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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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The Internet of Everything: a Future Vision, Arriving Today

This week I had the privilege of speaking at Cisco Live 2013 about the coming explosion in connectivity among people, processes, data, and things, which Cisco calls the Internet of Everything (IoE).

This massive technological and societal shift promises to transform and accelerate our lives in profound ways as the number of connected objects soars from 10 billion today to 50 billion (and rising) by 2020.

Yet even before I left for Orlando or gave my first Cisco Live presentation, I saw ample evidence that IoE is not just a vision of the future. Increasingly, it is the Internet of today—and evolving rapidly all around us.

IoE represents the orchestration of a bevy of emerging technologies, including Big Data analytics, video, mobility, cloud, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. And it will ultimately infuse almost everything—roads, jet-engine parts, shoes, refrigerators, soil, supermarket shelves, you name it—with cheap, tiny sensors that will generate terabytes of data to be sifted for key insights.

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What Do CEOs Care About in a Hyper-Connected World?

If you think we already live in a connected world (and we do!), get ready to fasten your seatbelts.

Today, there are “only” about 10 billion connected “things” on the planet. This includes hundreds of millions of people communicating with one another in myriad ways, and a rapid increase in two-way conversations between people and machines. That is, when the machines aren’t busy “chatting” with other machines.

It may sound complicated (and it is!). But the Internet of Things is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The next phase of the Internet — the Internet of Everything (IoE) — will encompass 50 billion connections involving people, process, data, and things by 2020. This will drive the next wave of dramatic Internet growth and opportunity.

Cisco estimates that the IoE economy promises a staggering $14.4 trillion in Value at Stake for private-sector companies globally over the next 10 years. This value is embedded in five drivers: asset utilization; employee productivity; supply chain and logistics; customer experience; and innovation.

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The Evolution of Customer Experience: Synchronicity!

I love shopping. I love traveling. I hate going to the hospital. I sometimes like going to the bank (only if it involves the depositing a large check). On the surface, it may seem that there’s no common thread about each of these experiences, however, there actually is a lot in common!

Each of these industries (retail, transportation, healthcare, banking) is becoming more passionate about truly delivering good customer experience and building customer loyalty. Why? Research has established that satisfied customers spend more money “now” and, in the longer term, become more loyal. For example, according to a J.D. Power survey, a delighted traveler is likely to spend 45% more money at the airport than someone who is disappointed with their experience.

Okay, sold! Let’s start delivering “good” experience and start counting the money…right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

First of all, what exactly is “good” experience? The answers will vary greatly depending on the industry vertical and brands within a vertical. Hence, one of the major challenges is actually defining “good” experience.

While there are certainly unique attributes to “good” experience in different industries, there is a common theme emerging: the synchronization of physical and digital experience. For example, research by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, revealed 93% of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. In addition, over 50% of all consumers access (or would like to access) to digital content while shopping in a store, either through digital touch-screens or their own smartphones/tablets. This research reveals that more and more consumers are relying on real-time digital content to make purchasing decisions. In essence, consumers are becoming “informed buyers” during the shopping experience.

Unfortunately, with respect to customer experience, in many companies today the physical and digital worlds still sit across a great divide. Often, these two functions are housed in different organizations and are loosely coupled with respect to operations and culture. While we’ve made significant progress, digital experience is often an after-thought that peacefully co-exists with physical experience.

But, that’s not going to work any more. Consumers are expecting more, and they vote with their wallets. So, start truly synchronizing your digital and physical experiences…or else!

There are indeed a number of challenges in making smart stores, what do you think is most difficult in actually accomplishing this?

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“We Want More Automated Cars” Cisco Consumer Experience Report shows

May 23, 2013 at 10:59 am PST

Cisco Consumer Experience Report for Automotive Surprises Many: Consumers Desire More Automated Automobiles, According to the Cisco Study

I was fortunate enough to lead the Cisco team that looked at consumer experiences in the automotive industry, and the results were eye-opening. For those of you that didn’t know, the study surveyed more than 1,500 consumers across 10 countries. The global report examined consumer preferences of technology used when buying and driving an automobile. Consumers also identified preference for car dealers/manufacturers to provide a more personal driving experience, and their trust in future automotive innovation.

CCER SummarySome pretty interesting results emerged. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, consumers prefer to begin their process online. That’s not too surprising to most of us, since you’re reading this blog online right now, so you yourself are fairly comfortable with online research, I assume! But many had issues trusting the information on the manufacturers’ web sites.

  • Most consumers begin their car purchasing process online: 83% of global consumers prefer to research online for information on a car, versus only 17% of consumers that prefer to call or go to dealership.

We were also educated on what mattered most to consumers. Consumers desire a more automated way to track car gas and maintenance costs:

  • Impact of gas prices on customer experience: 52% of consumers want to track gas prices from a vehicle.  Gas-price tracking was the highest priority, compared to 46% of consumers wanting to track insurance prices, 35% wanting to track roadside assistance availability, and 32% wanted to track recall information.

That was a little different to how folks wearing a manufacturing hat actually thought. Most manufacturing executives (57%) thought that auto manufacturer information is most important for consumers to track!

Consumers are also more willing to trade personal information for customization, security and savings:

  • More Personal Security and Customized Cars: 60% would provide biometric information such as fingerprints and DNA samples in return for personalized security or car security. 65% would share personal information such as height/weight, driving habits, entertainment preferences if this allowed a more customized vehicle and driving experience.

“The survey shows consumers’ comfort with technology and need for immediate information whether they are researching, buying, driving or servicing their vehicle. While consumers in diverse parts of the world may expect very different experiences, their technology demand is more positive than many manufacturers imagine. Many consumers are just waiting for manufacturers to respond with better car buying, driving and service experiences augmented by technology.”

Peter Granger, Senior Industry Marketing Manager, Cisco Products Solutions Industry Marketing

CCER Driverless Read More »

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