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IBM, Cisco bring IoT analytics to the edge

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Cisco and IBM have announced a global collaboration to provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insight at the edge of the network.
Now, businesses and organisations 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.
To address the problem, IBM and Cisco have joined forces 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 way we experience and interact with the physical world is being transformed by the power of cloud computing and the Internet of Things,” says Harriet Green, GM of IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and 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,” says Mala Anand, senior vice-president of the Cisco Data and 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.”
For example, 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.
By tapping into the power of the 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% and increase productivity by 25%.
Cisco and IBM are working with Bell Canada, the largest communications company in Canada, to deliver IBM Watson IoT and Cisco Edge over Canada’s largest and fastest 4G LTE network. Bell’s network coverage and LTE-Advanced speeds will enable customers to collect data in real-time.
“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,” says 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.”
Port of Cartagena, a modern and highly efficient port in Colombia, is tapping into analytics on the edge to improve the port’s efficiency of assets including rubber tire gantries, cranes, and trucks.
Several years ago, the Port started monitoring equipment conditions such as engine temperature, engine speed and run hours to improve efficiency and maintenance costs. Now 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.
Port of Cartagena has been nominated as the best container terminal in the Caribbean six times. It was also once named the most reliable port by the Caribbean Shipping Association, handling 2,5-million TEUs (twenty equivalent container units) per year.