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Through Cisco and IBM, can customers have it both ways?

James Henderson | June 7, 2016
Cisco and IBM’s new Internet of Things (IoT) partnership promises to undo a customer perception logjam by endorsing the concept of edge analytics or processing, analysing and acting on IoT data close to the devices and/or sensors at the network “edge.”

“Together, these benefits smooth customers’ transitions and lower their costs, making it easier for customers to move from little IoT to big IoT.”

In addition, Gottheil said Cisco is now able to offer its customers an “easy bridge” to the power of centralised analytics.

“Cisco customers had been using edge analytics unless they created their own integration with centralised analysis platforms; the Cisco platform relied on the company’s fog computing edge analytics as its analytics platform,” Gottheil added.

Is Hybrid IoT a winner for IBM and Cisco?

Gottheil said combining the IBM Watson brand with Cisco’s edge networking and fog computing capabilities presents a compelling message to IoT customers.

The technology paradigm underpinning this partnership is not new however; vendors such as Microsoft, Dell and GE have edge and centralised analytics and computing capabilities for IoT, which provide similar cost savings and time benefits.

However, Gottheil said this partnership will create proofs of concept and increase customer awareness of hybrid IoT, and it will allow IBM to put Watson in the driver’s seat in more situations.

For Cisco, the partnership adds a vital third component to its IoT system, bringing in a powerful centralised analytics engine to pair with its platform (Jasper) and connectivity plays.

“We believe it ultimately strengthens Cisco’s class revenue driver - edge routing - while complementing its IoT-based software, security, and software revenue opportunities,” Gottheil said.

“The partnership allows both companies to approach IoT with joint sales and go-to-market initiatives where it is most beneficial for both vendors.

“Because Cisco and IBM have separate cost structures under this agreement, we expect IBM to pursue partnerships with additional vendors, such as Juniper, to spur IoT market growth.

“At the same time, Cisco will explore tighter integration with other central analytics vendors, such as Microsoft and GE.”

Market competition

Gottheil said the partnership will also help IBM better differentiate against IoT analytics and Cloud competitors such as AWS, Google and Microsoft by keeping analytics and Watson at the centre of its Cloud and IoT portfolios.

“With AWS established as the dominant leader in public Cloud infrastructure, IBM is working to promote its hybrid IT, cognitive, and Cloud services abilities as part of a focused portfolio, which allows clients to use Cloud-enabled technology to achieve industry-specific business outcomes,” Gottheil added.

“AWS struggles to provide comparable business solutions to enterprise customers because it messages a broader set of solutions, typically at the developer level.”

Going forward, Gottheil believes that IBM’s and Cisco’s industry focus and expertise will “resonate well” with IoT customers who typically require customisation, and ultimately provide each vendor with an additional avenue to drag their Cloud solutions into the conversation.

 

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