When it comes to delivering better business outcomes, many IT people could be sitting on a virtual goldmine – particularly when it comes to location analytics. Here are some new ways that you can extract more of that valuable information from your network, and some things to think about as you add new services and capacity.

Smart mobile device users are always looking to access information as they enter any public or private space. If you oversee IT for a shopping center, a hotel, a university or some other large venue, you know that every mobile device user can be an opportunity to:

  • Engage customers in new ways: Deliver relevant content, information, and services directly to customer’s mobile devices based on their location or personal preferences.
  • Understand customer behavior: Many organizations are not able to efficiently track the number of visitors, dwell time, or movement patterns. Imagine how much you could address visitor needs by gaining these insights.
  • Create new advertising revenue streams: Monetize your Wi-Fi infrastructure through third-party mobile advertising opportunities and mobile-influenced sales.

How can you make the most of this opportunity and connect with visitors to improve experiences, increase customer loyalty and drive sales?

Marlowe Mall

Marlowe Students

See the side bar above for example of how a shopping center in Poland is correlating shopper behavior with advertising campaigns and events, and how a university in Australia is using intelligence about student movements to optimize campus services.

Many of these business benefits are delivered by Connected Mobile Experiences, enabling you to detect and connect mobile devices, and then engage customers in a more personalized context. See more details on CMX Analytics here.

These benefits extend well beyond retail and education venues. Organizations across many different industries are also delivering superior customer experiences with this solution by using location data to help visitors find what they’re looking for faster:

  • Hospitals – help patients and visitors navigate to the right clinic on time, and show nearby services
  • Educational Institutions – guide students around campus and issue location-based safety alerts
  • Airports – help travelers find departure gates quickly, and provide real-time itinerary updates
  • Hotels – provide free Wi-Fi to guests and share nearby amenity and services information
  • Stadiums – guide fans to concessions and optimize traffic flow through venue

Attending Interop

Of course, location accuracy is only as reliable as your wireless network, which brings us to another important component aspect of location and analytics. How can you collect analytics or provide location guidance if you can’t detect or onboard devices in a manageable, scalable fashion? Your wireless infrastructure will directly determine the business value you can extract. For example:

  • Do you have enough performance and bandwidth to deliver services to all connected devices during peak traffic hours?
  • Do you have the right access point density to optimize on location accuracy of device detection?
  • Can you manage interference from microwaves, elevators, etc.? Remember that wider RF channels are more susceptible to interference
  • How well do your wired and wireless networks work together?
  • Could introducing beacons into the wireless deployment help you achieve the business outcomes you want to derive from you network?

There are many innovations, including 802.11ac, which make it easier to address all these issues. See details in this white paper or in this great blog series on HDX.

As you add more access points to support location services, you also extend your network. How will you secure and manage your collective infrastructure?

This is where the true value of Cisco’s Unified Access architecture shines through. With one wired/wireless network, one policy controlled by Cisco Identity Services Engine and one management with Cisco Prime Infrastructure you can simplify security and compliance throughout all your venues. You can also spend less time on tasks such as managing ACL’s and more time innovating

So whether your organization’s top priority is growing revenues, improving customer experiences, or making your staff more efficient, there are many business transformation opportunities by simply making the most of the intelligence that’s buried in your network.

Discover more business transformation options at Solution Central.

Read earlier blogs in this series here.


Marlowe Fenne

No Longer with Cisco