By Lisa Garza, Service Provider Mobility Marketing Manger
The annual Small Cells event for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) took place this week. It featured regional innovators like Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Zain and du, in addition to the global small cell pioneers like AT&T and SoftBank. Here’s what we took from the event
1. Mobile data growth and reducing cost-per-bit is a global challenge
The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) shows that mobile IP traffic in MENA region is set to grow 10x over the next four years. Revenues are not set to grow at anything like this pace. Service providers are responding to the capacity challenge by augmenting macro networks, by adding new spectrum and by introducing more efficient cellular technologies like LTE. But these steps alone will not povide all of the capacity required, and some, like LTE introduction, will accelerate data usage by encouraging video consumption. The big capacity gains come from reusing cellular spectrum and by offloading to Wi-Fi – that’s what small cells are all about, and they’re a hot topic because the capacity they add comes at a fraction of the cost-per-bit of traditional radio technologies.
2. Small cells are becoming central to network transformation strategies
These small cells conferences are a barometer of service provider, analyst and vendor thinking. This year, Read More »
Tags: MENA, mobility, Service Provider, small cell, wi-fi, wifi
Survey results from an IDC study recently revealed that people are relying more and more on their smart mobile device as their primary tool for communication and connecting.
The study, sponsored by Facebook, highlights some compelling insights about mobility including:
- Half of the total US population uses smartphones
- A “sense of being connected” is the strongest sentiment for driving mobile social usage
- The most popular activities on smartphones are email (78%), Web browsing (73%) and Facebook (70%)
Everyday we are seamlessly integrating mobility features into our daily lives. We use mobile devices for tasks such as email, mobile shopping and making social connections. According to the IDC study, nearly 80 percent of us reach for our phone within 15 minutes of waking up for the day – I am part of this statistic!
It’s clear that mobility and the increasing use of social media creates new ways for us to interact and connect, but it’s also creating new security concerns. With the influx of personal data on our social media news feeds and our purchasing habits sitting in our smartphone’s browsing history, how can we make sure our personal information is secure? In addition, as the lines between personal and work devices blur, how can enterprises make sure employee-owned social networks aren’t opening the door for the latest network threat? An essential part of our mobile future will depend on enterprises and individuals developing a comprehensive approach to protecting sensitive data and privacy. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, enterprise mobility, mobile, mobile device, mobility, network, security, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wireless network
The buzz in retail these days is “omnichannel” – we see slogans such as “Engage with Today’s Omnichannel Consumers,” “Develop Your Omnichannel Business” frequently. Cisco itself uses this word often. But in all honesty, I don’t think many people fully grasp the concept and its potential. And I don’t know of any retailer that has a complete approach to it. That’s right: None.
Omnichannel retailing is about opening the store, its products, and services to shoppers in an immersive way that drives customer interaction across any point of access, at any time. “Omnichannel” is not just about connecting existing systems, it’s a transformational way to look at how you conduct business.
Becoming an omnichannel retailer is a broad undertaking, and many retailers are creating new executive positions to lead this strategy. However, I think these companies may be missing the boat. When thinking about omnichannel strategies, consider three key points:
First, a customer-centric strategy cuts across all organizations in the business – it can’t be sidelined into one business function such as IT. I often consult with retailers who experiment with different capabilities in a disconnected way; essentially, they throw technologies at the wall and wait to see what sticks. Instead, why not start by asking, “What does my customer want? How can I build a loyal relationship with them?” It’s all too easy to assume that showrooming is the enemy. But, really, why, for example, is Amazon successful? It’s not because they are available on a mobile phone. It’s because they are easy to do business with, offer good pricing, and deliver quickly. It’s about the way they address customer needs.
Next, I think stores often try to do too much at once (see wall-sticking, above). Instead, I recommend a phased approach that starts with the low-hanging fruit – projects that have the highest probability of effectiveness and can be measured against business targets as a whole. Every store has its niche, and one size does not fit all. By achieving rapid successes up front, retailers gain funding for the next piece of the strategy, building from success to success.
Finally, accept the fact that an omnichannel business will change how people work. Are you avoiding Internet access because you think associates will waste time surfing the web? Some may – but your good salespeople will be able to leverage online information to help them serve shoppers. Concerned that showrooming on the floor will drive customers away as they find lower prices online? Build your own identity, brand, and incentives into the online environment to drive sales. Worried that an online storefront or call center will undercut in-store sales? Run the numbers on losses over time as consumers find your store is the only one without convenient mobile customer support.
Omnichannel is not about the technology. Rather, it’s about finding the best outcome for you and your shoppers. To achieve success, IT and business must work together to solve customer problems for the store as a whole – there’s no other way to do it with complete success. Check out this great blog by Cara Waters, Five Lessons in Retail Trends.
I love retail trivia! Comment below if you know the answer to this question: What is the oldest US retail company?
Tags: business outcome, Cisco, customer relationship management, mobility, omnichannel, retail, Rose Depoe, wi-fi
Since the launch of Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), we have seen tremendous interest from our customers to monetize their investment in Wi-Fi Solutions and enable new line-of-business applications to gain insights, deliver efficiencies and engage end-users. This week Cisco is announcing a collection of technology developer partnerships, as managed through the Cisco Developer Network (CDN), that help us bring a “whole offering” to our Customers with the addition of domain expertise, geographical focus and technology feature infusion that gives our Customers confidence, security and operational excellence to move forward in this nascent market.
The foundation of this technical integration begins with the connection to the Cisco WLAN & Unified Access Architecture through the Mobility Services API, which exposes context-aware information gathered by the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) for the integration with following disciplines: Read More »
Tags: analytics, API, App, application, cmx, device, location, location based services, mobility, network, partner, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
“Growing up is never easy. You hold onto things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come.” – The Wonder Years
I’ve always liked this quote from one of the best TV shows of all time. And in an age where things are constantly changing, it’s never been more relevant. Today’s grandparents and parents spent their childhood in a world without sensors, smart phones and network capable devices at their fingertips. Our children, however, are growing up in a drastically new world. A world where everything is instant, where networked devices are part of their everyday lives and technology is in everything they do. This world enables unlimited potential and unlimited connections that can impact a child’s life for the better. So how will the Internet of Everything (IoE) prepare children for the smart people network they will live, learn, work and play in?
Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, Internet of Everything, IoE, IoT, mobile, mobile device, mobility, network, Networked Entertainment internet of things, networking