In early June, Cisco and IBM announced a global collaboration to provide instant Internet of Things insight at the edge of the network. The partnership would allow businesses in remote locations the ability to tap into the combined power of IBM’s Watson IoT and business analytics technologies and Cisco’s edge analytics capabilities to analyze critical data at the edge of the network.
A quick refresher on the announcement, from an IBM press release:
Today, billions of interconnected devices and sensors are gathering vast amounts of real-time data about the physical world. In recent years cloud computing has offered companies a powerful 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.
Over the weekend, the two companies gave insight into how exactly they would accomplish this initiative – by combining the strengths of each company to transform how people collaborate and work, creating a suite of cloud-based workplace tools and applications infused with IBM Watson.
As part of this transformation, the first offering available will integrate Cisco Spark and WebEx collaborative workspace platforms with IBM’s leading cloud collaboration solutions including Verse and Connections, and infusing them with IBM’s cognitive computing capabilities. From a Cisco press release:
The companies aim to make collaboration simpler by combining IBM’s advanced analytics, Watson, and email and social offerings with Cisco’s collaboration solutions, including business messaging, meeting and calling offerings. The two companies will design joint solutions that take advantage of all types of data to help people get more done, in less time. This will be achieved by providing the right insights in the right context – served up through the tools, apps, documents, or actions needed at any given moment based on an individual employee’s role, historical work patterns, and current work assignments… The joint solutions will utilize IBM Watson and Connections APIs as well as Cisco Spark and WebEx APIs. This allows solutions to take action on routine tasks like prioritizing complex and chaotic collaboration and communication environments and connecting users to powerful cognitive sources of expertise in the moment they need them.
With Watson powering the joint solution, new classes of solutions will emerge. “For example, a financial advisor could meet with a high value investor over Cisco video with a Watson service offering real-time advice and handling tasks, while files would be securely stored and available in IBM Connections, shared through WebEx for a seamless transaction,” according to the release.
IBM and Cisco plan to address today’s work environment by acting on behalf of users to complete mundane tasks like scheduling, note-taking, and sharing content relevant to specific tasks. The new solutions will incorporate structured and unstructured data in any form, whether from on-premises, the desktop, or the cloud. With applications to handle hundreds of work-related tasks, they are built to seek, consume and analyze all types of data, uncover meaningful workflow patterns, and provide actionable insights through the course of daily activities and interactions.