Cisco Blogs

Manufacturing Customer IoE/IoT Globe Trotting: Part 1

April 20, 2015 - 1 Comment

From my home in North Carolina to San Diego, to Atlanta and all the way to Greater China—Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei—throughout April, I am presenting at several Manufacturing industry, Supply Chain executive, and Internet of Things (IoT) regional events, along with visiting all types of manufacturing customers. Earlier this month, I was at a customer advisory where we met with industrial thought leaders eager to share experiences (see Tony Shakib’s blog, “The Digital Factory: Real Solutions and Real Outcomes”). In the meantime, several of my colleagues exhibited Cisco industrial solutions this past week at Hannover Messe in Germany. Across the globe, manufacturers are wrestling with how to capture the opportunity and value associated with IoT and Internet of Everything (IoE) strategies. The good news is that the industry is thriving, alive and well and at the forefront of IoT adoption.

At the IoT Regional Forum in Atlanta last week, I had the opportunity to meet some manufacturing companies from the region and hear first-hand the challenges and address questions they had regarding automation and networking and the convergence of IT and OT, from technology to culture to organization. What I hear repeatedly are questions on how to tie together the various islands of automation and information that exist throughout most factories and across manufacturing enterprises. In addition, the lack of one integrated view results in delayed decision-making and responses to issues and problems that arise, and inhibit the introduction of new products and business models.

Often, we will assist our industrial customers with this IT/OT convergence by recommending a pilot or proof of concept approach to adopt wired-and-wireless networking architectures for use cases that demonstrate quick results and impact, and then more broadly adopt the technology across that and other plants within the enterprise. Interestingly, ARC analyst Greg Gorbach recently wrote up a blog proposing a “Let’s Just Try it” approach in profiling our customer Stanley Black and Decker.

Take a look at this quick overview of the Cisco Connected Factory solution which is one way to jump start a manufacturing automation project:

Stay tuned as I report on more insights from the road.   Thanks for reading!

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  1. Really good practical advice Chet. That IT/OT convergence is pretty much an issue in both Utilities and Oil and Gas companies too. This last week Cisco released it’s report: “A New Reality for Oil & Gas – Complex Market Dynamics Create Urgent Need for Digital Transformation”, where the IT/OT discussion took center stage, which was not surprising in some ways. What did surprise me was the emphasis (nearly 50%) placed on the ‘Data’ element of IoE (versus people, process and things) – a symptom of too vast an amount of data coming from sensors, actuator an seismic receptors. IT/OT convergence where the analysis of data at the edge (OT),and processing real-time in the core (IT) come together is going to be key here. I love your demo video with Todd showing how Cisco is doing that now and that Cisco is bringing together all those disparate protocols and networks. I know Oil and Gas companies have a ways to go in some cases, but I’m guessing the manufacturing Industry is not too dissimilar? Thanks for the blog!