Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Toshiba and Cisco team up on Internet of Things

Iain Morris
November 20, 2014
Toshiba and Cisco have announced details of an Internet of Things (IoT) partnership that will address manufacturing, transportation and city environments.

The companies say they aim to dramatically improve processes and productivity in these areas through use of IoT technologies, including Cisco’s own “fog computing” platform – whereby data is stored and processed at the ‘edge’ of the network rather than in the cloud.

In a statement, Toshiba (Tokyo, Japan) and Cisco (San Jose, CA, USA) said they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the intention of advancing “the progress of a new smart community”.

The partnership has been set up in response to the rate of growth in the IoT market that Toshiba and Cisco have observed in a variety of sectors over the past year.

Cisco says developments are creating a greater need for its fog computing technology and the collaboration will combine its platform with Toshiba’s endpoint management technology.

By pooling their resources, Toshiba and Cisco aim to develop solutions that will support the monitoring and maintenance of multiple devices.

They say their joint effort will also provide storage technology to accumulate the information gathered from M2M services.

The aim is to “explore the feasibility” of technological verification, marketing activities and the provision of solutions for promoting widespread use of fog computing.

Toshiba, in particular, hopes to generate new value by connecting its energy, health care, storage products and services using cloud computing, big data and analytics technologies.

It says it will apply the technologies based on IoT, M2M and fog computing to a wide range of devices used in manufacturing, transportation and smart city systems.

Cisco reckons there is a critical need for a new approach to infrastructure “optimized” for distributed sensors and data processing.

Its fog computing platform is intended to fill that need.

“The importance of fog computing is expected to increase for managing many devices in the cloud,” said Hironobu Nishikori, corporate senior vice president and president and chief executive of Toshiba’s cloud and solutions company.

“We believe a synergistic convergence of Toshiba's advanced device management technologies and Cisco's rich expertise in networking will open up ways to provide outstanding excellence in the ever-growing field of the IoT," he added.
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