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Cisco Partners with Major Gas Utility Company to Develop IoT

The tech giant Cisco has just signed a memorandum of understanding with Snam, a major European natural gas utility company. The two companies plan to work together on research and development in the growing internet-of-things (IoT) sector.

Cisco has formally entered the IoT sector with a new partnership with Snam. Snam, one of the largest natural gas utility companies in Europe, will be working with the tech giant to make energy networks more efficient and intelligent. 

The overall focus is to optimize how digital infrastructure is monitored and maintained. The IoT promises to merge the physical and virtual worlds, creating ‘smart’ environments that drastically reduce costs. One example of this in action would be a thermostat or kitchen appliance that one can easily control from a smartphone.

Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, has said that his company would work with Snam by developing ‘cutting edge technologies’ like IoT, 5G, and artificial intelligence. However, one emerging technology is missing from Cisco’s equation — blockchain. 

Cisco may be developing IoT, but they’re not going to get very far without incorporating distributed ledger systems. Even Microsoft in their recent newly-released Azure series incorporated blockchain into its IoT development projects. 

Although not mentioned in the partnership, Cisco is, in fact, working on its own blockchain-based systems. The company has a division dedicated to blockchain technology. The platform allows enterprises to create decentralized consensus protocols for privacy, transparency, predictive models, and automated systems. 

So, it can’t be said that Cisco is unaware of blockchain technology and its many benefits. We should probably then expect that the tech giant will likely be incorporating some of these innovations in their IoT-related projects. 

Machine learning is necessary for IoT, but without a decentralized system that organically stores and processes this data, true device-to-device communication can never be fully realized. Blockchain is, in fact, the building block for an IoT future. 

Can IoT be successful without blockchain technology? Do you believe Cisco will be utilizing their blockchain research division towards IoT developments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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