This weekend I spent a considerable amount of time searching for a pair of expensive earrings that I misplaced. Not a fun job, especially since I wasn’t ready to write off the value of this asset or to replace it. That’s when I began to wonder -- how cool would it be if I could use the Wi-Fi network in my house to keep track of my valuable personal inventory -- jewellery, handbags and TV remote control by tagging them. The time I would save from looking for these items could definitely be spent productively on actually enjoying them. While the concept and ROI of using active RFID tags with Wi-Fi networks for personal asset management might not be real just yet, it is definitely picking up steam in the business environment -- especially in some key industries such as healthcare where tracking the location of assets such as infusion pumps, EKG monitors etc has saved some hospitals between $400,000-500,000 (for a typical 400 bed hospital) annually through loss prevention, fewer purchases, and labor savings. Manufacturing is another industry where the ROI of using Wi-Fi based location technology becomes very apparent -- think of an aircraft or car manufacturer who deals with thousands of parts and needs to know their location in order to ensure timely availability in the final product assembly process. Read More »
In early April, I attended the HIMSS show in Chicago where I showcased our enhanced mobile collaboration applications. One of our solutions featured the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator application on newly Cisco certified Mobile Clinical Assistants (tablet PC’s designed for the healthcare environment) and the ability to share high bandwidth images over the Cisco 802.11n network. I also demonstrated the integration of location information made available by the Cisco WLAN on the Cisco 7925 Wireless IP phone. This information allows nurses to quickly locate medical equipment, patients and members of the healthcare team. Our demo’s generated a lot of interest and I was overwhelmed by the positive response from customers who agreed that these solutions would make a difference in the productivity of caregivers who are the backbone of the healthcare system. Read More »
Every couple of quarters the Cisco mobility marketing team gets together to reflect on what went well and to plan for the rest of the year. This year, we met at a colleague’s home and brought in those who were not in California over WebEx. To provide an audio connection to WebEx, we turned to a Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone 7925G connected back to the corporate office using Cisco Virtual Office. The 7925G worked remarkably well as a conference speaker phone, delivering crystal clear audio. But when a team member from Ohio was delivering her presentation, inexplicably, we noticed intermittent issues with the audio quality. Read More »
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With 3G cellular service becoming more pervasive both in the United States and across the globe, organizations often ask the question: Do I need Wi-Fi as part of my mobility strategy? The right answer is to use both Wi-Fi and cellular networks as valuable tools for mobilizing your workforce. Wi-Fi is useful when your organization needs more dedicated mobile bandwidth and wants to support high bandwidth enterprise tools like video. We’re all aware of the role that video has taken on the Internet: According to the comScore Video Metrix, 78.5% of US Internet users had viewed Internet video and over 14.3 billion videos were viewed by US users over the Internet in December 2008 alone. Within the enterprise, the consumption of video is expected to more than double by 2010, according to IDC. Video is clearly here to stay as a dominant media type on today’s networks and Wi-Fi is the medium to mobilize it within the enterprise. Read More »