Innovation: it’s a word that is rather imprecise on its own. However, when teamed with the concepts of research and thought leadership, innovation becomes a powerful term, imbued with virtually limitless possibilities and underpinning positive outcomes.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a global industry phenomenon that brings together people, processes, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. When Cisco named Toronto the location for one of six global Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centers, the company made a commitment to help organizations improve business outcomes by integrating, creating, testing and validating IoE solutions. It signified that Toronto, as one of the most multicultural and vibrant metropolises in the world, would be a facilitator of technological movements such as the IoE model.
The core concept of IoE will fundamentally change how organizations and decision makers view technology. When it opens later this fall, the new facility – located at RBC WaterPark Place III – will not only be a vital component of Cisco Canada’s new waterfront headquarters, it will also redefine how Canadian corporations, academic institutions, partners and individuals creatively work together to unlock the potential of our connected world.
Cisco estimates IoE opportunities to be worth US$19-trillion by 2022, including $400 billion in Canada, and the Toronto Innovation Centre aims to lead the transformation. The facility will bring customers, partners, start-ups, accelerators, governments, universities, researchers, and open communities together to push ideas and thought leadership in order to rethink and transform the status quo in Canada and worldwide.
Promoting ideas and research will be a key tenet of the Toronto facility, particularly with an eye on boosting the pace of IoE market adoption. Cisco aims to redefine IoE, namely by increasing the interconnectivity of machines and personal smart devices, and the proliferation of applications connecting supply chains, partners, and customers.
Keeping in mind that today’s mobile and connected devices actually outnumber the world’s population by 1.5 to 1, Toronto IoE Innovation Centre will showcase and demonstrate the IoE in action and provide physical and virtual laboratories for proof-of-concept work. In addition, it will foster local and global innovation through talent development, university and research partnerships, start-up engagements, and investments in local resources (corporations and people). It will also align with other Cisco IoE Innovation Centers around the world to drive transformation through local innovation and empowerment, and will develop research projects and challenges with key investments in start-ups and accelerators.
Key to the development of these ideas is a central location or hub — a meeting place — geared to prime new ideas and help influence the next generation of IoE start-ups, application development and research with universities through open innovation and rapid prototypes. And that’s what the Innovation Centre provides, with its ultimate goal to improve existing connections between businesses and consumers while aiding organizations in both simplifying the overall experience and making these relationships more valuable and meaningful.
It isn’t hyperbole to suggest that the new Cisco IoE Innovation Centre Toronto is where amazing things will happen by connecting formerly unconnected technology and processes. When companies aren’t innovating fast enough, that sets the stage for market newcomers to topple industry leaders. In 2013, businesses that did the heavy lifting required to create more valuable connections garnered a $600 billion dollar return on their investment.
From Cisco’s point of view, its IoE enabled vision is an exciting one — people, process, data and things interacting and connecting intelligently to create new possibilities. From its prestigious downtown location in the heart of the city, the forward-thinking Toronto-based facility will function as a technology intermediary, a trusted advisor to drive business transformation across regional ecosystems: Channel/Industry Partners, Governments, and Academia. For those looking to advance and extend their IT infrastructures for Mobility, Cloud, and big data that include network, compute, and security, the centre will be a starting point to improve customer experiences and capture new business opportunities with real-time visibility – location, presence, device – from the infrastructure to the user.