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Why CXOs Must Get Moving When It Comes to Mobility

With the frenzy that comes with new phone releases, the excitement that new app launches cause, and our increasing ability to establish connections with anyone virtually anywhere, it’s safe to say the Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing everything about our global network.

And while the Internet of Everything describes the connections that link people, places, process, data and things, the convergence of all of these elements is the source of its growth.

On their own, increased mobility, enhanced cloud and Fast IT are changing the business and IT landscape. A new model for IT that accounts for the convergence of these technologies is essential to accelerating the trajectory of the Internet of Everything to new heights.

Mobility has especially emerged as a key factor, with 25 billion devices estimated to be connected to the Internet by 2015. For this reason, tracking (and staying ahead of!)  top mobility trends remains a priority for every organization. Read More »

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Turning the Retail Store into a High-Octane Digital Experience

Digital innovations have upended many assumptions about the art of buying and selling. But the brick-and-mortar retail store is far from extinct. And while digital technologies continue to disrupt traditional business models, they also present retailers with exciting opportunities to make their stores more immersive, interactive, and, well, digital.

Recently, I had the privilege of discussing the future of the retail store with Doug Stephens, one of the world’s foremost retail industry experts and author of the book, The Retail Revival: Reimagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism. Listen to the full interview here.

As Doug describes it, “media is becoming the store and the store in essence is becoming media.” In short, he argues that the store itself has to embrace many of the capabilities and services that have made online retailers so successful, while retaining and enhancing some of the advantages of the physical retail experience. The store should become a “high-octane experience,” as Doug puts it.

Cisco_RetailStoreHighOctane_5.16.14

I wholeheartedly agree. In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, an explosion of new connections is driving new sources of value. And the physical retail store can capture these new sources of value — just as their online counterparts have.

The key lies in blending the two experiences in a seamless manner.

As in-store consumers, we expect to interact with a product viscerally in a physical retail setting; online we enjoy access to rich product content. Combining the two will go far to engage and convert consumers while cementing brand loyalty.

Here are a few of the ways in which retailers are creating new digital in-store experiences:

  • Data analytics present a precise picture of an individual shopper, their online research and shopping history, and their real-time, in-store browsing, as tracked through their smart device and/or in-store video.
  • Wi-Fi and mobile technologies enable new connections during each step of the shopping journey, offering real-time prompts, expert advice, and incentives to “seal the deal.”
  • RFID tags and other sensors — combined with data analytics — provide precise tracking of products and inventory and enable such in-store experiences as “magic mirrors” and digital signage. These utilize detailed information on individual shopper behavior and buying history to transform the real-time experience.

Doug and I agree that, moving forward, it will be essential for retailers to gain the trust of consumers. If they are to be tracked in-store and engaged in real time, customers will need to feel confident that retailers are fully transparent throughout the shopping journey.

Surveys show that consumers have their doubts about sharing data. But when trust is established and clear benefits and value are established, they are willing to op-in. In effect, the nature of the exchange has to be clear, and education is crucial. Then, the full power of merging digital technology with the brick-and-mortar world will be evident.

The end result, I believe, is a win-win for retailers and customers alike.

But the key for retailers is to lead not follow. Waiting to see what other retailers are doing is not an option. Through data and analytics, they can get to know their customers better than ever. And by knowing their wants and desires, create a digital in-store experience that is more exciting than ever before.

For more on innovation in retailing check out our new BizWise video to learn how one mall owner has transformed relationships with shoppers using an omni-channel approach.

Future of Mobility Podcast Series: Turning the Retail Store into a High-Octane Digital Experience from Cisco Business Insights

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Parking Gets IoE Smart

Ooh! That gal’s pulling out…Wait, Wait! If I can just get over 2 lanes…Ahhh, quit yer honking! NO WAY!!! That hotshot in the red convertible just stole my spot! Now I have to go around the block again…!

You know you’ve been through this and you’ve probably also been behind someone trying to get across 2 lanes to capture a spot and causing mayhem. It’s estimated that 30% of all traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by drivers circling and struggling to find a parking spot. With cities growing at an estimated 10,000 people per hour, the situation isn’t going to get any better unless we make some changes.

Solving the parking madness

Cities--perhaps yours--can now implement a new Internet of Everything solution — Cisco Smart+Connected City Parking — to help alleviate many of their parking (and resulting traffic) headaches. The solution not only serves spot-seeking drivers, but can also support traffic enforcement officers to locate violations more easily, generate more revenue from citations, and reduce vandalism and other safety issues via video surveillance. Finally, the solution provides date to city operations centers to improve planning and development decisions. Read More »

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As Technology Changes ‘Everything,’ Don’t Forget About People

In a constantly changing world, getting the right talent focused on the most pressing challenges is essential — not just for companies, but for service providers, cities, and countries.

Today, the key driver of that rapid change is technology, particularly the explosion in connectivity known as the Internet of Everything (IoE). Cisco predicts that IoE will have connected 50 billion “things” by 2020, compared to 10 billion today. But for all the talk of things, IoE is not just about embedding sensors in shoes, jet engines, refrigerators, and shopping carts. The true opportunity arises when people, process, data, and things are connected in startling new ways.

In such an environment, collaboration is critical. Indeed, IoE-related innovations have the potential to improve and transform our world in profound ways. But no one company can solve these challenges. They will require partnerships and the open sharing of ideas and talent.

Technology companies, in particular, will need to change the ways in which they utilize their talent. For many decades, there was one way to access talent — by hiring it. Today, workforces are flexible and may be spread across time zones and continents. Knowledge workers still contribute as employees on company payrolls, of course. But increasingly, they are just as likely to collaborate on a specific project as partners or as subject-matter experts sharing knowledge within cross-functional or cross-industry groups.

That is why I feel so strongly about a recent out-of-court settlement in Silicon Valley regarding the free flow of talent from one organization to another. Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe agreed to pay more than $300 million to 64,000 engineers who claimed that the companies’ hiring policies were hindering their career paths and access to higher salaries.

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Seven Years – Hundreds of Millions of Fans Engaged

Cisco Sports & Entertainment is proud to be celebrating our seven-year anniversary this year as a specialized industry vertical business unit – and it’s simply incredible to look back and see how far we, and more importantly the industry, have come in such a short period of time.  The key to success has been working with our customers in defining their needs and tailoring, or engineering, a few solutions while always keeping in mind the “fan trends” and business models.  This infographic sums it up nicely – more than 200 venues, in more than 30 countries around the world flawlessly engaging hundreds of millions of fans, who were previously unconnected to the live action.

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