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Cisco looks to be an IoT leader

WASHINGTON – Cisco Systems has become a household name based on the near-ubiquity of its networking equipment, and now the company is looking to evolve its strategy to keep up with the shifts in technology. Under the leadership of CEO Chuck Robbins, the company announced it will increase focus on the emerging “Internet of Things.”

Robbins, a big believer in the potential market value of IoT, said, “I do believe this [IoT] is bigger than the first wave of the Internet.” 

Robbins has told the press he believes that by 2020, 50 billion IoT devices will be connected. Cisco is looking to leverage the market by adding adaptability and flexibility of its products. Robbins noted that from now on, “Everything we build will be programmable.”

The IoT market, which ranges across almost every sector and industry, is set to produce potentially trillions of dollars in opportunity and Cisco is looking to cash in. The company has already rolled out numerous new IoT systems, including solutions geared toward manufacturing, network security and system architecture. Cisco has also announced several new partnerships, such as one with Fanuc America, which has 300,000 industrial robots in factories that use Cisco products. 

Ultimately, Cisco is hoping to rapidly and affordably produce IoT systems designed to customer specifications.

“It’s all about how the technology benefits their business with speed. … This will help us define our innovation priorities and what we are going to do as a company,” Robbins said. “You’re going to see some interesting things coming out in the security space, in the platform space, moving into devops and agile models allowing us to innovate at greater scale. How fast we can get our customers to benefit from our technology is going to be based on the simplicity that we drive … and that’s going to allow us to move in greater speed.”

Cisco is not alone in seeing IoT as a huge sector for growth. AT&T and IBM have invested heavily in creating IoT business units focused on many of the same areas of industrial IoT that Cisco is now looking to tap into. Later this month, Verizon Communications is expected to unveil its vision for the IoT future.

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