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Cisco’s “Internet of Everything” initiative takes it into unchartered territory
While Cisco gets roughly 80% of its revenue from sales of routers and switches, the company has its tentacles in many other markets, some of which might surprise you. Here's a brief look:
Cisco values the sensor market at $4 trillion, and vital to its "Internet of Everything" intiative to interconnect the 99% of physical devices that are not yet networked.
Cisco and NXP Semiconductors announced investments in Cohda Wireless to advance intelligent transportation systems and car-to-X communications. Cohda Wireless is a specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications and improving traffic flow.
Cisco bought cable set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta in 2005. Recently it’s been advancing into Internet TV with its Videoscape Unity launch at CES.
Cisco’s Smart and Connected Communities initiative is geared towards using IP network intelligence to enable economic, social and environmental sustainability. Most recently, Cisco agreed to work with various partners to develop the Brainport Region of Eindhoven, in The Netherlands.
Like the Smart and Connected Communities effort, Cisco’s Smart Grid project seeks to upgrade the electric grid communications networks with the latest IP technology. Earlier this month, National Grid selected Itron's smart grid system, which uses Cisco's GridBlocks architecture, Connected Grid routers and Connected Grid Network Management System, for the utility's 10,000 meter Smart Grid Pilot Program in Worcester, Mass.
Another CES announcement had Cisco launching a wireless home security controller for AT&T’s Digital Life service. Cisco will provide the Digital Life control panel and back-office provisioning and applications life-cycle management system, which allows customers to monitor, protect and manage their homes using a smartphone, tablet or PC.
In addition to home security, Cisco is also in the facilities physical security business. Cisco offers a series of IP video cameras and management applications for surveillance, and incident notification and response.
Like smart grids for utilities, Cisco sees an opportunity in upgrading mining safety systems with a consolidated Ethernet infrastructure. Late last year, Cisco Canada and the University of Saskatchewan agreed to establish a Research Chair in Mining Solutions to promote, support and lead research and development into mining technology through industry-linked projects within the mining sector in Canada.
Water delivery and conservation
This is really a subset of Cisco’s Smart + Connected Communities initiative to interconnect city organizations and resources. The vendor is involved in a technology-for-water conservation project in Songdo, South Korea, a city built from scratch to use technology for intelligent city operations. The $35 billion Songdo project is intended to be a model for smart cities.
Software and services
Cisco built its business on hardware. But it has 28,000 software engineers, 7,000 software patents, and 160 million lines of code and thousands of man years wrapped up in its three operating systems. It also plans to double software revenue over the next five years, to $12 billion. At the same time, Cisco has plans to increase itx services business to 25% of revenue but without alienating services partners.
Growing its software and services revenue is part of Cisco’s plan to become the No. 1 IT company in the industry. It kicked off this ambition with the introduction of its Unified Computing Systems blade servers a couple of years ago. The success of that product line, and Cisco’s view of the data center and cloud computing as core markets, has the company intent on fulfilling its IT goals.
A Cisco app on an iPad or iPhone? Yep. Cisco has mobile client versions of its collaboration applications, like WebEx and WebEx Social, Jabber, and Mobile Supervisor, some that allow a mobile phone to become a Cisco IP phone.
At least Cisco’s tangential markets are well-grounded on terra firma… or are they? Cisco sees an application and opportunity for launching IP routers into space as a more adaptable alternative to traditional satellite technology for voice, video and data network services for government agencies, military units and allies.