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Thinking Outside of the Building

You’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box” when encouraging someone to be creative and come up with new ideas, new ways to do things, new ways to…..just about anything.  Well, I’d like to take a small twist on the well-known saying and talk for a moment on how deploying outdoor Wi-Fi access points should be something you should be “thinking” about.

We all know that here in late 2013 almost everywhere you go, you can pull out your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and you will find Wi-Fi coverage, be it at your workplace, at a coffee shop, or in a retail store.  Why is Wi-Fi coverage so pervasive in these areas?  Because connecting to Wi-Fi access points and the data network behind them makes employees more productive, enables the coffee shop to be the new remote office (while selling more coffee and cakes), and provides the retail store the ability to gather analytics to better target offers for their customers.

Now let’s think about expanding this coverage to outdoors….outside the buildings.  The same holds true.  Providing Wi-Fi access in the surrounding outdoor locations frees up employees to take their laptops outside and enjoy a nice, sunny day while still being “online” for secure corporate email and business tools.  It allows the employee to connect to that important WebEx meeting he is running late for as he pulls into the parking lot. It allows the retail store to engage with customers thru Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) earlier and push offers to them as they walk in from the parking lot, perhaps pulling customers headed to nearby stores who might otherwise not have stopped in.

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Aironet 1530 Series Outdoor Wireless Access Points: Click to see comparison table

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Cisco CMX at Dreamhack Winter 2013 in Jonkoping Sweden

Dreamhack Winter 2013 in the small city of Jonkoping in central Sweden claims to be the world’s largest digital event. I was skeptical at first, but when I arrived for the event, I was completely amazed at the scale of things in this tiny part of the world where its only bright for 5 or 6 hours during day this time of the year.

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Of course, the amount of daylight didn’t impact one bit the large numbers of people streaming into the event venue well before opening time on Thursday afternoon.

dreamhack2 Read More »

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An Architectural Approach to Location-Based Services

When was the last time you looked at your mobile device? Minutes ago? Seconds ago? We can’t seem to live without them, and in the consumer space, new mobile services are popping up it seems faster than your Twitter feed can handle. Below are mobile consumer services trends from the latest VNI Service Adoption Forecast (2012 – 2017) – you can see Mobile SMS, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Video, and Mobile Social Networking are on the rise, as is the number of devices per consumer.

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Many organizations are looking for ways to leverage this upward trend in mobility and innovative mobile services for business benefit – whether it be for increasing customer satisfaction and communicating how the general population wants to receive communication, or offering Wi-Fi so users are able to consume the mobile services they want.

Cisco has made a big investment in mobile location-based services (LBS) over the past year with the introduction of the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution. CMX enables mobile users to adopt new innovative mobile services with an added benefit of relevance. Businesses can conduct mobile commerce, send texts, extend mobile video, or integrate mobile services with social media now based on the user’s location. Read More »

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Blurring the Lines between Online and Offline

Mobility comes down to the lines between online and offline blurring rapidly, with organizations sprinting to put the infrastructure in place to catch up with the trend.

The blurring of the online and offline is happening all around us in a bi-directional manner -- where the customer expects to interact with the business however and whenever they wish and get the same experience regardless of where they are or what they are doing- and for the business to be able to deliver exactly the same information and services to the customer regardless of how or where they choose to interact.

Is this new? Maybe not, but the O2O (online to offline) concept was truly brought it to life by the Tokyo Metro and their recently launched innovative offering for consumers.

Tokyo Metro carries 6.22 million passengers daily. This past September they announced a new service with two partners: the convenience store operator 7-11 Japan and the Ito-Yokado supermarket chain. Read More »

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Create Mobile Web Campaigns with CMX Browser Engage

In the last MSE blog, Reddy Babu talked about the new Location Aware Guest Captive Portal powered by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE). The MSE was first introduced to provide location based information as a core service to the network, but has since built out a suite of location-based services that take the location-based data from the wireless network to the next level. These services are collectively known as the Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution. As you read in Dr. Brendan O’Brien’s blog last week, we have been introducing more and more features to the CMX solution.

Today I will expand on one of these new features offered by the Connected Mobile Experiences solution: Browser Engage -- which is our new network based location and context aware orchestration platform.

Browser Engage allows organizations to customize the web browsing experience for mobile users in their venue by offering various context-aware value added services. These services, such as indoor navigation and search, are available to the mobile user throughout their mobile web browsing experience. Browser Engage also helps organizations setup their content and serve them to the users based on device location. For example, an organization can deliver coupons or deals to mobile users based on their location within the venue—making the offerings much more relevant to the mobile end user.  Imagine yourself in a mall and a deal shows up on your phone right around lunchtime that is valid at a food court right around the corner.

So, how does it work? Read More »

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