Guest Wi-Fi has become a must-have, not a nice-to-have requirement for our customers.  Today, let’s talk about building customer engagement through guest Wi-Fi and how CMX Connect creates a new guest Wi-Fi experience. We also have a special offer to share if you’re interested in trying out CMX (Connected Mobile Experiences) Connect.

Offering Guest Wi-Fi is a No-Brainer

Have you ever found yourself constantly checking emails on your phone, whether you are in the supermarket, a sport stadium or your doctor’s office? We live in a connected world so when people lose their Internet connectivity, they feel as uncomfortable as if they are walking in the dark. According to a Cisco report [1], one in every three college students and young professionals believes the Internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter. At college games, fans often leave at half time if they cannot connect to the Internet to post photos or tweet comments [2]. Offering guest Wi-Fi has become a must, not an option, for most of our customers across all verticals such as retail, healthcare, sports and entertainments, and education.

Guest Wi-Fi is an opportunity to engage and delight your visitors

So you’ve decided to offer guest Wi-Fi at your venue, but how do you make the most of it from a business standpoint? According to a Hotels.com 2013 survey, the first thing hotel guests try is the quality of guest Wi-Fi, before the quality breakfast or even the comfortable bed [3]. So guest Wi-Fi is a perfect opportunity for you to engage your visitors and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. With a seamless one-click mobile-first onboarding experience, visitors can check-in on your business Facebook page, or provide email information for future promotional campaign. Since you also know the context and location of your visitors, you can offer personalized and relevant information to visitors. For example, first-time parents connect to the hospital’s guest Wi-Fi in the Maternity ward can be served a video on changing a newborn’s diaper .

CMX Connect is built to address these use cases

We have made significant improvements in the CMX 10.1 release and will continue to partner with our customers in this journey. So how does CMX Connect help you improve your business?

  1. We have a modern and intuitive user interface so IT managers can work with the marketing team to create guest portals, collect visitors’ information, and customize promotional offers by location. You don’t need a user guide or need to write any code to create guest portals. Figure 1 shows an example of the simplicity in building a portal page. Figure 2 provides examples of guest portals built by our tool.

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Figure 1. Example of the portal builder tool.

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Figure 2. Example of custom guest portals

Some marketing managers prefer using the Facebook page as the landing page. Our partnership with Facebook allows visitors to check-in to the Facebook page before joining the Wi-Fi network.  Figure 3 is an example of the guest experience using Facebook check-in.

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Figure 3. Example of Facebook Wi-Fi experience

Whether customers want to build a custom portal or link to a Facebook page, it’s just a matter of a few clicks on an intuitive user interface.

  1. We take a mobile-first approach. Guest portals are rendered beautifully on different device types and sizes: mobile, tablet and laptop.
  2. Our technology provides venue owners with opportunities to collect useful data from their visitors for future engagements. It could be self-reported email, phone number, interests, etc. It could also be their public information such as birthday, gender, etc. on their social profile such as Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare.
  3. We provide your visitors with location-based, relevant experiences, since our solution is built on the Mobility Service Engine (MSE). You can design different guest Wi-Fi experiences for visitors who join the Wi-Fi network from different areas in a venue. For example, when visitors connect to the Wi-Fi on from the west wing of the building, where a retail bank office is located, they could be served the guest portal of the bank and provided different loan interest information. If visitors connect from the east wing of the building where a grocery store is located, they could be served a guest portal that has deals for the day information.

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Figure 4 – CMX Connect Experience Dashboard, where admin could manage the onboarding experience for different location.

CMX Connect License is Now Part of the CMX Base License

Recognizing how important it is for our customers to provide great Guest Wi-Fi onboarding and engaging experience for their visitors, we have decided to move the CMX Connect license from the Advance license to the Base license.

Try CMX Connect on Cisco Cloud for Free for the first two months


CMX 10.1 comes with free evaluation licenses for all APs for the first 120 days so you can give CMX Connect a try at no charge during this duration if you deploy it in your network. To make it even easier for you, we will offer CMX on the cloud beta program for the first 30 customers who sign up. In this program, we will install CMX Connect on Cisco Cloud Services. All you would need to do is to point your controllers to our cloud instance and you can enjoy the service for free for the first two months. Please email me at baong@cisco.com  if you’d like to learn more about the product or would like to take advantage of this offer.

  1. Cisco Connected World Technology (Report)
  2. Stadiums race to digitize (Article)
  3. Key Trends in Hospitality (Article)


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Bao Nguyen

Product Manager

Mobility Services and Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) Group