You’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box” when encouraging someone to be creative and come up with new ideas, new ways to do things, new ways to…..just about anything. Well, I’d like to take a small twist on the well-known saying and talk for a moment on how deploying outdoor Wi-Fi access points should be something you should be “thinking” about.
We all know that here in late 2013 almost everywhere you go, you can pull out your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and you will find Wi-Fi coverage, be it at your workplace, at a coffee shop, or in a retail store. Why is Wi-Fi coverage so pervasive in these areas? Because connecting to Wi-Fi access points and the data network behind them makes employees more productive, enables the coffee shop to be the new remote office (while selling more coffee and cakes), and provides the retail store the ability to gather analytics to better target offers for their customers.
Now let’s think about expanding this coverage to outdoors….outside the buildings. The same holds true. Providing Wi-Fi access in the surrounding outdoor locations frees up employees to take their laptops outside and enjoy a nice, sunny day while still being “online” for secure corporate email and business tools. It allows the employee to connect to that important WebEx meeting he is running late for as he pulls into the parking lot. It allows the retail store to engage with customers thru Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) earlier and push offers to them as they walk in from the parking lot, perhaps pulling customers headed to nearby stores who might otherwise not have stopped in.
Aironet 1530 Series Outdoor Wireless Access Points: Click to see comparison table
Dreamhack Winter 2013 in the small city of Jonkoping in central Sweden claims to be the world’s largest digital event. I was skeptical at first, but when I arrived for the event, I was completely amazed at the scale of things in this tiny part of the world where its only bright for 5 or 6 hours during day this time of the year.
Of course, the amount of daylight didn’t impact one bit the large numbers of people streaming into the event venue well before opening time on Thursday afternoon.
As we head towards Thanksgiving, it amazes me how fast time flies. 4th of July was a few weeks ago, right? I have yet to start holiday shopping, although the conversation at least came up this week. Wait! There is so much to get done before Christmas, so much to do with the Cisco Small Business Team! But yes, I digress.
This week, my colleague Product Manager, Nasser Tarazi, who manages the Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points, created a short video covering how Cisco’s Single Point Setup makes the configuration, deployment and management of multiple access points a snap. In less than 5 minutes, he had a secure wireless network with two access points. All of configuration was done through a setup wizard that guides you step-by-step how to configure the access points. They automatically optimize the key radio settings so that is one thing less for you to do. I could go on and on about how easy and fast it was, but it would be easier for you just to watch the video.
The bottom line is that Single Point Setup saves you time and money and you don’t need to be or have an expert to configure these products. In fact, this is a consistent trait for all of Cisco Small Business Wireless, Switching and Routing Portfolios. We believe that making our Small Business portfolios are among the easiest to deploy, configure and setup as we have made it one of the top priorities.
Please take a look when you have a moment. If you have a little more time, remember to take a look at our list of Cisco Small Business online emulators. These emulators do just that, it provides a simulation of how the router, access point and of course switches can be set-up, configured and managed, all in an intuitive way.
Nasser would also like to note that the AP541N is now End-of-Life. The replacement products are the WAP551 and the WAP561.
When was the last time you looked at your mobile device? Minutes ago? Seconds ago? We can’t seem to live without them, and in the consumer space, new mobile services are popping up it seems faster than your Twitter feed can handle. Below are mobile consumer services trends from the latest VNI Service Adoption Forecast (2012 – 2017) – you can see Mobile SMS, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Video, and Mobile Social Networking are on the rise, as is the number of devices per consumer.
Many organizations are looking for ways to leverage this upward trend in mobility and innovative mobile services for business benefit – whether it be for increasing customer satisfaction and communicating how the general population wants to receive communication, or offering Wi-Fi so users are able to consume the mobile services they want.
Cisco has made a big investment in mobile location-based services (LBS) over the past year with the introduction of the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution. CMX enables mobile users to adopt new innovative mobile services with an added benefit of relevance. Businesses can conduct mobile commerce, send texts, extend mobile video, or integrate mobile services with social media now based on the user’s location. Read More »
To read the first part of the Network Matters blog series that focuses on how IT leaders can rely on a network to simplify the process of onboarding new mobile technology, click here. To read the second part of the series that discusses how an architectural approach to mobility is essential for the Future of Mobility, click here.
The ultimate goal of business mobility is to drive better productivity, heightened customer experience, and achieve a harmonious work/life balance.
As we’ve discussed over the course of this Network Matters blog series, businesses can support and shape further adoption of this key technology and capture its full benefits by implementing the right network solutions.
It’s also important to discuss how business mobility represents an opportunity for service providers (SPs). I’m going to address three of them:
Consumerization of IT to offer cloud-delivered mobility services at lower cost-to-serve, as well as service delivery reinvention
New emerging and monetizable business models to support consumer desire for unique service offerings
Consolidation of the business mobility market to provide a more integrated, end-to-end value proposition
Service providers can deepen their enterprise customer relationships by addressing pain points and meeting new enterprise mobility challenges. According to a recent Cisco whitepaper, here are some ways SPs can embrace new mobile opportunities by focusing on comprehensive network solutions.