New Features and Financing Options Help Fast-Track Smart City Initiatives Worldwide
Building Momentum for Cisco Kinetic for Cities
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we’ve renamed our connected digital platform and smart solutions to Cisco Kinetic for Cities to fortify our alignment internally and deliver even better outcomes for our customers. What could be better than having more great minds and additional budgets focusing on city challenges?
Well, today at the Smart Cities Expo World Congress in Barcelona, we announced a number of new technology solutions and features, business models and financing options to help our customers reach their goals faster.
New features in the platform technology include full policy automation and the display of data on an enhanced dashboard with integrated video. The system can now notify agencies and other city stakeholders using Cisco Spark—a powerful collaboration tool—and provide a common view of the relevant information and maps to coordinate actions more effectively. (See the full list of new features.)
We have added two new solutions to our Cisco Kinetic for Cities portfolio that exploit the new functionality:
- Cisco Kinetic for Cities Waste Management was just deployed in Granada, Spain, by our partner Ferrovial—a top urban services operator in Spain. The local government will begin in six districts of the city to improve the collection of urban waste—going from static to dynamic routes based on real-time information supplied by volumetric measurement sensors. So far, 210 of the total 420 sensors for the initial trial have been installed inside waste containers and the. Keeping the city clean, but doing so at lower cost, is very important to the city leaders. You can read more about the process and technologies put in place here.
- Cisco Kinetic for Cities Safety and Security enables capture and aggregation of data—from cameras, sensors and other sources. Delivered to law enforcement and other first responders, it provides greater insight into public safety.
Bringing New Business Models to New Cities
The Cisco Kinetic for Cities Starter Solutions let cities test the platform with one or multiple solutions over a small area to make tangible how it will all work together once deployed more broadly.
As delighted as we for Cisco Kinetic for Cities to gain ground in larger municipalities—Copenhagen, Las Vegas, Jaipur and so on—we’re particularly pleased with the recent uptick in small and mid-sized city customers. It’s often easier for smaller cities to bring together key decision makers and reach consensus faster; also, citizens often have a closer involvement with how their cities are run. We’re highlighting Cary, North Carolina in our event press release as one of the newest examples of a medium-sized city using the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform to address its challenges. (In this case, Cary is focused initially on lighting, but will add more domain solutions later.) But we are engaged with many other mid-sized cities worldwide at various stages of adoption: Schenectady, NY, and Pearland, TX; Adelaide and Ipswich, Australia; Mexico City, Panama City, and Chalkida, Greece (through partner Deutsche Telekom) to name just a few.
Likewise, state and regional agencies, such of the Departments of Transportation (DOTs), are recognizing the benefits of deploying our platform. We’ve recently struck a deal with the Tennessee DOT, to help them manage traffic issues, set toll pricing, and improve road safety. Similar agreements are underway across a number of state DOTs and other agencies. Ultimately, the real win is in the sharing of data across agencies, across regions and with citizens and visitors for greater insight and efficiency across a broader set of circumstances.
We are also expanding our partner ecosystem to include a wider variety of organizational types—many of whom are partnering together to bring integrated solution suites to customers. LUG Light Factory, for instance, a lighting company in Poland, is partnering with Cisco and with a regional urban services operator to package LUG’s and Cisco’s offerings and roll them out with its management services to enable an integrated lighting solution to a small city in Israel. Pretty powerful to be able to blend and extend our solutions and services to serve mutual customers. The approach makes us all stronger and more effective.
Building an Infrastructure of Financial Support
Funding does present a major stumbling block for cities of all sizes that want to begin their smart city transformation. So, Cisco is addressing this issue head on. Today we also announced the launch of an exciting new $1 billion City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program, which offers debt and equity capital to municipalities interested in undertaking smart city initiatives, but who are struggling to find the funding to get the ball rolling. The program will provide flexible financing through Cisco Capital, in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital. It is also available to urban services operators, organizations that help cities manage their services more effectively—whether that’s in transit efficiency, water leakage monitoring, energy optimization, asset management, or a combination, across regions or broader geographies. They often have a crucial role in getting cities and communities started on their way and keeping them moving forward. Check out a short video by Arvind Satyam on my team that further explains how the new City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program works, who can participate, and how.
Making a Plan
There are many options and variables to consider when beginning a smart city transformation initiative. In fact, our customers are teaching us new ways that Cisco Kinetic for Cities can be put to use! I’m sure that the way you design your approach will be as unique as your city. And that’s the way it should be.
We’d be very happy to help you identify the best first steps and even how you can finance your journey. Let me know if you’d like to set up some time to talk about what you want to accomplish for your city!
If you’ll be in Barcelona for the Smart City Expo World Congress (Nov. 14 – 16), come visit our booth (#D445) and we’ll give you a tour, a demo and answer any questions you may have.
Hope to hear from and see you soon!