IBM and Cisco to bring AI to the remotest edges of IoT world

3 Jun 2016123 Shares

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Tech giants IBM and Cisco are bringing the internet of things revolution to remote locations such as oil rigs

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IBM and Cisco have signed a major internet of things (IoT) deal that will see the companies integrate IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence (AI) into Cisco edge routers in far-flung locations, such as oil rigs out at sea.

The core of the deal is the ability to bring analytics to the edge of the IoT, gathering data and auctioning results from clusters of autonomous connected M2M devices.

IBM pointed out that today there are billions of connected devices and sensors gathering vast amounts of real-time data and cloud has made it possible to gather valuable insight.

‘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’
– HARRIET GREEN, IBM

But without high-bandwidth connectivity much of this insight goes missing or can’t be acted upon in real-time.

Now IBM and Cisco have joined forces to offer a new way to produce immediate, actionable insights at the point of data collection.

Time is of the essence in real-time IoT world

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.

“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 and 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.”

For example, workers in remote environments will now be able to better monitor the health and behavior of critical machinery and more accurately plan for needed maintenance and equipment upgrades.

‘We are positioned to help organisations make real-time informed decisions based on business-critical data that was often previously undetected and overlooked’
– MALA ANAND, CISCO

By tapping into the power of the IBM Watson IoT platform and Cisco edge analytics, these companies can adopt the latest approaches to condition-based maintenance through which equipment is monitored in real-time.

This will potentially help reduce maintenance costs by up to 50pc and increase productivity by 25pc, the companies say.

“Together, Cisco and IBM are positioned to help organisations 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 and 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,” Anand said.

Oil rig image via Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com