The future of networking lies in smarter grids, connected communities and cities, according to Cisco’s evolving markets manager.
During a keynote at the Cisco Insight 2010 conference, regional manager of evolving markets, Ben Dawson, laid out where the future of the networking market was heading, and how smart grids contained broad-reaching opportunities for partners to reap.
“Innovative markets are in transition because they’re driven by technology, changing customer demands, environmental issues or the regulatory environment,” Dawson said. “The way the network will be applied in the future will be to solve business social issues in each of these segments. We believe we’re heading towards a future of smarter and more connected cities and communities.”
Dawson claimed Australia’s drive towards smarter networks was different globally, because of the country’s underinvestment in infrastructure for several decades. Another contributing factor was an ageing population.
“This is happening globally because there’s a fundamental shift in demographics. We’re seeing the rise of mega cities,” he said. “In Australia, it’s driven by productivity.
“We’re going to drive fundamental efforts in productivity over the next decade. We need to make our cities and communities more efficient and effective with working together. We’re changing the way we work, live, play and learn, the way we interface with buildings, the electricity grid and health problems.”
Dawson highlighted the Government’s $7 billion investment towards the smart grid and its energy efficiency initiative and discussed the move towards smarter buildings, as well as sports and entertainment facilities, as opportunities for better integrated networks.
“In its current state, buildings have between 12-15 different networks. The ability to link different services in the building and package them in different ways to drive operational efficiency or new services to tenants is near impossible,” he said. “The challenge for building owners is that they’re managing multiple disparate networks.
“The opportunity hasn’t existed in the past to have integration, because we needed dedicated end-to-end proprietary systems to run lighting systems versus running lifts, and running security of the building.”
Building consolidated networks provided operational cost savings and new service delivery opportunities for the market, Dawson said.
“We’re now talking about systems required to operate the building, to deliver services to tenants within that building and to outside world, delivered on one consolidated network,” he said.
“This allows us to do three things: To have visibility of lighting systems, energy and security systems. It also allows us to monitor and manage them, and present consolidated views of what’s going on in a building.
“We’ve got a lot of room to grow.”
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