelerates partners time to market by helping them develop, market and sell the integration of Cisco IoT products into their solutions,” says Christian Renaud, Research Vice President, Internet of Things at 451 Research.

Design-In supports wide variety of use cases

Regardless of whether you need a highly customized solution or just basic connectivity, Design-In can help speed the process. The Cisco IoT Design-In Program supports two types of integrations.

  • Product Design-In: Cisco Networking boards embedded into purpose-built appliances or equipment or white labeled to expand your product line
  • Solution Design-In: Cisco off-the-shelf industrial products integrated into your solutions

These integrated solutions are used in a variety of use cases and industries. One common example is that of ‘Connected machines’. Often machines in factories or assets in remote locations (like those in oil fields or transportation) are not connected or managed. Industrial Operators and technicians have to provision and manage these machines manually and one at a time. One of the features of the Design-In program is ‘Reference Guides’ that partners can more quickly integrate Cisco IoT networking into industrial devices, enabling customers to remotely connect, manage and access data. These Design-in reference guides also provide the appropriate cyber security best practices that can be incorporated into partner solutions. For use cases that require an extreme amount of customization such as those created by Defense integrators we provide the design patterns that make the integration of our networking boards into equipment as simple and intuitive as possible.

Accelerating Cisco IoT integrations

Cisco IoT Design-In accelerates the integration of Cisco IoT products by finding, documenting and using best practices to build and scale. It is a complete life cycle program with the right resources so partners can more quickly and accurately develop, market and sell the value of the integration of our IoT products into their offerings. It provides a standardized process with three distinct phases.

  1. Discover – accelerates by starting with a standardized approach for every use case. We help partners find the right Cisco product and give them the tools and resources to design and plan their deployment.
  2. Develop – reduces time figuring out the integration and increases project reliability and success. Our award-winning development program, DevNet, gives them all they need to develop and test their solution.
  3. Deliver – speeds time to market. We work with our partners to identify the commercial agreements that best fit their needs. These agreements authorize the partner with the rights to resell Cisco networking as a part of their products or solutions. We also provide industrial technical and sales enablement support, and with access to Cisco marketing resources and brand logos.

As part of this program, we have developed new capabilities in each phase that takes the time and pain out of the integration. These capabilities are highlighted below.

Speeds selection of Cisco products (Discover phase)

No longer will partners need to sift thru scores of web pages and data sheet to determine which product in our portfolio is the right product for their use case. Our new product selector tool has filters that automatically guide them to the right product.

Step-by-step planning help (Discover phase)

New Design-In reference guides give partners all they need to scope, develop and implement their use case. These guides eliminate the piecemeal, trial and error approach through real use cases that have been tested and validated. Partners find the use case that most closely resembles their deployment, and its associated reference guide provides the step-by-step instructions for success.

All they need to develop and test their solution (Develop phase)

In the Develop phase, DevNet, our development program, has new capabilities that help integrate our products smoothly and quickly. And these new capabilities are not just for IT, but for the first time, are also tailored to OT. Based on the use cases in the Design-In reference guides, it offers new learning labs for on-demand training and sandboxes for testing – all in simulated environments. Finally, it offers integration validation testing allowing third-party apps to be run, tested and certified compatible on Cisco products. DevNet’s tools and resources reduces time figuring out integration issues and increases project reliability and success.

Cisco-Powered marketing support (Deliver phase)

The Deliver phase gives partners the flexibility to brand as their own or use Cisco to help them go-to-market. Authorized partners can display select Cisco Logos to give customers the confidence that their product has Cisco quality, reliability and security built inside. And we offer marketing resources to help them communicate the Cisco value. This along with a new simplified commercial agreements speed time to revenue.

Fast and efficient customer support (Deliver phase)

Finally, partners can also take advantage of our new Industrial Technical Support Service program in the Deliver phase. It allows them to create new revenue streams by branding the support as their own. Cisco provides robust training so that they can provide world-class Level 1 and 2 customer support. Level 3 support can be provided by Cisco. This ensures better customer satisfaction as these customers stay current with security patches, software updates and the support they need on our products.

“Success in today’s digital transformation efforts requires support throughout the ecosystem, including from both suppliers and solution partners. The new Design-In Program reaffirms Cisco’s commitment to industrial control system vendor, equipment manufacturer and system integrator partners by applying its many decades of best practice learnings to a systematic program,” says Chantal Polsonetti, ARC Advisory Group Vice President & Industry Analyst.

Integrations aren’t easy, but Cisco is helping all along the integration path with what we have learned throughout our years of integrating our industrial IoT products. The result? Our partners are shortening their lead times, improving profitability and reducing their risk. Our customers, in turn, get the IoT services they need, faster, to stay ahead. Visit www.cisco.com/go/designin to learn more. We will be at Partner Summit to continue the conversation. If you have an opportunity that you want to discuss, e-mail us at ask-iot-bd@cisco.com.


Param Singh

Senior Director, Product Management

Internet of Things (IoT)