As you probably know, Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) enables businesses to develop engaging mobile experiences with personalized guest onboarding, engagement, and location analytics. CMX leverages Wifi network intelligence and provides IT departments the creative opportunity to produce new revenue-generating, end-consumer solutions.

But I’m often asked what the difference is between MSE & CMX. I’m likely to blame for some of the confusion since I use the terms “MSE” and “CMX” interchangeably. Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all with a breakdown of MSE and CMX.


  1. Mobility Services Engine (MSE) is the hardware appliance/engine
  2. CMX is the software package

For those who have worked with MSE before, it seems to be a sudden jump from MSE 8.0 to CMX 10.0. Rest assured that the software bundle name change and version number jump were both deliberate decisions. It’s an important way to clarify the difference between the software bundle and the hardware appliance (as well as the major increases in functionality you get with CMX 10.0).

As a consumer, you have two hardware choices: 1) MSE 2) your own choice of server. The MSE hardware runs network applications, such as CMX. The other network apps we are working on will contain Wireless Security and other relevant features (stay tuned for more details).

Why use the MSE hardware? With MSE hardware, CMX software runs on bare metal so it results in better performance. However, if you have already invested in hardware, it makes sense to run CMX with that hardware. Either way, you’ll find that CMX technology makes it a leader in its space, and brings a new level of sophistication to your operations.

I’m so excited about these advancements in CMX that my team is executing, and I’m thrilled when others share in that excitement. Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, said, “The vendor [Cisco] has taken a leadership position with its location-based services as part of its Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX), which enables new applications based on network analytics to create business relevance in targeted vertical markets.”

Want to learn more about CMX? Check out my last blog post – The 10 things you will be impressed by in CMX 10.1.

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Pritam Shah

Director, Engineering