NRF 2014 was held last week at the Javits Centre in New York City. It’s the biggest retail event of the year where vendors show off the future of the industry to all the delegates both using inspiring key notes and exciting demos on the Expo floors.

2014 and beyond:

It wasn’t too hard to identify that there were some common themes. On Tuesday afternoon I stood on the main Expo floor and just looking around I could quickly see the industry’s top of mind phrases and buzz words popping out:

“Omni channel”,”Onmianalytics”, “Predictive”, “Insights”, “Customer science and Analytics”, “Precise Location Matters”, “Analyze Decide”, “Mobilize”, “Mobility solutions”, “Big data”, “Customer engagement”, “Adaptive offers”, “Personalized customer experience”, “Customer Experience Analytics”

We certainly are entering the era where using data, analytics and personalization is no longer just an interesting notion or “nice to have” for retail – it is now the KEY thing companies MUST do.

And a big common theme is that mobile is exploding and changing things rapidly, so retailers either need to keep up or inevitably fall behind their competitors.

Cisco & CMX leading the way:

It is refreshing to see how what we have been doing at Cisco over the past year or two with CMX and its various innovations is very clearly in the sweet spot of where this industry is heading. Cisco has led the charge on the importance of indoor location based analytics and associated services for some time now and it seems that the market finally gets how important and valuable this is.

Our Detect, Connect, Engage philosophy has helped our indoor location services CMX solution manifest into fleshing out the various features: CMX Analytics, CMX Connect, CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi, and CMX Engage.


The Cisco booth was continually a hive of activity with non stop customer groups passing through the demos. CMX v7.6 was on display showing off all the new innovative and existing capabilities available. In addition, we showcased our ecosystem of partners with Phunware demoing a Retail venue app that uses data from Cisco’s CMX API. Further solutions and demos were on show from our advanced services groups and our industry solutions groups.

The common theme in the Cisco booth was showing business outcomes using all the technology. It was refreshing for business executives from customers around the works to discuss and understand how Cisco can help their business.


Some thoughts and expectations:

Context, data, personalization, predictive are all being pushed around across the industry. What does it really mean and how can it drive incremental revenues for customers.

Some emerging thoughts are that with all the data available now it may be too daunting for consumers to be bombarded with all the new options and variations that the data scientists uncover. The world of contextual, personalization is evolving, and some now see it a mixture of science and art – how to interest somebody with a cool idea or offer that is highly relevant at just the right time and in the right place….yet not abusing the tiny space on the device and the small time window to capture the consumers attention to act….in addition what role does social play in all this….

I expect that there will be major innovations and ideas emerging during 2014 in the area of quality engagement strategies and techniques.

There are many more exciting innovations to come in 2014, and Cisco CMX will continue to evolve along at the lead of the pack. Stay tuned for more CMX developments in the coming months!

For more information on CMX visit: www.cisco.com/go/cmx.


Brendan O'Brien

Director Global Product Marketing

Connected Mobile Experiences