“If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.”Jeff Bezos
In today’s business climate, any sector that has doubled revenues in the past five years is considered a wonderful outlier to the economic norm – particularly in an industry as big as fashion retailing. How are they doing it? By changing the business model and selling more on-line. In fact, according to the Telegraph, over one third of all consumers have purchased clothing over the Internet in the past year, a 26% increase over the previous one.
So how can savvy retailers build on this momentum and do it again? By taking the on-line experience to the next level. Here’s one likely future of shopping experience solution. And you can see it only at Cisco Live! July 10-14 in Las Vegas:
Imagine being able to shop virtually from anywhere much more quickly and efficiently. No more crowded, clunky dressing rooms, or trawling racks of jumbled clothes in a sprawling megastore. No more changing ten times to find the perfect color combination. Simply scroll through the menu to see an unlimited amount of inventory in one place, and see how it looks on you virtually using the latest augmented reality and network technology.
“…at today’s rate of change, we will achieve an amount of progress equivalent to that of the whole 20th century in 14 years ….” - Ray Kurzweil
Evidence and theories on the increasing rate of change are everywhere. From Moore’s Law to Haitz’s Law to Metcalfe’s Law, most experts agree that the speed, and therefore the value of networks, is increasing exponentially, as is our dependence on them.
With more business, culture and innovative value riding on our networks than ever before, I.T. managers everywhere are feeling increasing pressure and responsibility to keep things running smoothly, and yet they’re geographically more challenged as organizations expand globally.
Fortunately, cloud technologies are addressing some of the I.T. challenges associated with provisioning new applications remotely. For example, you can now deploy and run the most common Microsoft Window services such as file and print sharing, DHCP, and DNS, as well as many third party applications, on a blade integrated into the router itself. But I.T. needs more than virtualized services – they also need remote visibility and performance management to ensure that everyone on the network – particularly branch employees and customers – are getting maximum value and responsiveness from cloud-based applications.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, World IPv6 Day is June 8. Many companies will participate, including Cisco. In fact, we’ve got a full day of festivities planned. From the Running of the IT Admins to the Fire Walking Of Threat Researchers, it should be a fun day.
To answer any last-minute questions and assuage your completelyfoundedanxieties, we’re having an IPv6 TweetChat on June 6. Think of it as a nice way to ease into your morning if you’re on the west coast or a random amusement if you’re elsewhere.
TwitLatin With Bullhorns
What’s a TweetChat? Very simple. If you’re on Twitter, you ask and answer questions and add a hashtag somewhere in your tweet to identify it as part of the conversation. You can keep an eye out for others using this hashtag (via search) and see the flow of the conversation. For this chat use #IPv6Chat.
On the day of the event (June 6 – Monday! At 9-10am PDT), you can follow the conversation with hashtag #IPv6Chat on any of your favorite Twitter clients or directly on Twitter. <http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23IPv6Chat> We will also be giving away 25 t-shirts to customers who ask questions. Read the full terms and agreements.
If you’re too excited about IPv6 to wait till June 6, you can check out Cisco’s very own IPv6 page, or review some of the blogs written by my very talented colleagues.
After months of anticipation, World IPv6 Day is nearly upon us. Network equipment vendors, network service providers and networked enterprises have all diligently prepared and for twenty-four hours on June 8th we will all get to experience the fruits of that labor when more than three hundred websites offer their content using IPv6 in addition to IPv4. If everyone has done their job right, what do we expect to happen?
That’s right. The best outcome of World IPv6 Day would be a completely unchanged end-user experience, regardless of the fact that they now can use a new underlying network protocol.
Get Ready for Nothing
In order to best ensure that nothing happens, IT professionals should seek out latent IPv6 problems that may suddenly manifest themselves when so much IPv6 traffic appears. What steps should you take to ensure that you experience nothing?
Even if the visitor can achieve the coveted check mark on that banner, it would not hurt to conduct a few more tests.
Compared to the people who have been without a home over the past several months through floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornados, it sounds rather trivial. I was only dealing with some renovations which involved moving my home office and waiting for the cable guy.
Still, to my 7 and 9 year old, not being able to connect to Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin was a big deal. As for me, I managed to get by, tethering to my iPhone and physically going into the office more than usual.
But it got me thinking about our reliance on the physical and what that means in the context of the cloud.
Following the floods up in Queensland, Australia, I heard a story about a cloud-based managed service provider. As the floodwaters receded, they hired a bunch of sales folks who went around to every small office and retailer in the region and told them to call before they spent their insurance money buying new computers. Why buy a bunch of servers to run MYOB or Quicken and risk floods, fire and theft, when you can run everything including your POS out of the cloud?
But when you don’t have an Internet connection, the cloud is of little use.
Of course, when you hit that exception, knowing exactly how your business will continue to run is crucial.
Clearly, there are trade-offs to be made. Without an Internet connection, I can’t access my cloud based applications and data, but neither can I send and receive email or verify credit card transactions. What do I need to be able to do even in an offline state, and what applications are useless to me unless I’m online?
What are the options for WAN redundancy? When I learned about the Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis, I knew my friend was safe was from his Facebook postings. While he didn’t have power, his phone still worked. For individuals, perhaps tethering is the right solution; for a small branch, 3G backhaul as a failover option in the router may be more cost effective.
Ultimately, the answer will be that there is no single answer. Not only is every business different, but each application and its use will be different. It’s only when you take stock of those applications that you understand where your own requirements lie.
I needed to stay connected to do my job while the renovation work was being done. But my kids… they read a book instead.