As the smart city marketplace ramps up, vendors are searching for ways to differentiate themselves. Increasingly, companies are competing through collaboration. That is, they are building worldwide partner networks to extend their expertise and geographical reach.
Having great technology is just the table stakes in this competition. The winners will be those companies that are best at attracting partners to build solutions in collaboration. Council Lead Partner Cisco is at the forefront of this trend. It gained a leadership position in networking in large part due to its extensive partner network. As it now extends into the Internet of Everything (including smart cities), it is bringing that same strategy to bear.
Although Cisco's new partner AGT has a full suite of city solutions, it is best known for its state-of-the-art security and public safety applications. The company uses cutting-edge technologies such as facial recognition, video analysis, and audio analysisto enhance urban security. Read more in the press release below. -- Jesse Berst
Cisco and AGT Form a Smart City Global Strategic Alliance to Transform the Way Cities Are Managed and Secured
City solutions bring the Internet of Everything to life
SAN JOSE – Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, and AGT International, a global leader in city solutions, announced a Smart City Global Strategic Alliance that will deliver the promise of the Internet of Everything (IoE) through edge analytics and cloud technologies that dramatically change the way cities are managed and safeguarded.
The combination of intelligent networking, virtualized computing and video management software from Cisco and smart city software platform, sensor gateway and analytics from AGT will provide cost-effective and efficient delivery of services that enhance the daily lives of citizens and improve urban services – from transportation and healthcare to utilities infrastructure and disaster preparedness and personal safety.
Wim Elfrink, executive vice president, Industry Solutions and Chief Globalisation Officer, Cisco, said: “Today, 99 percent of the physical world is not connected to the Internet. However, cities are the epicenter of the Internet of Everything, where people, things, data and processes can be connected to deliver new and amazing value. Think about the possibilities. It is a vision we can realize today through the unique combination of Cisco’s unparalleled networking and computing technology and AGT’s cutting-edge smart cities platform. With its recognized leadership in software and analytical solutions that improve everyday life, AGT is an ideal partner to transform city management.”
Mati Kochavi, CEO, AGT, said: “The Cisco and AGT alliance brings a holistic view of urban ecosystems, which are being challenged by dramatic growth and limited resources. The opportunity stems from integrating information from the Internet of Everything and leveraging data in new ways. The Internet of Everything will transform the cities of today into the great cities of tomorrow by enabling solutions that help manage growth and serve citizens better. Through this alliance, Cisco and AGT will realize a vision of unlocking the vast potential of urban centers around the world. We will enable cities to anticipate and prevent threats to citizens and property; make life more efficient, safe and enjoyable; and truly make our cities sustainable.”
Rob Lloyd, president, Development and Sales, Cisco, said: “The Cisco and AGT alliance is more than simply an agreement to collaborate. Cisco and AGT are in the unique position to lead the development of city cloud solutions. By combining advanced technologies with a deep understanding of the changing needs of cities, we can transform the delivery of city services.”
Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, global research director, IDC’s Smart Cities Strategies program, said: “Smart Cities are a future reality for municipalities around the world. These cities will use the power of ubiquitous communication networks, highly distributed wireless sensor technology and intelligent management systems to solve current and future challenges and create exciting new services.”
Built around AGT’s state-of-the-art urban management platform, the solution applies multiple sensing and analytical technologies such as video and acoustic analytics, social media engagement, license plate recognition, facial recognition, mobile crowd sourcing, mobile applications for city civil workers, smart waste and other sources. AGT’s city fusion platform, powered by Cisco Unified Computing System™ technology, uses big data analysis to reduce false alerts while increasing incident detection rates. Sharing a common platform, infrastructure and management allows agencies to be more efficient and cost-effective, especially when coping with decreasing budgets. These benefits can all be achieved in a decentralized city administration model, where agencies’ autonomy is maintained while sharing and reuse is maximized.
Solutions that change the game for cities
The first solutions will be available mid-2014 and will initially focus on two key areas:
- A traffic management solution that will identify, respond to and resolve traffic incidents by providing real-time traffic situational awareness will support incident detection using live video feeds from incident zones, with video analytics, in-pavement wireless magnetic sensors, license plate readers, social media, advanced traffic modeling prediction and alternative strategy formulation. The system supports video feed sharing across different agencies and provides analytics of incident trends over time. This solution addresses a global problem; traffic congestion costs $121 billion a year in wasted time and fuel in the U.S. alone, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.
- An urban safety solution enables cities to predict, prepare for, respond to and mitigate operational and safety incidents by identifying suspicious activities more quickly. Incidents will be managed through software that utilizes a variety of sensors, city data, and visual and social media feeds. The solution will apply analytics to automate and visualize the situation and recommend the appropriate response.
Future solutions to be developed and launched will address city and country critical infrastructure, such as airports, railway stations and stadiums.
The Cisco and AGT offering will initially be provided on-premise and will evolve to a cloud-based “Software as a Service” model. These models are customizable and flexible to support a variety of customer needs and budgets. As part of this agreement, AGT has selected Cisco as its cloud provider for its city cloud solutions.
To execute these solutions, AGT and Cisco will integrate Cisco® VSM video management technology and support Cisco’s leading range of cameras with AGT’s city platform, creating highly scalable integrated solutions supporting hundreds of thousands of sensors in one system. The alliance has a roadmap of integration between the two companies that will be delivered over time, and the companies will build research and development labs to test integrated solutions to support customers.
“Cities are growing at the rate of 10,000 people per hour,” Elfrink said. “But through the Internet of Everything and advanced analytics, we can transform that challenge into an opportunity to revolutionize urban living.”
Kochavi added, “This is about creating a safer and more prosperous world, not for a few but for everyone.”
Learn more on The Cisco Platform:
The Metropolis of Tomorrow – Enhancing the Daily Lives of Citizens and Cities
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com
About AGT International
AGT International is a privately held technology company based in Zurich, Switzerland. AGT provides strong analytics and prediction software solutions that connect to a wide variety of devices and sensors, including social media. These solutions enable customers to sense the world, analyze complex environments, and predict events with a focus on providing return on investment.