Forces of nature can be incredible to watch. Several years ago, on a family vacation in Alaska, I found myself mesmerized by the salmon’s trek upstream. Standing on a ridgeline with my wife and kids we watched these fish battle the strong currents, rocks, and shelves (not to mention hungry bears) and it reminded me of operational technology (OT) and informational technology (IT) convergence.

The big fish needs to exert its own energy and swim against the current to avoid being swept downstream. In our world, this big fish is called OT/IT convergence. Just like salmon are not the only beings who swim upstream, OT/IT convergence is not the only market transition that has required IT to adapt and engage differently to provide deeper, more sustainable value to the business.

The Big Fish in OT/IT

Cisco’s close collaborative relationships with our Global Industry Partners including Emerson, Hitachi, Honeywell, Itron, Johnson Controls Inc., Landis+Gyr, PTC Inc., Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens, and Signify are great examples of OT/IT convergence in action. These companies are combining their valuable vertical expertise and technologies with Cisco’s secure networking solutions to provide customers with future-ready business outcomes.

Like a salmon, which needs to exert its own energy and swim against the current to avoid being swept downstream, customers need their environments to exert their energy across the network from sensor to multi-cloud. That’s where Cisco and its Global Industry Partners come into play. With Cisco, partners get our IT expertise but also the expertise of our ecosystem and extended channel sales team. With our Industry Partners, customers get outcome-based solutions designed to support their modernization needs and accelerate their digital journey. Together, we have simplified the way data moves by enabling tighter alignment and visibility into intelligent devices, software, hardware, and services capabilities to help the customers navigate their journey.

Here are some examples of how we’re working with our Industry Partners to help customers prepare for the future and extend their journey upstream:

  • Did you know that Cisco and Rockwell Automation are leading industrial operation innovation with Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE). CPwE includes ruggedized, tested, and validated products that create a simplified, future-ready converged network architecture to connect production systems with business systems so that customers can better gather and analyze data, and transform it into actionable, real-time information. Tomorrow on November 18 during the Rockwell Automation Fair, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Rockwell CEO Blake Moret are engaging in a fireside chat to discuss how industrial companies can better address market changes in automation and prepare for more business resiliency and productivity going forward.
  • The Schneider Electric and Cisco partnership is built on driving IT and OT convergence for our customers with the goal of optimizing plant efficiency, reducing risk and increased productivity in the digitization era. We are doing this with solutions like our secure and connected edge to multi-cloud architecture — which enables connectivity and security from devices to applications to cloud analytics. Together, this solution delivers use cases like asset optimization, remote monitoring, preventive maintenance, and trusted workplaces for all industries.
  • For more than a decade, Honeywell and Cisco have partnered to deliver improved business outcomes to customers across multiple industries. We have deep integration with solutions like Honeywell’s OneWireless Network and Experion Fault Tolerant Ethernet and new innovations in Smart Buildings. Together, we have integrated Cisco products including routing, switching, wireless access, cybersecurity and collaboration with Honeywell offers to support customer projects around the world. Read more about this on our February 3 Honeywell blog.

Over the past 35 years, Cisco has proven that partnerships are as powerful as forces of nature. In addition, joint use case-based reference architectures have simplified market transitions time after time. OT/IT is the current transition where our force of nature—our Global Industry Partnerships—can deliver real and immediate impact to our customers and for each other, ensuring future generations of data will be available.

Learn more about our Global Industry Partners here




Mike Austin

Senior Director, Global Industry Partners

Global Partner Organization (GPO)