Cisco strikes IoT alliance to drive transportation agenda in Australia

Cisco has partnered with Downer Group to deliver combined IoT solutions to the transportation industry in Australia, through the specialised Kinetic platform.

James Henderson Jul 10th 2018
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Cisco has partnered with Downer Group to deliver combined Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to the transportation industry in Australia, through the specialised Kinetic platform.

Terms of the agreement will see both parties target commuters across the country in a bid to improve experience through digital technologies, chiefly data analytics, IoT and infrastructure.

Nestled between data sources and applications, Cisco Kinetic operates as a distributed system of software, streamlining IoT operations across three core data functions; extract, compute and move.

Specific to this project, the alliance combine Cisco Kinetic with Downer’s expanding transport business, with includes the building and maintaining of roads, rails and trains.

“Cisco acknowledges that central to the success of IoT implementation is the ability to leverage an ecosystem of partners,” said Kevin Bloch, CTO of Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) at Cisco.

“Downer represents an organisation that designs, builds and sustains assets, infrastructure and facilities, and is a leading provider of integrated services in our local market.”

In Australia, Bloch said transportation is an area of “strategic focus and significant investment” for the vendor, with plans already under the deploy new and emerging technologies over the coming years.

“Downer shares this focus and has a substantial transport business including the building and maintaining of roads, rail and trains, as well as the operation of public transport fleets across Australia and New Zealand,” Bloch added.

According to Bloch, the partnership includes joint solution development to address customer use cases such as safety and operational efficiency, alongside leveraging the Cisco IoT portfolio, which spans IoT data fabric, video analytics and cyber security.

“Together, we look to deliver IoT solutions that increase safety for the general public through the prevention of accidents and collision related deaths, as well as the offering of safe and well run travel alternatives,” Bloch said.

“Through the deployment of mobility solutions, we will also look to help people get from one place to another easier and faster, allowing people to be more productive.”

With more than 19,000 employees, Downer operates across more than 200 sites and projects, with strong presence in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Asia Pacific, South America and Southern Africa.

“Downer sees Cisco as the world’s leading hardware vendor that can support us, as we digitise the infrastructure that we operate and maintain,” added Jeff Sharp, group manager of technology and innovation at Downer Group.

“Working with Cisco enables us to provide our customers with world-leading solutions from a trusted partner, that can meet our industrial requirements.”

By partnering with the tech giant, Sharp said Downer is now well positioned to “build strong working relationships” that take the business beyond “traditional transactional relationships”.

“We are now able to work collaboratively on new solutions and use cases with Cisco, helping us to provide new and innovative solutions, taking the Downer service offerings to the digital age,” he added.

“We see this partnership as a critical component of our smart city deployments over the coming years.

“Downer is keen to maintain and grow our leadership position in this market, and the partnership with Cisco lets us tap into some of the best technology globally and deliver our customers smart infrastructure that makes life better for the general public.”