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What Next-Generation Wi-Fi Models Could Mean for Secure Mobility

With the adoption of the Internet of Things and Internet of Everything, advances in mobility and next-generation Wi-Fi are driving faster speeds, higher signal quality and more reliable connectivity. With the upcoming ratification of the two waves of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, how are emerging Wi-Fi models creating new security features that are defining the next-generation Wi-Fi experience?

Next Generation Wi-Fi Models

Migration to the 5 GHz-only 802.11ac is quickly becoming a reality. In a recent article by Lisa Phifer, Chris Spain, Vice President of Product Marketing for Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group, discusses more about how this migration will drive a shift in mobile device support for 5 GHz. “An increasing percentage of new mobile devices provide dual-band capability, and they generally prefer the less congested 5 GHz band,” Spain said. New Wi-Fi models, like those listed below, can help drive mobile devices to the 5GHz band:

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Transforming Child Safety through Mobility

How fascinating is it that in today’s world, a parent can connect to an office network and still remain linked to a child via mobile device?

I recently came across a New York Times article that discussed how mobility is transforming our daily lives and the safety of ourChild Safety blog image loved ones. According to the article, new innovations such as Filip Technologies’ watch and Trax, can help monitor the whereabouts of young children and pets.

As the growth of mobility enables more wearable devices and applications that include GPS and Wi-Fi features, it is becoming increasingly easier for us to remotely monitor our children’s safety while managing daily tasks. Any parent would consider this a win-win.

In light of the capabilities of this type of technology, Gartner predicts that wearable electronics will be a $10 billion dollar industry. There is significant value at stake for organizations that can successfully respond to our rapidly changing mobile landscape by bridging enterprise and service provider networks through an architectural approach to mobility.

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Cisco Battery Control

We are all witnessing the continued proliferation of mobile devices on our networks. This device explosion has led to an increase in wireless service discovery and announcements protocols like Bonjour, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), and UPnP  (Universal Plug and Play). For example, Bonjour locates devices such as printers, other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) service records. Bonjour is built-in with Apple’s operating system including iOS and available on Windows as a common plugin while DLNA and UPnP are built in with Android and Windows operating system respectively.

The usage of these protocols comes with a big price: an increase in Multicast traffic because they are all inherently sent as a broadcast transmissions in Wi-Fi networks.

But why is an increase in Multicast traffic bad for users?

The answer is simple: multicast traffic increases mobile device battery consumption by forcing the device host processor to wake-up more often than required.

Have you ever wondered a drop in battery percentage while your mobile device is sitting idle of hours in your pocket? If yes, then you are probably on a network with a high percentage of multicast traffic emanating from every mobile device that is part of it.

So how can we save battery drop taxes on our mobile device without losing the ability to support these protocols? Read More »

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Mobility and BYOD That’s Right for Your Midsize IT

Employee are now unchained from their desks; mobility frees the ability to work anyplace, anytime, and from any device. This is revolutionizing the type of productivity and efficiency businesses see from their workforce- large, medium, or small.  While realizing business efficiency and growth, midmarket IT is struggling to balance objectives (make the network for you) and challenges (limited resources).

Midmarket IT Objectives

Leverage the network as a strategic asset

To increase employee productivity and gain competitive advantage;

Better serving customers,

Thus realizing overall growth

Midmarket IT Challenges with Mobility and BYOD

The advent of mobility and BYOD, while unleashing unprecedented levels of communication and collaboration, brings challenges to IT. Mobility enables BYOD. BYOD enables multiple types of employees, logging in from multiple types of devices, from multiple locations. Users are demanding access to the Internet and applications wherever and whenever they want.  Chaos? Anyone reading this won’t need the laundry list of concerns. It’s there.

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Pick the Low-Hanging Omnichannel Fruit

This blog is the third of a series on how retailers are addressing the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. We’ve talked about how omnichannel selling is not really about rushing to invest in some whiz-bang technology – in fact, I think stores often try to do too much at one time.

Instead, a smart approach to your implementation is to find the low-hanging fruit – projects that have the highest probability of effectiveness and can be measured against business targets as a whole. Remember that every store has its niche, and one size does not fit all. By achieving rapid successes up front, you gain funding for the next piece of your strategy, building from success to success to achieve omnichannel entry.

For example, some retailers look at how to make it easier for shoppers to buy and return where they want. Stores don’t carry the same selections from region to region, and they need processes and systems to make such an approach successful. The key is inventory management: figuring out how to sell, reorder, and exchange products in stores that also serve as fulfillment centers.

Other retailers focus on building a strong relationship with shoppers through excellent customer service. For example, instead of picking up the red bat phone or having “Customer assistance on Aisle 3” called over the loudspeaker, consumers can contact remote experts on their own mobile device or through a kiosk. Still other stores may put resources into user interfaces, branding, and site useability. These personalized approaches also pay off in better information about the customer, allowing retailers to use video analytics and sensors to get help to the shopper faster.

To help stores define their best path forward, they often make use of “innovation platforms,” systems designed to allow you to quickly set up and try out new merchandising, practices, or seasonal locations.  Innovation platforms let you experiment with capabilities that leverage organizational strengths, hitting on the cylinders you want to address. Each success helps build the business justification for the next stage, supported by your cost/benefit analyses, baselines, and measurements.

Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions, where I’ll be speaking on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2:00-3:00 ET, in Room 4. My topic is “Detect, Connect, Engage: Enhance your Customer Experience with Mobility,” and I’ll discuss how to personalize the mobility journey and new strategies for delivering a meaningful customer experience. Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these very popular seminars. As well, please take time to attend some of the demos in Cisco booth #1954. These include several technologies that fulfill the requirements discussed above.

I’ll see you at NRF!

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