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On The Edge: Increasing Online Sales with the Future of Shopping

“If there’s one reason we have done better than of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.” Jeff Bezos

In today’s business climate, any sector that has doubled revenues in the past five years is considered a wonderful outlier to the economic norm – particularly in an industry as big as fashion retailing. How are they doing it? By changing the business model and selling more on-line. In fact, according to the Telegraph, over one third of all consumers have purchased clothing over the Internet in the past year, a 26% increase over the previous one.

So how can savvy retailers build on this momentum and do it again? By taking the on-line experience to the next level. Here’s one likely future of shopping experience solution. And you can see it only at Cisco Live! July 10-14 in Las Vegas:

Imagine being able to shop virtually from anywhere much more quickly and efficiently. No more crowded, clunky dressing rooms, or trawling racks of jumbled clothes in a sprawling megastore. No more changing ten times to find the perfect color combination. Simply scroll through the menu to see an unlimited amount of inventory in one place, and see how it looks on you virtually using the latest augmented reality and network technology.

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Payment Infrastructures – A Wave of Change Ahead

Over the past two years the payments industry has seen some fundamental changes in corporate and IT requirements. Combined with the increasing focus on cost, these factors are providing some serious business challenges to any organization operating in this environment.  Read More »

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In between the numbers – Pay Me Now or Pay Me (More) Later

April 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm PST

Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Midwest.   But I just don’t like writing checks to lawyers.

 I’ve lots of friends in the legal profession, and all are lovely people (well, most of them, anyway).

 But as the pragmatic sort, it pains me to spend money to resolve something that might have been settled at a lesser price well before.

 Which leads me to the topic of PCI.

 Just reviewed a 2010 study from the data security experts at The Ponemon Institute that looked at the post-incident cost of data breaches.  Forget, for a moment, the brand humiliation, the CEO news conferences, the critical whiplash in the blogosphere and throughout Facebook.  Ignore, for a moment, that research suggests that 30% of consumers who were victimized by retailer data breaches promise never to patronize the offending brand again.

 The Ponemon research found that 42% of all data breach incidents led to the involvement of a third party (there to provide additional, independent investigation, resolve disputes, and soak up consulting fees.)

 The average cost of that third party involvement in the United States was $1.52 million, with final resolution costs ranging from $750,000 to upwards of $31 million.   That’s on top of lost business estimated at $4.47M per incident.

 Total:  $6M.  Perhaps not fatal to a billion-dollar business, but not a check I’d like to request.

 Yes, I know that active, careful PCI compliance is no guarantee.   And that active, careful PCI compliance doesn’t put revenue on the top line.  And that there’s ongoing confusion about PCI for mobile.  And everyone thinks it’s all too expensive.  And on and on and on.

 But I also know this:  active, careful compliance reduces risk.  Significantly. 

 And that the price of risk is not just a bruised brand. 

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Keeping Your Cards Close to the Vest?

While there is a world of difference between a deck of 52 and a deck of credit cards, it is still wise to hold those payment cards close to the vest. A solid part of protecting those cards from prying eyes is ensuring your insurance firm is compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard.

Is PCI compliance important to insurers?  Every carrier CTO and CIO I have asked has said , “Yes, it is…and we are working on it now.” I’d venture to say, as with all compliance and risk management it is not a one-and-done effort, as regular reviews are required.

Today, April 14, 2011, Cisco announced its newest work in the area of helping companies across all industries comply with the PCI DSS 2.0 guidelines. And since the PCI DSS guidelines apply to all companies—including insurance—that transmit, process or store credit card transactions and cardholder information, I’ve recorded a video in which I discuss the PCI DSS standard and its applicability to insurance.

Cisco is at the table with its customers when it comes to enabling PCI compliance and is an active member of the Payment Card Industry Securities Standard Council’s Board of Advisors. We completed a new Cisco Design and Implementation Guide that includes 30+ Cisco and technology partner products that have been examined by an auditor.

Technologies involved in the assessment include core routing, switching and wireless, plus collaboration and physical security technologies.

Partners involved with this solution include VCE, HyTrust, RSA, EMC and Verizon Business who is the auditor.

Make sure you don’t show your cards….your credit cards…..at all times.

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What does it take to be PCI Compliant ?

Many people wonder what it takes to be PCI compliant. More importantly, people want to know the difference between PCI, FISMA, DIACAP and STIG. With so much alphabet soup, one has to wonder what it all means, and what is the best way to navigate these waters.

I’m not here to provide you with all the answers, but I can certainly help you to understand where PCI fits into the picture.

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