Head Of Cisco's Internet Of Things Unit Steps Down

Guido Jouret, the longtime Cisco executive overseeing the networking giant's new Internet of Things (IoT) group, is leaving the company, Cisco confirmed Friday.

Jouret had headed up Cisco's Internet of Things group since the division's launch last year, helping to develop a range of new Cisco products, including ruggedized routers and embedded software for sensors that are targeted at the IoT trend.

Jouret's exit was first reported by industry blogger Brad Reese and later confirmed by Cisco.

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"Cisco can confirm that Guido Jouret, previously VP/General Manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things [IoT] business unit, is leaving Cisco to pursue a new opportunity," a Cisco spokesperson told CRN in an email. "Cisco Senior Vice President Rob Soderbery, who oversees Cisco’s enterprise networking and IoT groups, will assume direct leadership of the group."

Prior to leading Cisco's IoT group, Jouret was general manager and CTO of Emerging Technologies at Cisco. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was with the company for 20 years.

Jouret's departure comes as Cisco continues to tout IoT as a major opportunity for both itself and its partners. Earlier this year, Cisco said the Internet of Everything -- a close relative of IoT that involves all objects like cars and street lamps using an Internet connection to share data with each other and the people around them -- represents a massive $19 trillion opportunity between the public and private sectors combined.

In the nearer term, Cisco said the trend will represent a total addressable market of $27 billion for both itself and its partners by 2017.

Jed Ayres, chief marketing officer at MCPc, a Cleveland-based Cisco Gold partner, ranked No. 89 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list, said he doesn't see many immediate opportunities around IoT, but expects them to start sprouting up, especially within certain vertical markets.

"I think there are going to be spots in the market where, all of sudden, you can see how putting a sensor in can drive efficiencies or change the customer experience," Ayres told CRN this week. "There are certain industries like agriculture or health care where having those capabilities makes a lot of sense."

At its Global Partner Summit in March, Cisco highlighted a number of new IoT products, including a new line of embedded service routers designed to withstand extreme temperatures and other harsh environments. These routers, Cisco said, are ideal for vertical markets like manufacturing and mining, said to be two of the earliest adopters of IoT technology.

Cisco also said it would arm many of these new products with what it calls "fog computing" capabilities. Delivered through Cisco's IOx software, fog computing drives distributed computing capabilities to the edge of the network, allowing edge devices like routers or even IP cameras to manage and process data themselves, rather than having to push that data back over the network and into the cloud.

As the Internet of Everything continues to take form, Cisco projects there to be 10 billion Internet-connected devices by 2016, including machine-to-machine modules, and an even greater 50 billion devices by 2020.