Cisco looks to tackle IoT failure with new IoT Operations Platform
Tobacco Dock - Cisco IoT World Forum.
Tobacco Dock, hosting this week's Cisco IoT World Forum.

Cisco looks to tackle IoT failure with new IoT Operations Platform

Networking giant Cisco has launched an IoT platform aimed at making deployments easier and has partnered with Microsoft Azure to better connect edge devices.

The company outlined its new platform, Cisco IoT Operations Platform, at the company’s IoT World Forum in London.

The product, according to company executives, should help customers get past the proof-of-concept hurdle to successfully deploy IoT systems.

That’s important, they say, because as a survey from the company released earlier this week revealed, 60 percent of IoT projects don’t make it past the proof-of-concept stage and, of those that do, only around one-quarter (26 percent) were considered a complete success.

That’s down to two reasons, according to Cisco. First, IoT projects are complex, because of the need to integrate IoT devices along with existing networking technologies, data-gathering tools and back-end computing resources in new ways.

Second, many companies suffer from a lack of internal expertise to overcome these challenges. In particular, these projects require IT and operational technology (OT) teams to collaborate closely, something they haven’t always done in the past.

Read more: Six out of ten IoT projects fail at trial stage, says Cisco

Real world stands in the way of IoT

Rowan Trollope, general manager of Cisco’s IoT and applications unit, described the IoT Operations Platform in a blog post as a response to these challenges.

“With current tools, there’s not enough technical talent to get most projects to make the leap from prototype to production. There’s not enough capacity or reliability in the network, either,” he writes.

“Without a coherent set of tools like this, the real world will continue to get in the way of IoT deployments.”

As Trollope describes it, the new product will help companies overcome these issues, by providing:

Connection management at scale. New tools, Trollope claims, will make it easier to spin up and maintain huge fleets of connected devices.

Fog computing. This is focused on edge computing, making sure that data processing and device control happens “at the right place for each job, especially as the needs of jobs change in real time.”

Data delivery. These are tools for filtering and distribution of data, with the aim of helping companies analyse and act on it.

Read more: SAS, Cisco claim first platform for IoT analytics at the edge

Microsoft partnership

At the same event, Cisco announced that it will partner with Microsoft to connect its Azure IoT suite to Cisco Fog deployments.

“For the many businesses already using Microsoft Azure to build and run their IoT applications – and for those looking for a cloud platform to do so – this will enable customers to use the platforms they love, while bringing them added value through an integrated solution,” said Macario Namie, head of IoT strategy at Cisco Jasper. It’s about getting outcomes, he added, in the “fastest, least complex way.”

Cisco and Microsoft already have a long history of collaboration in many areas including IoT, he added. For example, the Cisco Jasper platform is already integrated into the Azure IoT hub and, earlier this year, Cisco announced the Cisco Integrated System for Microsoft Azure stack, for customers who want the benefits of cloud in an on-premise environment.

Read more: Microsoft unveils Azure IoT Edge at Build 2017 conference