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Achieving a 3D View of Your Shoppers

If every click made by a shopper on an online store can be considered valuable information, surely every step taken by a shopper in a physical store is also a similar wealth of data. While clearly this is valuable input that many stores would like to have, the means to collect and process it is not available everywhere. This fact has resulted in a significant gap in the information available in an online as opposed to a physical store.

Can the power of Internet of Everything and real-time analytics bridge this gap? Can it help capture the shopper behaviors using sensors in the store? Can real-time analytics at the edge transform this data into shopper insights?

Yes indeed. While we see the need for granular and enhanced analytics, we clearly see that many physical store retailers are yet to start their journey in capturing such shopper insights. Let’s take a 3D view of your shoppers.

3D-shopper-view-Rajesh-blog

You need to gather:

Door Traffic: This is the total traffic coming into your store. This metric is very valuable for understanding loyalty, conversion, staffing needs, and much more use cases as highlighted in the Cisco white paper on Retail Analytics. By filtering new and repeat visitors, we can understand your shopper’s loyalty – but when we bring together this data with point of sale data, it helps us to understand conversion. When we correlate this with marketing campaigns, it helps you get a sense of your store’s and campaign’s effectiveness.

Dwell Time: This is the time that your shoppers are spending in the store and in different areas of the store. It highlights the engagement of shoppers with your products and displays. For example, this metric can be used to understand products that are getting more attention from your shoppers, or can be used to determine more advanced metrics, such as balk rates and predicted wait times.

Demographics: This is the breakdown of segments among your shoppers. The granularity of this data can vary and can provide insights for customer segmentation and the ever changing dynamics of your shoppers, helping you to match shopper preferences and targeted promotions.

While there are no questions about the value of these data to the retailers, achieving it is currently a challenge due to the combination of technologies and sensors required to capture them precisely, effectively, and economically.

The Cisco Connected Analytics for Retail solution focuses on making this journey easier for retailers to capture the data and derive insights. Leveraging Wi-Fi, video, social, PoS, and other sensor data, and bringing together the power of real-time edge analytics, the solution provides retailers a 3D view of their shoppers.

If you are attending Cisco Live 2015 at San Diego, come by to check out the Connected Analytics for Retail solution demo in the World of Solutions pavilion. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Cisco Education: Learn Without Limits

There’s no doubt that learning is changing. In the past, learning was constrained by time and place. We all might remember, fondly or not, the traditional classroom, static desks in rows, plumes of chalk dust permeating the air, and trips to the library on foot as a group. 

Now, lecture halls are emptying out, and in many classrooms across the country, students can become bored and disengaged. The very educational business model itself is forcing educational institutions to cut costs and find new revenue sources. 

Today, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is opening a new world of opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. Students are learning in new ways, in new places, and with new connections to resources around the globe.

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Two Ways Broadband Internet Is Improving Health Care and Education

This blog was originally published on the Huffington Post ImpactX.

In many parts of the world, being able to download information on a smartphone, tablet or laptop in a few seconds is the norm. In Silicon Valley, wireless high-speed Internet connections are more ubiquitous than Starbucks.

Broadband has changed the way we work, shop, watch movies and communicate with loved ones, allowing us to access more robust types of content, services and applications. Yet if we look beyond our own personal use, we can see that broadband Internet access is not merely a convenience: it is a powerful force for social change.

In education, broadband technology can have a huge impact. Educators face a number of challenges, including teacher shortages, limited access in rural areas and gender disparity. For example, the world would need 3.3 million primary teachers and 5.1 million lower secondary teachers in classrooms by 2030 to provide all children with basic education, according to UNESCO’s 2013-2014 Education For All Global Monitoring Report.

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John Oberon Joins Cisco as Vice President of IoT Software Platforms

I am delighted to announce that John Oberon has joined Cisco as Vice President, IoT Software Platforms. His responsibilities include the development of platforms that enable developers to access Cisco’s IoT infrastructure capabilities.

John’s hiring is significant because delivering on the promise of the Internet of Everything – the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things – means making it possible to deliver vertical solutions to specific industries. To do this, we need to enable a broad ecosystem of technology partners with the right vertical-specific expertise. We will do this by providing the right kind of application platform that offers open APIs and application development environments for customers, partners, and third parties to design, develop, and deploy their innovative solutions.

Crucial to Cisco’s strategy is to provide IaaS and PaaS for IoT applications and SaaS offerings to run at the extreme edge/fog. John’s joining Cisco and taking on this leadership role in IoT Systems and Software is critical to our being able to deliver these services to our partners, customers, and the broader IoT developer community. Software was indeed a hot topic at Cisco’s Partner Summit 2015 last month in Montreal. It’s clear that the market needs the right application platform to enable the services that customers will require, and Cisco is recruiting and developing the talent we need to deliver these software platforms.

John has extensive experience building robust developer communities for software platforms – especially within the SaaS and PaaS space. He will be an important Cisco representative in the IoT developer community.

Before joining Cisco, John was the Chief Architect, General Manager, and Vice President of Engineering at Mashery, an Intel business that is a leader in application services governance. Earlier in his career, John was the Director of Product Development at Intuit. He also worked 12 years in key roles at Microsoft.

“I am excited to have a vital role developing Cisco’s IoT software platforms and expanding the horizon of what we know as the Internet of Things,” John said. “The time is perfect for bringing in top talent and continuing the journey to bring Cisco’s IoT software platforms to market.”

You can follow John’s tweets, read his LinkedIn blog posts, and look for him soon at major developer and Cisco events.

 

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Event Recap: Cisco at American Manufacturing and North American Manufacturing Excellence Summits

We recently attended the American Manufacturing Summit (AMS) and North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit (NAMES) held in Chicago, IL where Cisco was a main sponsor at both events. AMS provided a great opportunity for industry executives to have in-depth discussions on IoT and its impact on manufacturing while NAMES brought together manufacturing executives looking to implement a better, more efficient way of manufacturing.

Major themes from the American Manufacturing Summit:

Manufacturers stand to reap the greatest benefit from the IoT transition. This is based on the opportunities for manufacturing through the entire value chain – from R&D, to Connected Products, to Connected Plants, to Omni-Channel Sales and Services. Lots of attendees stressed that they want to do a better job of optimizing technology. At the summit, we looked at case studies across the value chain and different industries and discussed best practices, lessons learned and risks.

Specifically, the summit highlighted four primary use cases:

  • Connected Products – How are manufactures connecting their products and what is the value proposition?
  • Smart Factories – IoT is enabling manufacturers to lighten their manufacturing floor increasing OEE
  • End-to-End Supply Chain Synchronization – How manufacturers are digitizing information to increase visibility
  • Omnichannel – Using connected products across a variety of platforms to improve sales and customer service in the field.

During the AMS summit, Randal Kenworthy, Practice Director – Manufacturing, Americas Business Transformation, along with the support of colleagues, Dan Boutell, Senior Advisor – Manufacturing and Nandu Nandakumar, Practice Advisor – Manufacturing, Americas Business Transformation, had the opportunity to discuss the IoT impact in manufacturing – especially around acquiring data from sensors and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for use cases like increased connectivity and predictive maintenance. We also showcased Cisco’s Circuit Emulation over IP Network Modules (CEM) and Unified Wireless Location-Based Services solutions.

Attendees responded positively to the discussion. Interestingly, a lot of responses we received were that they are utilizing some aspects of IoT connected technologies now, but most of the data they are currently gathering is lost and not used. They don’t know what they don’t know, so data analytics will be a first step in the right direction.

Major themes discussed at the North American Manufacturing Excellence Summit:

As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, companies and industry leaders are constantly facing pressures to keep up with growing competition. Agility has become crucial as manufacturers manage complex issues like controlling escalating costs and managing a dynamic workforce; all while dealing with pressures to implement a better, more efficient way of manufacturing. Below are a few of the major topics addressed during the summit:

  • Continuous Improvement, Lean / Six-Sigma.
  • Employee involvement and Leadership.
  • Use of technology to drive organizational change.

Once again, our subject matter experts took part in a discussion centered on building smarter manufacturing with IoT. We asked the question, where is manufacturing headed and explained how IoT will fundamentally change how products are invented, manufactured, shipped and sold. With IoT, IP networks and analytics, manufacturers can become more efficient, improve worker safety and offer new business models. Manufacturers that master this new dynamic will have a variety of new opportunities for revenue growth and cost savings.

Attendees/customers shared some key concerns and questions around IoT integration in manufacturing, inquiring about how Cisco can help:

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