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Tidal Software Authors: Liz McMillan, Douglas Mackinnon, Wayne Greene, Maureen O'Gara, Pat Romanski

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Cisco Virtualization Journal: Article

Cisco Pushes ‘City-as-a-Service’

Cisco has taken a piece of a really ambitious grid-turned-cloud company in Oz called Majitek

Cisco has taken a piece of a really ambitious grid-turned-cloud company in Oz called Majitek that intends to turn all the devices and systems in an entire city into money-making utility services.

This, it appears, is "intelligent urbanization," especially in emerging markets, and is supposed to make for better city management, better quality of life and real economic development.

Cisco claims that it represents a "major market transition" and "whole new multibillion-dollar industry" considering that 500 million people will move to cities in the next five years and 60% of world's population will be living in cities 10 years from now.

So it has just kicked off a global initiative to make the network "the fourth utility."

Cisco figures it can capitalize on this mass migration and will focus initially on sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, energy, healthcare and education.

Cisco's chief globalization office Wim Elfrink is telling governments that a city of five million can add $15 billion in revenues and some 375,000 jobs over the next 20 years with intelligent urbanization.

It's apparently talk like that's gotten Cisco a memorandum of understanding with the city of Incheon in Korea to work on so-called "u-City" technologies and a pilot program with one of the states in India to use the city of Bengaluru as something of a Petri dish. Tata Consultancy Services will build a new practice to push the Cisco widgetry.

Anyway, getting back to Majitek, Cisco just went in on a $7.5 million B round in the Australian outfit whose other investor is Pierce & Pierce, an equity house.

Majitek is supposed to work with Cisco's Globalization Center in Bangalore to refine its software platform for the real estate sector as well as transportation, smart grid and safety and security.

The company says its Service Delivery Platform can enable next-generation telecom companies, utilities and managed service providers to deliver any digital service to any digital device over any digital network, all managed through a single customer account and paid on a single bill.

Majitek is already taking its widgetry to Dubai and into the so-called connected real estate market. ‘

Dubai, it appears, is the epicenter of a multi-trillion-dollar Middle Eastern property industry and the company has just hired a new CEO, Bernie Devine, a property industry veteran with experience in Dubai who has designed and implemented operational infrastructures for developers of large buildings, campuses, gated communities and entirely new cities - mostly recently the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the man-made island in Dubai.

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago Cisco closed on another acquisition that will feature in its intelligent urbanization drive.

Richards-Zeta Intelligence has the middleware to translate building infrastructure data from power systems into an IT-friendly format that integrates with existing applications over the network.

Cisco's already got or soon will have the Catalyst switches that can measure, report and reduce the energy consumption of IP devices such as phones, printers, laptops, video surveillance and wireless access points.

Buildings switches are due early next year - lights, elevators, air conditioning, heating, fire alarms, employee access systems - all with a low-carbon "EnergyWise" intent.

Cisco's also got a couple of video surveillance acquisitions to throw into the mix.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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