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Location Based Analytics and Services – Retail – What are the practical uses?

Nobody can question that location-based services are hot these days--especially in the retail space.

Retail in general is under increasing competition and pressure to maintain its revenues and profitability, especially physical retailers who are threatened by online businesses, ranging from one person outfits to global giants.

Physical retailers big and small are all facing the same phenomenon: smartphone users walking around their stores (inside and out). Google and Nielson recently reported that shopping queries are two times as likely to be in store. So people are actively on their smartphones in stores. The significance of this statistic to retail is that there is a huge opportunity here to optimize dollars, be it marketing funds or operational savings–all of which can be enabled by location-based services.

iStock retail

Cisco’s location based services using the Mobility Services Engine and the Connected Mobile Experiences solutions is market leading and generates a lot of interest among customers and I get the privilege of speaking with many retail business executives on a global basis.

In retail, the two big rocks are revenue and loyalty.  The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution helps line of business leaders reach those goals by aligning with the mobility trend. Armed with the location-based services of CMX, you can captivate your customers by creating personalized, context-based engagement to boost loyalty, while generating location analytics data on customer movement patterns and behavior for optimizing operational costs. Read More »

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How to Wear the Internet of Everything

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ― Coco Chanel

I’ve always loved this quote by French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. It reminds me of the old adage – we are what we wear.

But in a GigaOm article and an InfoWorld article this week, this adage is taken to the next level. The news coverage discusses the future possibilities of us wearing sensors and transmitters to route and relay data.

For example, our clothes and accessories will dictate how our information is communicated and received. When you check into a hospital, your outfit du jour will connect with the hospital network to finalize the check-in process and provide your doctors and nurses with crucial information regarding your health. With such capabilities, hospitals would be able to track and manage the flow of incoming patients and detect who is in need of immediate attention.

To take this idea a step further, not only will our “wearables” just collect data, they will create makeshift unified networks. Perhaps instead of simply connecting devices and communicating through networks, humans will form and shape these vast networks by what we wear and the way we live.

To create such a connected human network, Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) addresses will need to be issued to create a unique-to-each person system of data gathering and sharing. I’ve long been an advocate for issuing IPv6 addresses to everyone in order to create a global ID. This could be a way of updating the antiquated social security number system in our country.

In my upcoming keynote address at Cisco Live!, I’ll be discussing more about this subject. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts about what life will look like when the power of connections create an optimized wireless network system.

Follow me at @DaveTheFuturist and join the conversation: #IoE #InternetofEverything #IPv6

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The Heartbeat of the Small Cell Network

We were pleased to accept a Small Cell Industry Award last night for small cell design and technology innovation for the Cisco Management Heartbeat Server (CMHS). We were particularly pleased because the CMHS is an example of a solution our engineering team developed in response to some real world issues we were seeing in our customer’s small cell network – one of the largest small cell networks deployed today.

Above: Partho Mishra,VP/GM, Small Cell Technology Group, Cisco

When small cells are deployed in the hundreds of thousands, there’s a need to scale the monitoring of the access points so that operations are simplified while customers are kept happy.  The CMHS monitors connectivity and service status in real-time with ongoing heartbeats, and provides Read More »

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Six Insights: Implications of the VNI Forecast 2012-2017

Shortly before we released this year’s Cisco VNI Forecast 2012-2017* on May 29th, I had a chance to contemplate the implications behind all the report’s data. The Forecast makes it clear that IP traffic will continue to grow “in leaps and bounds” through 2017, but there is so much more information lying hidden within the report.

* an annual projection of global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic, now in its seventh year,
used by companies, analysts, media, academia, and governments wordlwide.
For a quick overview of this year’s findings, read Thomas Barnett’s VNI blog post.

Here are six significant conclusions that came about in my review of VNI’s findings and what they mean for the future functioning of the Internet: Read More »

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Securing the Internet of Everything: An Architectural View

As a follow up to my introductory blog on Securing the Internet of Everything, I would like to discuss further the security implications that will comprise proposed framework. As the applications of the IoT/M2M affect our daily lives, whether it is in the Industrial Control, Transportation, Smartgrid or Healthcare, it becomes imperative to ensure a secure IoT/M2M system. As the use of IP networks are employed, IoT/M2M applications have already become a target for attacks that will continue to grow in both quantity and sophistication. Both the scale and context of the IoT/M2M make it a compelling target for those who would do harm to companies, organizations, nations, and people.

The targets are abundant and cover many different industry segments. The potential impact spans from minor irritant to grave and significant damage and loss of life. The threats in this environment can be similarly categorized as those in the traditional IT environments. It’s useful to consider general platform architecture when discussing IoT security challenges. Below is the platform architecture that uses to frame IoT/M2M discussions.

While many existing security technologies and solutions can be leveraged across this architecture, perhaps especially across the Core and Data Center Cloud layers, there are unique challenges for the IoT. The nature of the endpoints and the sheer scale of aggregation in the data center require special attention.

The architecture is composed of four similar layers to those described in general network architectures. The first layer of the IoT/M2M architecture is comprised of Read More »

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