Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) introduced data-analytics software packages that are designed to help retailers and other large companies make better use of Web-connected devices, from smartphones to connected bathroom scales.
The world’s largest network-equipment maker unveiled eight sets of programs for different industries and uses, according to a statement today. One package could be used by sports venues to shift concession workers to the stands with the longest lines, and another can help retailers make smarter decisions about where to display products.
Cisco has said the trend toward connectivity, which it calls the Internet of Everything, will unleash $19 trillion in new profits and cost savings globally in the next decade. Chief Executive Officer John Chambers predicted that $7.3 trillion of that will come via analytics software that makes sense of the vast amounts of data that will flow to data centers from personal computers, mobile phones and sensors embedded in all kinds of objects, from roads to light fixtures to factory equipment.
“There is a massive shift in the market where the remote device at the edge is quickly becoming an incredibly strategic tool to share and collect data, enable more informed decision making, and deliver the best customer experience possible,” Edzard Overbeek, senior vice president of Cisco services, said in the statement. “If customers don’t have the right analytics solutions in place to make sense of it, that data is useless.”
The San Jose, California-based company has been taking steps to boost sales of software and services, seeking to reduce its reliance on demand for proprietary hardware such as routers and set-top boxes. Profit margins on these products are projected to narrow in coming years, as customers switch to networks built on less complicated equipment running more sophisticated software.
“This is about Cisco moving more into software as a way to deliver value, rather than just through its hardware,” said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.
The data-analytics field has become increasingly crowded. Earlier this week, International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Inc. rolled out their partnership’s first business applications to help corporate customers use their Apple products to communicate and organize more efficiently.
Cisco shares have risen more than 20 percent this year, compared with a gain of about 11 percent in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
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