In the second part of the interview, Geoff Lawrie, NZ country manager at Cisco Systems, talks about how the Internet of Things can improve productivity across important sectors in the country, and thereby assist with economic growth.
Q: From your assessment, when do you see these projects taking off?
GL: We are talking to a number of things like that. There is nothing at a mature level, but there is a lot of recognition of where we want to go. So there is quite a bit of government interest, industrial interest in making the things that will enable it. We are involved in a number of conversations there, but nothing that is at a stage where we are like wow look at this — look what's happening here.
There is a bit of industrial automation starting to go on now. So you are starting to see some of the power companies starting to connect elements of their production and distribution bridge into that, so that they can get better real time control. Fonterra doing quite a bit of work in connecting up their milk trucks and route optimisation — all that stuff is starting to happen.
Even on industrial production lines we are moving from previous generation industrial control protocols to IP, and getting into standard IP networks.
Initial agricultural implementations are already underway. When will it be mainstream? Two or three years I guess.
We are seeing a lot of interesting activity with the mines in Australia as an example. Transportation is interesting in NZ. Lots of trucks are doing telemetry stuff now, which is a lot of what this is about. Connecting up the elements and really accurately starting to measure time on road, average speed, breaking, engine, service requirements, driver productivity, driver weariness and all those things are starting to be done now.
There is a lot of interesting stuff going on. People are taking the connectivity concept and seeing how it can be used to drive the next level of productivity.
Q: How does the security side at Cisco fit into your overall growth?
GL: It is starting to go very well. Couple of years ago we had some gaps in our security portfolio. Now through a process of focused R&D and acquisition we have done a good job of coming out with a very comprehensive security portfolio. And I think we have got a very mature philosophy of how we approach security and the technology that we use to back it up.
I acknowledge that quite a bit of that is coming from acquisitions. We bought a company called ScanSafe recently which does internet filtering as well as a service. We have been very successful with that product in NZ. And then more recently, we bought SourceFire, which makes an open source, Snort protocol open applications set, and has a cloud based security product that we have put into our portfolio.
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