If one company has successfully branded itself as the face of the Internet of Things, it’s Cisco (CSCO). From day one, Cisco CEO John Chambers has touted the $19 billion potential of the Internet of Things — the catch-all phrase for the mega-trend that’s connecting everything from smartphones to fridges and heart rate monitors to the Internet.
Now, the company is telling everyone that a mere 1% of of things are Internet-enabled — a statistic meant to showcase the trend’s enormous potential.
Of course, this IoT-focus is hardly new. Cisco stamped its name on the Internet of Things World Forum and pooled around $250 million to fund IoT-focused businesses and just snatched up machine-to-machine security firm OpenDNS.
For the cherry on top, Cisco also just released a laundry list of advancements focusing on solving what is arguably the biggest problem with the Internet of Things: the fact that IoT feels more like a collection of disparate objects lumped together, rather than a seamless ecosystem.
As Stephen Lawson of IDG put it: “Cisco formed an IoT division two years ago out of groups dedicated to industrial networks and smart electrical grids. It saw that those technologies were part of a larger trend, but turning them into a cohesive set of products took time.”
According to the most recent Cisco announcement, the time for cohesion has come. As Fortune summed it up, the recent Cisco announcement is “sort of like an Internet of Things starter kit, with all the products and associated software being Cisco-approved.” The news included a six-pillar approach with 15 specific products. A few components of the announcement:
- Security: For starters, Cisco’s TrustSec role-based security technology will be an integral part of its IoT offerings. The company also announced IP surveillance cameras for situational awareness, in addition to security analytics.
- Data analytics: Next up, Cisco also announced optimized infrastructure to implement analytics for the Internet of Things — a key aspect in moving to the natural next step, which many are calling “Analytics of Things.”
- Automation: Another aspect of Cisco’s latest IoT additions is the fact that the company is now offering “enhanced security, control and support for multiple siloed functions,” according to the press release.
- Application enablement platform: Perhaps the most important of this week’s Cisco announcement is this enablement platform. This platform is a set of APIs — basically a way for partners to design, develop and deploy their own applications on the foundation of Cisco’s IoT system.
- Network connectivity: Another addition includes purpose-built routing, switching and wireless products for IoT. IE5000, for instance, is a purpose-built IE switch that brings connectivity to factory-level manufacturing and cities.
Combined, these components are meant to enable the Internet of Things for smart cities, including transportation and energy grids, in addition to other large-scale IoT networks. As Kip Compton of Cisco summed it up: “The Cisco IoT System provides a comprehensive set of IoT technologies and products that simplify and accelerate the deployment of infrastructure for the Internet of Things.”
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.