IBM and Cisco bring instant IoT insights to remote organisations

Port of Cartagena, Colombia

Cisco and IBM are partnering to provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insights to organisations operating on the edge of the network in remote areas, enabling them to gain fast access to insights from critical data despite their lack of access to traditional high bandwidth.

The combination of IBM’s Watson IoT and business analytics with Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities is designed to meet the needs of organisations located outside the reach of high bandwidth connectivity who are trying to survive – and thrive – in the world of massive IoT data and cloud storage. This means companies operating in remote regions, including oil rigs and mines, as well as those operating in rural areas without urban-strength bandwidth, including ports and factories. In such cases, time is of the essence but until now critical business insights could not be gleaned from the IoT in a timely or cost-effective way due to inadequate infrastructure.

“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,” said Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson IoT, commerce and education.

“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,” she said.

“Together, Cisco and IBM are positioned to help organisations make real-time informed decisions based on business-critical data that was often previously undetected and overlooked,” said Mala Anand, senior vice president, 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.”

In Canada, Cisco and IBM are working with Bell Canada to deliver IBM Watson IoT and Cisco Edge over Bell’s 4G LTE wireless telecommunications network, enabling Canadian businesses from the west coast across more than 5,000 km to the east coast to collect and action valuable data insights in real-time.

“Many of our largest customers operate remote systems, requiring continuous availability and access to data to monitor critical performance factors and avoid downtime,” said Stephen Howe, Chief Technology Officer, Bell Canada.

At the Port of Cartagena, Colombia, IBM Watson IoT and Cisco streaming edge analytics are being used to monitor a wide range of conditions in the cloud in an effort to improve operational efficiencies and reduce maintenance costs. New capabilities, including predictive analytics, are expected to help the port proactively determine equipment maintenance and degradation to keep machines running efficiently and avoid costly equipment failures.

“The city of Cartagena is considered a gateway to Colombia and home to the country’s major industrial expansion and development. As a container terminal trans-shipment hub, our port ships goods to almost 600 ports in 136 countries around the world,” said Eduardo Bustamante, director of operations, Port of Cartagena.