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Through the Internet of Everything, You May Never Have to Wait in a Long Checkout Line Again

We’ve all been there. A grocery store, a department store or even a coffee shop, standing in a long checkout line that hasn’t moved for what seems like an eternity. You ask yourself, ‘Is this purchase worth it?’ For one third of customers, the answer is no, if they have to wait more than five minutes. (Source: Brickstream)

But imagine if we could eliminate checkout lines? Well at Cisco – we have! In our latest conversation about the Internet of Everything, we’ve imagined more possibilities with our “Museum of Lasts” campaign – the last traffic jam, the last blackout, the last missed meeting – and yes, the last checkout line.

Increasingly, retailers understand the importance of having both a physical and digital presence – and how the power of the Internet of Everything will digitize those experiences. Thanks to technologies like predictive analytics that sense foot traffic and notify stores when more cashier lanes should open, as well as sensors on shelves that can identify inventory and automatically place orders when low, customers and retailers are becoming closer than ever before.

But will these technologies help retailers improve the customer experience? Will the Last Checkout Line ever become a reality? I believe the answer is yes. Last month, I shared results from a recent Cisco study that highlighted unique insights about shopping behaviors among U.S. and U.K. consumers. In this digital age, it’s absolutely critical for retailers to provide “hyper-relevant” experiences. Shoppers don’t want to be sent coupons for diapers if they don’t have children; retailers need to understand the reason and context behind each consumer’s shopping experience and react accordingly.

Some of the key findings from the study emphasized that shoppers do not want to wait in a long line. Seventy-seven percent said that they would use checkout optimization to receive estimated wait times, while 60% would scan product bar codes using their smartphone and then pay at a self-service kiosk. These are the types of digital experiences that shoppers are looking for – and will help eliminate the checkout line!

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Cisco Shows Oil and Gas Cost-Saving Technologies at Automation Fair

Cisco has been a prominent supporter of the Rockwell Automation Fair for a number of years. The relationship has grown over time to one where both Rockwell and Cisco collaborate on developing software, solutions and products for a wide range of both IT and OT (Operational Technologies) functions within industrial and other customers.

Recently Cisco showed off some of the technologies in the oil and gas space, and Ahmed Farrag, Business Development Director from Cisco, talks about Cisco’s presence at the show in the following video.

Ahmed talks about Oil and Gas as one of Cisco’s key focus industries. He mentions the huge demand increases we’ve seen over the past few years.

That’s all changing right now.

The price of oil has plummeted to half what it was only a few months ago. With China slowing, parts of Europe close to another downturn, and oil now gushing following the huge investments that have been made in fracking and tar sands in the US, some say we have too much oil right now. Some companies are going to be worried about margins and future investments. So what’s the future?

The show’s title gives us a clue. Just as automation has helped ‘onshore’ manufacturing back to the US in many cases, automation will reduce costs over the longer term. And many processes and practices in the oil and gas industries are ripe for Automation. Blair Christie, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco, showed a chart at a recent press review (The Internet of Everything Changes Everything – The Future of Work) that highlights that the oil and gas industry is, perhaps, the most likely industry to benefit from the Internet of Everything and automation (slide 12):

Nearly half manual processes could be automated.

Nearly half manual processes could be automated in most industries, with Oil and Gas the most.

That chart holds the key to the future of the Oil and Gas industry.

With the advances that have already been made (and those yet to come) in the field of automation, along with rapid progress in collaboration and communications  technologies between workers and companies, one of the keys to profits will be enabling lower costs and higher efficiencies. Cisco and it’s partners are leading the charge.

You can read more about Cisco in oil and gas here: Cisco Industry Solutions: Oil and Gas. there you’ll find: Read More »

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An Afternoon of Marketing Inspiration

Last week I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Ad Age CMO Strategy Summit in San Francisco.  It was great to spend the afternoon with hundreds of fellow marketers who were taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss how brands are innovatively delivering new, fresh ideas to their customers.

There were truly inspiring presentations by amazing brands such as Target, GoPro and Coca-Cola discussing how the marketing landscape is changing due to all the data we are can access and collect. Here are some of my reflections on the powerful marketing programs being deployed by some of my fellow CMO’s:

CMO Blair Christie

B2ME (Business to Me) Marketing is in, B2B or B2C Marketing is Out:

With the explosion of data, new target audiences, new media vehicles and new selling channels, understanding the individual behind who you are marketing to is extremely important. As Kraft Foods’ CMO Deanie Elsner pointed out in her presentation, there is a new era of “agile marketing” or marketing in a digital age, where we are moving from broad buying media to buying individuals – agnostic of medium – driven by fragmented media consumption on multiple devices. With all the rich, customer data available, brands need to provide the right message in the right medium at the right moment to stay relevant with customers to drive purchase decisions.

The Innovation Pipeline is Key to Growth and Differentiation with Brands

Target’s “Made to Matter” campaign is doing this well by cultivating a partnership of shared values. Target CMO Jeff Jones spoke on a panel with Neil Grimmer of Plum Organics and Eric Ryan of Method on how Target works with various leading organic, sustainable and natural brands like Plum Organics and Method, giving them a platform to launch their products and make them more accessible to the general public. In return, Target has been able to secure a pipeline of unique innovation to offer its customers. As a mom of three children and a frequent Target shopper, I personally love this campaign!

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CONGRATULATIONS, @PADMASREE!

It isn’t everyday that you get to send a shout-out to your colleague for being recognized as one of the most influential women in tech by Elle Magazine.

Congratulations to Padmasree Warrior! Congratulations also to Elle magazine, for showcasing the growing number of female leaders and influencers who are developing new technology and running technology companies—and are just all-around impressive women.

At Cisco, we believe that we need to be a company whose environment, culture and mix resemble the diversity of the world we live in and the communities where we do business.

The truth is that there is a tangible business value from inclusion and diversity. Even more so, there are proven links between inclusion, collaboration, and innovation that drive bottom line results.  According to a study by McKinsey, the management consultancy, companies with a higher proportion of women in senior management are on average 48 percent more profitable than rivals.

However, there is much more work to do!  I believe as leaders we not only have the responsibility to lead by example but also to understand the strategic advantage gained from a team made up of a diverse set of individuals.

But for today, I hope there are females of all ages reading Elle Magazine, who get inspired to chart their own path to leadership.

Follow me: @BlairChristie

 

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Away by the Bay at Cisco Live!

Wow! It’s been a whirlwind beginning to Cisco Live 2014. I’ve already met many partners and customers and we’re only about halfway through the week! Folks are excited to be part of such a huge event here in San Francisco.  In fact, check out this shot of folks streaming into the room for John Chambers’ keynote address yesterday.

Crowd ShotBefore John even took the stage, we’d already spent a lot of time talking with customers and partners about the new Solution Partner Program. This key piece of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem used to be known as the Cisco Developer Network (CDN). Arjun Lahiri, Senior Manager, Cloud and Ecosystem Strategy and Programs Group, took some time to really explain how CDN evolved into the Solution Partner Program and why those changes have occurred and how they affect partners. Be sure to read Arjun’s blog and get up to speed on the latest on the Solution Partner Program here at Cisco Live 2014. Read More »

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