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Cisco Aironet Access Points Contribute to a Less Stressful Hospital

There’s never an easy day in a hospital. When you have an IT infrastructure that is outdated and prone to breakdowns, a difficult job in the best circumstances can become a disheartened mess.

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Roper St. Francis (RSF) is one of South Carolina’s leading healthcare organizations and is in the top 10% of hospitals in the United States. The RSF group is made up of three hospitals, 110 facilities and employs 5500 people and is growing. That growth comes with issues, as acquisitions have created confusion with 50 different phone and key systems and no real consistent Wi-Fi network.

The lack of a strong Wi-Fi network was the most troubling task facing RSF as doctors and staff had a difficult time finishing even their easiest jobs in a timely manner. Whether it was viewing patient records or documenting patient’s vital signs, the Wi-Fi network couldn’t keep up with the strain of the day-to-day tasks. Add in the countless mobile devices competing for the same bandwidth and the network often lost connectivity—usually at the most inopportune times.

To put it politely, the staff at RSF was feeling frustrated. Read More »

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Don’t Get Spooked by Location Services – There Are More Treats than Tricks

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November 3 – 4th, 2015 | Crowne Plaza, Palo Alto




The explosive growth in mobility, reaching over 11.5 billion devices and connections by 2019, is spawning unprecedented opportunities for businesses. With 74% of US smartphone owners now using location services – which are simply mobile technologies that identify location of people or things to capture analytics or engage customers – IT more business-relevant than ever. However location technologies are uncharted territory for most, and embarking on it can be somewhat daunting, and perhaps even a little scary.

So, in the ‘spirit’ of the approaching American holiday, Halloween, let’s shed some light on what location services really are, and what you can do with them – and perhaps discover that there’s nothing to be scared of.

Let’s start with the basics: Location-based services are one way many businesses are beginning to use mobile (and eventually ‘Internet of Things’) technologies to capture historical and real-time location information about user behavioral patterns. This is done by detecting smart phones and tablets, and using the data analytics to drive better business decisions. By knowing where users are and where they’ve been, companies can optimize the onsite experience and elevate engagement through time-relevant, personalized mobile experiences.

Let me give you some examples to make it real. Location data through mobile devices can answer a variety of important questions:

  • For business-to-consumer companies, you can learn: How many people come by my store or my department or my display? And of those people, how many actually stay? More importantly, how long? This helps you answer questions like, when should I schedule more salespeople or which promotions are grabbing people’s attention? And while this example is for retail, it’s just as relevant for hotels, theme parks, airports, stadiums, hospitals, and museums.
  • For business-to-business companies, location services can tell business leaders how employees are using the workspace – where do they congregate? Which spaces are well-used, and which ones aren’t? That data can help determine how to better utilize precious (and expensive) office space and resources.
  • For companies with expensive assets to manage, such as medical devices or manufacturing equipment, location services can help employees find any misplaced resources faster and reduce inventory replenishment when they think they’ve lost equipment.

Of course, while this sounds great in concept, location technologies cover a broad spectrum of applications, and it is difficult to know what is right for your organization. In designing Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), we wanted to eliminate the all-too-frequently asked questions: Where do I get started? And how much do I have to invest to get results?

We understand that business leaders are under pressure to show near-immediate results from their IT investments. With our recent CMX 10.2 release, we enable customers to get up and running in less than 20 minutes using their existing current Cisco WiFi infrastructure. All you need to do is download a trial of CMX software, and define the zones of your Cisco Aironet access points to start detecting users and collecting analytics. From there, CMX begins capturing rich insights that quickly reveal valuable data – visitors, dwell time, peak hours, path correlation, and social analytics – insights that business leaders will immediately recognize as valuable. You can also quickly set up customized captive portals for guest WiFi, and deliver time relevant offers, all of which can be updated anytime.

Now, I’m sure that some readers might think: ‘its easy to procure a new system, but it can be a nightmare for IT to manage’. The good news is that Cisco CMX also addresses the complexity of managing multiple hardware solutions that can require multiple tools or platforms. CMX not only gathers data from both Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) aware technology, but it can also serve as a gateway to monitor and eventually manage your beacons as well.

Another concern we hear about is integration. Most customers are looking to deploy mobile applications, but are faced with budget and compatibility issues that appear to stand in their way. To minimize those fears, Cisco works with leading companies across different industries to validate and test location solutions, so customers can be up and running faster with lower costs and fewer bumps for IT. Some examples include:
MazeMap supporting indoor navigation apps
Phunware providing monetized services across industries
Nevotek delivering apps for hotels to connect their guests
Intelligent InSites enabling solutions that interconnect hospital IT systems

Location services may look scary to some, but the reality is that location can be a major treat for your organization if you know what to look for. I invite you to join me next week at Location & Context World, where I’ll be discussing the opportunities and challenges for location-based services. Hope to see you there!

Location & Context World

  • Session: Location Insights & Customer Engagement Through Wi-Fi and BLE
  • Date: Tuesday, November 3 at 9:20am
  • Location: Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA

And if you cannot make it that day, you can master the mysterious world of location-based services any time at

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Cisco Wins Gold in Data Center Infrastructure Survey

Cisco swept three product categories of IT Brand Pulse’s 2015 Data Center Infrastructure IT Brand Leader survey. Cisco took home the prizes in the WLAN Controllers and Access Points, Fiber Channel Network Monitoring and Network Performance Monitoring product categories. No other company in the survey placed in more than two product categories.

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For the third year in a row Read More »

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MazeMap and Cisco Lead the Way

A CMX Partner Ecosystem Blog

Ecosystem partners are an important adjunct to Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX). They augment the analytic and customer engagement capabilities of the solution with innovative business outcomes. This blog is one in a series that will highlight several of our CMX Ecosystem Partners. Today—MazeMap.

MazeMap is a provider of indoor maps and navigation services. With MazeMap Indoor Maps, end users have interactive, searchable and linkable indoor maps available on all their devices. To ensure their indoor maps deliver richer, more informative experiences, MazeMap offers several capabilities.

  • Interactive Maps—MazeMap can build indoor maps from DWG/DXF files (CAD-format) and extract information to make the maps searchable and linkable. (See This process is nearly fully automated making it easy to update maps whenever there are changes to the building structure.
  • Map Editor—MazeMap provides a map editor for customers to control how their campus should appear, what should be searchable and what should be visible in the maps. Here customers can add points of interest making sure the maps are always relevant for the end users.
  • Indoor Positioning—MazeMap uses Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences to deliver “blue dot” location on the digitized map.
  • Indoor Paths—MazeMap can provide wayfinding information to help users navigate from their current location to their desired end point. With the map editor customers can edit the paths making sure that users are routed through the desired route, not necessary the shortest one. Customers can even see which routes are available for the mobility challenged to ensure everyone can navigate on their own.
  • Integration API—MazeMap can be easily integrated into existing applications such as loyalty apps or can integrate other data sources into the MazeMap navigation application.

In Step
Cisco and MazeMap have Read More »

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How 802.11ac Made Wireless the New Access

In recent years, wireless has become the preferred means of access for networks. This change may be have been inevitable to some, but why did this happen? What has changed to make this possible? Not too long ago, there was a time when wireless had the reputation of not having the reliability or performance for everyday use in enterprise networks. But a few events occurred that can be directly attributed to the changed  perception of wireless networks.

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One event was the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, which increased the use of Wi-Fi as a means of access. Beside the growth of Read More »

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