IBM's Watson getting into Cisco's routers

IBM and Cisco have signed an agreement to push each other deeper into the Internet of Things (IoT) business, but it's a somewhat unusual deal.

There is no money directly involved in the deal, or specific goals that need to be met. Rather, the two companies will have their sales team try to bring in as much IoT work as possible, and hopefully that will give a boost to the other company as well.

Here's what they agreed on doing: IBM will integrate its Watson supercomputer into Cisco's routers and switches already running Cisco analytics. Watson will then collect and hand off analytics data.

The overall goal is to have routers and switches that are better managed, data analytics that is more insightful, and a Watson artificial brain that will get that much smarter.

“While we have a focus on Watson as a cloud-based system, for certain clients with remote or autonomous operations we need something else,” Harriet Green, GM, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education said to Tech Crunch. “Shipping, mining and many factories all operate at the edge of the computer network, where bandwidth might be expensive or unreliable.”

So basically, there is a growing problem with IoT devices in remote places, and the two companies are trying to solve it. Among the first customers of the new deal are Bell Canada, the Port of Cartagena, and Silverhook Powerboats.

The deal is not exclusive, meaning we could expect other, similar partnerships, from both companies. It is, however, the first deal of its kind.

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