In recent years, interconnected devices and sensors have been gathering vast amounts of real-time data about the physical world and 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.
In the wake of this challenge, IBM and Cisco have struck a global collaboration to offer a new way to produce immediate, actionable insight at the point of data collection. 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 partnership will provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insight at the edge of the network. Businesses and organizations in remote and autonomous locations will be able to tap the combination 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.
Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education, says, “The way we experience and interact with the physical world is being transformed by the power of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. 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.”
How will the partnership help?
Workers in remote environments will now be able to better monitor the health and behavior of critical machinery and more accurately plan for needed maintenance and equipment upgrades. According to a McKinsey&Company report, ‘The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype’; by tapping into IBM Watson IoT platform and Cisco edge analytics, these companies 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.
“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. 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,” says Mala Anand, Senior Vice President, Cisco Data and Analytics Platforms Group.
The solution will be marketed and sold together and will include Watson IoT Platform cognitive and real time insights from IBM with Cisco streaming edge analytics. This will enable real-time analytics to be performed at the edge and collection of data for longer-term analysis in the cloud.
Leveraging the IoT tech
Cisco and IBM are working with Bell Canada
to deliver IBM Watson IoT and Cisco Edge over Canada’s 4G LTE network. Bell’s network coverage and LTE-Advanced speeds will enable customers to collect data in real-time. According to Stephen Howe, Chief Technology Officer, Bell Canada, the IoT technology from the partnership will enable customers to tap into innovative real-time analytics options to maximize performance across their operations, no matter where they are.
“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.”
Businesses including Port of Cartagena and SilverHook Powerboats
have also turned to Cisco and IBM to help address their most complex IT and IoT challenges. Port of Cartagena in Colombia, is using the technology to tap into analytics on the edge to improve the port’s efficiency of assets including rubber tire gantries, cranes, and trucks. The port is beginning to use the IBM Watson IoT Platform with Cisco streaming edge analytics to monitor an expanded set of conditions in the cloud. This capability, including predictive analytics, is expected to help the Port to get ahead of equipment degradation and needed maintenance to keep machines running efficiently and avoid costly equipment failures.
Eduardo Bustamante, Director, Operations, Port of Cartagena, says, “With these new capabilities from IBM and Cisco, we gain immediate insight into the health and operations of our more than 47 rubber tire gantries and 180 trucks. As a result, we expect to be more productive in our maintenance processes to help ensure our fleet runs even more efficiently and vessels and cargo are moving smoothly in and out of our port.”
Similarly, SilverHook Powerboats, a company that designs high speed racing watercraft is using the IoT analytics to help race pilots react immediately to environment and engine multi variate conditions in real-time, indicating the need to throttle back in a split second, for example, to help prevent the boat’s systems from failure and to perform optimally.