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Wi-Fi Goes Public

It seems that everywhere you go these days, the little Wi-Fi icon on your mobile device lights up to show that an access point is nearby. In fact, The Wireless Broadband Alliance predicts that the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots globally will grow more than fourfold, to 5.8 million, by 2015. This increasing availability of public hotspots is creating a new “nomadic” network to rival traditional mobile networks and support new mobile devices and their owners’ lifestyles (see blog posting “A New Type of Mobility”). Consumers now expect to have Wi-Fi access when they are sipping a latte in their favorite coffee shop, watching their team score the winning touchdown at the local stadium, or even when they are waiting in line to pay for their groceries.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to the use of public Wi-Fi: Read More »

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Consumers Are Ready for Omnichannel Banking—What About Banks?

Have you  walked into a retail store lately and seen someone use his or her phone to “scan” a product’s bar code to get immediate access to reviews from consumers who have bought the product? This customer might also (to the chagrin of retail store owners) be looking for cheaper prices offered online or in a physical store around the corner!

This is the new “omnichannel” reality that retailers have to face nowadays—one where virtual and physical channels come together to enable in-store access to web-based customer reviews and price comparisons, while also taking some physical store capabilities to the virtual channel (for example, Remote Deposit Capture in banking). Read More »

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Mobile Internet Applications in Rural Africa

By Molly Mattessich, Guest Columnist

In some ways, rural countries, including those in Africa, are ahead of the United States on technology. Without the infrastructure — offices, network lines, etc. — to use the Internet in more traditional ways, they have relied on cell phones to exchange information.

According to Cisco’s recent VNI Service Adoption Forecast (VNI-SA) research, mobile commerce ranks as the second-fastest-growing consumer mobile service, increasing at a 42.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally from 2011 to 2016. The Middle East and Africa will have the second-highest number of users in 2016, reaching 424 million.

Rural farmers in Africa, for example, now often use their cell phones to check commodity prices before heading to market, helping them improve their bottom line at times when a few cents can make a huge difference. Read More »

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Planning to Work Remotely This Summer – You are Not Alone

In a recent study conducted by Cisco WebEx by Wakefield Research, small business owners will spend up to four weeks working remotely. They will do by using online tools and web collaboration to stay in touch and get the job done. The survey was conducted between June 6 and June 14, involving the owners of businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer may be the time for vacations, but small business owners can’t afford to be away from the office for long. To make the most of work and personal time, many plan to work remotely, on average, 18 days this summer, according to the survey of 500 U.S. small business owners.

One way to get it done is with a free basic account from WebEx.

15% say they intend to work remotely 36 days or more. Read More »

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Economic Development, Biotech and Research Come Together for Innovation at BIO 2012

If you missed BIO 2012, you missed a lot.  The public and private sector came together this week on Boston to examine innovation opportunities to promote economic growth through collaborative research and development projects.  The event drew 16,505 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries.  Boston was host to universities, researchers, state, local and federal government economic development representatives, clinicians and private industries.  This was science at its best at a truly global event.  Discussions around where the biotech industry is going and how pharma is changing took center stage most of the week.

A positive trend was noted in a special state of bioscience development report that analyzes state and national biotech employment patterns. Despite job losses in the U.S. private sector, it showed that US biotech industry actually added jobs between 2001 and 2010.  Throughout the week multiple conversations and meetings took place discussing how the ability to collaborate was a key element to attracting biotech projects.  Many countries visited the Cisco booth to discover what they needed to do to create an infrastructure to welcome biotech development. How can governments work together with biotech companies to produce and atmosphere that welcomes and fosters innovation?

 

 

Read More »

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