November 3 – 4th, 2015 | Crowne Plaza, Palo Alto
The explosive growth in mobility, reaching over 11.5 billion devices and connections by 2019, is spawning unprecedented opportunities for businesses. With 74% of US smartphone owners now using location services – which are simply mobile technologies that identify location of people or things to capture analytics or engage customers – IT more business-relevant than ever. However location technologies are uncharted territory for most, and embarking on it can be somewhat daunting, and perhaps even a little scary.
So, in the ‘spirit’ of the approaching American holiday, Halloween, let’s shed some light on what location services really are, and what you can do with them – and perhaps discover that there’s nothing to be scared of.
Let’s start with the basics: Location-based services are one way many businesses are beginning to use mobile (and eventually ‘Internet of Things’) technologies to capture historical and real-time location information about user behavioral patterns. This is done by detecting smart phones and tablets, and using the data analytics to drive better business decisions. By knowing where users are and where they’ve been, companies can optimize the onsite experience and elevate engagement through time-relevant, personalized mobile experiences.
Let me give you some examples to make it real. Location data through mobile devices can answer a variety of important questions:
- For business-to-consumer companies, you can learn: How many people come by my store or my department or my display? And of those people, how many actually stay? More importantly, how long? This helps you answer questions like, when should I schedule more salespeople or which promotions are grabbing people’s attention? And while this example is for retail, it’s just as relevant for hotels, theme parks, airports, stadiums, hospitals, and museums.
- For business-to-business companies, location services can tell business leaders how employees are using the workspace – where do they congregate? Which spaces are well-used, and which ones aren’t? That data can help determine how to better utilize precious (and expensive) office space and resources.
- For companies with expensive assets to manage, such as medical devices or manufacturing equipment, location services can help employees find any misplaced resources faster and reduce inventory replenishment when they think they’ve lost equipment.
Of course, while this sounds great in concept, location technologies cover a broad spectrum of applications, and it is difficult to know what is right for your organization. In designing Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), we wanted to eliminate the all-too-frequently asked questions: Where do I get started? And how much do I have to invest to get results?
We understand that business leaders are under pressure to show near-immediate results from their IT investments. With our recent CMX 10.2 release, we enable customers to get up and running in less than 20 minutes using their existing current Cisco WiFi infrastructure. All you need to do is download a trial of CMX software, and define the zones of your Cisco Aironet access points to start detecting users and collecting analytics. From there, CMX begins capturing rich insights that quickly reveal valuable data – visitors, dwell time, peak hours, path correlation, and social analytics – insights that business leaders will immediately recognize as valuable. You can also quickly set up customized captive portals for guest WiFi, and deliver time relevant offers, all of which can be updated anytime.
Now, I’m sure that some readers might think: ‘its easy to procure a new system, but it can be a nightmare for IT to manage’. The good news is that Cisco CMX also addresses the complexity of managing multiple hardware solutions that can require multiple tools or platforms. CMX not only gathers data from both Wi-Fi access points and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) aware technology, but it can also serve as a gateway to monitor and eventually manage your beacons as well.
Another concern we hear about is integration. Most customers are looking to deploy mobile applications, but are faced with budget and compatibility issues that appear to stand in their way. To minimize those fears, Cisco works with leading companies across different industries to validate and test location solutions, so customers can be up and running faster with lower costs and fewer bumps for IT. Some examples include:
• MazeMap supporting indoor navigation apps
• Phunware providing monetized services across industries
• Nevotek delivering apps for hotels to connect their guests
• Intelligent InSites enabling solutions that interconnect hospital IT systems
Location services may look scary to some, but the reality is that location can be a major treat for your organization if you know what to look for. I invite you to join me next week at Location & Context World, where I’ll be discussing the opportunities and challenges for location-based services. Hope to see you there!
Location & Context World
- Session: Location Insights & Customer Engagement Through Wi-Fi and BLE
- Date: Tuesday, November 3 at 9:20am
- Location: Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA
And if you cannot make it that day, you can master the mysterious world of location-based services any time at Cisco.com/go/cmx.