Is Cisco missing the point?

By Sara Brown

At their annual partner summit this week in Montreal, Cisco executives lamented a lack of technical knowhow on the part of adopters of Internet of Things. Specifically, vice president for Industry Solutions Group, Steve Steinhilber was quoted in Computing Magazine saying, “One of the big gaps we see in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills. You have people coming from the operational technology space and people coming from the IT space so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge.”

When I read that, I couldn’t help but think that in spite of leadership in promoting IoT technology, Cisco is missing the point. We work with companies who understand this gap and are doing something far more positive than criticizing the customers’ staffs. They’re applying their expertise to eliminating the need for extensive technical knowhow on the part of adopters. And they’re not alone. Most of the M2M/IoT ecosystem is engaged in simplification for their customers. Why? Because the customer doesn’t care how it works—only that it works. Imagine if Cisco looked at the problem the same way—perhaps they really could become the driving force behind the Internet of Everything.  

Then again, maybe they’re tapping into a revenue stream the rest of the industry has missed. Will they soon launch a new certification? Perhaps CCIOTA (Cisco Certified Internet of Things Associate) or CCIOEE (Cisco Certified Internet of Everything Expert). With the hype they have helped build around IoT, maybe they can cash in big by capturing training revenue. Why didn’t the rest of us think of that?

One more possibility: It is true, of course, that with new offerings and new product categories, sales channels need to be brought up to speed. Perhaps Cisco simply hasn’t found the right channel for IoT. If they need help—of course, we’re here.