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Schenectady Gets Smarter: Mayor Announces New Smart City Commission

The City of Schenectady, New York has long been on the forefront of the Smart Cities movement, utilizing new technology to help improve its municipal services and government operations. The city’s goal is to become a fully integrated, connected city by implementing a wireless network that takes advantage of the Internet of Everything (IoE), the networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

To work towards this goal, the city has rolled out numerous IoE-based projects designed to improve city life in a variety of areas based on an outdoor City-owned Wi-Fi network that can perform multiple simultaneous tasks. For example, the city has installed a smart LED lighting system in the downtown area, which will allow them to automatically brighten or dim the lights to help save on energy costs. The smart lighting system will automatically report on broken lights so they can be fixed faster, ensuring citizens feel safe downtown. The city is also testing out a smart parking system, which uses cameras to monitor open parking spots. The same cameras can help police fight crime and give citizens a live view of their streets to feel safer at night. These projects have allowed Schenectady to both save taxpayer money and increase the quality of services it is providing to its citizens, and the city continues to look to the future using technology to attract new business and startups.

This past week, Mayor Gary R. McCarthy announced the appointment of a Smart City commission, designed to help Schenectady further take advantage of new technology to improve the quality of life for its residents. The commission will work on a variety of technology and sustainability initiatives, focusing on the next generation of wireless communications and product development. This new commission will allow Schenectady to continue to grow and expand as a connected city, and will only bring more benefits to its citizens. As the new commission chairman Mark Little put it: “It’s all about making Schenectady the best place it can be to live and to work.”

Learn more about how Cisco’s Connected+Smart Cities solutions can help your city!

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Jump Start Your Connected Factory: Recap of the Recent #CiscoChat

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Manufacturers are challenged with how to start digitizing their factories. Many have told me it is not inertia or budget holding them back, but being overwhelmed or unsure of where to start. Yet the value that awaits them is great – connected factories can boost profits by up to 19 percent (according to our latest Manufacturing Thought Leadership Study).

To help manufacturers navigate the complexity, I hosted a #CiscoChat with Brandon Lackey, Manufacturing Vertical Business Development Manager at Cisco, and Lorenzo Veronesi, Analyst at IDC. We discussed the benefits of a connected factory, the roadblocks manufacturers face, and how to take the first step. Many industry thought leaders and luminaries joined us and it made for an animated discussion.

If you missed the chat, the full recap is here, and I will share with you a few of the highlights:

We kicked off the chat by asking: How are manufacturers making factories more connected and intelligent?

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#CiscoChat: Jump Start Your Connected Factory

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A new year- and time for new initiatives and a chance to fast start your competitiveness as a manufacturer. According to our recent Manufacturing Thought Leadership Study, digital manufacturers who have connected their factories and production facilities are driving up to 19% more profits (over 10 years) than their ‘unconnected’ counterparts.

What are some of the issues holding manufacturers back from undertaking networking and automation, wireless or security initiatives in their factories? Many have told me it is not inertia or budget, but sometimes being overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. In today’s typical factory , there are so many “things” to connect (including machines, robots, sensors and more) as well as processes to allow manufacturers to reap benefits and address challenges that more traditional models and operating practices were not able to do. The challenge is identifying and prioritizing what area to tackle first.

We all know that major gains in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), reduced downtime, and manufacturing flexibility can be achieved with a factory that is digitized and connected. By providing visibility to machines and processes, Read More »

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Transform the Digital Experience from Free Wi-Fi to Interactive Mobile Experiences

Having grown up in Denver, I’m a big fan of the Denver Broncos. Although I currently live in San Diego, I really enjoy the opportunity to see at game at Mile High Stadium any chance I get.  Sure, I could always upgrade my TV services to include a NFL package or subscribe to the Bronco’s fan club for updates, but nothing can replace the experience of attending a game in person.  Delivering a truly unique, unforgettable fan experience is a goal that is transforming the way stadiums and venues interact with fans today.

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Enhance the Fan Experience

In fact, most sports fans report that they want a more connected, personal experience. According to Gartner, in 2016, 89% of companies will compete on the basis of customer experience as compared to just 36% four years ago.  Companies will differentiate themselves, attract new customers and identify new sources of revenue using customer experiences as a driver.  To create truly personalized customer experiences, companies are turning to technology—a trend that is typically referred to as digital transformation.  In my last blog, I wrote about how new mobile engagements are improving the guest experiences in Hospitality. Sports and entertainment provide another example of how mobile experiences are enhancing the fan experience.

Build Loyalty with the Connected Stadium

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Our Innovation Ecosystem Shines Brilliantly at IoTWF in Dubai

As the sun rises on the third day of the third annual Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) this year in the super smart city of Dubai – the brilliance of the Internet of Things (IoT) market and the robust ecosystem that supports it continues to shine brightly. Rapid IoT prototyping and other innovative solutions that are transforming business and society flourished during three days of demos, case studies, keynotes, breakout sessions, hackathons, smart city tours and much more.

It’s fitting that this year’s IoTWF came toward the end of the calendar because it mirrored a full year of explosively disruptive growth and value – all made possible by connecting the unconnected through a digital platform we call the Internet.

Cisco's Innovation Engine_StaticIoT and its continuous evolution to the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, process, data and things – is maturing at unprecedented speed. The evidence was all around us with examples of how cloud, fog, mobility, sensors and other technologies are converging to create a new digital world. These outcome-based solutions are capturing new value in industries ranging from oil and gas, retail and healthcare to manufacturing, transportation and the public sector. The excitement, opportunity and optimism for IoT/IoE was literally tangible at IoTWF.

I know there is overwhelming statistical research and myriad examples of IoT’s expanding landscape. However, for me, one of the clearest signs of market acceleration is seeing the robust ecosystem of accelerators, incubators, startups, entrepreneurs and app developers that are coming together to drive innovation in this area.

At Cisco, we believe the next big idea can come from anywhere and we’ve built our own innovation engine around build, buy, partner, invest and co-development to reflect this. Specifically with IoT, we’re looking at how we apply this strategy – be it partnering with peers to introduce industry standards or encouraging the entrepreneur spirt with industry challenges. Coming out of this event, I am particularly proud of our work with our extended ecosystem showcased at this year’s IoTWF to bring IoT to life.

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