Cisco Pitches Vision for 'Internet of Everything'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading
Cisco executives laid out precisely what the company means when it talks about the "Internet of Everything," answering the question, "Why don't they just call it the 'Internet of Things,' like everybody else does?"
The Internet of Everything means connecting "people, things, processes, and data" that had been unconnected, and turning information into action, said Padmasree Warrior, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) chief technology & strategy officer, speaking at an event in New York today streamed live over the Internet.
The Internet of Everything results in new business services, applications, capabilities and sources of revenue, Warrior said. Cisco estimates the opportunity at $19 trillion over the next decade in the private and public sector.
The Internet of Everything will operate in every vertical -- healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and retail, Warrior said.
"Every company in the future will become a technology company," she said.
For example, in manufacturing, greater use of robotics, 3D printing and sensors will require a network to aggregate information. Businesses will also need to converge operations technology -- which Cisco calls OT -- and IT, Warrior said.
"A manufacturing company essentially becomes a technology company. IT becomes front and center in that technology company as a platform to drive business efficiency," Warrior said.
In retail, sensors in stores can help deliver offers and discounts on products that consumers are looking for, she said.
IT has a new mandate, with several drivers:
- Mobile, which is not just new devices, but also about moving applications to new platforms
- Cloud, driven partly by mobile, requiring distribution and virtualization of physical resources
- The rise of sensors and the Internet of Things
- And new categories of apps such as Box and Evernote, which require enhanced security.
Businesses require "fast IT" to meet new demands, Warrior said.
As part of the infrastructure for "fast IT," Cisco announced the next generation of its Unified Computing System (UCS) x86 servers, including the UCS Mini for remote offices, midmaket businesses, and to help provide compute for the Internet of Things; and the M-Series modular server for the next generation of data center applications. We wrote about that this morning. (See Cisco Goes Hyper With New UCS Servers .)
Warrior introduced Joe Inzerillo, executive vice president and CTO of MLB Advanced Media. The pro baseball Internet business unit sees more than 10 million downloads and 6 million daily users for its At Bat mobile app. MLB Advanced Media has also branched out to streaming other sporting events, such as the Masters and World Cup.
Customer demand gets more complicated, Inzirello said. "Which means the IT's got to get simpler. As these use cases get more and more elaborate, you have to start doing things in a much more repeatable way, and not spend your time spinning up boxes," he said.
Cisco is attempting to build a new engine on its plane as it loses altitude. The networking equipment on which it has built its business is facing shrinking margins, increased competition, and even the distant but real threat of commoditization from SDN and other forms of virtual networking. To keep its business thriving, Cisco needs to reposition itself as a business partner to customers, not just a hardware provider.
As for what it means to service providers: For starters, carriers are businesses like any other, and face the same needs for instrumentation, sensors and customer customization and personalization. But service providers are also technology enablers to other businesses. At a basic level, the Internet of Everything will require new network needs and bandwidth. More than that: Enterprises are looking for service providers to partner with them on delivering IT services.