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It’s a Wrap! Enterprise Mobility at Cisco Live U.S. 2015

25,000+ IT geeks have left the building – the San Diego Convention Center, specifically – now that Cisco Live U.S. wrapped last Friday. It was a huge success and we have the data to prove it, thanks to Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX). Some interesting and fun stats:

  • You love beer. Happy Hour was, unsurprisingly, very popular, responsible for big spikes in attendance at the World of Solutions (WoS) at the end of each day.
  • You like free swag (…and demos). Attendees, booth staffers aside, spent 2.5 hours on average in the WoS, and 1 hour 16 minutes on average at the Cisco booths in WoS. If you picked up lightsabers at the Cisco Mobility and Enterprise Networks booths, hopefully airport TSA didn’t confiscate them from you!
  • You bid adieu to John Chambers. The crowds came to see his final Cisco Live keynote as our CEO, illustrated by a massive spike with over 5,000 unique devices.
  • You use more than one mobile device. There were 29,000+ unique visitors (devices) at CLUS, not including staffers, and specifically The Hub saw the most action.

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For many more Cisco Live insights by my colleague Evyatar Ram, Product Manager on the CMX team, check out his blog here.

Cisco Mobility wasn’t just gathering analytics in the background at Cisco Live, it was also front and center at the Innovation Talk: Future of the Network. Rob Soderbery, Cisco SVP of Enterprise Products & Solutions, shared how our Mobility solutions create new ways of digitizing business with applications in mind, beyond the wireless network. He showed a live demo of CMX location innovations such as hyperlocation – a Best of Interop Las Vegas and Tokyo winner — and live analytics. In addition, he demonstrated how easy it is for customers to deliver captured portals with pre-set templates that are easy to update and integrate in other data sources such as CRM, powered by Enterprise Mobility Services Platform (EMSP). The talk wrapped with a raffle drawing of two Apple iWatches. Were you one of the lucky winners?

As I left Cisco Live after the show wrapped up, Elvis walked by, sporting a spangly jumpsuit and slinging his guitar. Really, I can’t make this stuff up. I suppose that’s a sparkly reminder that I’ll be seeing him, and you, in Vegas for Cisco Live U.S. next year.

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Cisco Live insights from CMX Analytics

We recently concluded another successful Cisco Live! event in San Diego which showcased some of the most innovative and exciting technologies in our industry. One of the most exciting solutions present at Cisco Live was in fact running in the background the whole time. CMX Analytics leverages the WLAN network to analyze how people move around the venue, where they spend their time, and when they visited different parts.

So what can we tell about Cisco Live from looking at CMX Analytics? First of all we can see how people moved around the venue throughout the week. Here we are seeing three days of data showing us where people were throughout the day.

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We can notice several things:

  1. People like happy hour – If you look at the data for WoS (World of Solutions – the green line) we can see that there is a spike in attendance at the end of every day – this corresponds to Happy Hour when visitors could get a beer to cap off a long day at the show. You can clearly see that at the end of the day, most of the visitors congregate in the World of Solutions.
  2. The Hub was a huge success – Within the venue there was a zone called the Hub which was where visitors could meet with Cisco engineers for more casual technical discussions. The Hub is represented by the blue line and what is immediately visible is that people came to the hub after the morning sessions around lunch time. In both the Tuesday data as well as the Wednesday data it’s clear that the Hub traffic peaks at the same time the Upper Floor attendance ebbs.
  3. John Chambers keynote was very popular – the Keynote area (the light blue line) shows a massive spike during the keynote peaking at more than 5000 unique devices

Another interesting question is how many people came to the Cisco booth in the World of Solutions. Looking at the data we can see that on average around 25% of the visitors to the WoS came to the Cisco Booth. Should be noted that to get more accurate data we are filtering out visitors that spent less than 20 minutes in the Cisco Booth (‘walking through’) as well as devices that were seen for more than 4 hours (which we assume are the booth staff).

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Another interesting metric is how long did people spend in the World of Solutions and particularly in the Cisco booth. Looking at the data we can see that on average people spent nearly two and a half hours in the WoS. Read More »

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Three Cheers for Cisco! Enterprise Products Clean Up at Interop Tokyo!

Cisco is proud to have three enterprise products selected as award recipients at last weeks’s Interop conference in Tokyo. The products’ recognition at Interop’s Best of Show Awards further cements Cisco’s commitment to providing the best innovative products and solutions for our customers.

Cisco swept the Mobile & Wireless Category, as the Cisco Hyperlocation Module took home the Grand Prize and the Cisco Aironet 1850 Series Access Point (AP) won the Semi-Grand Prize. This year’s accolades makes it back-to-back triumphs for the Hyperlocation Module as it won the Best of Interop Award during last April’s show in Las Vegas.

In the Enterprise/SMB Networking Category, the Catalyst mGig 4500-E/3850/3560-CX received the category’s Special Prize.

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Cisco is honored to be recognized by Interop for its innovation and technological advancements in wireless. If you aren’t familiar with our award-winning products, we wanted to bring you up to speed on what we can do.

Award-Winning Solutions Read More »

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Accurate Location Starts with Accurate Data

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Co-Author Darryl Sladden

We recently wrote about the three elements required for more effective location based services—location accuracy, refresh rate and system latency. Today we’ll take a close look at the first of those elements—location accuracy.

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As with any type of computing, the quality of the output is directly related to the quality of the input. There are several factors that influence the precision of the location data.  Here are several factors in order of importance that influence the quality of location:

  1. AP Density—The number of installed access points in the venue are the biggest contributor to location data quality. It makes sense. More access points means more points of reference, fewer dead spots, and greater capacity to track devices. However, there is a point of diminishing returns after which additional APs are not helpful. If this is the case in your network, you can move these APs into monitor mode.
  2. AP Placement—Closely following AP density, the placement of those access points has a huge impact on location data quality. Placement should start at the perimeter of the space then move inward. Placement should be as non-linear as possible yet avoid dead spots caused by elevator shafts, large open atriums, and wiring closets. During set up, it’s best to define these areas as exclusion zones as one can safely assume that no one will or should be moving through elevator shafts, wiring closets or the second floor of an open, three-story atrium.
    • It’s also important that access points be placed as close to their mapped location as possible. At a minimum, they should be placed on the correct floor. Ideally, they should be within three feet or less of their actual location and their correct heights and antenna orientation should be recorded in PI
  3. RSSI Signal— The density and placement of the access points should enable the RSSI signal to be stronger than -75dbm by four APs throughout the entire venue.
  4. Chirps and Probes—While the wireless network has the greatest influence on location accuracy, the signal intervals of RF tags and mobile devices also impacts accuracy. For the greatest accuracy, RF ID tags should be set to chirp on all three channels—1, 6, and 11—every 30 seconds.
  5. Multi-floor deployment – In a venue with multiple floors, access points should be aligned along a common vertical axis. Third floor directly above the second floor access point, and so on.
  6. Tracking mobile devices – Locating mobile devices is more challenging. Generally, device manufacturers set probe rates at intervals of 90 seconds or more to save battery life. Reducing the probe rate can profoundly reduce battery life. In addition, many mobile devices randomize their MAC address, making it nearly impossible to get a consistent location fix. The best way to ensure that mobile devices gets good consistent location is to have them associated with the network, sending traffic and utilizing Cisco Fastlocate capabilities of the network.
  7. Zones—You can improve location data accuracy by defining zones within the venue. The general rule of thumb is to define a zone that is twice the size as your desired level of accuracy. Need accuracy to within ten meters? Then make the zone no larger than 20 meters by 20 meters. The zone size should also take into account the average probe rates of your typical clients and their associated user move rate.
  8. Calibration—Location accuracy can be calibrated. While it is a time-consuming process, it can result in the highest degree of accuracy. Essentially, the calibration process involves placing a mobile device in a known location using its probe to validate the location.

Read More »

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802.11ac Wave 2 is a Game Changing Technology for the Wired Network

The WiFi industries latest standard—802.11ac wave 2—is now upon us.  This version of WiFi smashes the Gigabit barrier and promises to raise the performance of wireless network to levels never seen before.  802.11ac wave 2 is ideally suited to meet the new demands created by the influx of wirelessly connected devices being brought into businesses at an unprecedented rate.  Make no mistake, for most workers today, the wireless network is not just an alternative way to connect.  Rather, it has become the primary access network for most businesses and is creating new experiences and new ways of engaging customers and workers.

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There’s another aspect of this WiFi version that is unique, wave 2 is the first WiFi standard that will dictate the architecture of the wired network.  Prior to wave 2, the wired network had always outperformed wireless so business could deploy WiFi without much impact to the wired network.  With wave 2, the wireless network will have as good—or better—performance than wired switches.  Now businesses can enable more devices per user, such as stream 4K video over WiFi, and be assured their Internet of Things deployments go smoothly. Read More »

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