Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Features IoT/IIoT Technology
IBM and Cisco combine Watson IoT with edge analytics


June 2, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Topics

Jun. 2, 2016 – A new global collaboration between IBM and Cisco, announced today, aims to provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insight at the edge of the network. The parties say that now, businesses and organizations in remote and autonomous locations will be able to tap the combined power of IBM’s Watson IoT and business analytics technologies and Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities to “more deeply understand and act on critical data on the network edge.”

“Today, billions of interconnected devices and sensors are gathering vast amounts of real-time data about the physical world. In recent years cloud computing has offered companies a powerful way of storing that data and turning it into valuable insight. But for businesses without easy access to high bandwidth connectivity, these capabilities are sometimes out of reach or take too long,” say the parties. According to IBM and Cisco, the new approach is designed to target companies operating on the edge of computer networks such as oil rigs, factories, shipping companies and mines, where time is of the essence but bandwidth is often lacking.

“The way we experience and interact with the physical world is being transformed by the power of Cloud computing and the Internet of Things,” said Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce & Education. “For an oil rig in a remote location or a factory where critical decisions have to be taken immediately, uploading all data to the Cloud is not always the best option. By coming together, IBM and Cisco are taking these powerful IoT technologies the last mile, extending Watson IoT from the cloud to the edge of computer networks, helping to make these strong analytics capabilities available virtually everywhere, always.”

“Together, Cisco and IBM are positioned to help organizations make real-time informed decisions based on business-critical data that was often previously undetected and overlooked,” said Mala Anand, senior vice president of the Cisco Data & Analytics Platforms Group. “With the vast amount of data being created at the edge of the network, using existing Cisco infrastructure to perform streaming analytics is the perfect way to cost-effectively obtain real-time insights. Our powerful technology provides customers with the flexibility to combine this edge processing with the cognitive computing power of the IBM Watson IoT Platform.”

Anand points to an example of workers in remote environments, who will be able to “better monitor” the health and behaviour of critical machinery and more “accurately plan” for needed maintenance and equipment upgrades. By tapping into the power of the IBM Watson IoT platform and Cisco edge analytics, IBM and Cisco say users can adopt the “latest approaches to condition-based maintenance through which equipment is monitored in real-time, potentially helping reduce maintenance costs by up to 50 per cent and increase productivity by 25 per cent, based on the June 2015 McKinsey&Company report, The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype.

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Cisco and IBM are also working with Bell Canada to deliver IBM Watson IoT and Cisco Edge over the 4G LTE network.

“This powerful IoT technology from Cisco and IBM, combined with Bell’s world leading network technology, enables customers to tap into innovative real-time analytics options to maximize performance across their operations, no matter where they are,” said Stephen Howe, Bell’s chief technology officer. “Many of our largest customers operate remote systems, requiring continuous availability and access to data to monitor critical performance factors and avoid downtime. Deploying the unmatched analytics capabilities of IBM Watson Internet of Things and Cisco networking intelligence with streaming edge analytics will help to further accelerate Bell’s leadership in Canadian IoT.”