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.
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