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Internet of Things—Cisco's Delightful Strategy to Make Manufacturing Cool, Fun and Intuitive

  • September 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 11 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Learnings from the Cisco C-Scape Conference

Cisco's strategy in manufacturing over the next 5 years is set to accelarate growth with the use of innovative and out-of-the-box technologies. Key themes such as Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI),Converged Plantwide Ethernet Solution and Cisco's implementation of IoT in the manufacturing space have been discussed. This market insight would elucidate all details of Frost & Sullivan's visit to their conference and the company's value-proposition.

We were invited to Cisco's C-Scape conference this week to learn and discuss their strategy, vision and the direction the company is taking in the IoT market. First of all, it was an extremely well-orchestrated event, like clockwork, with over analysts attending from different industrial and financial markets. Just to talk about the sheer expanse of attendance, Cisco Live had over 25,000 techies and intellectuals and over of online viewership. Thanks to Cisco's industry analyst relations team, each of us had a customized agenda even in a tight schedule. Fortunately, we had time to breathe as well.

Summary of my key findings from the conference:
1. Cisco is a technology company. It makes much more than just switches and routers.
2. Cisco's Internet of things’ (IoT) strategy is unique, with an attempt to build an integrated architecture and application-centric infrastructure platform.
3. John Chambers is an excellent CEO who engages, explains and is very passionate about the company he is leading. However, his planned exit in about years came as a disappointing news to us.
4. Cisco's vision on converged plant network with its partner—Rockwell Automation, harnesses synergistic opportunity in discrete industries.
5. Cisco could and will make manufacturing cool, fun and intuitive for the next generation.
6. Personally, I think Cisco should take more risks in the manufacturing area through acquisitions and smart product development to build upon the momentum already present in the market. At the end of the last quarter of 2013, Cisco carried about $ billion in cash (Sourced from Motley Fool).
7. For a company like Cisco that dominates mature market like routers, they need to look at alternate and differentiated areas of growth for a sustainable future. One of them being manufacturing.

The first day kicked off with John Chamber's keynote. There was an incredible amount of emphasis on IoT and the presentation was perfectly interlaced with customers like Shell and Weather.com to demonstrate how Cisco’s IoT strategy is helping these companies predict and prevent difficult situations. Although, there was not much emphasis on manufacturing, it was pretty evident that Cisco's platform and integrated architecture layout with its partners have been built to support billion dollar blue ocean markets within manufacturing, retail, telecom, services, etc. The biggest opportunity for Cisco is in manufacturing, where there are several ripe sub markets; case in point includes connected factory, connected oilfield, connected mine, and connected supply-chain and so on. Incidentally, this group was started off as 'Connected Industries', which later got named as IoT. At the meet we heard Shell's CIO—Alan Matula who briefed us about the relationship the company enjoys with Cisco and how they need more technology-focused people and not sales-centric people.

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