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With an eye on cybersecurity, Cisco relaunches smart city platform

Local governments are using the new tool as a convenient way to turn "small improvements into big impact."

Colin Wood
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Colin Wood Managing Editor

Colin Wood is the managing editor of StateScoop. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology magazine. Before that, he taught Engl...

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Networking and software giant Cisco has announced it is renaming and relaunching its smart cities data aggregation platform to represent increased cybersecurity and support for a wider number of applications.

The company's cloud-based software platform Smart+Connected Digital is now called Cisco Kinetic For Cities, it announced Tuesday. The change in focus comes as the company claims that 75 percent of Internet of Things projects are "failing" due to inadequate security measures.

"It's a solution that provides connectivity as well as analytics and security to multiple devices, such as sensors, streetlights, and video cameras," Cisco's Larry Payne told StateScoop.

Thirty-four cities are already using the platform, according to the company, including Las Vegas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Cary, North Carolina.

Cary, a municipality of roughly 162,000 people just west of Raleigh, is using the platform to tie together its growing host of sensor-based devices.

Cary Chief Information Officer Nicole Riamundo told StateScoop the municipality is using a "living lab approach," testing the technology on its campus and first building confidence in the solutions before committing to scaling them out.

The town's growing investment in sensor technologies grew out of a citizens' information services advisory board that recommended the development of a plan in which "seemingly small improvements could make a big impact," Cary Town Manager Sean Stegall says in a promotional video.

Today, the campus' IoT technologies consist of sensors that monitor parking availability, a software-enabled camera that tracks foot traffic, and remote-controlled lights that are not yet connected to the platform. Riamundo told StateScoop that using APIs has made it easy to integrate its devices into the platform and is expected to make management of a growing IoT ecosystem easier for government in the future.

"We want to be able to see it all in one place and manage that data and do the analytics in one place," Riamundo said. "And the platform allows us to do that."

The new technologies are supporting the town's downtown revitalization effort, which includes a new park. There are still five acres of the park left to develop, Riamundo said, and they will use the camera to monitor crowds and direct future development or adjust services and parking during events.

"I look at all the smart technologies and all the data we are able to gather and analyze as really the best mechanism for us as a town to make sure we are delivering the best services possible," Riamundo said. "At the end of the day, I think everything is going to be connected and I think the more that we connect technology, the more we connect as a community, because it gives us touchpoints with our citizens."

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States, North Carolina, State & Local News, Smart Cities, Tech News, Data & Analytics, Digital Services, Emerging Technology, Internet of Things, Software, Cary, North Carolina, Cisco, smart cities platform

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