Cisco Expands IoT Capabilities with Big Data Analytics
The company this year has been promoting the idea of fog computing—what other vendors are calling edge computing—by putting greater computing capabilities to the edge of the networks. In January, Cisco introduced the IOx platform, which enables organizations to run and manage applications and operating systems directly on Cisco network devices—such as routers, switches and IP video cameras—and in October added to the list of products that support IOx. There is a broad range of other vendors looking at edge computing, including Intel, IBM, Extreme Networks, VMware and EMC. Adding the analytics capabilities is the next step in Cisco's IoT evolution, and adds to the IOx strategy, according to Cisco officials. The eight analytics offerings in the new portfolio are aimed at events, retail, service providers, IT, network deployments, mobility, collaboration and contact center. The software comes from acquisitions the company made in 2012 (Truviso) and Composite Software (2013). Cisco's Flanagan said there were an array of use cases where these analytics capabilities can help businesses. Taking data from in-store video cameras and WiFi networks, retailers can figure out where customers are spending most of their time and when shelves need to be restocked. Businesses can use business intelligence to better align technology with business needs and service providers can plan WiFi capacity based on use patterns and adoption.He also talked about another company that needed data to show how the use of Cisco TelePresence collaboration technology was impacting its bottom line. Using Cisco's collaboration analytics software, the company determined that it had saved $12 million and 140,000 travel hours.
Flanagan talked about a store that used video data to forecast when check-out lines would get busy and could get help there ahead of the rush. The store found that people tended to shop in the frozen food section last, so when store officials saw a crowd in those aisles, they knew the check-out lines would soon grow.