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Latest from Cisco EIR: Koriist and Cisco Harness the Power of IoT by leveraging the Internet of Already-There Things

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We have all heard about the immense value of the data that the billions of connected devices comprising the Internet of Things (IoT) transmit when they “talk” to one another. What about all the existing equipment that can’t talk to the Internet of New Things? How can businesses and government agencies tap into that same value for the networks and devices they’ve already bought and installed?

This is the question that drove Chad Trytten to co-found Koriist, the first company to join Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) through the EvoNexus incubation program. Koriist provides technology linking legacy, non-IP devices and networks to today’s modern IP-driven devices. The company enables network operators to use the derived data to transform their business offerings and operations.

As a student, Trytten focused on computer science and neuroscience, something that “sounds a lot like what machine learning is today,” he said. Wanting to continue in this field, he made a somewhat surprising discovery while working for another company early in his career.

“When I joined the company, I was excited about artificial intelligence – known as analytics now,” he shared. “I was trying to build AI and analytics stuff, but couldn’t access the information I wanted. It was all good to simulate things, but when I tried to use an actual device, I realized I didn’t know how to ‘talk’ to it.” He added, “And neither did any of my colleagues or coworkers”.

Curious, Trytten talked to others within the industry and found that this lack of communication was common. “No one was using real data for these analytics and control system demonstrations because there was no practical or cost-effective way to access it,” he said. “This was a huge disconnect in the industry’s ability to gather meaningful business-transforming insights from older networks.”

Koriist bridges this disconnection with StitchTM, the company’s signature software technology. Stitch runs on top of existing networks, securely and seamlessly interlinking the unconnected digital and analog infrastructure of networks in the field. In other words, Stitch enables legacy devices to talk to new devices. This not only enables a host of new features for deployed investments, it saves network operators the time and money it would take to replace the over 187 billion existing devices in use within industrial markets today.

Koriist’s technology has exciting implications. Take smart cities for instance. Ripping out and replacing every legacy system powering public services would be extremely expensive. In addition, system operators are wary of any potential disruptions to critical services like the power, water, and gas distribution. So, many cities go without the benefit of advanced analytics and other features.

Stitch would enable these various devices to connect and interoperate over distributed networks at a fraction of the cost and without the risk of service disruption.

“We can only talk to about seven percent of devices right now,” said Trytten. “So the common wisdom is that it’s necessary to destroy the old and build new. But we offer another solution with Stitch, making it possible to get the same functionality without tearing up and replacing existing infrastructure. “

“Our philosophy at Koriist is that it’s easier and more cost effective to talk to things that are there, rather than re-engineer entire systems from scratch,” explains Ron Wangerin, Koriist’s Chief Financial Officer and a long-time startup investor and strategist. “We give operators a better solution that lets them get more functionality and value from their existing infrastructure, which is a break from all the other vendors out there trying to sell them on costly conversions.”

A Boost from Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence and EvoNexus

Koriist had a compelling value proposition with their technology. Like most early-stage startups, to take their business to the next level, they needed introductions to the right customers and partners.

Participating in the CiscoEIR@EvoNexus joint startup program helped Koriist elevate their business profile, earn validation from one of the industry’s thought-leaders and work with like-minded partners. “We were able to meet and find the right people through Cisco EIR and ExoNexus, and those connections helped change our business model,” said Trytten. “We found people who want to do what’s best for the customer.”

He and his team are proud of the several real use cases they have completed to date interconnecting devices and networks – whether it’s water flow, voltage power, or temperature sensors – to extract meaningful data. “The true victory for us is demonstrating that it’s possible to cost-effectively get value from what’s already there without disruption,” said Trytten. “Similar to the brain communicating to the body and vice versa, that’s what Stitch accomplishes. You can have the smartest algorithms, but if you can’t reach the ‘things’ producing information, it means nothing. Analytics without real Data is a Dream. And yet, somehow this is our Reality today”.

Youtube video. Meet the Entrepreneur: Koriist.

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About Cisco EIR
Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence is a 6 month startup incubator focused on growth and distribution in the Cisco ecosystem.
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