Contemplating street lights in Madrid… Really??

By Charlie Latch  

It’s almost time to head to Madrid for HPE Discover 2017.  Recently, while chatting about my trip with a friend, the conversation took a very interesting turn.  While I’m thinking about the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, tapas and Real Madrid, my friend asked the strangest question: “How are Madrid’s street lights factoring into traffic congestion, pollution and public services?”  To be honest, I don’t think that much about street lights.  As we chatted a bit more, I realized that I should … we all should.    

Smart cities pix.jpgDid you know that street lights are central to many of today’s “smart cities” initiatives?  Sure they light the way and keep us safe at night, but in many cases they have evolved into quite the technological marvel, with sensors and networking capabilities collecting data to help authorities improve everything from traffic to air quality and crime.  Yes, the Internet of Things (IoT) we have all been talking about have invaded our street lights, and that’s a great thing.

Some of today’s proposed uses for IoT – especially those focused on health and safety – are extremely promising.  We have evolved away from the technology of IoT (that the geek in me loves) to an extremely positive way IoT initiatives now underway will create our City of the Future.

HPE and PwC are at the forefront of one such initiative.  We’ve created a joint Center of Excellence (CoE) in Kolkata, India that will advance development for future cities by capitalizing on IoT to create opportunities for cities to enable delivery of better services, greater security and improved civic engagement.  Both HPE and PwC recognize the need for – and the amazing power of - effective connection and exchange of information across a diverse range of devices and applications.  Our joint Center of Excellence seeks to harness that power by combining HPE technology solutions and services with PwC business strategy, process, people and change capabilities. The result will be a comprehensive approach that will help organizations accelerate business and societal transformations, and derive greater value faster from their IoT.

So again, what does this have to do with street lights?  One of the values of the CoE’s work will be seen on the streets of an actual City of the Future, as increased connectivity options and sensors on every street light, bus, trash bin and utility line allow municipalities to use their assets more strategically to reduce costs and enhance economic development.  Data gathered from IoT devices and cameras deployed across the city will be used to facilitate pre-emptive governance and improve city operations and emergency response.

So for those of you heading to Madrid, I suggest you look up and take notice. It’s not a street light, it’s an opportunity!  Then at the Discover event, be sure to attend the HPE – PwC session titled “Future cities put IoT to work for citizens and governments”. The session will be held on Wednesday, November 29, from 09:30 - 10:00 a.m. and is sure to impress.  We will be sharing what our CoE is up to and what the city of the future looks like today.

And while you are at Discover, be sure to also check out the other PwC sessions:

  • Public sector disrupted: Reinvention through digital transformation – This panel discussion focuses on emerging platforms that are enabling governments and examples of successful digital transformation. Tuesday, November 28, 11:00 - 12:00.
  • Why hybrid? Why now? - Discusses how PwC and HPE are uniquely positioned to deliver a digital service model that meets the speed and innovation demands of the new digital business. Tuesday, November 28, 11:00 - 11:30
  • Delivering Azure-consistent services from your data center – During this session HPE and PwC will cover the technical details of the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack along with best practices for deployment. Tuesday, November 28 11:00 – 12:00 and again on Thursday, November 30 9:30 – 10:30.

 I look forward to seeing everyone there, and apologize in advance if I bump into you while looking up and contemplating the street lights!

For more information on how HPE is powering future cities with the UIoT Platform click here. Information on the complete portfolio of solutions available from the HPE – PwC Alliance is available here


Charlie Latch 2016 - Square Web Resolution.jpgCharlie Latch is responsible for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise worldwide relationship with PwC, including executive relationship management, business management, global account team leadership, account development and coordination, and overall client satisfaction. Charlie’s leadership spans both the strategic HPE & PwC joint go-to-market alliance and HPE as a technology provider to PwC.

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