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Podcast

 

Launching a Smart City Initiative

Round Table Discussion with Experts from Dell EMC, GDT, and the Smart Cities Council

December 18, 2017

Matthew Shea: Hello and welcome to the SAPinsider podcast. I’m excited to be joined by a cross functional team from a number of different organizations who are here to discuss smart cities. I’m excited to be joined by Jesse Berst, founder and chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Jesse came to the smart city sector from the smart grid where he was one of the pioneering thought leaders and chief analyst of smartgridnews.com, the internet’s oldest, largest, and highest ranked smart grid site. Prior to that, he was a well-known technology analysist and featured columnist at leading magazines including Computer World, Information Week, and PC Week. Working with Ziff Davis, he launched ZDNet's Anchor Desk which became the publishing company’s most popular and profitable internet property. Convinced that smart energy is the foundation of a smart ICT enabled city, it was a natural transition for Jesse to launch the Smart Cities Council and engage some of the world’s most respected technology companies to work with him toward a more livable, workable, and sustainable future. Welcome, Jesse. 

Jesse: Thank you so much. Glad to be here.

Matthew: Would you be able to tell us a bit about smart cities and in particular the GDT smart city solutions on Intel based Dell EMC infrastructure? 

Jesse: Well, sure. Well, I think what I’d like your listeners to know is that all over the world, cities are transforming. They’re becoming smart, sustainable, connected cities. They’re installing sensor networks. They’re collecting data about their city. They’re analyzing that data so they can make data driven decisions. And they’re delivering digital city services. So, rather than standing at line at the city hall, rather than waiting on hold on your phone, you can pick up your smartphone or open any web browser and get access to city services and city information 24/7. So, if you’re a resident of Singapore, you can sign on to a website called SingPass, single login. One password gets you access to more than 350 city services. Or if you go to Dubai, you can load up a smartphone application called DubaiNow. 

It’s available in Arabic or English. Access to dozens of city services right there on your cell phone – pay your taxes, pay a traffic ticket, plan your route, find the nearest gas station, and many, many more. In total, Dubai now has more than 1,500 smart city applications. And here’s the interesting thing – they measure their success by the happiness of their citizens. So, each year, they’re serving and measuring citizens’ happiness. That’s what they use to judge the success or failure of their smart city efforts. And that really is the key promise of smart cities – happier for less. So, if a city goes digital, it can spend less to make its citizens happier – to make them safer, to make them healthier, to make them more productive, to make them more prosperous. According to one British survey, it costs about 50 times less to complete a citizen transaction by a smartphone or web, to do it digitally, than to do it face to face. 14 times less than to do it by phone. And I think we all know this from our own lives. Many of us prefer to be able to do our banking and transfer some money into our checking account any time day or night using our smartphone or a web browser. So, it’s already a very large industry. Most of the market research firms say that this year or next will pass one trillion dollars in worldwide sales in the smart city category.

And to put that in perspective, the Chinese economy all in is maybe 10 or 11 trillion dollars. The U.S. economy may be 18 or 19 trillion. There’s basically four components to a smart city – collect, communicate, compute, control. So, you collect information about your city’s conditions using these sensor networks. And many cities already have sensor networks in their buildings or in their streets. Then you communicate that data to where [Distortion] Then you compute. That’s the big data piece, the analytics, the predictive analytics. And then you control. So, then you send signals back out through the network to tell that traffic light to turn green 20 seconds earlier, or that water pump to turn on, or that breaker to throw, or that thermostat to be raised by two degrees. 

So, there’s a number of reasons cities are moving in this direction. Certainly there’s many environmental benefits. It’s a much more convenient connected lifestyle. But also a number of cities are using it for inclusion and equity. And I’m not pretending that technology is the only answer to income equality and other challenges, but it’s the best tool kit we’ve gotten so far. And also, of course, many cities are using this for economic development – to be more competitive in this global economy, in this race to get jobs and talent. I think this was really underlined recently with the search for the next second headquarters for Amazon. And it’s no secret that they’re looking for a smart, connected, sustainable city. And the point, I think, is that thousands of other companies are using that same bar, that same touchstone, to decide where they go next and where they open their next office

And there’s also…there’s millions of millennials deciding right now where they want to live and work. So, if you flash black 150 years, 1867, what would you think about the prospects for a city that said, “You know this railroad network and transcontinental railroad and all this that’s about to be built, we don’t really care if the railroad passes us by.” Or flashback 100 years, 1917. What would you think the prospects for a city that said, “You know this whole Model T and these horseless carriages? I know most cities are starting to pave their streets and build parkings, and sidewalks, crosswalks, but we don’t think we’ll bother for right now. We’ll catch up later.” Or flashback 50 years, 1967, what would the prospects be for a city that said, “You know, we don’t really care if we have an exit off this interstate. We don’t need to be part of the interstate highway system.” Flashback to today, and cities must be on the information superhighway if they hope to succeed going forward.

And that same digital infrastructure that’s essential for commercial success is the same one that makes your city smart. It’s the same technologies that underpin it and give convenience and competitive advantages not just to your city staff and employees but to all your citizens and to all your business. So, I just finish up by reminding cities and citizens that I travel all around the world to visit cities and see where they are. And the world is not waiting. They’re not waiting for American cities to get started or catch up. They’re not waiting for your city to catch up. So, for the sake of your comfort and your convenience but also and especially for the sake of your future prosperity, it really is time for every city to start getting smart.

Matthew: Thank you, Jesse. I’d like introduce two of the other participants on this call Rob Silverberg of Dell EMC and Allen Sulgrove of GDT. Welcome, Rob and Allen.

Allen: Thank you.

Rob: Great to be here.

Matthew: What are some use cases and opportunities of a smart city? 

Allen: This is Allen Sulgrove from GDT. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here. The use cases from smart cities is many. I know that when GDT talks about smart cities, we like to talk about doing something small in scope to begin with. And when I say small in scope, I’m not talking about a proof of concept or something to get the gears going but more so to target a specific area like a park or a city center. So, some of the use cases that we immediately talk about is smart lighting. Smart lighting is important for multiple different reasons. One, from the energy savings standpoint, which is huge which could be up to 50%. And then as you put some of the smart lighting techniques on it, you can get up to 70%. But it also doubles as a security multiplier. So, now you have the opportunity to affect your lightings within your city parks, your city areas, your city streets based on things that may be happening in your city. For instance, if there’s a police incident, we can flash the lights red and blue. If there’s an Amber alert, we can flash them amber.

Another use case that we typically lead with goes around community Wi-Fi. Now, community Wi-Fi is a big piece because there’s a lot of benefit in the cities that I’ve been talking to about extending Wi-Fi access out to the community. Many schools with the cities I talk to supply the kids with laptops or tablets so that they can do schoolwork at home. But unfortunately, some of these children don’t have that access at home. So, extending out the community Wi-Fi has the opportunity to get internet to the places where the less privileged are and get those students the internet access they need. But again, it has another effect on that. With that community Wi-Fi, you also have the opportunity to get presence locational analytics.

That presence and location analytics tells you how long people are in places, when they are in places, are they repeat visitors. Then you put on a guest Wi-Fi network on top of that as you’re onboarding people to that Wi-Fi, you have the ability to get demographic information. So, now I have information that I can use within that city for multiple different use cases. From a planning standpoint… In certain cities that we’re working with, they’re using that presence and location analytics to do planning within parks. So, what pieces of the park are being most utilized, what aren’t. As we’re renovating parks, what can we do to make those parks better? If we’re looking from a services or a city maintenance standpoint, if I see my most high traffic areas…when those areas are high traffic, and I have to effect repairs in those areas, I can figure out when the best time is to do those repairs.

From a planning perspective, as I’m seeing that usage within my city, and I’m going from a budgeting/planning cycle, I know where I should spend the most money for places that are being over utilized, and I need to make some expansion in those areas. And then finally the security piece of it. Now that I have this present and location analytics from not only the Wi-Fi but traffic sensors, and people sensors, and so forth, I have the ability to make better decisions as a police dispatcher. So, if I’m dispatching units to a certain area, it would be great to know how many people are in that are at the given time. Then I can overlay data from the city on where previous police incidents have happened in that area to other data sets with the city. So, when I’m dispatching that officer, that one unit, that could be the difference between one unit if there’s only ten people there. If there’s a thousand people there, maybe we need to dispatch six units. So, those are a couple of the use cases that we immediately talk about when talking with cities.

Rob: Hi, everyone. This is Rob Silverberg with Dell EMC. I actually participate on the advisory boards with two cities that are interested in making that transition to smarter cities. And it’s interesting to hear some of the priorities within city government in terms of where they want to focus within the broad spectrum of smart city initiatives. And I see them sort of getting into several different categories. The first category is around cost reduction for the city – things like analyzing energy consumption, things like adopting smart streetlights or LED streetlights which can result in an immediate cost savings for the city. Another category is around increasing efficiency within the city. Whether that be improving traffic flow, identify traffic and parking solutions, or even online interactions with city departments. Another area of focus potentially is around public safety – how to make the city safer by leveraging whether it be video surveillance or sensor data to allow first responders to be more informed of incidents and be able to respond more rapidly and more accurately to those incidents. And lastly and very importantly is around citizen engagement where cities are looking to engage with the residents in the city to have that information flow go both ways and to benefit on both sides by that increased interaction.

Morten: If I can add… This is Morten Loderup with Dell EMC. I know Allan and Rob can speak to these use cases for hours, and I know Jesse can speak to it in his sleep. Let me just add one small use case that I’ve seen, maybe two. Smart buildings. Here Dell EMC has multiple campuses throughout the world. And on one of these campuses here in Round Rock Austin, Texas area, we added 5,000 sensors in one of our buildings to gauge electricity usage, thermostat, and presence in particular rooms to monitor building usage, and room usage, conference room usage and to be able to present how we can save on cost operating that building at the larger scale based on all that sensor information.

A second example is from the Houston area. And I know Houston and Florida have seen plenty of devastation from floods and a lot of rain water coming down in those two areas. And seeing it first hand and being there, if the cities had had flood gauges… And I know they have flood gauges, but to be able to monitor those flood gauges proactively or perhaps some instrumental panels within their dykes and damns, and be able to control the safety of their flood protection measures and to be able to add sensor data to those operating areas to add to the safety of those who were trapped inside of their homes and to be able to proactively monitor and rescue those individuals as the flood waters were preventing people from an escape, those type of additional sensor data can add significantly to the public safety of our citizens.

Matthew: Well, these use cases we’ve just discussed, how do they improve the municipality? 

Allen: This is Allen from GDT. There’s multiple ways that they can improve the community and the city at large. We talked about a few of the use cases. As we start to look at the data that’s coming in from IOT devices, Edge devices, sensor devices, we’re able to make better decisions from an immediate standpoint, a real-time standpoint, to further bigger picture budgeting and planning standpoint. So, a lot of decisions that we’re making from a services level, a law enforcement level, a city council level, we now have a lot more data than we’ve ever had before. And by leveraging a lot of these smart city devices, IOT devices, these Edge devices, we get a lot more color and context when we make those decisions.

Now we’re not just making decisions based on what our service log looks like for a specific year and where we’re going to spend our money. Now we can look at that information along with the information that’s coming from the Edge devices, the IOT devices, with information that’s coming from social media. So, now that…when we have all these different data sources together in one common information model, it gives us a lot more weight when we’re making those decisions. So, that’s one of the immediate benefits for a city as a whole. And then I believe Jesse talked about this is community satisfaction. These different technologies are becoming table stakes for our cities. When people go to places, they expect to have Wi-Fi information. If I want to go to a restaurant, or a retailer, or a city building, it’d be great to know their hours they’re open which is, again, table stakes.

But if I can also look at their parking lot information and see that if I go at 10:30 in the morning, the parking lost is going to be relatively empty, that means I’ll probably get services faster. As I come into the city, I’d like to know what’s going on in that. As we’ve looked at most of the city municipal websites, they’re really kind of lacking. So, now we have different opportunities to communicate with our communities, with our citizens via digital signage, via guest Wi-Fi information. And then as we’re getting more and more context of who’s in our city and when they’re in our city, and what their demographic is, now we can specifically push different advertising, different information pieces to it. So, those are a few of the benefits I see right out of the box.

Rob: I’ll follow on to that. This is Rob. What I’ve seen is cities taking advantage of data to make better decisions when it comes to either use of city resources or city personnel. The data that they’re able to leverage is real-time data that they’re getting from the sensors and other IOT devices. And those…the data that they’re gathering can be used to generate dashboards. So, having those dashboards that are available to city leaders, city managers, as well as specific departments within the city to identify really what’s happening that moment in the this city – is there a traffic accident, is there an incident that we need to be aware of, is traffic slow, going well , are there other factors that the city wants to monitor in real time so they can make the best decisions around how best to adjust say traffic flow or traffic signals, or where to deploy city resources.

The other area of value that I’m seeing is around predictive analytics. As you start to record data over time, and let’s say you’re able to gather information from several years’ worth of sensors or incident reporting, you can then become more predictive around where you expect to have incidents based on current factors. So, if we know that Fridays at five PM, we typically have traffic incidents here, here, and here in the city, and that’s even worse if it’s raining, or snowing, and a certain time of day, then the city can actually be proactive in either changing the way say traffic signals operate or potentially deploying resources to alleviate accidents that are eminent.

Morten: This is Morten. Back to the example of the smart building. You reduce building operating costs by lowering electricity usage, not having lights in rooms that don’t need to be lighted where there’s no people inside, lowering thermostats for rooms that are not used. And also you reduce the tax on the electric grid, reducing the city’s resources spent in a particular area, being able to use that electric power in other areas of the city where perhaps it’s more needed. And again, for companies, reducing cost is equal to greater profits.

Matthew: What are some of the roadblocks that are preventing municipalities from moving forward on a smart city imitative? 

Allen: This is Allen. I’d say one of the big issues that I’ve seen is financing these operations. I think there’s a desire there, and there’s definitely a willingness to move forward, but they have to consider the different financial aspects of it. Typically, this is not something that can come immediately out of a city budget. So, we have to look at different ways of financing these pieces. So, it could be a substitution type financing option whereas we’re doing renovation refurbishment of areas that…as opposed to going to traditional lighting, for instance, we move towards the LED lighting, to the smart lighting. The other possibility is private funds.

So, having investments from big services providers to sort of stoke the fire for these cities to show them how they can start improvement. Then there’s some more traditional ways of financing developments in cities, whether those are public improvement districts, tax incremental funding. That definitely puts a lot of weight on the private sector to do it, but we’re seeing a lot more of these urban developers willing to put that smart city infrastructure in. And the city is happy to work with them to do that. And then one of the things that I always try to talk to the cities about is a lot of cities are pretty good at advertising. So, if we show them different mediums of advertising and getting demographic information, and being able to share data, there’s a lot of possibilities to make a lot of these investment net neutral if not net positive.

So, that’s one roadblock I see. And then the second I would probably say is vision from the standpoint of when they start thinking about the cities, they think about, “Wow, that’s a lot of space. That’s a lot of lights. That’s a lot of this, that’s a lot of that.” On average in the United States, the average square mile area of a city is around 36 square miles.

That’s a lot of space to cover. And that’s one of the things that we talk to them about is start small in scope. So, again, start with that city park, those few blocks downtown, an area where we need more lighting. That way, we can start off with numbers that are between 50 and $250,000. Which a lot of times, for many cities, are below what has to go to city council. So, we can start being able to make those investments in the infrastructure. They’re seeing the ROI, we have it. That way when we make it to that next budget cycle, we already have tangible numbers and proof to go on to the next phase.

Jesse: This is Jesse Berst, Smart Cities Council. As we travel around, we see six big roadblocks. The priority order differs by region, but they tend to be the same. One is technology – what do we do. And there’s a lot of confusion, especially…and we’ve done a number of surveys of cities…especially about how to do it in a crosscutting fashion so that it can be used by more than just one department. I think that’s why it’s so important to take the platform approach that we’re talking about today. Then, of course, it’s financing – how do we pay for it. Then there’s policy – how do we regulate it to safeguard our citizens but also how do we unleash economic development. There’s lots of policies in place that were great for the past century that are now in the way of things like autonomous vehicle, and data privacy, and so on.

Then a fourth one is stakeholder engagement. And I see a lot of cities fall down here. How do we bring all of our citizens are stakeholders, external stakeholders, too, to the table and partner with them affectively with them right from the beginning. This is just governance. How do we organize ourselves? How do we get our department to collaborate after 100 years of working in silos? And who is allowed to update the data? Who’s required to update the data? How about change management, all of those kinds of things? And then finally, infrastructure. The two pillars of a smart city are a clean, reliable, resilient electric power system and city-wide communication. And so many American cities, if you look at a map of their coverage, they’ve gotten big areas and underserved neighbors that have little or very poor connectivity. And without that essential infrastructure in place, you can’t be a smart city. Or you might be able to have a few smart neighborhoods, but we don’t want smart cities to turn into just walled gardens for the affluent. So, those are the six biggest roadblocks we’ve noticed.

Rob: And I’ll add to that. Thank you very much. This is Rob. We’ve had some very interesting discussions with cities around their roadblocks specifically related to data and some of the challenges that they faced with the growing IOT data streams and other data streams that are coming to the city. The challenges that they have is that the amounts of data that they potentially will be receiving are massive in terms of the big data problem. The other challenges that a city has often is data silos. So, if each department has its data systems, and those data systems are not made available, then you end up with siloed data problems and the inability to leverage those data sets for either city-wide usage or even open data needs.

So, where we’ve been focused on helping cities overcome challenges is around data architecture to handle both the volumes and variety of new data types that are coming in as well an architecture to promote data aggregation, data sharing, and making data available to analytics tools and dashboards.

Matthew: How does the GDT smart city framework alleviate these challenges? Can you take us through some of the components that make this possible? 

Allen: Absolutely. So, this is Allen from GDT. The reason we put together the framework is because we want to provide a holistic solution for the cities that we’re working with. When we start at the bottom edge of this, we take a look at just the sensors, the Edge devices. One of the things that we immediately saw was that they were interested in certain devices, they were interested in certain sensors, but they didn’t understand how to get the information back. And the other piece of that is when they did start doing it, they found that they had a lot of issues at the edge of their networks. So, what we provided was a certifying network architecture that was able to scale up and scale out to meet all their current needs from their Edge devices, their IOT devices, their sensors, but also be able to scale out for tomorrow and on to the future. Then the next piece was providing a connected digital platform which allows a centralized command and control at the edge.

So, as opposed to having to work with many, many different portals and websites for all these different and new devices they were getting, we centralized that in one place so that we could have one integration point where we could not only get information from those devices but also be able to control and push back information. Which gave us the ability to pull that right into the data center where we can pull that into compute and storage. And when we did that, we put that into a common information model. And what that common information model means is all these different devices at the edge are talking different languages. They’re in different formats. By putting it into a common information model, we’ve been able to do a lot of analytics on it – do data processing, dashboarding.

So, we can look at multiple pieces of data in one places. So, I can look at parking information along with traffic analysis, along with police incident information, and all in one place, one dashboard. And that starts to get really exciting when you start laying on things like predictive analytics. So, not only am I able to see this information in real time, but as I start to get more and more information, I can predict things happening. We like to push to at least 13 months’ worth of data collection because that gives us year or year and seasonality of information. So, we know we’re going to have spikes around the holidays. We know we’ll see a lot of travel during the summer. So, we’ll be able to see via time series analysis and outlier detection any exceptions there that we might need to take notice of. Moving even further, now that we have all this information, now that we’ve done this reporting on it, and we’ve applied metrics to it, we can share this information with our community.

I talked earlier about being able to expose parking information to my citizens coming into the community. I can expose lighting information, how long the parks are lit up for. I can expose different events that are going into the city to my citizens. But not only to my community, not only my citizens, but also the employees. And there’s also the first responders. I’m getting all that information from the edge that they haven’t had the opportunity to use before to make better and insightful decisions. So, once I have all that together, now I have a holistic view of how I can approach it.

When we talked about roadblocks earlier, one of the things that I’ve seen most often is that the city will attach to one particular sensor – a parking sensor, let’s say – and then a smart lighting manufacturer. And then this and that. Well, then they have no way to…they have all these great things that are getting them their information, but they have no way to communicate together. So, that’s why we built this holistic framework. That way, we can take everything into account and get value from every piece of the investment.

Rob: I’ll add to that. This is Rob. What I think is very valuable about the framework that GDT has put together is that it addresses both of the data needs that cities are challenged with. The first need is around that real time actionable intelligence, getting multiple data feeds into a system, into a dashboard where they can be acted on in real time as well as supporting predictive analytics over time. So, as you generate those data streams, and they flow into the real time actionable dashboards, they’re also being aggregated into a big data predictive analytics component whereby you could analyze data across months but even across years and look at how you can leverage those data sets to be more intelligent and more predictive going forward.

Morten: This is Morten Lorderup with Dell EMC. The sensor of the GDT smart city framework is a Dell EMC data center. And part of that data center, Dell EMC has engineered, spent thousands of hours in making sure that we have systems that provide the computing, the processing, the infrastructure, the storage of these components. All of these things are available through GDT. You have the Dell EMC, what we refer to as Ready Nodes. These are built on Dell EMC power servers with the latest Intel ZM processors, and they’re delivered with analytic software like SAP HANA and certified for it pre-loaded at the factory. And we have ready bundles. These are analytics certified Dell EMC servers, and it also adds the storage and networking.

And then you can also use the SAP HANA in-memory database to ensure you when you do run analytics, it is extremely fast, and you can provide these smart city diagnostics analytics in real time. And then lastly, we have the ready systems which incorporates all of these compute network storage into applications and management software flexibility and includes the Dell EMC VxBlocks, the VxRail, and the VxRack solutions. Turnkey solutions for cities that want to have a running start. At the edge of the solution is the Dell EMC Edge Gateway. This was the first gateway to be certified for IOT by one of the biggest analytics providers in the world, SAP.

So, you have these certified radical solutions for customers to have turnkey quick to value solutions from the get go. I’d like to add, Michael Dell just announced at last week’s IQT Intelligence of Things IOT Seminar that Dell EMC is investing one billion dollars in R and D over the next three years. This is big. It also shows Dell EMC and Dell Technology’s commitment to IOT development, labs, and pilot programs and consumption models to enable the IOT revolution and transformation for cities.

Matthew: How can municipalities get started with a smart cities initiative? 

Allen: This is Allen. So, one of the things that we like to start with is what we call the digital mile. What it does is provide a clear starting point for cities in the journey to digitization on their smart city journey. And the way we do that is by providing a well-defined scope, clear metrics of success. And we start small in scale. We start by a park, a city center, a few city blocks. And then we have prepackaged technology components from GDT, SAP, Dell EMC, as well as Intel components that we leverage for this. So, we have package solutions with all the services, delivery, installation, as well as managed services that we can provide on top of it so it’s a complete turnkey solution for the cities. One of the things I talked about earlier is some of the things that we lead with in our digital mile bundles with the smart lighting and the community Wi-Fi. But we also have digital mile solutions that include parking with parking occupancy availability, traffic sensors so you can visualize congestion, crowd information for that presence and location analytics. Environmental sensors are a big part, too, so we can see real time outdoor air quality as well as toxic gas detection where we need that. Safety and security is also a big one. Our police forces aren’t getting any bigger these days. So, any ways that we can use real time video surveillances, video analytics. We can do detection, broken down video detection, vehicles in restricted zones, license plate recognition to name a couple of things. And the most important thing is clearly a centralized command and control where they have a connected digital platform where they can affect all these systems and a visualization tool where they can see things like the machine learning, the predictive analytics, and be able to predict things before they happen.

Rob: And I will say that how cities should get start does vary depending on the city. And my advice to the city that I work with is to solve a problem that is facing the city. And if you’re solving a problem, usually it’s a lot easier to get both city resources as well as the community aligned to solve that problem. And the problems that cities face to differ depending on their size and location. Some cities suffer from horrible traffic problems. Other suffer from high crime rates. And others are seeking to be more cost effective and reduce costs. So, as you look at the various projects in smart city use cases, my advice in my discussions with cities, I really look toward solving a problem that is on the mind of the city council, on the mind of the mayor, on the mind of the residents of the city. And focus on that one project and that one use case that solves the problem but in the context of an architecture that is expandable and siloed.

Morten: This is Morten Loderup with Dell EMC. I really think Allen and Rob summed it up pretty well. Let me just add a few insights from the infrastructure side. So, first of all, get with your GDT and Dell EMC account executive to plan a journey. As part of planning that journey, create a transformation team. Make sure you have the right players including the city leaders. The city leaders have to be on board. This can’t be an IT project alone. Make sure you have commitment from the leaders. Create a vision with milestones and success criteria. GDT is an expert at this and include infrastructure experts from Dell EMC. Plan funding resources to ensure the success of the project long term. This includes internal resources, hardware and software, and services. Define the roadmap and schedule what will be done when to implement the vision. Don’t run faster than your organization and budget resources have strength for. Set up a governing process to monitor, manage, and message to the public as well as internal stakeholders. And lastly, then pivot as needed and continue the smart city journey.

Matthew: Thank you, Rob, Allen, and Morten.

Allen: This is Allen Sulgrove from GDT. I appreciate being invited to join in on the podcast. Smart cities is a very exciting topic for me. It’s something that I feel very strongly about. And one of the things that I like to tell all the cities I speak with, we’re not talking about science experiments anymore. This is actionable. The products are out there. The use cases make sense. There’s ROI attached. So, we don’t want to talk about setting up a sandbox or an experiment. We want to talk about a phased approach, how we can introduce the technologies to the cities so they can move as fast or as slow as they want in a very methodical matter. So, again, appreciate the opportunity to speak about this and look forward to answering any questions. 
Rob: I’ll just say thank you again for this podcast, and I’ll say that all the successful projects that cities have engaged on are typically where there’s a partnership – partnership between the city and various partners and vendors involved that are joining together to deliver an outcome. So, it is our hope to be a part of that partnership and to work with cities going forward. And thank you very much.

Morten: This is Morten. Thank you for joining this podcast. Grateful to have Allen and Rob with us, as well as Jesse. And we’re grateful for all these pieces coming together to enable you as a city manager or city business developer…part of this great transformation exercise, we want to be there with you, and we can. We have the resources. So, we invite you to download the white paper that’s associated with this podcast: Smart Cities and Communities.

So, feel free to reach out to us, and we look forward to seeing you at the next Smart City Council Seminar or another Dell EMC or GDT Smart City event. Thank you for joining. Have a wonderful rest of your day. 

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