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Big Data in Retailing: Follow the Money!

Retailers looking at the Big Data opportunity may well find themselves with an array of choices: the opportunities seem so vast, where does one begin?

Well, a pragmatic way forward is to focus on some pragmatic possibilities and then “follow the money”!

In examining the Big Data opportunity for retailers, Cisco IBSG has identified three key areas where we believe value can be generated through Big Data analytics – and we have put together a framework for assessing and comparing the financial impact of options within these areas.

As outlined in our previous report, “Surfing the Data Deluge: How Retailers Can Turn Big Data into Big Profits,” three areas – video, social and mobile data –promise unprecedented insights into what consumers want or need, at the earliest stages of interest, and will drive the Big Data thrust in retail over the next few years. These three essentials not only represent a major stream of incoming data, but also provide an outbound mechanism to communicate with customers on a more personalized basis. In other words, they are both a source of Big Data analytics and a way of implementing Big Data insights!
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Counterfeiters Innovate Too

As Cisco’s Global Threat Analyst, my job is to look for what is changing around the world, and to explain why my colleagues in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry should care. Recently, I sat down with brand protection and anti-counterfeiting specialists to hear about what is changing in their line of work. They gave me a lot to think about.

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Help Customers Embrace Change with New Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator

Your customers want all the benefits that borderless networks have to offer; things like working from home, VPN access anywhere, and secure network access via any device. But how do you best walk customers through the costs, benefits, IT staff requirements, ROI, and the dizzying array of considerations around a sizable IT upgrade?

With a series of questions, scenarios, and analysis, the new Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator is a free tool that helps partners analyze customers’ IT costs and needs—whether it’s a future network deployment or a post-deployment ROI analysis.

By plugging data into the calculator, you receive a tangible list of benefits that a customer would see from upgrading their infrastructure (like reductions in help desk costs, increases in end user productivity, or energy savings).

Cisco tapped independent technology and market research company Forrester Research to create the calculator. Forrester gathered data from its research on Cisco Borderless Networks and the market in general, interviewed Cisco marketing and sales personnel, spoke with organizations offering solutions, and conducted a survey of 121 IT network execs.

How do I get access to the calculator?

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Mobile Service Provider Growth Priorities

As the Mobility industry converges upon Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, I wanted to talk to you about subjects we will all be talking about at MWC – monetization, optimization, and the video experience.

There’s been considerable speculation about the demands that are placed on today’s mobile infrastructure and how rocketing traffic volumes will impact the network operator’s business model.

We decided to explore service provider’s expectations for the ongoing development of the mobile Internet. More specifically, their thoughts on monetization and network optimization, especially around bandwidth-intensive applications, like mobile video.

So we commissioned a market research study that was recently performed by Heavy Reading.  Based on interviews with over 50  mobile operators from around the world (the interview subjects did not know that this was a Cisco-sponsored survey), here is a summary of what they told us (full report embedded at the end of this post):

Charting a Profitable Growth Strategy

  • Growing an active, paying, mass market mobile broadband subscriber base is seen as a pre-condition for more sophisticated monetization strategies.
  • Operators view “Tiered Services” as the most attractive monetization use case. This is especially the case in HSPA+ and LTE networks which now have enough capacity that operators can start segmenting their service offerings.
  • Other use cases that operators can use to drive data penetration and usage were also favorable viewed, e.g., group data plans and session/day pass or other time-based charging services.
  • Models that can help meet the dual goals of subscriber growth and generate better yield from existing and higher-end subscribers are most attractive. Maintaining a balance between those two objectives is, of course, preferred.

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