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IBM, Cisco add Watson to edge

Cisco and IBM said they’d work together to add Big Blue’s Watson artificial intelligence and analytics technology to Cisco’s edge devices.

The alliance reflects Cisco’s strategy to push more intelligence to the edge of the network, eliminating the need to push the data to the cloud, said Mike Flannagan, Cisco’s vice president and general manager, data and analytics group.

“The combination of these technical capabilities provides the flexibility of processing and analyzing data everywhere, at the edge and in the cloud, so it can be leveraged in time and context as the business needs to use it,” he said in a blog posted today.

Cisco has been beefing up its edge and fog analytics capabilities. Late last year, the company acquired ParStream, an IoT analytics company, to allow it to better process and manage the terabytes of data generated by remote sensors and other IoT components.

Adding intelligence to the edge

The addition of Watson will layer cognitive computing on top of Cisco’s existing analytics capabilities, giving Cisco’s edge routers more agility and flexibility in how they process and direct traffic.

MachNation analyst Steve Hilton said the partnership between Cisco and IBM should benefit enterprises that are looking for ways to analyze their IoT deployments. “Often enterprises choose not to buy an IoT solution because deployment and integration of the solution is worse than a migraine headache,” he said.

Cisco said three companies–Bell Canada, the Port of Cartagena in Colombia and SilverHook Powerboats in San Diego–are among early adopters testing the technology.

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