Hello, and welcome to my inaugural blog! I am happy to be here sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, because I have to tell you: I have the coolest job in the world.
I’ve spent my entire life in retail, starting as a part-time worker while in school and moving up through merchandising and operations to regional vice president at Shopko Stores, Inc., overseeing the work of 12,000 employees. Over more than 20 years, I fell in love with the whole process of retail. When I was invited to work in the retail technology sector, it seemed a natural extension of the work I was already doing. Relatively few tech companies build their solutions around store needs – too often, they tend to focus on technology for technology’s sake. In fact, sometimes retailers do the same thing! I saw an opportunity to impact how vendors – and retailers – think about technologies that truly add value to the business.
Today’s trend toward mobility, or BYOD, is a great example. I’m sorry if this shocks you, but mobility without a strategy has no value at all for the retailer! I have seen stores invest in Wi-Fi networks while continuing to build cell-based apps – this despite Wi-Fi’s higher speeds, more flexible capabilities, and ability to improve the shopping and selling experience. They don’t want employees surfing the Internet, so they block employee access to the network and information that could help improve sales. They understand that shoppers are “showrooming” – sharing opinions and comparison shopping online from the store – but do not leverage the same behavior to promote products and analyze customer trends.
Mobility is a vehicle for improving the business, an extension of overall strategy. (You might like to check out this Lippis Report on “Monetizing Public Wi-Fi in Business to Consumer Relationships.”) I work with companies to help determine how to use such vehicles to define the customer experience, collect and manage large masses of data, and make store operations more efficient. I also help design the Cisco solutions that solve these retail business problems.
Join me on a journey to learn how stores are approaching, managing, and dealing with today’s innovations and how they are meeting customer needs. We’ll talk about how stores are using today’s systems, the most recent trends, the latest research, and how retailers are dealing with this very rapidly changing industry. Please get back to me with your own stories and questions in the comments section.
One more word: I love retail trivia! Comment if you know the answer to this question: What retailer in the country has the highest amount of sales per square foot of its stores?
By Tony Shakib, Vice President of IoT Vertical Business, Cisco
I’ve been in IT for a long time and I often hear that data is worth its weight in gold. Well, I recently spoke with Canadian-based Dundee Mining Company about how the data generated from their mines is now “connected” and helping the mine produce more gold – more economically and more safely.
I am happy to share the great news that the Cisco team received industry accolades last week when it was recognized by Frost & Sullivan for delivering a seamlessly connected enterprise collaboration solution across industry verticals. The award, based on Frost & Sullivan’s Vision of the Future of Manufacturing Production 2.0 (Visi-MAP 2.0), identified the top 50 game changers in manufacturing hardware and software. The Visi-MAP 2.0 initiative uses this platform to identify companies that refuse to take a ringside spectator view of industry developments and instead, lead in the visionary innovation process.
I know I speak for the entire Cisco Manufacturing team when I say that we are honored to be recognized for our integrated, vertically relevant solutions for business and operations networks as well as our strong ecosystem of partners. We have advanced our solutions greatly over the past few years and are excited for our future and continued growth. Our industry-leading solutions continue to set us apart from our competitors and we are excited that the industry is recognizing us as a leader.
Operational process and governance, as I discussed last month, is “Domain 10″ in the Cisco Domain Ten(SM) model for data center transformation. It’s so important in my opinion, and so often disregarded or de-prioritised when planning and executing data center transformation, that I’ll cover it twice!
Domain Ten: Process and Governance aka Operations Management
Last time, I discussed some of the “Process and Governance” questions that may- indeed should -- be on your mind when planning data center changes. While you may think of Cisco Services as primarily an architecture and design specialist organization, I hope my Cisco Domain Ten blogs series has shown you we can help you with a lot more than infrastructure design.
In fact, recently, we revised our data center operations management services that we offer to help customers like you accelerate operational success with the new technologies and solutions that they are deploying. We’ve consolidated the best of our service provider and enterprise operations management service offerings, including ITIL focus, together with our internal experience in running “Cisco on Cisco” – resulting in what we now call Cisco Data Center Services for Operations Enablement, illustrated below.
As part of Cisco Live! last week, Cisco hosted a Connected Mobile Experiences Dinner last night with senior executives of some of our customers and partners in Shula’s Steak house at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. One of the key points of the night was the presentation by Chet Patel, Director of IT at the Swan and Dolphin.
Chet discussed how Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution has been deployed at the resort and the insights and benefits they are starting to derive already. The resorts executive business management are starting to get heavily engaged with the project and understanding the value that CMX can contribute.