Greenovate! CISCO SYSTEMS Device Level Energy Management

Greenovate! CISCO SYSTEMS Device Level Energy Management  Real world stories about innovators and innovative companies are an important way to learn and we place high value on them at Innovation Excellence. We are very pleased to begin a series of case studies on companies who have been curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center) in their book Greenovate!

 CASE STUDY - BAE SYSTEMS - HybriDrive® Propulsions SystemsThe book Greenovate! documents 53 case studies that are defined by “sustainable, green innovations” (or “green ovations”). Each profile combines business innovation with a synthesized concept of sustainability, from startups to leading global organizations. The next case study in this special Greenovate! case study series is:

CISCO SYSTEMS – Device-Level Energy Management

Any electronic device connected to a corporate network can be individually optimized to consume less energy

INNOVATION

A system that can identify power consumption patterns at the device level and optimize power usage on an enterprise scale (instead of managing devices individually)

SUSTAINABILITY

The system helps firms create energy management programs and schedules that reduce electricity use and increase cost savings of any networked device

RESULTS

For small to mid-sized offices, Cisco EnergyWise can yield a 50% potential annual energy and cost savings as well as a reduced carbon footprint

DRIVERS

COMPETITION:

A powerful 2008 campaign by Nortel claimed companies were paying a “Cisco Energy Tax” based on the poor energy efficiency of its devices — the company wanted to respond effectively

TACKLE THE ELEPHANT:

The company estimated that IT and building infrastructure (like HVAC systems) use 96% of a commercial building’s electricity — relatively small improvements in IT power use could yield large absolute benefits

GOVERNMENT PUSH:

A 2009 survey found that 69% of data center executives said they were “extremely or very concerned” about government regulation related to energy use — preparing for the inevitable became a top priority

BARRIERS

SECURITY BREACH:

IT managers were wary of automating building systems and unifying them under one network management program due to the risk of attack and disruption of centralized systems

PROPRIETARY SYSTEM:

The original system did not work with non-Cisco devices or with building infrastructure, discouraging potential customers from making large investments in a new product that could lock them in

BETTER ALTERNATIVES?:

Implementing an automated energy management system is expensive and may not yield as much improvement as investing in more energy efficient devices and consolidating infrastructure

ENABLERS

PILOT PROJECTS:

Those with Cisco software and devices can upgrade their system for free to add and test software, thus streamlining processes before conducting a full roll-out

COMMITTED PARTNER:

Cisco acquired a technology firm with software that managed multi-party facility management systems — the technology was adapted to make EnergyWise compatible with many other devices in the market

HOLISTIC APPROACH:

The firm promotes EnergyWise as one of several related tools it can deploy with customers, including energy-efficient data centers and energy-saving work practices such as virtualization and Telepresence

IMPACT

STANDARDS CREATION:

Cisco is using its experience with power management and other efficiency measures to align public and private stakeholders through the creation of common measures of energy efficiency for IT products

CUSTOMERS:

By providing a clearer picture of power-consumption habits across an organization, EnergyWise is changing the way companies organize, deploy and manage IT infrastructure

RELATED INDUSTRIES:

Cisco’s entry into IT energy management created new opportunities in adjacent markets like smart grids where the company is actively developing partnerships push new industry standards

WHAT’S NEXT

After incorporating support for many types and brands of IT equipment, the company is now developing the capability to manage building infrastructure systems like HVAC and lighting which account for the largest share of energy consumption in buildings.

image credit: it.bentley.edu

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Tyler McNally, Ronald Jonash & Dr. Hitendra Patel are co-authors of Greenovate! — Companies Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World and members of the leadership team at IXL CENTER, the Center for Innovation, Excellence & Leadership at Hult International Business School.

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