I am just back from attending the 2014 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas where I was meeting with customers and visiting the massive show floor. CES is an intriguing blend of extremes and contrasts: biggest and the smallest; connected and unconnected; wired and wireless; high tech – low tech. As personal and business technologies converge through the “consumerization of technology”, CES provides an exciting window into the current and future world of technology.
As with every show, there are things which are the same, more advanced or completely new from the previous year. The following are my personal observations and extrapolations from the show based on my conversations with customers, colleagues and walking the floor.
1. Internet of Everything – Not only are all things (machines, sensors, devices) being connected to the Internet but so are people and data, creating the Internet of Everything. IoE is a fitting overall theme for CES – everything at the show is connected to everything else. As Cisco CEO John Chambers stated in his keynote speech "IoE is bigger than anything that's ever been done in high tech."
2. New Next Generation TV… Again – You could be mistaken for thinking that CES is really the TV show. Televisions are everywhere and every company seems to produce one. Manufacturers are still promoting 3D television, but it has taken a back seat to the next big thing – spectacular ultra high-definition or 4K TVs – four times the resolution of typical HD TVs.
Wi-Fi networks seem to now be everywhere. Once primarily confined to the home or office, we now expect Wi-Fi access in coffee shops, hotels, airports, stores and even in sport stadiums. Not only are these Wi-Fi networks providing valuable Internet access to appreciative mobile users, they are collecting massive amounts of useful information. Innovative businesses and operators are now learning how to unlock this valuable information to turn Wi-Fi networks into key enablers of business value. We have identified eight technical characteristics of Wi-Fi networks that can help to deliver real value to the bottom-line:
1. Recognizes All Wi-Fi Enabled Devices
Recent research by Cisco IBSG shows that consumers have an average of 2.6 mobile devices, most of which are now Wi-Fi enabled. These devices are constantly signaling of their existence to Wi-Fi networks. As a result, Wi-Fi access points are constantly collecting information on these devices and the movements of their owners without users having to authenticate on the network. This means that venues are collecting information on a large number of people at an – effectively anyone who enters with a Wi-Fi activated mobile device in his pocket. However, this does not raise personal privacy issues because only the MAC address of the device is collected and the information is aggregated across all users.
The city of Nice and Cisco, working with Think Global, showcased today the first Internet of Everything proof-of-concept (PoC) for a smart city. The project, called “Connected Boulevard,” builds on Connected Mobile Experiences to create innovative connected experiences by playing host to “guest” devices such as mobile phones and tablets used in the streets that get connected onto its Cisco wireless mesh network.
The project leverages Cisco's mobility offerings of Outdoor Access Points, Wireless Controller and Mobility Services Engine to connect 200 sensors throughout the city to gather data. The true enabler of these new innovative connected experiences is the Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution. Layered on top of the wireless infrastructure, CMX with its location analytics and browser-based mobile engagement opens the door for the city to deliver highly relevant information, insights and services to its residents and its visitors.
International city dignitaries and a local press delegation were treated to a walkabout tour at Boulevard Victor Hugo in the center of Nice by the Mayor and the City CEO, where they could experience the power of Connected Mobile Experiences..Nice deployed two components of Connected Mobile Experiences: CMX Analytics and CMX Browser Engage.
CMX Analytics enables city organizers to visualize the busy parts of the city and witness how device density varies across the day and the week.
It’s difficult to put a price tag on the value of implementing a strategic “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy. Employees are eager to use their own mobile devices in the workplace and corporations are quickly adopting strategies and practices to keep up. Recently, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) revealed key financial findings to help companies across the globe determine the current and potential value of BYOD. Industry influencers and media are listening and here’s why you should too.
The adage that money talks holds true. Reporters from top technology and business outlets such as Forbes,CIO Magazine, CITEworld and eWeek are most interested in the financial gains companies can expect with comprehensive BYOD policies. In addition, they are interested in the increasing importance of implementing a BYOD strategy for laptops. Many reporters discussed the fact that the BYOD trend will only continue to grow. Businesses and technology leaders must continue to pay attention to the employee-led movement. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the coverage:
“Productivity gains from BYOD have been somewhat of a moving target, but Cisco believes it has found the right metric: work time gained from using, and setting up, your own device instead of a corporate-owned device. The thinking goes that a person works faster and more often with devices that they're familiar with, that they chose themselves, and that they use for personal reasons too.” - Tom Kaneshige, BYOD in Bloom, According to Survey, CIO Magazine Read More »
According the recent report by Cisco’s IBSG Group, the Financial Impact of BYOD, letting employees bring their own devices saves companies money and helps them become more productive. 53 percent of survey participants have raised work productivity through innovative work practices—powered by their devices. Nearly half of all participants preferred BYOD over corporate devices.
The freedom and productivity gains of BYOD are great for employees, but it also creates new priorities for IT—especially for security. According to the BYOD and Mobility Security Report, security was a top concern for 70 percent of companies surveyed.
Just because employees are working on different devices doesn’t mean IT has to sacrifice security. The first step is in looking beyond the devices and putting together a mobility strategy. Cisco’s own mobility strategy is built around the network, not individual devices. It’s about viewing security as a way to allow individuals to work their way. Read More »