IBM collaborates with Cisco to offer data analysis using Watson Internet of Things with Edge analytics

Cisco Systems entered Thursday into a global collaboration with IBM to provide instant Internet of Things (IoT) insight at the edge of the network. Now, businesses and organizations 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 better understand and act on critical data on the network edge.

With billions of interconnected devices and sensors gathering vast amounts of real-time data about the physical world, cloud computing has in recent year offered companies a key 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.

“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,”said Mala Anand, senior vice president of the Cisco Data & 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.”

“The way we experience and interact with the physical world is being transformed by the power of cloud computing and the Internet of Things,” said Harriet Green, General Manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce & 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.”


With this alliance, the two vendors are extending key capabilities to companies with remote or autonomous operations on the edge of computer networks, providing them with access to the combined power IBM’s Watson IoT platform and Cisco’s edge analytics technologies.

As a result, industrial organizations and companies in remote locations can apply advanced analytics (cognitive, predictive, and machine learning) to sensor readings when most required, whether at the point of collection for immediate analysis or in the cloud for more long term study.

Early adapters across verticals are transforming their business by taking advantage of this technology. Bell Canada has improved performance reporting and reduced service interruptions by only transmitting the most important data from remote locations over the mobile network for analytics.

The Port of Cartagena has increased productivity and streamlined operations with condition monitoring analytics to spot patterns in vibration, temperature and speed on shipping containers, which might have been otherwise missed when manually processed. SilverHook Powerboats can now detect the need to throttle back and reduce speed for one-half second to help ensure engine governors can continue to keep the boat’s speed steady and performing optimally.

Data analysis is a critical factor in effective decision making in the modern world. But not all businesses have the luxury of tapping into the full scope of information needed to help guide these critical decisions whether in it’s at the corporate headquarters or an oil rig located in the North Sea, IBM’s Green wrote on a company blog post. Through this partnership, IBM and Cisco plan to make the world’s most powerful decision support systems available anywhere, always, she added.

This venture combines Cisco and IBM’s collective strength to make data and analytics the key to abstracting value in hyper-distributed environments. Hyper-distributed environments develop as massive amounts of data are being created in a very distributed way, outside the four walls of the data center, to offer better control and leverage this data.

Now, industrial organizations and those in remote locations with intermittent network connectivity can take advantage of the cloud, cognitive computing and network intelligence, working together –analyzing sensor reading at the point of collection, eliminating the need to transfer all, or unessential data to the cloud.

The combination of these technical capabilities provides the flexibility of processing and analyzing data everywhere, at the edge and in the cloud, so it can be leveraged in time and context as the business needs to use it.

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