Cisco Sees $14.4 Trillion Opportunity In Internet Of Everything

For Cisco, the Internet Of Everything isn't a buzzword. It's a very real movement that's already in full swing, representing a major opportunity for both the networking giant and its partners.

Cisco CEO John Chambers spent his keynote address Tuesday at the Cisco Live event, taking place this week in Orlando, Fla., sharing some pretty remarkable Cisco statistics with the roughly 20,000 attendees at the show. Among them was the fact that the Internet of Everything -- or the increasing ability for people, data and everyday "things" to communicate with one another via the internet -- represents at least a $14.4 trillion market that's there for the taking.

It was a message Chambers also delivered to Cisco partners at the Cisco Partner Summit in Boston earlier this month.

[Related: 5 Solution Providers Placing Bets On 'Internet Of Things' ]

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"Three to five years out, our major move will be to become the No. 1 IT player together, and we will do this with partners and in conjunction. To do that, we believe the major transitions will be around the Internet of Things," Chambers told partners. "And we will spend a fair amount of time on how we challenge each other and look at that. But, it literally, in our opinion -- and I think this number will end up being very conservative -- is a $14.4 trillion profit market for our joint customers over the next decade."

Speaking Tuesday at Cisco Live, Chambers described the Internet of Everything as the fourth major evolution of the Internet, and one that is going to have a bigger impact on the networking industry than the three previous phases combined. By Cisco's standards, the first phase of the internet was connectivity, which involved basic Web browsers, email and search. The "networked economy," or the rise of e-commerce applications, marked the second phase, while "immersive experiences," like social media, mobility, video and the cloud, represented the third.

The fourth phase, the Internet of Everything, will drive connections between people, devices and everyday objects, with nearly 50 billion connections being active by 2020, Cisco believes. As a point of comparison, there were roughly one million Internet-enabled connections in 1994.

Of those connections, Chambers said Cisco expects roughly 45 percent of them being machine-to-machine, or connections that take place between objects without the need for human intervention.

"It's going to require much more effective teamwork and cultural changes than many of us realize," Chambers said Tuesday. "In fact, the easiest part might be the technology."

Cisco rolled out a number of new Catalyst switches and services routers earlier this week it said are optimized for the Internet of Everything and the new generation of applications that are set to rise with the trend.

What's more, at the Cisco Partner Summit earlier this month, Cisco said the Internet of Everything will present a new opportunity for Cisco and its partners to offer industry-specific services, as verticals like finance and healthcare start to embrace the technology.