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Omni Channel Retailing—Connecting Anytime, Anywhere, Even at 30,000 Feet

At the National Retail Federation conference and expo this past week in New York, Cisco released its latest study on how consumers are hopping across multiple channels and how retailers can catch ‘Em and keep ‘Em. On my way from San Francisco to New York this week, I was shopping at the airport and did an e-book purchase and downloaded it to my tablet using the onboard wireless Internet service at 30,000 feet.

Think about the impact of this new consumer reality to retailers such as Sport Chalet, who needs to build a strong foundation to support customers anytime anywhere.

Sport Chalet CEO, Craig Levra, and CIO, Ted Jackson, discuss how they are satisfying shoppers and improving operations with Cisco technology.

Some of the capabilities that retailers need to provide going forward in the omnichannel world include:

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Medianet – Horizontal and Vertical Integration

medianet network architecture for videoMedianet is the architecture for video and the architecture has two very simple concepts:

  1. Horizontal integration:
    Deliver a consistent experience
  2. Vertical integration:
    Build intelligence into the network

Learn more.

From San Jose to London

The new year 2012 brings new expectations and changes. The city of San Jose, for example, enacted a ban on plastic bags at grocery stores and other retailer check outs. In response, residents and approximately 5,000 retailers are all adjusting to this new experience, making San Jose the largest U.S. city to ban plastic carry-out bags. Apparently San Jose, along with many other cities, is determined to avoid perpetuating the history of urban area pollution.  The environmental destruction has plagued so many places, including the River Thames in London which was declared “biologically dead” in the 1950s.

From environmental movements (Bring Your Own Bag – BYOB) to business trends (Bring Your Own Device – BYOD), Read More »

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Why Cisco, Not Juniper? OpEx, CapEx and the Frankenkluge in the Branch Office Closet

One of the great things about being at Cisco HQ in Silicon Valley is the wonderful diversity we have here. Although you don’t really get seasons you do get an awesome mix of people. A recent stroll around the lake at Shoreline Park revealed people speaking English, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi and some other languages I could not identify. Similarly sushi, butter chicken and naan, pho, bulgoki and bahn mi are all easy to find for the diversified, international foodie.

However, when I go out for Indian food with my friends, they almost always insist on going to a buffet in Mountain View called Passage to India. Partially because they usually have a huge assortment of “desi-chinese” dishes such as Gobi Manchurian and Chilli Chicken but largely because they see the buffet being a tremendous value. Little chicken tikka masala, little tandoori, little goat curry, some gulab jamun – enjoy them all, they are all included in a well integrated package. A la carte approaches make it hard to enjoy such variety, as each additional dish is usually priced like the main part of a meal.

Reminds me of the whole Cisco vs Juniper thing for the branch.

We took a look at the cost of building a modern, secure, integrated services network for the branch, incorporating the functionality and services that you would want in a new branch deployment, you know, things like security (firewall, IPS, VPN), video, server virtualization, WAN optimization, video optimization, 4G backup and Unified Communications. Doing all this with Cisco was pretty easy, all you need is an ISR, which we spec’ed out as an ISR 3945 for our hypothetical 150 person branch (with a 45Mbps WAN bandwidth). Implementation was cheap and easy, particularly when you consider all the capabilities that you were getting.

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High-Performing Virtual Private Network Makes Life Easier

As a medical clinic, Valley Sleep Center needs to maintain HIPAA compliance and also allow employees to review confidential patient records. Overhauling its antiquated VPN technology, the company implemented a high-performance Cisco VPN solution.  Learn more in this short video.