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Cloud and Advanced Services Are Service Providers’ Keys To Tapping the Fragmented $200 Billion Small and Medium Business Market

neerkumakevsuhBy Neeraj Kumar and Kevin Suh, Cisco Consulting Services

The small and medium sized-business (SMB) commercial-services market is important for all types of service providers (SPs). SMBs account for more than half of total U.S. commercial-services spending, according to AMR Research/Gartner. And, the portion of the U.S. SMB commercial-services market that service providers could capture is expected to grow to more than $200 billion by 2015, according to analysis by Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and industry research analysts.

To capture this opportunity, service providers need a deeper understanding of who the SMB customers are and what they buy, as well as how they purchase these commercial services. To better understand SMBs’ detailed service delivery needs and expectations, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS), surveyed 761 U.S. SMBs with five to 1,000 employees in 2012. The study revealed that although this is a big and complex market, there are specific opportunities for SPs in cloud and advanced services.

Complex, Diverse Market, with Varying Expectations

The SMB market is complex — spanning Read More »

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People + Process + Data + Things = JOBS

“If you don’t get off that computer game, you’ll never amount to anything!”

It’s a familiar lament in modern families. Yet as parents fret about the time their children spend gaming, they may be missing the bigger picture — by failing to perceive the future of job creation in the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy.

Gaming (within reason!) bestows children with some valuable skills that will be relevant to a rapidly evolving job market. And for a few kids, the gaming becomes the job. Gaming “super bowls” draw top players and increasingly large audiences that prefer the interactive nature of gaming to the performer / spectator model of “real” sports.

The point is not for parents to bank on their children becoming wealthy at the “gaming super bowl.” Those odds are probably not much better than making it to the NFL’s Super Bowl!

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Wi-Fi Value-Added Services Improve the Retail Bottom-line

Retailing has always been a tough business.  But, the move to online shopping, the challenging economy and changes in shopper’s behavior has placed even more pressure on traditional retail margins.  Retailers are constantly looking for ways to get more people in to their store and to spend more.  Traditional retailers have long envied the massive amounts of valuable data that online retailers have available to help them better understand customer behavior and implement winning marketing tactics.  Online retailers know such valuable information as: how frequently customers return, how long they spend on the site, what they looked at but didn’t buy and where they went before and after coming to the site.  With this information, online retailers are able to rapidly adjust prices, promote certain items, and re-configure the layout of the site in almost real-time in order to increase the probability and value of a sale.  None of these data and insights has been available to bricks-and-mortar retailers -- until now.  The increasing availability of Wi-Fi in retail locations is changing all of that.

Shopping malls and retailers are increasingly offering Wi-Fi to their customers as a service to connect their mobile devices to the Internet.  Hidden in this Read More »

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Internet of Everything: A Pivot Point in Technology — and Thinking

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” So said Dave Evans, Cisco’s chief futurist, in his keynote address at Cisco Live 2013.  I couldn’t agree more! As we usher in a new era of hyperconnectivity, we will see our environment in unprecedented ways, and then manage it like never before.

The trick is getting the relevant data to the right people at the correct time.

Cisco calls this transformation the Internet of Everything (IoE). With its explosion in connectivity from 10 billion things today to 50 billion in 2020, IoE promises a profound transformation that will enhance nearly all aspects of our lives.

But only if we do it right. And that requires changing the ways in which we think.

For IoE to be a true game changer, it will take much more than infusing every road, refrigerator, tire, and supermarket shelf with data-generating sensors. IoE could, for example, have a deep impact on water management. Today, 30 percent of fresh water is lost to leaking pipes. But a sensor in a pipe can only tell you that it’s losing water (and you may already have known that). The key is managing the information, tying it into control systems, and creating far-reaching, highly efficient processes for rerouting water or mobilizing maintenance resources. Read More »

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Creating a Wi-Fi Monetization Virtuous Circle

In the decade or so that Wi-Fi has existed, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed it as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  Now mobile operators around the world are asking how they can effectively use Wi-Fi to help them cope with the huge surge in mobile data traffic and to meet customer needs and expectations.  In addition, they are all eager to understand how they can make money from Wi-Fi and to make the business case to justify investments in deploying Wi-Fi networks.

As many leading SPs are now discovering building a Wi-Fi network creates not only significant business value, but creates a virtuous circle that leads to ever-increasing sources of new Wi-Fi value. As the Wi-Fi Monetization Virtuous Circle outlined below shows, the reinforcing network and scale effects of Wi-Fi investments not only deliver unique business benefits at each of the levels, but also establish a valuable platform to exploit additional monetization opportunities at the next level.

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