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MSE 10 at Cisco Live! Milan 2015

Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution leverages information from the Wi-Fi network to collect aggregate location data from mobile devices. This can be used to tease out behavioral patterns and trends, which in turn can help businesses make informed decisions on how to improve the visitor experience and boost customer service.

The Mobility Services Engine (MSE) forms the core of the CMX solution. Cisco Live! Milan was an exciting milestone for the MSE development team, as the new version of MSE, 10.0, was officially announced. Among its enhancements are improved scalability and robustness, as well as better monitoring tools. In this blog, we’ll show some real-world examples of what information MSE 10 can provide, as was captured during Cisco Live!.

The New Analytics Dashboard

One of the visible improvements is the redesign of the Analytics dashboard. The dashboard provides reporting capabilities, in which each page can be scheduled at specified intervals to run as a report and be sent to interested parties. Because of this new capability, we now refer to the pages on dashboard as “Reports”.

Each report can have any number of “widgets” – essentially little boxes of information – such as the device count within a certain area, the time spent there, or the number of devices moving between areas. The widgets can be configured to show a set of numbers (ie number of devices detected, new devices vs. repeat visitors, etc.), a graph of specified information broken down by time/place, or data tables.

The most basic and fundamental piece of information CMX can provide is visitor count. In Figure 1 you can see the number of detected devices during one just one of the show days. The dashboard gives not only a very clear overview of detected devices, it also shows a comparison of those devices and where and when they’ve been detected throughout the conference.

figure1 milan live

Figure 1 Visitor count for one of the days

Beyond the fundamental data of total visitors, this information can be shown broken down by building, floor, or zone. Figure 2 shows Read More »

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Three Dimensions that Influence Location Quality

Since the earliest maps, location accuracy has always been important. Just one degree off on the high seas and the seafaring navigator could be landing in Cuba instead of Florida. As we progress from GPS to indoor location, the quality of location accuracy is no less critical.

To define the quality of location, we really need to understand the variables that influence location. This is especially true with mobile devices in the mix.

Quality of location accuracy has three dimensions:

  1. Location precision
  2. Refresh rate
  3. System latency

These three vectors are functions of how well the infrastructure is engineered and how the Read More »

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Revamping the MSE User Interface

As part of the WLC 8.0 release, we addressed customer comments and revamped the user interface (UI) for the MSE. We wanted to make it easier for customers using both MSE and PI to adjust to larger deployments. We also wanted to quicken the pace at which we could deliver features to the customers. Today I want to walk you through the landing page and configuration of the new MSE UI.

Landing Page

The landing page is the first thing one sees when logging into  the MSE UI. This page provides the user with a basic snapshot of system health, an easy way to launch the apps, and a quick status of the various services on MSE.

System Health

The new UI highlights important parameters like CPU and Memory usage in order to give the user an indication of the stress being handled by the MSE.

 mseui1 Read More »

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Show Me the Retail Data

retailSuccess in retail often comes down to a counting game.  How many people pass by your store?  How many come inside?   How long do they stay?  And most importantly how many ultimately buy?

Today, the retail counting game has gotten a lot easier because we can now count devices as proxies for people, since many potential customers today, myself included, won’t leave home without their smartphone.  As soon as they enter a store, the beacon on their cell phone effectively announces its arrival to the Wi-Fi network and voilà, we have a count.

With the help of CMX Presence Analytics, these smart devices can help answer many key retailing questions with a single access point.

  • Who?
    Who is passing by the store versus coming in?  Presence Analytics uses both the cell phone’s signal strength as well as the time spent in the area to determine the number of people walking by versus in-store visitors.  Presence Analytics provides simple, quick reports on retail conversion metrics.   You can also track how often visitors return to a store in a given time period can be tracked, which can be key for customer loyalty programs.

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Five Reasons to Upgrade Cisco’s CMX to MSE 8.0 Today

The highly anticipated Wireless Release 8.0 came out last week, and among the feature updates is a key set of enhancements and new modules for Cisco’s CMX solution that come with MSE 8.0.  These updates were designed to build out the breadth of location services available to organizations, as well as improve the user experience for customers working with the CMX solution. These enhancements make five great reasons to upgrade to 8.0 today and test out these new tools and features in your Wi-Fi location deployment:

1. Presence Analytics

This new feature enables the use of a single access point (AP) to determine device presence and dwell time. It provides a simplified way to leverage Wi-Fi technology to Detect, Connect, and Engage your customers. Retail stores, hotels, conference facilities, shopping malls, schools, and even city centers can greatly benefit from Presence Analytics. Unleashing this tool can help customers understand the basic, yet powerful, knowledge of the number of visitors to their space, time spent by the visitors, and frequency of visits. It can even provide a more in-depth look into the movement patterns of their visitors, while within their space, giving an understanding of which areas are most attractive to their client base.

Presence Analytics is very simple to configure by naming the entry, selecting the access point, and setting threshold values. Best of all, the majority of CMX Analytics reports are available automatically. All this allows customers to start using CMX Analytics without having to make any changes to their existing network and get immediate value from it.

mse8_1

2. Enhancements to Guest Access
Those familiar with CMX Connect will know that there are two guest access solutions available to customers with Cisco CMX. The first, CMX Connect, provides organizations with a simple, secure way to provide guest Wi-Fi access. CMX Connect offers the option of custom splash pages using a zone-based captive portal.

In MSE 8.0, we have dramatically simplified how CMX Connect is configured. The administrator only needs to indicate information they’d like collected (such as, name and email), and the zones in which the template will be used. Read More »

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