Technology is a funny thing: it enthralls some, mystifies others. As evidenced by CES and NRF, there is no shortage of gadgets and dashboards these days to help businesses solve their every need. And it just keeps coming.
From an IT perspective, choosing the right tools to solve each technology challenge should involve a full evaluation the merits of feature sets, while balancing the (rapidly shrinking) budget.
But how often is IT allowed to do that anymore? Truth is, the business doesn’t wait. Flanked by consumer-mindset-driven employees insisting on using any tools that suit their fancy (hello, Shadow IT) and visionary execs eager to stay on top of visionary buzz words like Big Data and Analytics, IT often feels squeezed out from getting a seat at the table when driving the business.
The industry is witnessing a shift in IT budgets being moved over to LoB, a clear nod towards the business relevance of digital engagement.
In fact, 44% of mobility initiatives are now either completely funded or jointly funded by Line of Business (LoB) leaders.
Mobility is key. This is a great opportunity for IT to strategize and align to LoB interests to drive programs that allow LoB and IT to win together and successfully deliver business outcomes using technology.
Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) sits at this sweet spot where the network, traditionally owned by IT, can help LoB with their painpoints: data analytics on customer behavior, statistics for operational optimization, and even customer engagement opportunities. To learn more about how this works, visit cisco.com/go/cmx.
It’s NRF time again! NRF, the retail industry’s biggest conference, is back in NYC this week. Big data and analytics are still top of mind this year in retail, but the hot topic added to the mix is the use of beacons powered by Bluetooth low energy (BLE), enriching your engagement with customers and helping you make smarter business decisions.
Once again, Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) is here at NRF this year. We’re ready to show you how you can leverage real-time analytics, location innovations (including BLE technology), and our app development platform to optimize operations, boost customer satisfaction, and increase revenue.
If you’re coming to NRF this week, check out our demos at Booth 2052 and learn how Cisco CMX can transform your retail business.
Generally, there are two different classes of beacons: transmit only and backhaul enabled.
Transmit only beacons are exactly as they sound -- they simply transmit information to anyone that is capable of hearing (bluetooth enabled smartphones). They do not receive or pass any data or information upstream.
Apple’s iBeacon is the best example of this type of BLE beacon. You can think of them like the navigational beacons used by airplanes when on approach to major airports. The beacon doesn’t even know the plane is there, but the plane is aware of the beacon and knows where the beacon is allowing it to take the correct action. Same is true for smartphones and transmit only beacons like iBeacon -- the intelligence is located in the mobile application which must recognize the beacon and take appropriate action.
Backhaul enabled beacons generally include a Wi-Fi chipset for either management or data capabilities. Some backhaul enabled beacons are USB enabled and take advantage of whatever connectivity exists within the PC they are connected. Read More »
In just two years, indoor location technology has taken off and attracted a lot of buzz across industries, from retailers to healthcare. But it’s no longer a conversation about just Wi-Fi – the introduction of beacon devices, including iBeacon, has added a new dimension to location technology for IT and their line of business counterparts to grapple with on how to leverage it to better reach their customer base.
Some customers have been asking about beacon technology and how it fits in with Wi-Fi, so let’s start from the beginning:
How do beacons work?
Beacons are sensors that send out Bluetooth low energy (BLE) tracking tags. These sensors can be placed around a venue, such as a store, and a mobile device can pick up the BLE signal and determine that it is in close proximity. When a mobile app is built off of this technology, it can be used in interesting ways to interact with the end user, such as notifying a customer of a promotion for an item they are close to.
I’m having trouble differentiating Wi-Fi and beacons. What do I need to know? Read More »