In a not-so-surprising move, Cisco lays public claim to the smart grid market

I returned from vacation this morning to the news that Cisco has officially declared its vision for grabbing a piece smart grid infrastructure.Is anyone really surprised by this?

I returned from vacation this morning to the news that Cisco has officially declared its vision for grabbing a piece smart grid infrastructure.

Is anyone really surprised by this? I mean, not only is there $20 billion in proposed spending floating around to support the buildout, this announcement was telegraphed pretty obviously by the company's EnergyWise product introduction just a couple of months ago.

The details of Cisco's strategy call for the company to build out an IP "communications fabric" from utilities out to businesses and homes. Its proposed technology is described here. The company plans to use its extensive network of integrators to help realize its vision, which definitely gives it an edge when it comes to competing with some of the more familiar players in this marketplace.

The full webcast of Cisco's smart grid proclamation, complete with a keynote from the company's CEO John Chambers, is at this link. In addition, you can read about one of the pilots that the company is already involved with, the Energy Smart Miami project. The company is hosting a smart grid customer roundtable on Wednesday, May 20, from 11 a.m Eastern to 1 p.m. Eastern. If you're inclined, here's the registration link.

So, here's my question. How long before we start seeing Cisco snap up some of the smaller players in this market? Note to anyone out there considering a smart grid infrastructure pilot. Ask LOTS of questions about the long-term viability of your technology vendor.