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IoT-Focused Cisco Gets Its Own Supply Chain Connected

Technology conglomerate Cisco is a big fan of the Internet of Things. In recent years, the company has pushed for IoT adoption among its business clients, and last month the firm released a study with DHL that found up to 50 billion objects will be part of the IoT by 2020.

The research intended to give fair warning to all companies that are not yet adapting, or planning to adapt, to the IoT, providing an array of predictive statistics that suggests businesses will lose out big time if they are not prepared.

Now, Cisco is taking a dose of its own medicine. Reports Wednesday (May 13) revealed that the firm is now making the initiative to get all points of its own supply chain fully connected. According to The Wall Street Journal, Cisco has begun by installing thousands of sensors in one of its plants in Malaysia aimed to aggregate data on energy consumption.

It is the first move in a pilot program, launched with a $4 million fund created by Cisco, to make the firm’s supply chain more effective, efficient, and productive. According to reports, most aspects of the project are relatively small-scale because Cisco is anticipating a high failure rate. The ones that succeed, however, could do so in a big way and accelerate IoT adoption for Cisco and other businesses looking to Cisco as an example.

Cisco senior vice president of supply chain John Kern reiterated the findings of its study with DHL last week at a presentation of a Gartner-hosted conference. According to reports, the executive stressed the need for businesses to rethink their supply chains and experiment with their participation in the IoT, especially through the use of Big Data.

Looking ahead, Cisco, in partnership with DHL, will be doing the type of Big Data experimentation it wants other companies to take part in. The companies hypothesized the ability for the IoT to improve fleet and shipping, inventory management, maintenance, and – essentially – all aspects of the supply chain.

Some of the world’s largest companies seem to be investing largely in the Internet of Things. Reports released earlier this week revealed that already this year, mergers and acquisitions related to IoT are nearing $15 billion – more than this period in any year prior.

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