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Wireless Ubiquity: Connecting the Unconnected

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Every so often in covering the broadband and wireless industry, you run across a statistic that stops you cold. Here’s one: the Leichtman Research Group recently revealed that 1 percent of U.S. households canceled their home Internet service last year in favor of relying on wireless access provided via mobile networks or public Wi-Fi networks.

One percent. That is not a big number. Of course, it’s only a snapshot. The more intriguing question: What will next year’s number be? While the result in and of itself could be a statistical error, what’s more interesting is what it reveals: that it’s becoming easier than ever before to become untethered.

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More mobile devices than people by the end of 2013 – is your business prepared?

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per person. As the consumption of mobile devices increases, so does the need for businesses to change the way they work to reap the benefits. Investment in IT is vital if businesses are to take full advantage of new ways of working – with the best tools and solutions to achieve high levels of workforce connectivity.

The increase in mobile devices creates a great opportunity for businesses. A workforce using mobile devices allows for flexible working practices and more freedom to work whenever, wherever, making the workforce better connected. 82% of visitors to the Cisco Jabber Hub say improved productivity is a direct result of a better connected workforce. Better connections mean quicker decisions are made, improving employee response rates and decision making speed.

Businesses need to address the IT challenges of created by mobility and invest in the most suitable solutions for their business. Unified Communication solutions like Cisco Jabber integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence, voice messaging and conferencing capabilities. It allows staff to choose the most suitable tools for their needs. This means the workforce can be productive from anywhere, on any device. Read More »

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A Mobility Guide to Cisco Live! Orlando Part I

If you’re heading to Cisco Live! Orlando next week, you’ve probably signed up for a few sessions after running your eyes through the hefty spread of sessions and talks in the events catalogue.

Here’s a cut of the mobility-centric sessions you should mark your calendars for:

Speaker(s)  Rob Soderbery -- Senior Vice President, Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco 

June 24 at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET / 21:30 CET  / 22:30 GMT <--Editor’s Note: FIXED to Monday June 24!

To View: Go to the home page at the event start time. The keynote will play in the “Excite” tab.

Session Abstract

Is your enterprise network ready to take you where you want to go? Will it support the business applications that you are being asked to support? In this keynote, you will hear how Cisco is unifying access, building out new network services and making the network more manageable so you can meet the coming needs of your organization. We will also show you how you can support more aspects of your business using the network as a platform for the Internet of Things.

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The Evolution of Customer Experience: Synchronicity!

I love shopping. I love traveling. I hate going to the hospital. I sometimes like going to the bank (only if it involves the depositing a large check). On the surface, it may seem that there’s no common thread about each of these experiences, however, there actually is a lot in common!

Each of these industries (retail, transportation, healthcare, banking) is becoming more passionate about truly delivering good customer experience and building customer loyalty. Why? Research has established that satisfied customers spend more money “now” and, in the longer term, become more loyal. For example, according to a J.D. Power survey, a delighted traveler is likely to spend 45% more money at the airport than someone who is disappointed with their experience.

Okay, sold! Let’s start delivering “good” experience and start counting the money…right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

First of all, what exactly is “good” experience? The answers will vary greatly depending on the industry vertical and brands within a vertical. Hence, one of the major challenges is actually defining “good” experience.

While there are certainly unique attributes to “good” experience in different industries, there is a common theme emerging: the synchronization of physical and digital experience. For example, research by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, revealed 93% of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. In addition, over 50% of all consumers access (or would like to access) to digital content while shopping in a store, either through digital touch-screens or their own smartphones/tablets. This research reveals that more and more consumers are relying on real-time digital content to make purchasing decisions. In essence, consumers are becoming “informed buyers” during the shopping experience.

Unfortunately, with respect to customer experience, in many companies today the physical and digital worlds still sit across a great divide. Often, these two functions are housed in different organizations and are loosely coupled with respect to operations and culture. While we’ve made significant progress, digital experience is often an after-thought that peacefully co-exists with physical experience.

But, that’s not going to work any more. Consumers are expecting more, and they vote with their wallets. So, start truly synchronizing your digital and physical experiences…or else!

There are indeed a number of challenges in making smart stores, what do you think is most difficult in actually accomplishing this?

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Money Talks: Media takes note of recent BYOD Financial Impact Study

It’s difficult to put a price tag on the value of implementing a strategic “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy. Employees are eager to use their own mobile devices in the workplace and corporations are quickly adopting strategies and practices to keep up. Recently, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) revealed key financial findings to help companies across the globe determine the current and potential value of BYOD. Industry influencers and media are listening and here’s why you should too.

The adage that money talks holds true. Reporters from top technology and business outlets such as Forbes, CIO Magazine, CITEworld and eWeek are most interested in the financial gains companies can expect with comprehensive BYOD policies. In addition, they are interested in the increasing importance of implementing a BYOD strategy for laptops. Many reporters discussed the fact that the BYOD trend will only continue to grow. Businesses and technology leaders must continue to pay attention to the employee-led movement. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the coverage:

  • “Productivity gains from BYOD have been somewhat of a moving target, but Cisco believes it has found the right metric: work time gained from using, and setting up, your own device instead of a corporate-owned device. The thinking goes that a person works faster and more often with devices that they’re familiar with, that they chose themselves, and that they use for personal reasons too.” -- Tom Kaneshige, BYOD in Bloom, According to Survey, CIO Magazine Read More »

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