This holiday season customers have more ways to shop than ever before. Retailers are making it easier to get the right presents by providing enhanced delivery options – from buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) to curbside pickup. While this freedom is empowering for customers, it creates a new level of complexity for retailers as seen by the hurdles experienced this holiday season. As this complexity becomes the new normal, the retailers that will thrive are those who deliver a consistent branded shopping experience across all channels.

No retailer has yet fully mastered the seamless omnichannel experience, but a few are well on their way:

Nordstrom gives customers access to advice from their favorite sales associate anytime through their TextStyle program. If a customer needs a personalized recommendation, a sales associate can scan an item, provide a photo and brief description, and send them a buying code via text. Once a customer types “buy,” the sale is charged to their preferred credit card and sent to the shipping address that’s on file.


Kohl’s is seeing success with its mobile app which provides a consistent experience by allowing customers to access their virtual shopping bag, available loyalty points, and promotions while shopping in-store or online.

Coach does a fantastic job of integrating channels by allowing customers online to search in-store inventory in their area for the specific product they want. When a customer completes the purchase in store, the associate sends them a follow up email that includes personalized recommendations to encourage repeat purchases.

The shopping experience demanded in today’s competitive climate needs to be seamless. Retailers can be successful by creating one digital platform and pushing content and functionality across multiple channels, instead of trying to integrate a portfolio of different assets.


One way retailers can start is to repurpose content from their online and mobile properties and bring it into the store using digital signage and tablets. This allows them to test which content increases conversions and apply changes instantly across multiple stores.

And content isn’t the only thing that can be duplicated across channels. Retailers can scale shopper engagement through digital experiences in the store. By using digital capabilities like remote expert, retailers can continuously offer high levels of service and expertise in a way that isn’t dependent on in-store staffing. Promotions can also be offered in real-time to improve conversion or maintain competitive pricing.


Retailers should evaluate each step in the shopper journey and assess where digitization can improve the experience. They should also consider making use of the data that comes from digitizing those steps to make better decisions on what’s working and what isn’t.

While retailers have access to a mountain of data from online and mobile shopping journeys, they have a big opportunity to gather data from the in-store experience. Retailers will get a full picture of each customer’s journey when they combine data across all channels and build processes that allow them to deliver the right experience at the right time – whether shorter checkout, personalized assistance, or more relevant promotions. At Cisco we’re building the most advanced IOT solution in the industry by giving retailers access to information in the store that they can apply online and share across all channels.

What strategies do you think will be effective for creating seamless customer experiences? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more innovative retail strategies, see our Top 10 list of how you can create the ultimate shopping experience:


Kathryn Howe

Director, Healthcare Digital Transformation, Cisco Americas

Customer Value Acceleration/Business Transformation


AN39409The Chartwell School in Seaside, CA and the Namibia University of Science and Technology might be on opposite sides of the world, but both schools know that Cisco Aironet 1850 Series Access Points (AP) are the best products to deploy a wireless network. An 802.11ac Wave 2-based access point, the Aironet 1850 is the most cutting-edge AP on the market today. Both schools had the same goal: each wanted to make sure that their wireless networks were ready for the onslaught of 802.11ac Wave 2 devices that will be heading their way in the coming years.

The staff at the Chartwell School needed to upgrade its Wi-Fi network to better support its students who have language-based learning differences. Chartwell turned to Cisco and not only deployed the Cisco Aironet 1850 access points but also Cisco Mobility Express to bring support to its modernized learning environment.

Mobility Express easily handles the bandwidth increase and supports wireless multitasking both at school and at students’ homes. The school’s network is now better equipped to handle high-bandwidth learning tools, multi-device connectivity and newer cloud-based teaching solutions.

Prior to Continue reading “Aironet 1850 Series APs Help Education World”


Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing


Users on the network are an important layer of an organization’s security strategy – and a particularly vulnerable one. In fact, a recent IBM cybersecurity report found that human error was a contributing factor in 95% of all security incidents! It is critical to know what users are doing on the network, especially since some potential high-risk behaviors like data disclosure and shadow IT may not trigger current security layers (e.g. malware protection).

Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility Module (NVM) empowers organizations to see endpoint and user behavior on their network. Cisco AnyConnect NVM collects flows from endpoints (e.g., laptops) both on and off-premise along with additional context like users, applications, devices, locations and destinations.  Now, IT administrators can use Splunk Enterprise to analyze and correlate this rich data with the new  Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility (NVM) App for Splunk, which  provides collection and reporting of flows generated by the Cisco AnyConnect NVM endpoint sensor technology.

Continue reading “New Cisco AnyConnect Network Visibility Module App for Splunk”


Vinny Parla

Principal Architect

Office of the Security CTO


SteveGGuest Blog by: Steve Gorretta, Manager, Product Management, Cisco Service Provider Software and Solutions

When you hear Cisco leadership discuss the transformation of our business and the drive to be the #1 IT company, you will no doubt hear some recurring themes around cloud management, big data analytics, security, and Internet of Things (IoT). These themes play a major role in how Cisco drives value across every major market, and the same can be said about a space to which we can all relate: the Connected Home.

As I’ve discussed before, the home network is a constantly evolving intersection of devices, applications and content that provide both convenience and confusion for consumers. The emergence of the IOT-enabled home (or “smarthome”) means even more devices, including appliances and sensors, are now joining that landscape. Our strategy at Cisco is to provide service providers with applications that simplify and enhance the connected home experience, and allow them to monetize new opportunities that emerge as the home evolves. We already manage many millions of subscriber home devices with Cisco Prime Home, and we are expanding the portfolio with some exciting new applications that build on that strategy.

Group of People_22DEC2015

At CES this January, we will be demonstrating the entire suite of Cisco Connected Home software applications, which are geared towards helping service providers and their subscribers gain better visibility, security, and reliability from their digital home. One new offer, Cisco Home Guard™, provides complete cybersecurity protection for all devices in the home, and perfectly complements the monitored home security offered by some ISPs. We are also launching Connected Analytics for Home, part of Cisco’s broader Connected Analytics initiative, which enables real-time and historical analysis on a wide range of connectivity and security issues within the home.

In addition to these applications, Continue reading “Cisco’s Connected Home…Reimagined”


Conrad Clemson

Senior Vice President, SP Platforms & Applications

Service Provider Platforms & Applications


SaintCon, held annually in October, is Utah’s premiere security conference. The multi-day event provides security experts with a full schedule of conferences, competitions, and presentations.

DSC_1991 (2)For the last two years, the SaintCon team has deployed wi-fi enabled show badges, and worked with Cisco and the Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) to show how those badges can leverage the location capabilities of the CMX solution.

For this year’s show, the SainCon team used the CMX dashboard to easily map out zones on the show floor based on tracks and conference villages. Then each of the 550 attendees was given a purpose-built wi-fi enabled badge, complete with a 2 ¼ inch LCD screen.

Using the badge’s screen and buttons, the attendee was able to easily scroll through the LCD menus to see the conference schedule, their live hacker challenge score, and the zone they were currently in.

With a single badge, the conference attendees could easily stay up to date on events and understand when and where events were being held.



Daryl Coon

Cisco Customer Solutions Marketing


cisco 1830

The great thing about Mobility Express is that it allows you to easily deploy a robust, feature-packed wireless network.  The deployment is based for small to medium-sized businesses, so the chances are good that IT support may be lacking from these organizations. And the idea of setting up and running their own wireless network might be a bit intimidating for people without a lot of tech knowledge.

No matter how much tech experience you have, Cisco has you covered. Presenting a new, five-minute video that succinctly and clearly breaks down how simple it is to set up Mobility Express.

The video’s presenter, Cisco Technical Marketing Engineer Shivesh Ganotra, walks you through the steps it takes to have a new Wi-Fi network deployed in no time. From unboxing the product to getting it up-and-running, no detail is spared—you’ll be confident in your ability to successfully run Mobility Express once you’re done watching this short video.  To watch the video, please go here.

For more information, comments, or questions follow us on Twitter @Cisco_Mobility.



Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing


Cisco is a great company to work for – with an even bigger heart. It is a privilege to work alongside great people who give of their time, talent, and treasure to make the world, and its local communities, a better place.

I have had the pleasure of serving as Site Executive in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, representing the wonderful employees who have contributed to Cisco’s annual employee giving campaign, Be the Bridge. Building off of our legacy Global Hunger Relief Campaign, our new Be the Bridge campaign provided employees greater choice to support one of 400+ non-profit organizations around the world focused on shelter, water access, nutrition and emergency care, in addition to hunger.

Ed Paradise, VP of engineering, presenting collective check to RTP Campus local nonprofit partners
Ed Paradise, VP of engineering, presenting collective check to RTP Campus local nonprofit partners

My local colleagues came through in a big way – over 870 donors raised $220,000 to a wide variety of organizations. And that’s before the Cisco Foundation matching funds! Special thanks to Rebecca Jacoby, SVP, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Leadership RTP Site Sponsor, who further incentivized our donors with an additional $10K match.

At our Culmination Event last week, seven grateful partners came to the RTP campus and were shocked and awed by the generosity of my fellow colleagues. Together with the matching funds, we were pleased to present checks totaling over $305,000 to our local non-profit partners, including: American Red Cross, Habitat of Humanity of Durham, Wake and Orange Counties, Interact, The Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, and Triangle Family Services.

Cisco Volunteers wrapping holiday gifts for families of Interact of Wake County
Cisco Volunteers wrapping holiday gifts for families of Interact of Wake County

The day began with a Volunteer Power Hour for employees to come together for some fun and comradery, all for great causes. Employees wrapped children’s holiday gifts for survivors of domestic violence, assembled, painted, and decorated housewarming gifts (birdhouses) for new Habitat home-owners; wrote holiday greeting cards to be sent to U.S. troops overseas; and sorted through 6,000 pounds of food to be distributed to the hungry citizens of our community this holiday season.

Cisco Volunteers building birdhouses for new home-owners of Habitat Humanity
Cisco Volunteers building birdhouses for new home-owners of Habitat Humanity

Following the Volunteer Power Hour, we had a brief program recognizing the impactful work of our seven local nonprofits in the community. The room was flooded with warmth, love and kindness as employees shared their personal involvement with our partners and powerful stories of organizational impact. Simone Hamlett shared, “I am the bridge to survivors of domestic violence. I am humbled by the labor of love that the InterAct staff performs on a daily basis and the courage of victims that seek the organization’s help.”

Simone Hamlett, HR Program Manager and Civic Council Lead for InterAct shares a touching story with the audience on the impact of InterAct of Wake County’s work in the community for victims of domestic violence.

I am fortunate to work with such generous employees. Here’s what Travis Bullard had to say about Be the Bridge: “I feel extremely fortunate to work for a company that places such value on supporting the local community! Thank you for giving me a platform to contribute to the community.”Well Travis, thank you!  I couldn’t agree more.

And Brad Giles adds: “We all need to be kind and contribute to those less fortunate. Nothing works better than setting a good example. We are privileged to be working for a company that commits itself to helping others as much as Cisco does.” Travis and Brad are only two of over 870 donors who made it possible for seven of our local partners, and the clients they serve, to have a very happy holiday.

Thank you for being the bridge! Have a wonderful holiday season.


Ed Paradise

Cisco RTP Site Executive and Vice President of Engineering


Following a recent Juniper security bulletin discussing unauthorized code, we have fielded a number of related questions from our customers. Being trustworthy, transparent, and accountable is core to our team, so we are responding to these questions publicly.

First, we have a “no backdoor” policy and our principles are published at trust.cisco.com

Our development practices specifically prohibit any intentional behaviors or product features designed to allow unauthorized device or network access, exposure of sensitive device information, or a bypass of security features or restrictions. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Undisclosed device access methods or “backdoors”.
  • Hardcoded or undocumented account credentials.
  • Covert communication channels.
  • Undocumented traffic diversion.

Second, we have no indication of unauthorized code in our products.

We have seen none of the indicators discussed in Juniper’s disclosure. Our products are the result of rigorous development practices that place security and trust at the fore. They also receive continuous scrutiny from Cisco engineers, our customers, and third party security researchers, contributing to product integrity and assurance.

Third, we have initiated an additional review of our products for similar malicious modification.

Although our normal practices should detect unauthorized software, we recognize that no process can eliminate all risk. Our additional review includes penetration testing and code reviews by engineers with deep networking and cryptography experience. We are tracking the case as PSIRT-0551621891, and will release any findings in accordance with our Security Vulnerability Policy.

Fourth, we initiated this additional review of our own accord.

Cisco launched the review because the trust of our customers is paramount. We have not been contacted by law enforcement about Juniper’s bulletin, and our review is not in response to any outside request. We are doing this because it’s the right thing to do.

Finally, we will investigate all credible reports and disclose findings with customer implications.

We ask all our customers and others to report any suspected vulnerabilities to the Cisco PSIRT for immediate investigation. Consistent with our long-standing process, we will manage and disclose results under the terms of our Security Vulnerability Policy.

Please see more information at our Trust & Transparency Center. Customers with additional questions can contact the Cisco PSIRT at psirt@cisco.com, referencing case: PSIRT-0551621891.


Anthony Grieco

SVP & Chief Security & Trust Officer

Security and Trust Organization


Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois, and its municipal government employees are spread across 52 different buildings. This means that the ability to collaborate with these dispersed locations is extremely important – our goal is to ensure that city employees can provide the highest level of service to our residents.

Our problem, historically, was that the city was using a mix of networking equipment from a host of different providers, making our infrastructure difficult to manage and use. This weak network prevented us from using distance-bridging technologies such as video conferencing, and it limited employee access to computer applications such as email, payroll and purchasing

To tackle these network inefficiencies, my team and I began to look at ways to use advanced fiber optics to replace our aging copper network. But we were relatively new to fiber optic technology, and our city needed a partner that could provide expertise.

Enter Cisco. Not only did the Cisco team have the fiber optic capability and know-how we needed, but we were also able to collaborate on a cutting-edge approach to network systems. Together, we decided to leverage fiber networks using an advanced color optic system, which increases network reliability and performance.

By installing Cisco technologies that optimize fiber based on light color, our city was able to run multiple networks over the same strands. To our satisfaction, we were then able to stretch the network for more coverage while still retaining high availability.

Continue reading “Customer Spotlight: Aurora, Illinois is now the City of Light Speed”