Cisco Live 2015 – What’s The Difference Between The IoT And IoE?

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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Why does Cisco prefer its own acronym to describe IoT?

Cisco has big plans for the Internet of Things (IoT) – except it doesn’t call it that. It prefers the moniker of Internet of Everything (IoE), but why does it make such a distinction and is it more than a mere marketing term?

At the Cisco Live event in Milan earlier this week, the company sought to establish the difference between the two terms. It says the IoT just connects objects, but this IoE uses a network to correlate people, process, data and things to become “intelligent”.

“In the IoE era, we are surrounded by things becoming intelligent,” said David Bevilacqua, vice president of southern Europe at Cisco. “I’m not sure if smart is intelligent. My TV is smart but it does nothing except be connected. I do not believe just being connected means intelligent.

“Intelligence is the network and the network is the platform when you can correlate the events.”

IoT or IoE?

Cisco Live Meraki] (1)The company claims the IoE has the potential to create $19 trillion of value over the next ten years, a figure which Joseph Bradley, who heads up Cisco’s IoE consulting service, helped to create. He told TechWeekEurope the figure is based on the savings, opportunities and increased productivity that can result from IoE adoption.

Cisco uses examples of smart lighting and parking systems saving the city of Barcelona millions of dollars and the firm is partnering with the Expo 2015 in Milan to create a smart city at the venue site.

Bradley said the key difference between the IoT and IoE is that the former is just an idea whereas the latter has a positive financial impact on the business.

Generating value

“A great idea is a great idea, but it needs to generate value for the enterprise and the citizen,” he explained. “The technology has been there for a while, but the innovation is the business model.

“We think IoT is very important – connecting a ‘dark asset’ – as it starts the initiation of the discussion, but in order for an enterprise to extract value, you actually have to think about how you’re going to make that data usable and how you’re going to change decision making.”

“Big data is great, but it is worth nothing without big judgement. Presenting information at the end of the day is great, but if I do the exact same thing I did before I was presented with it – it’s nothing. The process, people and how you communicate that is so, so important and that’s why we emphasise it so much.”

Cisco role

Cisco Live 2015 (1)Cisco believes all types of businesses can benefit from the IoE, but says the prerequisite is that they become a ‘digital business’ and, naturally, it wants to help customers create the infrastructure to support next generation applications.

Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president at Cisco, urged those attending to the conference to become “gurus” for the IoE and said technology was now assuming greater importance at boardroom level having previously been seen as a necessary evil.

“In the last 25 years, we’ve had the birth of the Internet, social media and mobile. None of these things existed then and we’re so dependent on them,” he said. “Before these technologies, we lived in a very local world. Today in a global world, when anything happens anywhere at all, we’re immediately notified.

“What we’re beginning to see is that technology and connectivity are the enablers.”

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