Congratulations to all those Cisco employees and partners who made the Digital Ceiling a reality. Last week, Cisco Systems was awarded the “Best Tech Innovation” Intelligent Buildings for their efforts on the Digital Ceiling. I want to express my gratitude and congratulate all those people who worked so hard behind the scenes for many years to make this award a reality. It’s great to watch a new product move from inception to adoption. It was my pleasure to have a picture taken with the award along with early fellow team member, Bill MacGowan.
I formed the digital ceiling team (called LaaS) nearly 8 years ago after a discussion with Christophe Metivier—who became the first Cisco executive sponsor. Roger Karam joined to help with circuit design and other engineering challenges. Don Schriner and Luis Suau migrated from the EnergyWise efforts to help expand the team’s reach. They continue to drive the vision and serve as trusted advisors to partners around the globe. Mike Siefer joined from the CTO office to serve as system architect. Bill MacGowan, Solution Architect extraordinaire, joined from the Cisco Canada office. Soon after Ray Rapuano joined for a time. He was followed by John Parello and the UK development team. The UK efforts were led by Gareth Macnaughton and Dr. Maria Slowinska. Early partners included Chris and Lisa Isaacson of NuLEDs, Joulex CEO Tom Noonan, Joseph Bruner and David Prantl—they built the first app. Other partners included Jerry Handsaker of Innovative Lighting. Dwight Stewart of Igor Tech. They were followed by Cree, Molex, Philips, amBX and many others. Always present was the great team at Microchip: Joe, Greg, Steve and many others. Todd Freders volunteered to help from Des Moines.
Four years ago the science project moved from proof of concept to market validation. The team expanded to include Peter Wells and Manish Kapoor. Peter was our sales leadership champion and coined the phrase “Digital Ceiling”. Manish was the most masterful financial modeling expert with whom I ever worked. Both did an outstanding job to amplify the cause. During this time Bob Cicero and Aaron Lovejoy joined from the NYC sales office.
Many other people deserve thanks for their contributions. These folks provided invaluable guidance and support. They include Bryan Burkhart, Jim Kavanagh, David Cox, Tirth Ghose, Jim Grubb, Scott Neuman, Ali Ahmed, and Ned Bagno, Gary Bark, Chris Lonvick, Mark Webb, and John Apostolopolis, Ravi Amanaganti, Rob Aldrich, and Monica Shen Knotts.
I’m pleased to see Cisco continue to lean forward. Mike Siefer and I, along with the rest of the Platformatics team, look forward to continuing to partner with Cisco to help them build the software and hardware necessary to execute on the vison developed over a decade ago. We’re excited to create new opportunities for everyone in the IoT industry—Customers, suppliers and partners. We expect to see many more awards made across the industry that recognize outstanding contributions in IoT. The Digital Ceiling is just the start.
Image – Matt Laherty, founder of Cisco’s Light as a Service team (now branded the digital ceiling) and early team member Bill Macgowan, stand in Cisco’s booth at Realcomm to show off the award for best technology innovation of the year (Digital Ceiling)