“It matters how we get there.”

This phrase has become a mantra for me and the rest of the IoT team at Cisco. Yes, we are laser focused on helping our customers achieve their business objectives, as well as achieving our own internal goals. But we care about more than just the bottom line. We want to help enterprises succeed, so that everyone benefits – shareholders, executives, and employees, and also members of their communities.

A great example of this is how Cisco’s IoT solutions help local governments improve the lives of their citizens. And when it comes to peoples’ wellbeing, few things are more vital than ensuring the safety of the water supply.

That’s why I’m especially excited to congratulate the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority on recently winning the coveted World Smart City Safety & Security Award. Over the last four years, we’ve worked with the city to help ensure the safety and security of the city’s drinking and wastewater treatment facilities.

We implemented Cisco Cyber Vision which merges the facilities’ IT and OT (operational technology), providing visibility into every physical and digital device connected to the network. This allows plant operators to quickly detect anomalies that could provide early warning signs of a physical or cyber attack. In addition, our smart water sensors detect everything from leaks to excessive vibration, which could indicate equipment in need of repair or replacement.

Together these systems work in concert to help protect Albuquerque’s water supply, from its origins in the Colorado River Basin to the faucets of its 650,000 citizens.

“We live in a desert, so water is critical for survival. We have to get it out there and make sure it’s clean, and there’s no room for error. Having a product like Cyber Vision, which helps create a partnership between IT and OT, is critical to achieving that goal.”
— Kristen Sanders, CISO, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority


The three pillars of IoT

Our work with Albuquerque Water Utility helps highlight the pillars that are fundamental to our IoT efforts:

Creating connected communities. Our mission includes everything from connecting and securing physical infrastructure like water, power, and transportation facilities to ensuring that homes, schools, and healthcare facilities have fast, reliable access to the Internet. The goal is to facilitate seamless operations with near-zero latency in any environment.

Powering intelligent industry. We believe that automating processes and enhancing visibility into physical and cyber assets leads to better, faster business outcomes. The more we can reduce human involvement in low value tasks, the more time people can spend on mission-critical work.

Safeguarding what matters most. We are keenly focused on defending critical infrastructure and eliminating digital threats before they impact operations. Protecting fundamental human needs like water, power, and mobility are central to this philosophy. Knowing that the heart of your organization is protected is essential to peace of mind.


How we get there matters

At Cisco we’re grounded in helping our customers achieve their business outcomes. This can mean growing an enterprise, AND taking care of people along the way and doing things to help society as a whole.

We all ultimately need the same things. We want the water coming out of our faucets to be fresh and drinkable. Our roadways should be safer, our vehicles more energy efficient. The supply chain has to become more robust, which means that our manufacturing and transportation facilities need to operate at maximum efficiency. We need access to medical care when we’re sick, even if we live a great distance from the nearest hospital. And our children need access to the wealth of information available in the world.

Technology can help address these challenges. It’s one of the things I mean when I talk about practicing Digital Hope. Creating a more connected, more sustainable future. Doing things that are good for people first. And, yes, making the world a better place.

Albuquerque Bernalillo Water Utility Authority won the award because it used technology to make its community “more livable, sustainable, and economically viable.” That’s a pretty good description of what we try to do every day here at Cisco.


Dave Wilson is vice president of global IoT sales for Cisco.


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Dave Wilson


AppDynamics & Full-Stack Observability