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The journey to smart cities requires collaboration across technology vendors, and it is against this backdrop that ‘collaboration’ was the theme of the recent “Smart Solutions for Smart Cities Summit” hosted by Ruckus Networks and Westcon Sub-Saharan Africa last week in Midrand.

Working closely with industry partners, Pelco from Schneider Electric, Linkyfi from AVSystems, PTC and Siklu, the summit provided customers with insights on solution technologies and best practices, that can be used to build a digital infrastructure and deliver smart solutions for cities. Themes covered included a solutions map for location-based services, safety and security, security management, energy management and effective secure wireless connectivity for quality service delivery.

“The goal of a smart city is to enrich the life of the citizen through the provision of services that firstly empower them as an individual, and that secondly offer them digital access to technologies that support the day-to-day citizen services they need to tap into. Whether these are government or private,” states Riaan Graham, Sales Director at Ruckus Networks, sub-Saharan Africa. “The appetite for these services exists amongst our public and private sector already, but it is our role as technology players to create interoperable platforms based on collaborative solutions that enable these bodies to deliver smart cities without lock in or technology failings.”

The Summit was attended by a host of partners, resellers and industry players and an army of examples of collaborative solutions were showcased for cities, estates, smart homes, multi dwelling units and retail spaces. Collectively, the solutions offered insight into connectivity, IoT, data and device management as well as smart technology and smart applications within the smart city environment.

“Ultimately building solutions for a smart city needs to be done in partnership with a host of technology vendors and suppliers, there is no one solution that fits all. Which is why we have decided to create what we believe is the first collaborative forum for partners to engage and share their collective global experience to a local audience,” states Andries Janse van Rensburg, Ruckus Channel Manager at Westcon Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The sheer interest that was expressed at this event not just by the number of attendees but also by the questions they posed, highlights the need for better collaboration in this market. As Westcon we will continue to work with our vendor and reseller partners to help them better unlock the value that can be created from building better and smarter smart city solutions,” he added.