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The Advice Advantage: How Banks Can Close the ‘Value Gap’ and Regain Customer Trust

Today’s banking consumers are used to experiences that reflect their likes, dislikes, past histories, and even their future plans. But not always from their banks. These kinds of interactions are more common when buying an online book, streaming a movie, or planning a vacation. Despite numerous omnichannel initiatives, many banks continue to lag in providing contextual, relevant, and convenient experiences to their customers. And while many customers yearn for personalized financial guidance, a Cisco survey of 7,200 smartphone users and bank customers in 12 countries found that for too many bank customers, the choice is between no advice, or what they perceive to be generic advice delivered inconveniently.

As a result, bank customers often try to attain their most important financial goals on their own, via “friends” on social media, or from non-traditional providers of financial services. Moreover, since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, banks’ brand equity has fallen. Read More »

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How a Traffic Jam in Hong Kong Gave Me Hope

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to China and South Korea to meet with Cisco customers and partners. The meetings went well, but it was clear that these countries share what seems like a universal condition afflicting so many cities all over the world: traffic.

I know what you’re thinking, “Traffic? Really?” Fair enough, but bear with me on this one.

Admittedly, the traffic may have been top of mind for me because of a recent advertising campaign Cisco unveiled foreshadowing the last traffic jam. The irony is that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Hong Kong gave me time to think about this in a more critical way.

Why, in today’s modern, technology-advanced era, have we not yet discovered a way to avoid traffic or at least control it? Sitting idle in traffic for many is an accepted daily annoyance, but it can also present serious consequences to the welfare and economy of many people and organizations. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that traffic costs $124B in lost productivity, fuel waste and higher prices for goods as a result of higher transportation costs. Multiply this by a global factor, and you begin to get the enormity of this so called “annoyance.”

At Cisco, we’re focused on creating solutions that deliver business outcomes for our customers: faster decision-making, lowering costs, increasing productivity, etc. Being close to Cisco’s data center solutions and the company’s Internet of Everything vision, I got to thinking how we’re not that far off from leaving the traffic jam in the dust.

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Competition Inspires Young People to Change the World with Connected Technology

The world is faced with overwhelming social issues, from climate change to poverty. Students and young entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the growing number of devices connected to the Internet, turning them into products that will one day solve these global problems.

A competition developed by Cisco France employees in 2014 aims to harnesses this innovative spirit. Now in its second year, Le Defi Cisco (The Cisco Challenge) invites university students and young entrepreneurs to develop solutions to social and environmental challenges using the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, processes, data, and things

Students collaborate during the Le Defi Cisco Competition, brainstorming new ways to apply technology to global social issues

Students collaborate during the Le Defi Cisco Competition, brainstorming new ways to apply technology to global social issues

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Can the IoE Save Lives? Connected Bra Could Predict Cancer

At Cisco, we often talk about the power of the Internet of Everything– to reduce traffic congestion, to refresh our refrigerators, to make our everyday lives more convenient. But now, the Internet of Everything is saving lives.

In 2012 alone, more than 1.7 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer — that’s more than 4,600 women diagnosed with this life-threatening illness every day.

It can be hard to wrap one’s mind around just how common, and equally devastating, cancer can be. It has affected me personally, as well as the lives of my closest family members and friends. When it touches your life, or those around you, the impact is deep and long lasting.

Statistics on the prevalence of breast cancer and the personal stories of those impacted can be frightening, but there is more than just hope. Incredible strides across all forms of cancer are happening, and in many cases, they come in the form of early detection through ground-breaking technology.

You’ve heard of the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, you’re probably wearing a FitBit or Jawbone on your wrist. You may be the owner of a smart thermostat like Nest. Or you’ve recently heard the hype about self-driving cars.

These connected devices are changing the way we live, work and play – and there are many more to come.

Today, only 1% of all devices that could be connected to the Internet are connected to the Internet.

By 2020, 20 billion devices will come online, amounting to a $19 trillion market opportunity for businesses and consumers. This next era of the Internet – the Internet of Everything (IoE) – will connect not only things, but also people, process and data to transform how we track our fitness, regulate traffic, conserve energy, tackle poverty and more.

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Evolving Millennial Connections Using Wearables

Don’t look now, but that guy’s app just measured his heartbeat when he saw you and we think it’s a match! Sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not.

In a very interesting (and possibly draining) year-long dating social experiment, a Newsweek contributor discovered that finding love has gone beyond reviewing online profiles, as some of the industry’s largest match-making companies are developing “wearables” and apps that are becoming the newest weapon in match-making. Utilizing everything from musical playlists to physiological reactions (like that racing heartbeat) the apps match daters in close vicinity with similar-minded interests. Not surprisingly, millennials are becoming some of the fastest adopters of the wearables movement.

In a recent survey, more than half of millennials revealed they were excited about the growth of the wearables market. And it’s no wonder, considering the fact that overall, millennials are an extremely connected and influential generation. They’ve grown up in a world where smartphones are the norm, social media apps are preferred communication platforms and an untold number of studies have been conducted on best practices for marketing to them. And the lens from which they view technology – as an expected day-to-day necessity – is part of the reason they’re the power behind the growing widespread adoption of wearable technology.

As the Internet of Everything continues to evolve and connect more people, process, data and things, wearable technology is not only delivering more information to us – but also bringing us all closer together. Holidays like Valentine’s Day are the perfect reminder that connections matter and go to the heart of who we are as people. Considering our natural inclination to seek out meaningful connections and the technology we have on-hand, wearables are on trend to become an invaluable networking tool, empowering an entire new level of collaboration and opportunities between employees, clients and business leaders.

According to the Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report, millennials believe a wearable device will be an important part of workplace 2020. Indeed, it’s estimated more than 177 million wearable devices will be in use by 2018. With a smart phone in one hand, and perhaps a fitness tracker attached to their wrist, mobility is an essential part of the millennial lifestyle. In other words, they are data-driven and businesses the world over have taken a new look at everything from their recruiting practices (using Skype for interviews) to mobile-office options to recruit and keep millennial talent on board. Companies who have embraced a holistic approach to mobility are moving in the right direction, as the millennial workforce shuns the idea of carrying multiple devices to perform work-related tasks.

A couple of years ago, I talked about a connected workforce, focusing specifically on millennials and how their perspective, as the newest generation of workers, would alter the employment scene as we know it. I’m by no means a fortune teller, but myself and the entire industry have seen this become reality. Through the tools of the Internet of Everything – wearables among them – millennials are empowered to connect with people who they have never had the chance to meet and learn from. These connections and the cross-sharing of ideas, goals and common experiences are opening up a new world of opportunity as the world changes and our connections evolve.

What type of new experiences and opportunities for wearables do you hope to see in the future? Share your thoughts here and be sure to follow the discussion using #Internet of Everything.

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