By Chris Ortbals, Senior Vice President, Product Management , Cbeyond Inc.
At the company’s inception in 1999, Cbeyond saw the potential in using IP technology to deliver enterprise-class productivity enhancing communications services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Today, as a cloud and communications services provider, Cbeyond continues to live up to its brand promise as the technology ally to small and mid-sized businesses,
As Cbeyond witnessed the business value large enterprises were achieving from cloud computing, we sought to devise a new strategy and products that would offer our SMB customers the same benefits in a secure, reliable and affordable way. Our competitors typically offer SMBs a commodity-grade or exclusively self-service type of cloud offering. However, we wanted to go further and provide a cloud service that would not only support end-to-end enterprise-grade production applications but also deliver a much superior experience for SMBs.
Our initial expansion into the cloud came with the 2010 acquisitions of MaximumASP, a hosting provider, and Aretta, a network-hosted VoIP provider. We integrated and enhanced the technologies we acquired into TotalCloud, our flexible and highly customizable cloud services platform.
We’ve had a successful relationship with Cisco since 1999, when we launched the first Cisco-powered 100% IP network delivering services to SMBs. So naturally we considered partnering with Cisco as we made the move into the cloud services market.
In the search for the right partner, we did our due diligence and evaluated three vendors. However, we found that only Cisco could help us deploy, provision, test and implement a cloud platform that not only met our requirements but that could also be launched within our aggressive timeframe.
Our TotalCloud Data Center, a service platform for public and private cloud solutions, is powered by Cisco technology, with Cisco Unified Computing System™, Cisco UCS Blade servers, and Cisco Nexus switches. This solution provides us with a repeatable, scalable architecture that can be used in our current and future data centers.
We collaborated with Cisco Services, for Data Center Optimization and Network Optimization Services since network performance is critical to running production applications in the cloud.
Other vendors would have pieced a cloud offering together from multiple sources so going with Cisco as a single vendor offered a clear advantage over using multiple vendors to accomplish the same task. Also, many cloud platforms are built like an island with limited integration into other products used by a service provider, however the Cisco offering is the complete opposite. Cisco has architected its technology in partnership with us so that their technology not only supports how we want our business to operate but how we deliver services and value to our entire customer base.
And partnering with Cisco paid off. With the help of Cisco Services, Cbeyond’s time-to-market for our cloud offering was reduced by two months, and we were able to secure new revenue opportunities earlier than expected.
Like a lot of us in IT, I’m into electronics. I enjoy visiting stores to get the actual hands-on experience of the product – but I admit I rarely buy on the spot. Why? I want to make sure I know what I’m buying, and frankly, that I’m getting the best deal. I either have to do research beforehand – read reviews, check prices, and clip coupons -- or search on my mobile device while I’m in the store. Depending on the results, I could either be heading to another store or heading home to make the purchase online.
This week, Cisco introduced a new way to transform that in-venue experience through Connected Mobile Experiences Web engagement. This enables organizations to communicate with opt-in mobile users – shoppers, guests, visitors -- through their mobile browser, right there in the venue.
Location-aware menus, banners, and icons as well as content-aware search enable organizations to provide venue-specific information – such as nearby dining or amenities -- as well as any information the user may find valuable based on their context: where they are, how long they are there, whether they are a new or repeat visitor, or even what sites they are visiting. This customized communication can dynamically change when the user’s context changes.
Imagine merging the online with the brick and mortar shopping experience – if I’m standing in a particular area looking at a product, the location-aware menu can provide me a link to user reviews of that particular product. And if I’m searching online for the best price, imagine the store issuing a web notification for a price match minus 5% -- I’m sold! Read More »
Planning your summer travel and vacation destinations? Where are you headed and what kind of resort experience will you consider ideal? At this year’s Interop Conference in Las Vegas, the Cisco Enterprise Networking Group unveiled its new marquee customer – MGM Resorts International – who has upped the wireless ante to ensure its visitors have access to the information they need, literally at their fingertips.
At MGM Resorts, they continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for their guests. John Bollen, MGM Resort’s Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, is always looking for ways to take what they do and make it even better. Read More »
Imagine this travel experience: You enter your hotel, and your mobile app buzzes to welcome you back and offers you free Wi-Fi within the lobby area. The app informs you you’re now in line for check-in with a 3 minute wait – your latte is being made in the waiting lounge, and the receptionist will come directly to you. After you check-in, the app launches a map of the property, highlighting all of the hotel’s amenities. As you walk to your room, personalized dining and spa promotions appear – they can be used anytime during your stay.
Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences solution can enable hospitality organizations to use Wi-Fi location services to engage and retain always-connected mobile guests by providing them with highly personalized content and experiences.
Hospitality venues can also use the Wi-Fi network to augment the guest and conference experience to build loyalty and boost sales with location-based information integrated into mobile applications.
Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences is a new solution that helps enable retail organizations to use Wi-Fi location services to deliver engaging store experiences and generate valuable shopper insights. Our industry-specific webinars so far break down use cases for Connected Mobile Experiences for airports/transportation and retail..with more coming soon.
Our latest CMX webinar on demand is specific for retailers: “Boost Revenue, Build Loyalty.”
View this 45-minute on-demand video webcast to learn how to captivate your shoppers with new mobile apps supported by Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences. Discover how real-time location intelligence from your wireless network can enhance customer loyalty, improve store operations, and help you:
Deliver a personalized in-store shopping experience that increases customer intimacy
Provide important information at critical purchase decision points Read More »