A conversation with Theresa Bui, head of enterprise product marketing, IoT cloud at Cisco Jasper
Theresa Bui is an expert in cloud services as they apply to industry, in particular. Through Cisco, Bui’s work involves dealing with large, industrial conglomerates, such as General Electric, ABB and others.
With more than 20 years of strategic marketing experience, Bui is on the verge of helping make Cisco as important to the industrial sector as it is to the infrastructure of the internet.
In an interview with Robotics and Automation News, Bui provides an insight into Cisco’s approach to a range of new technologies, including industrial internet of things, robotics and automation.
Question: The industrial IoT market has grown very quickly it seems. What has been Jasper’s experience in the manufacturing industry? What business sectors or countries are you looking to grow in, and can you name any customers or give us examples?
Theresa Bui: Industrial IoT is in the top five industries for IoT adoption worldwide, and the adoption of the Cisco Jasper IoT service platform reflects this.
Areas where we are seeing take-up are industrial robotics (continuous monitoring, troubleshooting, diagnostics and remote maintenance all reduce downtime); heavy machinery (automated provisioning and continuous monitoring increases overall equipment effectiveness and safety as well as decreasing supply chain interruptions) and industrial monitoring (remotely monitor, diagnose and resolve potential issues with efficiency and reliability).
Companies that are leaders in this space include GE Aviation which automates business decisions and responses – like scheduling preventive maintenance after a certain number of flight hours, instead of waiting for a part to fail. Steps like these help avoid over tens of thousands of flight delays and cancellations per year and saves billions in operational costs annually.
GE Aviation is able to offer a smarter jet engine with the services, real-time visibility and control needed to optimize operations. Airlines improve their performance, which enhances the passenger experience – increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Air Liquide offers a different type of model with their Autostore solution, which is an automated inventory management service that enables Air Liquide customers to manage gas cylinders remotely with round-the-clock controlled access.
Autostore makes it easy for Air Liquide customers to:
- Receive supplies just when they need them.
- Adjust production levels to match demand based on accurate and timely consumption data.
- Accurately inform dispatchers and third-party suppliers of required re-supply needs, streamlining forecasting and increasing operational efficiencies.
ABB is a third great example. The company has installed more than 250,000 robots worldwide and services a variety of industries including automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, machine tools, pharmaceutical and food and beverage.
Their connected robots help their customers:
- Decrease manufacturing downtime with improved reliability and proactive service
- Double-digit increase in productivity of machinery
- Reduced costs and time associated with maintenance for their robots
Industrial equipment companies using Cisco Jasper include ABB, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Kiewit, Komatsu, Air Liquide, Virgin Australia, Cubic, American Commercial Lines, EGA, Liquid Robotics, Adaptalift, Ospray Infomatics, PiiComm and more.
Question: Cisco has bought Jasper, so how does that change things for the brand? Will it disappear and just become known as Cisco? What will be the other implications – job losses, job creation, restructuring, and so on?
Theresa Bui: Now that Jasper has been acquired, we have become “Cisco Jasper” which is the name for the new IoT Cloud Business Unit of Cisco. The entire Jasper team has been retained within Cisco Jasper, and we still report to our CEO, Jahangir Mohammed, who is now the GM of the IoT Cloud Business Unit at Cisco.
Regarding how this impacts our customers in the industrial IoT/manufacturing industry – this puts the resources and reach of Cisco behind the Jasper IoT service platform, which will help us continue to deliver the innovation and service our existing customers are used to. Cisco and Jasper share the same vision for accelerating IoT adoption and building a complete IoT solution.
Together, Cisco and Jasper are working closely with enterprises and global service providers to manage and drive a wide range of connected devices and IoT services that deliver a predictable recurring revenue business model.
Cisco will continue to build upon Jasper’s IoT service platform and will add new services including advanced IoT security and analytics solutions to better manage device usage.
Question: Can you outline some of the more interesting developments you’ve seen already, and some things that are soon to be introduced? For example, this smart factory concept, or fully roboticised/autonomous logistics facilities, or smart cities, intelligent transport.
Theresa Bui: The ‘Internet of Everything’ is just another way of saying that every company will soon become an IoT business. There are already over 7.5 billion mobile connections in the world right now, and the number of devices is now growing 5 times faster than the population. But the Internet of Things is not about the “things” – it’s about services.
Connected devices are accessible to customers all the time, in real-time, and that changes everything. The business value shifts from the products you sell, to the services you deliver.
Industrial equipment manufacturers can now offer continuous equipment monitoring, troubleshooting, diagnostics, and remote maintenance – all of which are examples of new services.
And these companies are in the midst of transforming themselves from a supplier of components and industrial parts to actually becoming a much broader technology company. They are moving from connecting a few devices to connecting many things. They are pushing themselves to be an anywhere, any time and anything connectivity-company.
In order to achieve this vision, they are providing technology into their products that enables Process Control and Data Capture Capability, Connectivity, and Data Analysis (giving meaning to captured data to create work processes and determine how processes are managed over a number of machines, systems and people).
They are moving away from “islands of automation” for the past 20 years, where normal high-tech manufacturer may have had only 30% of field devices connected to a distributed control system, to connectivity built-in on every single device they make.
Building an IoT Service Business is a win-win for equipment manufacturers and their customers. New services means industrial equipment manufacturers have the opportunity to tap into new revenue streams. And in turn, they provide their customers with a richer set of services to help them improve the efficiency, productivity and quality of their manufacturing operations.