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Cisco Live: What Happened To The Internet Of Everything?

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BLOG: Why has Cisco dropped the ‘Internet of Everything’ in favour of ‘Digitisation’?

In an industry plagued by buzzwords and acronyms, few will lament Cisco’s decision to use ‘digitisation’ instead of the ‘Internet of Everything (IoE)’ at its conference this year.

The fact that Cisco had persisted with IoE instead of the almost universally used Internet of Things (IoT) was an illogical and pedantic annoyance for many, not least because the IoT is, of course, a marketing term itself, representing a group of technologies.

At last year’s Cisco Live event in Milan, the company endeavoured to explain the difference between IoT and IoE. The IoT, it said, connects objects, but IoE uses a network to correlate people, process, data and things to become “intelligent”.

What happened to IoE?

Cisco Live Singh 1But as 13,000 visitors heard at this year’s event in Berlin, the largest ever attendance for a Cisco show outside the US, the company decided to give the IoE a more human term that would resonate better and perhaps cause less confusion.

It cited interest at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos as one of the reasons for the change and described how ‘digitisation’ had the capability to transform businesses of all sizes. It’s a superficial change, but as one the leading advocates of IoE, it was a notable one. Even still, Cisco seemed a tad bemused by the media’s (including TechWeekEurope’s) interest.

“I think we’re completely consistent,” said Cisco CTO Zorawar Biri Singh. “Digitisation and IoE are themes we started talking about two years ago. IoT is just about the industrial side of things, IoE is a broad theme but perhaps too broad. We’re just choosing to use Digitisation as the umbrella, IoT is the industrial element.”

“Digitalisation is the business term and IoT is one of the enabling technologies,” added Inbar Lasser-Raab, who leads Cisco’s enterprise marketing efforts. She said it was normal for companies to alter their message after a few years and Cisco was no different. She also said that Gartner had started to use the term ‘digitisation’.

So there you have it. The IoE is dead, long live digitisation. Until the next buzzword.

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