Cisco has been playing a critical part for retail, healthcare, hospitality and transportation organizations to gain an understanding of how end-users move throughout an organization’s physical location. This is done through our Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution.
With all the valuable information CMX provides, the demand for even more accurate data has been growing. Location accuracy has been a hot developing field and, as I mentioned in announcing our Best of Interop Finalist status in the wireless category last week, Cisco’s taken the lead in redefining how this location-based data is acquired.
In the past many solutions have relied on the probing performed by the mobile device to acquire location-based data. In recent months this approach has shown diminishing returns. The underlying issue is that this data is reliant on how frequently the mobile device probes an access point. A couple issues that arise include:
- Mobile device manufacturers are reducing the frequency of device probing to conserve battery. This reduces the number of data points collected and impacts the accuracy of the data
- Different manufacturers probe the access point with varying frequency so some devices deliver more accurate information than others skewing the location analytics data.
At Cisco’s annual Partner Summit event we are revealing some key areas of focus for the upcoming Cisco v8.0 release. Although the list is not inclusive of all new functionality, I would like to highlight some steps we are taking to bring CMX to meet the ever-evolving demand for location-based data.
Step 1: Increasing Data Resolution
To address this Cisco this week announced new functionality, soon to be available in the Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences release v8.0, to address the downside of relying solely on mobile device probing. Cisco has turned to what we know best…the network! Cisco CMX v8.0 will offer the ability to leverage network packet data to supplement the mobile device probing. The benefits of doing include:
- Data packets are initiated by the network, regardless if the end-user is actively using the device or not, and are available on demand which provides more data points to accurately represent end-user activity in the location
- Data packets are device agnostic so the location data collected is consistent across all devices regardless of manufacturer
The payoff, as you can see in the graphic is that you get a more accurate representation of user activity in the environment. In the example we have a mobile device that probes every 30 seconds. As the user walks in the location it proves an access point, the user walks down some aisles and makes a few turns. 30 seconds later the mobile device probes another access point. The analytics, represented by the red line, based on those data points will show the user moving in a straight line. Which in fact is not how the user moved through the location. If we then compare it to the green line that supplements device probing with network packet data the representation of the movement is more accurate.
Step 2: More Data Requires Enterprise Scalability
Additionally, the Cisco CMX v8.0 release will take server scalability to the next level. Not only will this support the increased number of data points, it will increase the number of access points supported, number of clients supported and number of years data is retained. With improved reporting functionality, CMX analytics can now generate reports faster than ever before.
Step 3: Harvesting the Data
With more granular and robust location-based data available to the organization, Cisco has also made available our own software development kit (SDK) to assist in mobile application development efforts. This allows organizations to use location data to develop applications in-house or with one of our ecosystem partners to better engage users in their location via their mobile devices.
Going to Interop next week? You’re in luck to learn more!
If you are attending Interop Las Vegas be sure to visit us at our booth #1327 and come listen to Cisco, partner and customer experts discuss these new innovations at our luncheon event on April 1, 2014. Register for the event.
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