As technology marches forward, we’re using and creating more high-tech products than we imagined! Who would have thought of a cab hailing service running on our phones a decade ago? Or, the sheer ingenuity of renting out a vacation home via a web app when you’re not using it?

But for each of these applications to exist, platforms are key to foster such an ecosystem. Platforms are the springboard for fostering digital innovation. The “new” Cisco, is working to make platforms that are open and directly encourage this kind of innovation. One great example of this shift is the Aironet Development Platform (ADP), an open canvas on which developers can paint their innovation as they desire.

So, what is the Aironet Development Platform? It’s a framework that enables the creation of a comprehensive ecosystem of expansion modules for Cisco Aironet Access Points. This allows enterprises to develop custom application modules while making use of the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative access point portfolio.

Why is the Aironet platform so important for the future? In a word, growth. The Internet of Things is exploding right now, it’s expected that over 25 billion devices will be networked by 2020. Mobile-to-mobile traffic is expected to grow 14-fold in the next four years. As the world accelerates and new users and devices emerge at this break-neck pace, the ability to cater those devices and technology to the world becomes more important to success.

Not only are IoT and mobility growing separately, they are also converging more. This is creating the need for a flexible wireless solution and platform that not only can allow for countless new and future use cases, but also provides future-proof deployment so that investments in the network of the future are protected. The entire ecosystem is connected. Developing within a connected platform is the basis for the whole. Success hinges on enabling modular, open platform ecosystems enabling partners to solve business-critical problems.

This ecosystem is also massively beneficial for developers and the industry. This platform allows developers to prototype a proof-of-concept and experience live application development, all while receiving support from the Cisco DevNet community. DevNet provides helpful tools such as sample code and apps, virtual sandbox to prototype new concepts and a vast knowledge base to help partners kick start their projects.

So, what does this look like in practice?

In this recent blog, the Aironet Development Platform was highlighted as transforming access points from simply being access devices to a versatile development platform. One of the exciting use cases that was used as an example was the ability to leverage ADP software in a retail environment to dynamically change product prices on store aisles through the use of a centralized server. This allowed for real-time changes to be made to even individual products without the laborious and costly process of having workers spend their time roving isles and individually changing price tags.

This is just one example of the flexibility and usability that is possible with an open development platform. Another example includes indoor location and way finding services or for video analytics at the edge since the platform provides enough horse power to run computing at the edge.  These are just two use cases, but there are infinite uses across several verticals.

Foundations are important. Whether you’re building a house that you would like to last for decades, or building a network that will change the world, building a strong foundation is critical. In technology, we must not just build strong foundations, but flexible ones. The Aironet Development Platform is just that, a flexible, open foundation that allows developers to freely innovate and invent in a way that will drive the growth of IoT, mobility, and much more.



Anand Oswal

No Longer with Cisco