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Cisco Acquires ThinkSmart

Today, Cisco announced its acquisition of ThinkSmart Technologies, a software company that delivers location data analysis using a Wi-Fi infrastructure.  Together, Cisco and ThinkSmart will enhance the wireless network infrastructure by providing location analytics to service provider and enterprise customers to more effectively reach end users.   

ThinkSmart – headquartered in Cork, Ireland – provides insight into Wi-Fi location analytics alongside historical trends, enabling customers to have greater visibility into movements and patterns of trending data. By integrating ThinkSmart’s technology into Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), customers will be able to aggregate, analyze, predict and react to consumer behavior. Read More »

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Cisco IBSG Study: WiFi for Service Providers

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, mobile network traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015, reaching 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015.  Global mobile traffic will grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic over this period. Because of this, mobile operators are trying to align this phenomenal network demand with revenue growth.

WiFi represents a significant business opportunity for service providers.  Many fixed, mobile or integrated SPs around the globe are either planning on or are already investing in WiFi services. Although commercial Wi-Fi hotspot services operated by specialized providers have existed for more than 15 years, WiFi is a relatively new business for the majority of SPs and has not reached the level of maturity of other well-established, “carrier-grade” communications services.  In particular, unlicensed frequencies and less-developed service management capabilities impose operational challenges.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 14 SP executives worldwide to understand the trends in WiFi operations and the current challenges SPs face.   The results are in a paper titled “WiFi for Service Providers: Challenges and Opportunities for Carrier-Class Operations”. Read More »

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Meet Greg Smith: Mastermind Behind 2 Award-Winning Social Programs

May 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm PST

On an everyday basis, Greg has demonstrated exemplary blogging skills, but his contributions to award-winning projects that innovatively used social media to connect with fans are not to be overlooked.

A 12-year veteran at Cisco, Greg Smith is a Marketing Manager for Cisco’s Service Provider (SP) Routing & Switching platform. He mainly focuses on the SP Carrier Grade IPv6 solutions (CGv6) and worldwide marketing of Cisco’s Edge solution portfolio, which includes products such as the ASR family of routers.

Greg’s Unique Blogging Talent

Being his team’s lead for global communication efforts, this SME is involved with much of the blog-writing and editing on the SP360 Blog (check out Greg’s Cisco blogger profile). Many of these blog posts have been featured as Cisco’s top 5 blog posts (based on number of number of hits) due to Greg’s attractive writing style which easily captures readers’ attention. Particularly notable is his gift for writing intriguing headlines and connecting technological topics to life analogies as is exemplified with his blog article relating Internet gaming to 100 GB technology and this one showcasing his video on how the network is relevant to NOOAs mission to protect the environment. 

As successful as Greg has been with his blogging practice, the highlight of his social achievements have been comprised of his contributions to two exceptional projects—Cisco myPlanNet Game and the ASR 9000 “Robot Arm” demo—for  which he acted as the concept designer and promoter. What’s more, both projects were selected as winners of the B2B Marketing Awards in two subsequent years!

The Fun, Educational, and Relevant myPlanNet Simulation Game Read More »

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Cisco IBSG Examines Service Provider Role in Healthcare

In 2011, the amount Americans spent on healthcare equaled nearly 18 percent of the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Product.  This huge amount – more than $2.5 trillion – greatly concerns governments, insurers and medical professionals.  And the pressures on the healthcare system will only grow, as the overall U.S. population ages.

The healthcare debate has spawned many suggestions.  One focus is making the healthcare system more efficient.  Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), in a series of projects with key U.S. service providers, explored how they can help enable more efficient delivery of health solutions. 

Details are in an IBSG-produced document titled “Service Providers: A Tourniquet for the Hemorrhaging Healthcare System”.   The paper can be found on the Service Provider Thought Leadership section of the Cisco IBSG website.  At this site, you will find many interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment.  

Read More »

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Another Mobile World Congress Wraps

Musings and mutterings from the just-completed Mobile World Congress 2012 . . .

  • Darned if this still isn’t the only place in the universe where there are waiting lines leading into the men’s rooms but not the ladies’ rooms . . . Obviously, the planners did not heed my carefully crafted suggestion for improvement made in the wake of the 2011 event.
  • Barcelona did get the weather right this year, though – Each day was darned sunny and fairly warm . . . a decided contrast to the last two Februarys.
  • The show was held two weeks later this year than in previous years, so no one had an excuse for being away on Valentine’s Day.  “Sorry, honey, but I ‘have’ to go to Barcelona this week . . .” didn’t work this time.
  • All that aside, MWC continues to enhance its position as the largest, most important service provider-focused show of the year. 
  • The projected attendance was 65,000, about 12% more than in 2011.  It will be a few days before the official figure is posted, but, judging from the traffic inside and outside the Fira de Barcelona all four days, the estimate seems reasonable.
  • The most prominent theme this year was SP Wi-Fi/small cells . . . which just happened to align perfectly with Cisco’s key messaging and announcement.  Not to mention numerous customer-focused mentions this week and last.   Cisco focused “not only on what we make, but what we make possible.”
  • Other consistent themes included monetization, optimization, reducing capex and opex, and cloud applications. 
  • ARPU continues to stagnate . . . a real problem for operators.
  • Another theme often heard is that service providers are more and more looking for advice from vendors.   There was a time when that was not true.  “They’re looking at the situation and saying, ‘We need some help figuring out what to do with all this stuff,” one analyst remarked.     Another added, “It’s VERY important for a vendor to be considered a trusted advisor.”  Hmmm – Does Cisco’s consulting arm – the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) – ring a bell?
  • Mobile World Congress has evolved – as it must – in its approximately 15 years of existence.   Real old-timers remember when it was small and very clubby.    Particularly in the last few years, it has changed and broadened as the concept of mobility has become more ubiquitous.  “Three years ago, it was more of a pure infrastructure show with the Huaweis, Ericssons of the world holding forth,” said one.  “Last year, companies like Samsung and Google got much of the attention.  This year, it’s WiFi and small cells.”
  • “Four years ago here, a Hotspot was an oddity,” one analyst said.  “Now, it’s the norm.” 
  • In a Cisco analyst/media event about small cells, Telstra CTO Dr. Hugh Bradlaw said, “It’s the network, stupid.  That’s what makes the cloud possible.”
  • Machine-to-machine continues to grow in importance.   One analyst firm characterized it this way: “M2M = M3 . . . Make More Money”.
  • Overheard while standing in line at the men’s room: “Operators are chasing the consumer too much and not realizing that a lot of SMBs and mid-market companies are dying for solutions that are right in their [the operators’] sweet spot.”

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