Cisco Asia Pacific

Australian finalist in Cisco Internet of Things Innovation Challenge opens up about drones and flying robots

The Cisco Internet of Things Innovation Challenge is uncovering the next big innovators in technology, and out of more than 800 global entries one Australian company has caught the judges’ eye.

Francis Vierboom and Rory San Miguel made it into the top 19 of the Cisco Internet of Things Innovation Challenge with their company Propeller Aerobotics.

Propeller is an Australian drone business that is opening up the possibility for drones to be incorporated into existing business systems and software, so they can be used as a tool for data collection, and perform automated tasks.

We sat down with Francis Vierboom, co-founder and Director of Propeller Aerobotics, to talk about Propeller’s submission for the Internet of Things Innovation Challenge, and technological innovation in Australia.

Francis Vierboom

Francis Vierboom


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Living like the Jetsons in the Age of the Internet of Everything

“The Internet of Everything is allowing our world to become more like the Jetsons,” This pithy and tongue-in-cheek quote from Francis Vierboom, Co-Founder of Propeller Aerobotics, and a semi-finalist in the Cisco Internet of Everything Grand Challenge illustrates the magnitude of the Internet of Everything. The Internet of Everything was the topic of discussion during an international Telepresence roundtable panel discussion held across seven cities in three countries (Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) this week.

Each of the panellists at the virtual conference are all pushing the boundaries of what a highly connected world will look like, and each shared their unique points of view on an Internet of Everything powered world. The full panel included:

  • In Canberra – Roger Rooney, Senior Manager at Digital Canberra – responsible for leading Canberra’s drive towards becoming a leading digital city
  • In Perth – Greg Bader, Chief Business Officer at iiNet – works with cities in Australia like Adelaide and Canberra to roll-out free Wi-Fi, a key enabler of the Internet of Everything
  • In Auckland – Aaron McDonald, CEO of App La Carte – heads up a company that allows businesses to create apps in hours, enabling rapid adoption of Internet of Everything applications
  • And in Sydney – Francis Vierboom, Co-Founder of Propeller Aerobotics and semi-finalist of the Cisco IoE Grand Challenge for his use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The purpose of the panel, which was moderated by Ken Boal, Vice President, Cisco ANZ, was to update media and analysts in the region on the continued progress of the Internet of Everything, as it evolves from a concept to a reality delivering value across a range of sectors including Government, enterprise, start-ups and entirely new business opportunities not yet realised.


VCE Hosts Woolworths at EMC Forum in Sydney: Building Bridges Between Business and Technology

Last week at EMC Forum in Sydney, VCE Asia Pacific and Japan’s Chief Technology Officer Matt Oostveen hosted a session entitled “Past, Present and Future of Woolworth’s IT infrastructure Strategy” with Matt Chamley, Head of Infrastructure, Woolworths Limited.

Matt Chamley_Woolworths

Before inviting Australia’s largest retailer on stage, Oostveen provided his view that in today’s dynamic environment, business is starting to by-pass IT. The top reasons he provided for this were: Velocity, Skills and Rigidity.  Yet, Matt also offered a solution with his observation that “Different infrastructure models can drive different business outcomes”.  Which was a natural segue to Chamley’s presentation on how the Vblock is shaping Woolworth’s cloud adoption strategy.

The 15th largest retailer in the world, Chamley started off by describing Woolworth’s IT strategy as one that prioritises initiatives that can deliver an immediate return to the business (ROI) because of the nature of its highly cost-constrained industry.  Chamley also related the importance of building bridges between IT and the business and how as a result he drives the team with a lens towards how IT can best enable the business to move with greater agility and flexibility to respond more quickly to changing market conditions and support innovation as the business takes advantage of new opportunities.


Australian Security Experts Discuss “Enabling the Business Securely” at Cisco Cyber Security Day

Last week, Cisco was honoured to host a stellar panel of security industry experts that reflected a cross-section of industry, public sector and academia. The panel discussed the role of security and how the nature of what businesses are demanding is changing how Chief Information Security Officers (CISO’s) are managing security.

The panellists were across the board enthusiastic about the many powerful outcomes of a Digital Economy such as increased innovation and productivity. However, they also described an increasing “tension” between business’ desire to embrace new technology yet preserve the company’s reputation and manage its security risk profile.  A considerable part of the discussion focused on how this may be addressed by CISO’s building stronger alignment with the CIO as well as the different lines of business and working together to determine the right prioritisation of the security investment for the business.


The Internet of Everything Opportunity for ANZ Agribusiness

Author: Kevin Bloch, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco ANZ

Author: Kevin Bloch, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco ANZ

Don’t be misled by the almost jingo-ish new expression “The Internet of Everything (IoE)” – it is real, it is serious!

Large global companies such as Cisco, GE, Intel, Qualcomm and Google are investing billions as they recognize the potential to significantly and structurally change modern economies and every sector within them. Research firm IDC predicts that the shift caused by IoE will generate nearly US$9 trillion in annual sales by 2020.

A study by General Electric, which likened the IoE trend to the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, concluded that the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next 20 years could add as much as US$15 trillion to the global gross domestic product (GDP) – which is roughly the size of today’s U.S. economy.

By Cisco estimates, of the $19 trillion in IoE global profits and cost savings projected over the next decade, $14.4 trillion will be from new private-sector profits, and $4.6 trillion will come from public-sector cost savings and new revenues.

Cisco sees IoE bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before — turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

Cisco sees IoE bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before — turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.



Driving Malaysia’s Connected Transportation

The Internet of Everything is no longer a technological aspiration of the future; the possibilities are here and now.

A target under Malaysia’s Government Transformation Programme (GTP) is the improvement of urban public transport systems through added capacity, improved accessibility and enhanced connectivity. The government is on track to achieving a reliable, affordable, convenient and integrated public transport system in the Klang Valley, while  addressing the city’s chronic traffic congestion problem.


Top Australian University Win for Cisco and Amcom Shows how the Education sector is leading the way in Cloud-based Collaboration

A recent Frost and Sullivan report, ‘Australian Unified Communications Services Market 2014’, stated that the education sector is currently among the early adopters of cloud-based collaboration in Australia, and predicted to grow in 2014.

And today, right on cue, Amcom announced that it has signed a contract with The University of Melbourne,one of Australia’s premier universities and a leading member of Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet), to deploy Amcom Cloud Collaboration (ACC) across its entire University community.

We’re very pleased about this, and here’s why:

  • It’s the largest publicly announced contract of its size for Cisco HCS and Amcom ACC in Australia
  • It’s Amcom’s largest single Unified Communications contract to date
  • It’s the first university in Australia to publicly announce moving to Cisco HCS


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Raising the bar on Malaysia’s education

Malaysia can cultivate critical thinking and problem solving skills by embracing the power of mobile, visual, virtual and social at public and private academic institutions. These are essential components to integrate the spirit of innovation and creativity into the education system, driving the county towards fulfilling its developed nation vision by 2020. (more…)

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Cisco Australia and the Partner Community Come Together to Raise Funds for Special Olympics

On June 19, the Cisco Australia Partner Group hosted its 3rd Annual Trivia Night in proud support of the Special Olympics. A Gold Partner of Special Olympics Australia, Cisco is thrilled to announce that thanks to the 270 attendees from Cisco and our partner community, a mammoth $13,500 was raised and will be going to provide Special Olympics athletes with meaningful sports programs delivered within a supportive environment where people with an intellectual disability are accepted and can feel proud.

The night kicked off with a warm welcome from Special Olympics athletes including Andrew (softball), Garth (swimming), Beth (gymnastics), Bernadette (ten pin) and Gabrielle (athlete leader). We were also very pleased to have Andrew share his personal story on the skills he’s developed as he strives to win medals and the fun he’s had making friends. Having all the athletes join us for the evening made the event even more special and it was great to recognize some familiar faces from last year’s trivia night too!

Special Olympics Athletes


Cisco cements new strategic initiatives with Flinders University in South Australia

Last week Cisco announced partnering with Flinders University on several strategic initiatives, further strengthening our investment in education. Flinders University, based in South Australia, will be the host of a new academy in the campus’ Tonsley Park building. Here, Cisco staff will teach and train students in new and emerging technologies and latest developments in the digital space. This training will be able to be taken as part of students’ degree pathways.

Flinders already has a reputation as an emerging leader in the provision of digital health services and cyber security expertise. The agreement between the university and Cisco has led to the development of one of the world’s fastest Wi-Fi networks, which will lead to a huge new range of opportunities for students, staff and researchers.