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Reimagine Work to Maximize Digital Value

As Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer, my entire focus is on enabling Cisco and our customers to accelerate the digitization of our businesses, countries, and cities.

Digitization provides an enormous opportunity to enable, differentiate, and define new business models; yet at its core, the success of the transition is predicated on the capacity to reimagine and reinvent the actual work. This includes building on the Internet foundation to extend the mobility of work, the distribution of work, the immediacy of work, and how and where work will take place.

Being digital isn’t just about technology. It requires companies to reexamine their entire way of doing business — and how they offer it — to deliver new value to customers and partners through fast innovation and operational efficiency.

Winners will be those who equate digitization not with basic automation, but instead with the notion of reinventing systems and tools to create a continuous cycle of innovation in a company’s product portfolio and operating model.

As we begin 2016, companies are under more pressure to accelerate digitization than ever before.

In fact, according to a 2015 study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), “digital disruption” will displace nearly 4 of the top 10 incumbents by industry over the next five years. The average time to disruption is a mere three years!

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Financial Services and Retail: ‘A (Digital) Tale of Two Industries’

Over the past six months or so, many of my blogs have dealt with the hot topic of “digital disruption” — both as a threat and an opportunity for companies, regardless of industry.

Several industries already find themselves inside this swirling “Digital Vortex,” which possesses the potential to reshape industries faster than perhaps any force in history. The power of the Digital Vortex is undeniable: it will displace nearly 4 of the top 10 incumbents by industry over the next five years, according to a 2015 study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center).

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As part of its study, the DBT Center ranked 12 industries based on their potential for digital disruption. The No. 3- and No. 4-ranked industries — retail and financial services, respectively — provide a fascinating contrast in how industries are faring as they confront the Digital Vortex. Read More »

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The Key to Success in Tracking Mobile Devices: Symbiosis, Not Espionage

As a shopper enters a store, the retailer uses Wi-Fi to track her movements, interests, and shopping habits, providing a treasure trove of insight valuable to merchandising and product development alike.

And as advances in Wi-Fi promise increasing location precision and beacons promise pinpoint location based services, the future appears to be smooth sailing, right?

Well, not exactly.

Tracking the position of mobile devices accurately and correlating to personal data has been one of the most sought after Big Data objectives. And not just for retailers — the potential wealth of business value from data has drawn piqued interest across nearly all industries.

Yet in the real world, issues arise from both technology challenges and privacy concerns alike.

Technology challenges include:

  • Typical Wi-Fi accuracies in the 7-to-10 meter range (though Angle of Arrival and improved location analytics promise dramatic improvements)
  • Infrequent mobile device probing to conserve battery power
  • Interference from metal shelves & fixtures, water in products (and people!)

Privacy qualms speak to the heart of transformation in the Internet of Everything (IoE) age. IoE, after all, is the explosion of network connections among people, process, data, and things — and promises to be one of the most impactful periods of change in our history. And the people element is in some ways the whole point — to make our lives better, healthier, more efficient, and so forth. But the people issues will be just as challenging as those that arise around technology. Read More »

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Apple iOS 8 and MAC Randomization: What It means for Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Solution

As you may have read, Apple’s iOS 8 will come with some changes to the way MAC addresses are exposed in Wi-Fi probe requests. Apple’s intent was to provide an additional layer of privacy for consumers and target those companies that offer analytics without providing any value to the end consumer. We’ve been getting some questions about what this means and how it impacts our Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX)  solution, so we wanted to clear this up for our customers.

What does this mean for you? 

First and foremost, Cisco has always been dedicated to privacy for our customers and their end-users. There are four aspects of privacy that are built into our CMX solution:

1. Anonymous Aggregate Information: All analytics are based on aggregate, anonymized location data.

2. Permission-based: Users have to opt-in to join a Wi-Fi network or download an app

3. MAC Address Hash: Users’ MAC addresses can be hashed before exposing to 3rd party apps

4. Opt Out: End-users are always presented with the option to opt out of location-based services

The true value of CMX analytics for organizations is in aggregate location data to be used for business analysis to improve the customer experience for end-users. Providing customers with high performing Wi-Fi not only keeps always-on mobile users happy and opens the doors to delighting customers with more personalized experiences, but also helps provide more granularity to those aggregate trends to feed back into the experience creation machine. Win-win.

What does this mean for our CMX value proposition? Read More »

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Social Media Week Panel: Standing Out in a Video-Congested World

Let’s face it:

  • videos on the internet are a dime a dozen these days
  • there’s no way to differentiate one brand from another when it comes to the impact of video
  • YouTube is the only channel for video distribution and there’s no value in anything else

If you believe any of this, then you definitely need to join me at an upcoming Social Media Week panel.  I will join several industry colleagues in providing a crash course on how to stand out in a video world.

In this session entitled, “How to Stand Out When Everyone’s Using Video,” I will focus on the finer points of using video to engage audiences and integrate it with organization’s social efforts. With me will be Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3; Jordan Hoffner, president of digital media at Electus; and Melissa Chanslor, social media lead at Text 100.  Moderating the panel is a true technology and social media maven, Liz Gannes of All Things D.

During the discussion I promise we won’t just tell you that video is important, and that it provides a different channel to communicate with various audiences — everyone knows this by now. Instead, we will be specific about why it can be a great tool for a brand (especially if you’re a media company), and how to get the most value from it. Read More »

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