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Realizing the Benefits of Internet of Everything for Customer Experience: Part 1 #IoE

We’re entering the age of the Internet of Everything (IoE), which is about connecting the Internet to the physical world (people, process, data, and things). We’re early in the process, with approximately 10 billion devices already connected. By 2020, Cisco projects that this number will reach 50 billion “things.” One of the key areas of impact identified in the Cisco Internet of Everything Economy report, “Embracing the Internet of Everything To Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion,” is customer experience. The report estimates that IoE-driven customer experience advances — based on increasing customer lifetime value and growing market share by adding more customers — will drive $3.7 trillion of the estimated $14.4 trillion of IoE Value at Stake globally over the next decade.
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IoE is enabling organizations to engage with their customers in whole new ways and to create new business models. IoE is all about making new connections possible: interactions among people, and between people and devices. It’s also about the ability of devices to communicate with each other, with applications, and with digital services, and then empowering those technologies to take action based on these communications.

When more of the world is connected, expect the delivery of your customer experience to shift beyond the boundaries of your current web and mobile sites, and past the walls of your offices and stores. New technologies connected to the Internet — including things like Google Glasses, IP-enabled lightbulbs, new gesture technologies, and sensors — will form the foundation of IoE. However, it is the data stream produced by all of these new connections that will have the greatest impact on your relationship with your customers.

With IoE, you will be better able to build customer loyalty and delight — creating emotional brand connections, personalizing the experience, and targeting offerings based on the data generated by IoE. Just think about what the IoE-powered future might look like across your customer journey.

  • Transform the process of building awareness and encouraging purchases,by bringing together data from various sources, including sensors that pick up signals to help anticipate customer needs. Target these customers in real time based on history, location, and activity.
    • Apps move from performing cross-brand product comparisons to enabling customers to determine where to find items based on criteria they set, including best price, product ratings, and the most convenient retail location to shop (automatically taking traffic and wait times into consideration).
    • Connected vending machines, digital signage, and other surfaces will recognize customers and deliver customized content at the point of need.
    • Items will be ordered on — and delivered to — a customer’s mobile phone, wherever it is located.
  • Post-sale, connect with the personal side of customers’ lives to help them achieve their goals. This will enable you to add post-sale value to create new revenue streams and drive new insights for innovation. Look for ways to be proactive, anticipate and prevent issues before they happen, or make suggestions that will improve a customer’s life.
    • Mobile devices or sensors react to the environment and are set to receive personalized messages placed by you or your customers’ social circles.
    • Sensors on clothing monitor customers’ health, enabling them to analyze and collect information about themselves, optimize their personal behaviors, and alert caregivers when there is an issue.
    • Connected cars move beyond monitoring an automobile’s performance to collecting data about customers’ driving habits, providing instant insurance quotes, and communicating with things along a route

These capabilities can be offered as services, and the great thing is they can be updated and improved over time. Companies like Nike are already way ahead with products like Nike Fuel. Nike has secured a role in my life around my fitness goals, and given all the history it has collected about me, I am not likely to switch to a competitor anytime soon.

If you want to be in a position to tap in to the potential of IoE, it’s time to get thinking about the role your brand will play in this new world. One of the first steps in designing your customer experience is good information about the needs and trends of your customers. Cisco is helping through primary research such as the Connected Customer Experience Report for Health Care, with more industries to come.  Please also follow us on the new Cisco Customer Experience Facebook page and Twitter for updated information.

In Part 2 of this blog series, I’ll provide specific details on how to get started in realizing the benefits of IoE for improving customer experience. In the meantime, I’d love your thoughts on how IoE will redefine customer experience as we know it.

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Investing in Reliability and Speed

In this installment of the “We’re Listening” blog series, Sheila Jordan discusses how our technical investments make a difference in your cisco.com experience.  Sheila is Cisco’s Senior Vice President of IT Communication and Collaboration.

Sheila Jordan By Guest Contributor Sheila Jordan
 
“That was faster than I expected.” How often has this popped into your mind during an online session? Probably not often enough, and the bad experiences tend to stick.

We heard your message: Make sure online applications are “always on” and run faster. To do that, we’ve invested in the technological muscle to respond, notably the Cisco Metro Virtual Data Center (MVDC). Here’s a quick look under the hood. Read More »

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Webinar: Eliminating the Guesswork with Optimized Architectures for VDI

4-19 Figure 1I’m excited to mention that next week I’m hosting a webinar on BrightTalk, with my guest Ashok Rajagopalan, from Cisco’s UCS Product Management Team.  You guessed it, we’ll be talking VDI, but more specifically, we’ll be exploring a new portfolio of architectures that are expanding the breadth of use cases and IT environments into which we can deliver cost-effective, easy-to-manage, high-performance virtualized desktops and apps.

I’ll be asking Ashok about some of the trends we’ve been seeing over the last year including the proliferation of flash memory based storage solutions and more importantly how Cisco is eliminating performance bottlenecks and delivering tier-0 (on-server) storage solutions for VDI, ideal for floating / stateless desktop environments. 4-19 Figure 2

Many customers we’ve met with are resonating with the ability to leverage server-installed storage footprint that offers expansive IOPS capacity, coupled with the simpler manageability through UCS Manager and Service Profile Templates.

4-19 Figure 3Additionally we’ll discuss how Cisco is delivering a full spectrum or portfolio approach to offering reference architectures that map more closely to the specific VDI use cases.  This expanded flexibility and choice is breaking down the CAPEX and operations hurdles many IT organizations face when implementing VDI.  We’ll also discuss the best-of-breed technologies we’ve integrated from our solution ecosystem, and how you can take advantage of new reference architectures that help eliminate the guesswork from VDI.

Join us on Thursday April 25th, to learn more, and ask us your questions about how these new reference architectures and help you deliver desktop virtualization with reduced cost, increased flexibility and greater simplicity.  Click here to register!

Cisco UCS – Quintessential Fabric-based computing – Part 3

April 19, 2013 at 10:21 am PST

In Part 1 of this blog series, we looked at Gartner’s definition of Fabric based infrastructure (FBI). In part 2, we explored the benefits of service profiles and automation of server management. In this last installment, we will look into the benefits of fabric extension to virtual machines.

According to an IDC report (New Economic Model for the Data Center), the rate of growth of virtual machines is much higher than physical machines.  The life cycle of virtual machines is more dynamic than physical servers. Virtual machines may need to be moved from one network to another for data access.  Additionally, typical deployments of virtual machines have an extra layer of switching in the hypervisor.  The software switches in the hypervisor emulate hardware at the expense of application performance. Cisco UCS solves these problems with the Cisco Virtual Interface cards (VICs) acting as adapter fabric extenders (fig 1) and bringing the network to virtual machines (VMs).

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Another problem is that network administrators have no control on the soft switches in the hypervisor, which makes monitoring of network traffic to individual VMs very cumbersome. Cisco VICs use the VN-Tag standard in IEEE 802.1 BR standard to manage each link from the VM as if it were a Read More »

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Bizarro On My Mind

April 19, 2013 at 10:00 am PST

Saturday morning wasn’t complete for me as a kid if it didn’t include a bowl of pre-sweetened cereal and time watching cartoons.  Challenge of the Super Friends was my favorite, thanks to its unforgettable opening sequence and the chance to see Superman, Batman and other heroes overcome the latest scheme by the Legion of Doom to take over the world.

One of the Legion’s intriguing villains was Bizarro – the imperfect duplicate of Superman with the blocky white face and backwards S on his chest.  Although the writers didn’t give poor Bizarro much personality beyond bad grammar – “Me have plan destroy Super Friends!” – my friends and I enjoyed debating how his backwards, bad-means-good perspective would express itself in everyday activities. Read More »

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