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Creating Digitization Opportunities Starts With Your Wireless Access Points

April 11, 2017 - 17 Comments

Wireless used to be simply a backup option to connect to the network for many enterprises. Wi-Fi was useful but certainly not mission-critical. No longer. Wireless has now become the center of almost any enterprise’s digitization strategy. Here are some anecdotal examples. The world’s largest amusement parks run their rides on a wireless connection. Imagine a drop in connection and its ramifications. Similarly, giant online retailers stand to lose a million dollars per second of a wireless connection loss since the robots powering their supply chain would potentially stop working. Likewise, think of the impact of a stable wireless connection powering about 40% of the equipment in a typical hospital setting.

The evolution of a thriving wireless-based ecosystem and its innovation have made it the default access mechanism for many enterprises. Cisco has been leading the industry in driving innovation in the wireless space for a long time. This has enabled us to create a host of wireless-based solutions that directly impact our customers’ business outcomes. We are proud to be able to offer a 360-degree customer experience with innovation across the entire wireless spectrum (pun unintended!).

Wireless-based innovations are abounding and these are being deployed to further varied business outcomes. From technologies that are creating new experiences like Optimized Roaming, which allows users to seamlessly connect to the best access points as they are move around, to Cisco CleanAir© that helps reduce interference between Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi devices to run multiple high-bandwidth apps at the same time. Other solutions like Apple Fast Lane allow for priority applications on Apple devices to run at optimal performance because the system intelligently understands where the traffic is coming from. And still others that are actively accelerating the creation of new business ecosystems like Flexible Radio Assignment (FRA), which automatically adjusts to a dual 5GHz frequency through software for better capacity and performance in high-traffic environments. FRA doubles the capacity for each access point and reduces the need for purchasing redundant access points as well as deploying expensive infrastructure like cabling.

Several new use cases are emerging that allow enterprises to derive further value of out of their wireless infrastructure. One such scenario that allows all the wireless devices in an entire system to work together is a big-box store environment, which intends to offer a 10% discount for the holidays. Instead of changing price tags by hand or expending manpower to make changes by category in the system, the system can be instructed wirelessly to instantly reduce prices on all products by 10%.

And, this brings us to the final frontier for wireless that we are starting to knock on. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are enabling our wireless connections to become smarter. The time when smart networks using artificial intelligence can diagnose their own issues, finding problems that would take human beings a very long time to sift through, and then fix them without our intervention is not so far away. With machine learning, Wi-Fi will begin automating the basic tasks in networking thereby truly enabling business outcomes rather than just serving as a means to connect the network.

The possibilities when wireless devices are working in concert, connected seamlessly, and managed with ease are infinite. Join us on this journey and discover the true power of your wireless infrastructure.

Would love to continue the conversation @aoswal1234.

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  1. Persons thinking AI will be able to mitigate problems in transmissions between clients and wlans haven’t worked with wireless deployments on a high level. And no becuase you know how to have an AP join a controller configure a SSID with 802.1X doesn’t make you an expert.
    But AI will definitely be adopted quickly in the Marketing BS department. Its been a while since Cisco has been leading innovations in this area.

  2. Your thoughts on ML and AI enabling wireless is very interesting.. IMO, overall Network need to be enabled by machine learning and AI, and wireless needs a special attention. With networks becoming very complex & convulated, and expectations on reliability every increasing, an intelligent way enable wireless is the only option.

    • ML and AI will be part of everything we do around the network. Wireless is in the forefront of this.

  3. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  4. Very informative blog – Thanks Anand. Industrial control/automation is another area where wireless networking gaining momentum as industrial and enterprises network converging.

  5. Another example of innovation at scale! Exciting time ahead as Cisco helps customers extract more and more value out of their wireless network.

  6. well written blog. Opportunities are unlimited, user experience will be a serious business to tap into!

  7. Good one Anand! It is absolutely breathtaking to be right in the middle of such amazing innovation and breakthrough technology.

  8. Very exciting times for the industry indeed, especially knowing that more is yet to come in innovation front as well as opportunities for new use cases.

  9. From humble beginnings 27 yrs ago, WiFi standard have come a long way. As rightly mentioned, WiFi has become ubiquitous to present day connectivity thanks to the explosion of hand held and mobile computing. However, it remains to be seen, how it withstands competing (and sometime complementing) wireless standards in the IoT tide.

  10. Agree with you Anand, “Wi-Fi is the new Wired”. Over the weekend, I upgraded my home Wi-Fi router to 11ac, and got my TV’s, X-box and Wii’s off of wired network to a wireless network, as I get much better throughputs on Wireless now > 300Mb vs. My cat5 with a 100M switch as the bottleneck.

  11. So True! The possibilities are many. AP’s is where monetization begins and many business models can be weaved around it. Retailers doing proximity & context based marketing to in-store WiFi clients in a specific zone.

  12. Very good info on Wireless. How about implementing ICN/CCN ( Content Centric Networking) on Enterprise segment ? Though its an evolving technology, it would help on pushing our solutions with CCN to the customers. Please share your thoughts on this.

    • Agree, imo its still early area of research which replaces IP address with name based routing.

  13. Very well written, Anand. Cisco’s innovations and partnerships in the wireless space will certainly help accelerate customer success. I’m excited to see the new frontiers that we’ll be exploring with machine learning.

  14. Very timely and informative blog. Wi-fi is not only serving frontier for digital transformations in enterprises but also in our personal lives. Even kids are looking for w-fi access anytime they are outside in colleges or restaurants or vacationing in resorts and want to start snap chatting with their friends. With onslaught of AI and analytics, wi-fi would continue to be at frontier of innovation

  15. After reading the blog, it seems clear that WiFi customers are going to reward vendors with very high reliability. IMO, the Cisco WiFi team does a very good job of testing for reliability on the back end. But we need to work on designing for reliability on the front end.