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Unlocking the Connected Guest Experience

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal featured a hotel that will soon be using mobile technology to bypass the check-in process. Guests will have the option to check-in through their smartphone and also use their smartphone as their room key.

The benefit of this new check-in and room key innovation is two-fold: the hotel guests will benefit from the pure convenience of it and hoteliers can help maintain a secure property.

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However, automated check-in and the ability to use mobile devices as a key to the room is only one aspect of the entire technology stay. This is just one component of what’s possible and what’s going to be expected by guests visiting hotel properties in the future.

There is a tremendous demand by the guests to simplify and enhance their interaction with the hotel. According to a recent HVS London study, more modern hotel guests value experiences and the feeling of “being connected” over traditional hotel luxuries. With this in mind, the future of a connected guest experience does not begin and end with new keyless door entry capabilities.

In fact, the new technologies happening in hotels are also happening across various industries. New mobile capabilities in retail, education and transportation are creating new ways for customers, students and citizens to receive engaging content that can transform their experience. Some examples include:

  • Retailers can offer shoppers mobile updates when they are in the store about new products and special sale items.
  • College freshman can receive turn-by-turn directions to landmarks, buildings and events – all based on the student’s schedule and current location on campus. Read More »

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Operational Implementation is Crucial for Revenue-Generation Marketing

In my most recent blog on revenue-generation marketing, we talked about the alignment of sales and marketing. It is a crucial link for a number of reasons, not the least of which is ensuring that sales and marketing are working toward the same ultimate goal.

In that particular instance, I spoke about:

  1. The responsibility of marketing to provide qualified leads to sales
  2. The need for service level agreements (SLA) dictating process for how those leads are handled
  3. Including a timeline for SLAs that illustrate how those leads will be pushed through the process

As we continue the revenue-generation marketing journey here at Cisco, operational implementation was the next step. Today, I want to share with you some of the best practices we’ve discovered during that implementation. Read More »

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Content: Are you Taking the Right Journey?

We all know about the importance of knowing your customer needs, and focusing on the digital journey. But all too often, we overlook the content that customer experiences — and how well it pays off the journey. A few months ago at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association  conference, I shared five steps to tune the customer  journey and the content needed to support it. Here are some lessons learned (and what you can do to get started).

1.  Build out customer personas.

The first step is to bring your customer targets to life. Who are your customers and what do they care about? What are their key go-to sources for web, mobile and social?  The key is to understand the roles these target buyers play and the interplay within the purchase process. At Cisco, we started with three target personas for our Data Center buyers and did a deep dive into careabouts for CEO, BDM and Technical Influencer roles. Read More »

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Staying Ahead of the Collaboration Requirements Curve

In my last blog I talked about how optimization is shifting from a post-deployment activity to a regularly scheduled maintenance priority. Have we seen this shift in action? Yes, and it makes a big difference in how well your IT team can stay ahead of the curve to keep up with changing business requirements.

Case in point: A financial services company had teams all over the world, and conferencing was part of the company’s culture. Because of the popularity of video conferencing, conference rooms had to be scheduled hours or even days in advance. Wait times like these were unacceptable for urgent meetings. For a sales team, meeting delays can literally be a deal breaker. That’s why this financial services company decided to add on-demand video conferencing to its collaboration tools.

Responding quickly to unanticipated needs like this requires an understanding of the performance capabilities of your collaboration infrastructure. If you’ve taken a systemic approach to your collaboration performance, you’ll not only be able to respond to new requirements but you’ll be able to anticipate them.

This customer used Cisco’s Collaboration Optimization Services to keep their collaboration solution running at Read More »

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Cisco Small Business Extending Services and Support in Latin America

Happy Wednesday!

Did you watch the Academy Awards this week? It sure would been great to get my mug in Ellen’s selfie shot. I could have been Bradley right? ..and a slice of pizza would have been great with Julia, Harrison, and “Marty”. Certainly this year’s Oscars was the best one in years.

Speaking of good shows – as Master of Ceremonies here at Cisco Small Business, I wanted to pass along some fantastic news from another brethren Product Manager, Robin Penn. Her Cisco Small Business Services and Support team has been making a good showing recently by adding 15 additional Latin American Countries where folks can purchase Cisco Small Business Service. For some time, we have received requests from partners, customers and team members to extend our Award Winning coverage to more Latin American countries. As you can imagine, many folks are quite happy about this.

But wait… what exactly did Robin do?  We already sold Small Business Support Service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. And now…the envelope please to see the new entrants: Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. And all are winners

Customers now can purchase (through their partners) the value-priced Cisco Small Business Support Service:

  • Three Years of Award-Winning Technical Support
  • Advanced Product Replacement – either Same Day Ship or Next Business Day**
  • Unlimited telephone support with Cisco Certified engineers, 24 hours daily in English, business hours in other languages
  • Major and minor software releases


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So now, in more and more countries, especially Latin America, Cisco’s Best-in-show Small Business products can be purchased with the award-winning Cisco Small Business Support Service. So as Robin would say, buy/sell the best Small Business products with the Industries’ Best Service and Support, all in the one shot.

Thanks for hanging out with the Cisco Small Business Team – make it a good rest of the week.

Small Business Support Service At-A- Glance in English

Small Business Support Service At -A- Glance in Spanish

Small Business Support Service At-A-Glance in Portuguese

For more info on Small Business Support Service features and benefits or questions…  Check out or contact

And to see where is Small Business Support Service is available: check out

**Questions about Same Day Ship or Next Business Day Logistics?  Contact your partner or

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