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Don’t Get Spooked by Location Services – There Are More Treats than Tricks

Don't Get Spooked by Location Services_ Image 1_28OCT2015

November 3 – 4th, 2015 | Crowne Plaza, Palo Alto

 

 

 

The explosive growth in mobility, reaching over 11.5 billion devices and connections by 2019, is spawning unprecedented opportunities for businesses. With 74% of US smartphone owners now using location services – which are simply mobile technologies that identify location of people or things to capture analytics or engage customers – IT more business-relevant than ever. However location technologies are uncharted territory for most, and embarking on it can be somewhat daunting, and perhaps even a little scary.

So, in the ‘spirit’ of the approaching American holiday, Halloween, let’s shed some light on what location services really are, and what you can do with them – and perhaps discover that there’s nothing to be scared of.

Let’s start with the basics: Location-based services are one way many businesses are beginning to use mobile (and eventually ‘Internet of Things’) technologies to capture historical and real-time location information about user behavioral patterns. This is done by detecting smart phones and tablets, and using the data analytics to drive better business decisions. By knowing where users are and where they’ve been, companies can optimize the onsite experience and elevate engagement through time-relevant, personalized mobile experiences.

Let me give you some examples to make it real. Location data through mobile devices can answer a variety of important questions:

  • For business-to-consumer companies, you can learn: How many people come by my store or my department or my display? And of those people, how many actually stay? More importantly, how long? This helps you answer questions like, when should I schedule more salespeople or which promotions are grabbing people’s attention? And while this example is for retail, it’s just as relevant for hotels, theme parks, airports, stadiums, hospitals, and museums.
  • For business-to-business companies, location services can tell business leaders how employees are using the workspace – where do they congregate? Which spaces are well-used, and which ones aren’t? That data can help determine how to better utilize precious (and expensive) office space and resources.
  • For companies with expensive assets to manage, such as medical devices or manufacturing equipment, location services can help employees find any misplaced resources faster and reduce inventory replenishment when they think they’ve lost equipment.

Of course, while this sounds great in concept, location technologies cover a broad spectrum of applications, and it is difficult to know what is right for your organization. In designing Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), we wanted to eliminate the all-too-frequently asked questions: Where do I get started? And how much do I have to invest to get results?

We understand that business leaders are under pressure to show near-immediate results from their IT investments. With our recent CMX 10.2 release, we enable customers to get up and running in less than 20 minutes using their existing current Cisco WiFi infrastructure. All you need to do is download a trial of CMX software, and define the zones of your Cisco Aironet access points to start detecting users and collecting analytics. From there, CMX begins capturing rich insights that quickly reveal valuable data – visitors, dwell time, peak hours, path correlation, and social analytics – insights that business leaders will immediately recognize as valuable. You can also quickly set up customized captive portals for guest WiFi, and deliver time relevant offers, all of which can be updated anytime.

Now, I’m sure that some readers might think: ‘its easy to procure a new system, but it can be a nightmare for IT to manage’. The good news is that Cisco CMX also addresses the complexity of managing multiple hardware solutions that can require multiple tools or platforms. CMX not only gathers data from both Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) aware technology, but it can also serve as a gateway to monitor and eventually manage your beacons as well.

Another concern we hear about is integration. Most customers are looking to deploy mobile applications, but are faced with budget and compatibility issues that appear to stand in their way. To minimize those fears, Cisco works with leading companies across different industries to validate and test location solutions, so customers can be up and running faster with lower costs and fewer bumps for IT. Some examples include:
MazeMap supporting indoor navigation apps
Phunware providing monetized services across industries
Nevotek delivering apps for hotels to connect their guests
Intelligent InSites enabling solutions that interconnect hospital IT systems

Location services may look scary to some, but the reality is that location can be a major treat for your organization if you know what to look for. I invite you to join me next week at Location & Context World, where I’ll be discussing the opportunities and challenges for location-based services. Hope to see you there!

Location & Context World

  • Session: Location Insights & Customer Engagement Through Wi-Fi and BLE
  • Date: Tuesday, November 3 at 9:20am
  • Location: Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA

And if you cannot make it that day, you can master the mysterious world of location-based services any time at Cisco.com/go/cmx.

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Seeing Revenue Opportunities through the Data Forest: Monetization & Optimization Index

1I love football, especially the NFL. I grew up in Memphis — a city without a team. Oh, yes, we had WFL and USFL teams along the way. However, their owners could never convince the NFL to expand and let them in when the other leagues folded. We even hosted – though inhospitably – the once Houston Oilers for a year as their Nashville stadium was finished for the Titans. Now I am in the Boston area and am a big Patriots fan, but I watch games with any teams almost any time.

I was watching the Thursday night game the other night and saw the ad from Verizon Wireless for NFL Mobile. It’s only available from them. It reminded me that service providers are searching for new revenue opportunities as the market is undergoing a lot of change. They are seeing consolidation, new competitors and rapid technology shifts. At the same time revenues from traditional services are flattening out or, in a number of cases, starting to erode. An important challenge is determining what new services offer good growth opportunities.

There are lots of market opinions and reports that touch upon this issue. Yet, Read More »

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MazeMap and Cisco Lead the Way

A CMX Partner Ecosystem Blog

Ecosystem partners are an important adjunct to Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX). They augment the analytic and customer engagement capabilities of the solution with innovative business outcomes. This blog is one in a series that will highlight several of our CMX Ecosystem Partners. Today—MazeMap.

MazeMap is a provider of indoor maps and navigation services. With MazeMap Indoor Maps, end users have interactive, searchable and linkable indoor maps available on all their devices. To ensure their indoor maps deliver richer, more informative experiences, MazeMap offers several capabilities.

  • Interactive Maps—MazeMap can build indoor maps from DWG/DXF files (CAD-format) and extract information to make the maps searchable and linkable. (See use.mazemap.com.) This process is nearly fully automated making it easy to update maps whenever there are changes to the building structure.
  • Map Editor—MazeMap provides a map editor for customers to control how their campus should appear, what should be searchable and what should be visible in the maps. Here customers can add points of interest making sure the maps are always relevant for the end users.
  • Indoor Positioning—MazeMap uses Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences to deliver “blue dot” location on the digitized map.
  • Indoor Paths—MazeMap can provide wayfinding information to help users navigate from their current location to their desired end point. With the map editor customers can edit the paths making sure that users are routed through the desired route, not necessary the shortest one. Customers can even see which routes are available for the mobility challenged to ensure everyone can navigate on their own.
  • Integration API—MazeMap can be easily integrated into existing applications such as loyalty apps or can integrate other data sources into the MazeMap navigation application.

In Step
Cisco and MazeMap have Read More »

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Join the Conversation: Where Shopping Experience Meets the New Digital Consumer

The demands of increasingly mobile and digital consumers are creating unprecedented complexity for retailers and brands.  How should retailers respond?  We’re going to tackle this question together on Twitter next Tuesday, October 27 at 1pm EST/ 10am PST.

Together, we’ll discuss questions such as:

  • Who is the new “digital consumer”?
  • What does the future of retail look like through the lens of digital technologies?
  • What have you learned about the behaviors and expectations of the digital shopper?
  • What is the role of security in retail?
  • Why “trust” is key in winning wallet share of the digital shopper?

It’s always been my experience that the best ideas emerge from a combination of people with different viewpoints, areas of expertise, and experiences.  That’s one reason I’m (@anabellepinto) looking forward to being part of the next #CiscoChat with my colleague, Ron Kjelden (@rkjelden), focused on how retailers can create shopping experiences that meet the demands of the new digital consumer. Read More »

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Wireless Field Day 8 Recap – Cisco Mobility Express Introduction with Brian Levin

In the beginning of the month we had the honor of participating in Wireless Field Day 8. For the unsure, the Tech Field Day crew brings in independent bloggers, speakers, and podcasters to vendors in the bay area for deep-dives. The 12 delegates of #WFD8 came by Cisco to discuss our approach to operational simplicity.  Greg Dorai, VP of Product Management, kicked off the Field Day with an overview of our sessions: 802.11ac Wave 2, CMX 10.2, and Systems Manager.

WFD8F

Next Brian Levin, Product Manager of Platform WLAN, introduced Cisco Mobility Express and discussed what 802.11ac Wave 2 means to Cisco. He gives an overview of the new capabilities found in the Cisco Aironet 1830 and 1850 access points, such as Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO). He then further went on to show on a whiteboard the provisioning process of Mobility Express.

Here are some questions that were asked during Brian’s first session on Mobility Express (time stamps included): Read More »

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