Cisco Partner Summit 2016: IoT leads Cisco’s future direction

IoT is at the forefront of Cisco’s mind, according to Cisco IoT verticals business unit vice-president, Tony Shakib. Shakib was speaking at a breakout session at the company’s Cisco Partner Summit 2016, in San Diego.

Shakib claimed the IoT conversation is a part of digitisation, and will lead as one of Cisco’s priorities moving forward.

“This whole digitisation aspect ties into the IoT. When we talk about digitisation, it is all about business transformation – it’s about the ability to relate to customers and to understand their needs and business organisation,” he said.

According to Shakib, it comes down to customer experience when dealing in the IoT space.

“One of the things, which is the most important thing, is the experience to deliver to customers. The banking, sports and entertainment, and university verticals are just some examples where we have been successful thus far,” he mentioned.

“The monetisation from the experience can help transform companies and make them more successful.”

Shakib said there are three factors that drive the adoption of the IoT – business transformation, empowering the workforce, and personalising customer or citizen experience.

“It’s about creating effectiveness for people through the use of technology. IoT can help transform verticals and help businesses become more powerful. But how do we then think about where to start” he questioned.

The answer to that lies in three phases for Cisco – connected things, connected series, and a connected eco-system.

“The first step is to start with connecting things – devices, people, buses, things, you name it. IT needs to enable these things, bringing the IT and OT departments together. Step number two is using that to run services.

“There needs to be recurring revenue and a connection with customers; and bringing IoT to the Cloud and wrapping services around it enables that. The last step is having a connected eco-system, where suppliers and people generating demand are brought together to one house,” he said.

Shakib mentioned that for most businesses today, their operations are segregated, and that needs to change.

“Making all these systems interconnected and interacting with each other gives businesses an advantage over their competition; and that’s what this whole digital journey is all about,” he added.

He also said there is a huge role in this journey for partners as IoT is complicated, and partners need to exist to be the trusted advisors in the channel to help customers through this complication.

“IoT requires many elements to come together – many hardware elements, software elements, services, putting it into the Cloud, and new consumption models. That’s where we see tremendous opportunity for all of our partners in making it simple,” he said.

The breakout session also saw Dimension Data group CTO, Ettienne Reinecke, speak about the company’s IoT involvement at the Tour de France; Phillips Lighting CMO and head of strategy, Bill Bien, talk about how IoT has reviolutionised the lighting industry, and Proactive Data Systems CEO, Rajiv Kumar, talk about how IoT has changed the datacentre space.

ARN’s Hafizah Osman is at the Cisco Partner Summit 2016 in San Diego as a guest of the company.



By Hafizah Osman

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