Cisco is not only one of the first organizations to have discerned the trends leading to the need for “smart city” strategies, it is also uniquely prepared to provide the smart solutions to city challenges.
Cisco comes at smart cities, infrastructure up, building on its three decades of rock-solid networking expertise, a decade of focused research with city leaders worldwide, the continuing development of a strong ecosystem of technology, service provider, urban services management and finance partners—Cisco is announcing the availability of its Smart+Connected Digital Platform. We chose the Smart City Expo World Congress 2016 in Barcelona (Nov. 15 – 17) for the formal announcement.
What is the Smart+Connected Digital Platform?
The Smart+Connected Digital Platform is a unifying, cloud-based set of tools that, together, creates a centralized layer for addressing the infrastructural need to connect cameras, water meters, traffic meters, and so on in a reliable, secure, robust and seamless manner. And allows the city to capture, analyze and share data across city agencies and departments, across domains and with also with city residents, visitors and businesses—making the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality in cities.
And we aren’t working alone. We are working with systems integrators, application developers, technology vendors, urban services management providers. Cisco’s real value in this space is not in developing and selling city solutions, it is in deploying a powerful network platform that will enable other specific domain and process experts to continue to develop and deploy their city solutions.
Why is this important to cities and how do we know it?
Just as a city thinks in terms of highway networks, waterway networks, or electric/utilities network, the Cisco digital network helps integrate them.
The Smart+Connected Digital Platform will provide the type of open architecture that will help cities leverage the value of these new connections, devices and data. In fact, Cisco has been testing early versions of the Smart+Connected Digital Platform in pilots in a number of cities—including Adelaide, Copenhagen, Kansas City, Paris and Jaipur—and we have already heard promising results.
Their city leaders have told us that having a unifying layer to integrate smart solutions not only makes it easier to share and understand data, it also makes scaling smartness to more of the city and including more agency domains much more feasible. It represents a cost reduction approach versus trying to solve lighting, parking, traffic, safety and security, and other urban services challenges individually and duplicating equipment and effort. So, for instance, cameras for use on streets by the traffic department could be used by road maintenance, law enforcement and public transportation departments and the cost could be shared.
Let’s look at some cities we’re working with.
In Adelaide, Australia, for instance, city and state leaders have come together with Cisco to embrace and undertake digital transformation. Peter Auhl, CIO for the Adelaide City Council is dedicated to the benefits of the much needed transformation and disruption to bring the region stability and economic strength. He highlights the commitment Adelaide has to this effort and the impact this will have on citizens in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECGnp_VlXVM
Copenhagen is another early adopter of smart technologies to help it meet its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020. For the city that now has more bicycles than cars, sustainability goals are taken very seriously and the commitment has been significant. Greater Copenhagen has two living labs to test lighting solutions from 30+ vendors and its Smart Street lab tests to put other key smart city solutions to the test in a real-world environment. Cisco is partnering closely with Citelum and TDC to help strengthen Copenhagen’s unique position as a climate friendly lighthouse city by contributing to drive innovation and test new technology. The digital infrastructure is the most comprehensive in Denmark and the platform will help to ensure that Denmark continues to prepare its cities for the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYH5wK8_54I
Cisco has a strong commitment to collaborate with the Indian government in its vision for a Digital India. Jaipur is a progressive city that is working hard and embracing new approaches to addressing the challenges typical of cities in the emerging world—such as bridging the digital divide, enabling citizen engagement, improving safety and other quality-of-life concerns. The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) is collaborating with Cisco to develop smart city infrastructures that will improve the efficiency and quality of services delivered to residents.
We have implemented the Smart+Connected Digital Platform, which in turn has enabled city surveillance, lighting, and environmental monitoring solutions. In the famous “Pink City” connected transport, wireless broadband, security services, and traffic management showcase greater connectivity and information access for its citizens and tourist visitors (the city that attracts some 40 million tourists every year). Shikhar Agrawal, commissioner of the JDA, has noted that “working with Cisco has made [our] vision a reality, and our city is benefitting in every aspect – from safety and security, to easy access to information, to overall improvement of our image and our stepping into the ‘Smart City’ arena.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxXhhTWfNEU
Kansas City, Missouri, already a forward-looking city was interested in bringing together a select ecosystem partners that could help city leaders create a digital framework that would be reliable and grow as the city grows. It would allow them to deliver a new generation of urban services—including smart lighting and video, interactive digital kiosks and new water management initiative. We worked closely with the cities leaders and with a strong team of partners, including Sprint, Sensity, Mark One, and Black and Veatch, to gain early momentum on the implementation of the Smart+Connected Digital Platform into which the other solutions connect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnyrUhPwd70
Our customers thus far are telling us that having a powerful, secure, open platform for digital connectivity and data sharing–that allows applications, sensors, cameras, and other connected devices from different vendors to connect seamlessly—will not only make it easier and more affordable for them to undertake a smart digital transformation, it already seems to be a true game-changer for why cities want to work with us and our ecosystem of partners.
If you’ll be at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona, come say hello! Or follow us @CiscoGovt for all our #SCEWC16 coverage.
Cisco will be demoing the new Smart+Connected Digital Platform and our other portfolio of challenge-busting solutions in our booth (#C362) at the SCEWC in Barcelona from Nov. 15 – 17. I’ll be doing a Plenary Session (PL 05) on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and my colleagues will also be participating in sessions that day as well. Come by the booth and say hello. We’d be delighted to show you what we’re up to and answer your questions. And if you’d like to set up a meeting, please do let us know!