Networking

IBM Watson invading Cisco routers for IoT takeover at the edge

IBM recently announced a collaboration with Cisco to bring IBM's Watson IoT analytics capabilities to the network edge to leverage data that may be there.

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Image: iStockphoto/yun miao

IBM announced that it was partnering with Cisco on Thursday to combine Watson's IoT and business analytics with Cisco's edge analytics to better utilize network edge data. The collaboration, which is geared toward providing better insight for IoT data, is aimed at "businesses and organizations in remote and autonomous locations."

Connected devices are generating staggering amounts of data and cloud services are offering a way to store and glean insights from that data. The problem is that businesses without proper connectivity cannot leverage these capabilities. To combat this, VMware and Cisco are creating "a new way to produce immediate, actionable insight at the point of data collection."

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"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," said Harriet Green, general manager of IBM Watson for IoT, commerce, and education.

But with the proposed solution, data from unmanned devices in remote locations, for example, can more easily be analyzed and acted upon. Mala Anand, senior vice president of the Cisco Data and Analytics Platforms Group said in the press release that the collaboration would rely on Cisco infrastructure to perform the streaming analytics and Watson's cognitive computing capabilities would help provide insight.

Another example given was for remote workers to be able to better monitor and manage the health of equipment, like machinery. Even at the edge, the equipment can be monitored in real-time and users will know when maintenance will be needed.

Currently, IBM and Cisco are working with Bell Canada to deploy their solution on the company's 4G LTE network. Additionally, Port of Cartagena in Colombia is using the analytics tools to better manage equipment like its cranes and trucks, and SilverHook Powerboats is using the technology to help their race boat pilots react more quickly to environmental variables.

SEE: 5 companies using IBM Watson to power their business (TechRepublic)

This partnership is nothing new for IBM, which claims tens of thousands of developers working within the Watson ecosystem. And, of course, more data points are always a good thing for the continued development of the Watson system. This particular partnership is important because it marks a decidedly practical application of the Watson, which is something IBM has been working to prove the value of.

Cisco, on the other hand, gets a potential boost for its edge products and an added cool factor of having IBM Watson running on its hardware.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM is combining its Watson capabilities with Cisco's edge analytics to provide better insights around data at the network edge.
  2. If successful, the new solution could help remote workers better manage the maintenance of their equipment, or businesses better collect data from unmanned machines.
  3. The partnership could show IBM Watson as a practical business tool, and will help bolster Cisco's edge business with the intrigue brought by a Watson implementation.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is News Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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