Cisco Introduces New Internet of Things Products and Framework

Networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc. is increasing its Internet-of-Things portfolio and introduces a new framework.

Photo: Cisco Pics/Flickr

Photo: Cisco Pics/Flickr

Cisco Systems, Inc., an American multinational technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment, is increasing its Internet-of-Things portfolio with more than a dozen new IoT products and a new framework with the aim of accelerating partner adoption into the emerging marketplace.

New purpose-built IoT networking products include an industrial switch, an 802.11ac access point, two IP cameras and a total of seven new routers, all designed for rough environments in manufacturing, transportation, cities and other emerging IoT fields.

“There’s a lot of hype around IoT, but it’s really happening now and there’s opportunities to engage with new customers,” said Kip Compton, Cisco’s Vice President and General Manager, IoT Software and Systems Group, in an interview with CRN. “What we’ve done is taken our entire IoT portfolio along with 15 new products and organized it in a much better way that shows how the different products fit together to enable IoT.”

The company’s partners say that due to many of the new products being ruggedized, Cisco is taking its engineering expertise into new challenging environments that will generate new sales and services for the channel.

“IT power needs to move into very nontraditional environments. They’re opening up a significantly large new market and taking very established strengths in technology around wire, wireless and security and packaging it to survive in those more challenging environments,” said Kent MacDonald, Vice President of Converged Infrastructure and Network Services at Long View Systems, a Calgary, Alberta-based solution provider and Cisco gold partner.

Moreover, Cisco revealed IoT Field Network Director software that allows operators to monitor and customize IoT network infrastructures for industrial scale. Besides, Fog Data Services for data analytics was launched to provide operators the ability to create policies that monitor and take actions on data flowing through an IoT environment.

“This really helps partners to be able to get their foot in the door with the right level of products and solutions,” said Andres Sintes, Cisco’s senior director of Worldwide Partner Organization, Enterprise Networking and IoT/IoE Solutions, meaning that some partners are having difficulties getting their feet wet in the IoT market. “[We’re] going to help them find a solution down to that specific area of that factory floor, or wherever they need to be, to address that customer need.”

A new IoT System framework will support infrastructure growth requirements that organizations are facing with IoT by raising operational efficiency, creating new services and improving security. The framework is broken down into the following pillars: network connectivity; fog computing; security; management and automation; data analytics; and application enablement platform.

“The IoT system is going to enable partners to understand which are all the key products and solutions we already have available for them to be able to find a solution to the customer. We have some gaps that we are now going to be filling and then on top on that the way that we’re organizing it is going to simplify for our channel partners how to find a solution with that customer to develop the business outcome,” said Sintes.

On the whole, the growth of the Internet of Things is obvious. Besides Cisco Systems, such tech giants as Google, Facebook, Intel, Samsung Electronics and  are actively working on the development and production of new network-connected home appliances. Today, tech companies are betting on the IoT market, which is becoming more attractive as a potential source of revenues.

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