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CiscoChat Recap: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

Cisco Chat Banner logoNow we know why one participant tweeted that they couldn’t wait for a “kick-a**” #CiscoChat with Cisco Live keynote speaker and award-winning CNN analyst Mel Robbins. The chat was one of the most inspirational and honest discussions of our #CiscoChat series with nearly 70 participants engaging on the theme: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

During the chat, Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (Cisco EWN) founders Anuja Singh, Rima Alameddine & Priscila David, along with Mel Robbins, explored the “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” theme that began at Cisco Live. Analyzing the definitions of leadership, networking, innovation and success, Cisco EWN’s forum empowered every attendee and provided ample insight into how they can redefine what these words personally mean to them.

The passionate commentary and authentic advice shared was so impactful that we wanted to keep the conversation going. If you missed the live forum or just want to recapture key discussion points (like the meaning of the “5 Second Rule” or how to be a contender vs. a competitor) take a look at some of our #CiscoChat highlights.

Reflecting on her “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” closing keynote, CEWN founders Anuja Singh, Rima AlameddinePriscila David and a host of our #CiscoChat followers were more than excited for Mel Robbins to re-join the conversation.

Cisco Chat  1 Read More »

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The Internet of Things: Retail without Boundaries at Synergy

Last week I was in Orlando attending NCR’s Synergy Conference, which, this year focused on “Inspired Commerce.”  At the show I heard a lot of dialog with retailers and technology partners about how the Internet of Things and the integrated use of mobility in our day-to-day lives is changing how retailers engage with consumers. I addressed this topic in my session at the show, but wanted to mention a few highlights in hindsight.

First, the use of mobile devices during the shopping journey is no longer for millenials and early adopters only. They are certainly the heaviest users, but across the board in the US, 55% of shoppers are making use of retailer-specific applications, and 34% are using independent shopping apps such as Groupon, Zulily, etc. More than 40% of consumers want to receive their loyalty points/perks and discounts in real time, while shopping in the store, vs. receiving the same information in snail mail or in email.

Second, mobile is becoming integral to the shopping process. Retailers are facing demands for greater convenience, transparency, and interactivity with their consumer base that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. (As a side note, this is extending into other industries as well, such as healthcare and financial services.)  Consumer expectations are evolving, and with this, retailers need to be able to offer new and effective engagement opportunities with their brand.

Other disruptors include fast-changing technologies such as social media use (not just Facebook and Twitter, but now Pinterest and Instagram) and the need to aggregate social sentiment data; unstructured data such as photos, posts, Tweets; and structured data coming from legacy systems such as CRM, SCM, and POS to make real-time decisions at the edge of the network – in the store or online where the rubber meets the road.

So – high volumes of structured and unstructured data, exponentially growing sophisticated consumer demands, and the growing use of mobile devices in the shopping journey. How does the retailer leverage all of these opportunities to make the most of this evolution?

With billions of connections, sensors and devices lighting up the Internet of Things, the aggregation of structured and unstructured data to deliver real-time analytics on mobile devices for store associates and mobile engagement via apps aimed at consumers, the opportunities are endless.  Retailers that can deliver hyper-relevance – which, according to Cisco’s research, is increasingly what consumers prefer during the shopping process – will be the ones who stand out.  Hyper-relevance delivers to me, the consumer, what I want, when and how I want it, in the context where I am at that particular moment.

To succeed in this new paradigm, retailers must earn consumers’ trust and deliver consistently as a brand to get access to the data that lets them provide a truly relevant real-time experience. Once consumers are willing to share a certain amount of personal data – at Cisco, we call this the “trust cliff” – retailers can use real-time analytics to turn that data into actionable insights.

We have identified three key attributes that retailers must possess to deliver hyper-relevance and build a dynamic infrastructure and processes:

  1. Hyper-aware: By implementing and automating edge technologies such as sensors, cameras, beacons, and RFID tags, retailers can capture value from the intelligence and automation that is now available to them. This is the way to begin to gain true visibility into what the customer is experiencing in the store, how they are dwelling in the store, where they need help with the shopping process.
  2. Predictive: By overlaying intelligence and analytics on top of these edge technologies, retailers can gain real-time anticipatory insight into what is happening, what to expect, and how to meet customers’ real-time needs. If retailers can more systematically determine peak timeframes and loyal customers’ shopping patterns, they can anticipate the staffing needs to speed up the shopping process and assist customers through the checkout process faster.
  3. Agile: Agile, solid infrastructures, adaptive business processes, and associate training capabilities are critical to being able to deliver the kinds of dynamic experiences discussed here. When business processes can change dynamically and associates trained to respond and do what’s best for the customer, all while leveraging technology and insights gained from integrated systems, the customers’ shopping experience can delivered in an excellent manner.

This is obviously not as easy as it sounds.  Implementing a hyper-aware, predictive, and agile network to respond to your customer demands is very difficult.  We in the Cisco Business Transformation Team work with customers to help them explore where they are today and where they want to take their business in the future, and work arm-in-arm with them to look at what it would take to get from where they are today to this desired future state.

We recommend the following steps:

  1. Forget everything you thought you knew about the digital consumer – all the old paradigms are melting away and “segmentation” no longer applies
  2. Go to the edge for visibility into what customers are experiencing at that moment
  3. Build a dynamic infrastructure and create agile processes that to support the customer experience
  4. Develop new business models that drive innovation and enable hyper-relevance

If you would like to download the white paper from Cisco Consulting Services that I’ve referenced, please click here.

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#CiscoChat: How Can Women ReDEFINE Themselves Today for Tomorrow’s Tech World?

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Each year, Cisco Live is packed with thousands of partners, innovators and progressive thinkers looking beyond today to transform technology tomorrow. For women in the technology industry, Cisco Live 2015 provided us with the opportunity to “ReDEFINE” ourselves, both personally and professionally.  CEWN hosted several events during Cisco Live, including riveting keynotes, intuitive panels, “TED talk”-style stories and invaluable executive mentoring sessions with Cisco leaders.

Priscila David, Anuja Singh & Rima AlameddineAs part of the third annual Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN) Forum at Cisco Live, Read More »

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We don’t need ‘The Rock’ to save the day, we just need to ‘Get Social’!

Mobile applications and sensors are commonly used to monitor traffic, health & wellness and incidents such as road traffic accidents.  But what about the threat of catastrophic disasters such as earthquakes where the loss of life can be unprecedented?

The sun drenched, Californian city of Pasadena is known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl Football game.  It is also located near the infamous San Andreas Fault (SAF).  If you paid attention in geography class at school or if you’ve seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster, ‘San Andreas’  starring ‘The Rock’, you’ll know that this means the city is at risk from earthquakes.

The Rock

Can ‘The Rock’ save the day?

It is suspected that one day California will be hit by The ‘Big One’.  This is a hypothetical earthquake of a magnitude ~8 or greater that is expected to happen along the SAF. Such an earthquake will result in devastation to human civilization within about 50-100 miles of the fault in urban areas such as Palm Springs, Los Angeles and San Francisco. No one knows when ‘The Big One’ will happen because scientists cannot predict earthquakes with any precision.  However, technology is providing them with data that in time will give Californian residents a fighting chance of survival.

Seismometers are highly sensitive instruments that detect seismic activity that occur before earthquakes strike. Unfortunately, due to their cost, the number of seismometers in California are limited.  The Southern California Seismic Network operates just 350 seismic stations and the Northern California Seismic Network has a further 412.

With the threat of ‘The Big One’ forever looming, The Caltec Institute in Pasedena embarked on a project to determine how they could provide a blanket of cheap Seismometers across the state.

Their answer? Smartphones! Yes, really!

Research conducted proved that accelerometers found in most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect large earthquakes.

Creating the ‘Community Seismic Network’ – Caltech is encouraging residents to opt-in to turn their smart phones into mobile seismometers by simply downloading an application called ‘Crowdshake’ onto their android device.

Caltec have said: “if only 1 percent of users in the area opted into the scheme, that few hundred seismometers would be augmented by several hundred thousand additional sensors giving sufficient intelligent processing”.

So how does it work?

Upon downloading the mobile application an algorithm executes in the background of the mobile device.  Algorithms are monitored and when seismic motion is detected by the accelerometer, a message is sent to a Cloud Fusion Center which includes the time, location, and estimated amplitude of the data that triggered the message.

Mobile seisomemetres

The benefit of the Community Seismic Network is huge.  A dense, city-wide seismic network could be used to detect earthquakes rapidly after they start and measure the strength of shaking accurately as it unfolds.

What would this mean to Californian residents? Well, it will enable immediate action to be taken to prevent damage, such as stopping trains and elevators, stabilizing the power grid, and deploying emergency teams.

This is an astounding example of the Internet of Everything! People, data, process and things coming together to save lives in real-time!

Whilst the application is currently a research prototype and not yet fully deployed for public use, Caltech anticipate that the capability of real-time early warning may convince users to download and install the application when it is readily available.

So quite simply, it pays to ‘get social’ especially on those days when ‘The Rock’ isn’t around the save the day!




The Next Big One: Detecting Earthquakes and other Rare Events from Community-based Sensors.

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Collaboration Notes from Cisco Live: Monday Wrap-Up

The games have begun! It’s the official start to Cisco Live 2015 here in sunny San Diego. I started my morning with digital calisthenics to prepare my digits for the keyboarding ahead. And it was a good thing I did because there was plenty about which to tweet. If you’re looking for the collaboration perspective of goings on throughout the show, I’m here to provide it via Twitter (@ciscokima) and nightly wrap-ups of the day’s activities. Read on for: Opening Keynote with John Chambers, Captain of the New Guard, Collaboration in the World of Solutions, What’s Up for Tuesday?, and #MEOW.

Opening Keynote with John Chambers

Despite the fact that it outsized a football field — or a futbol pitch for that matter — the room was full long before Chambers ran on stage. Although it was his final keynote as CEO, he focused on the future and what organizations need to do to next. In ten years, it’s predicted that 40% of today’s enterprise companies will no longer exist. Chambers points to four reasons. Companies that fail:

  • Miss market transitions
  • Do the “right thing” for too long
  • Don’t reinvent themselves
  • Get too far from their customers

So what’s his advice? He provided plenty. Disrupt or be disrupted. Have the ability to make a change before the rest of the world knows it’s possible. Just because you won in the last information age doesn’t mean you’ll win in the digital age. (Honestly, it was a fiesta of tweetable and bloggable soundbites.) Read More »

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