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Missing the Trees by Looking for the Forest

June 13, 2006 - 1 Comment

Kathy’s comments on payback mirror some of the recent conversations I have had with customers. It seems that in an endless quest to find the killer application, we often ignore the little, but highly valuable ones that lay just below our noses. Just last week, I was espousing the benefits of our location services capabilities to an attentive customer. Impressing upon them the potential richness of our solution, I touched on asset tracking, location-based access control and location aware VoWLAN call routing.Without batting an eyelash, the customer stared back as if mesmerized by the endless possibilities. Then, with the brevity that is often a hallmark of IT professionals (unlike we marketing folk), the customer stated that location would allow them to maintain a single print server and automatically print documents to the printer closest to the employee.Location based printing. Not an entirely new concept. Internet based printing services have existed for sometime. Yet, an enterprise managed location aware printing service, now that’s beneficial! Think of all the time saved by mobile employees by not having to locate a printer and install drivers.Of course, the full accuracy capability of Cisco’s location services is not required for this application to be effective. Still, could it be that sometimes we miss the trees by looking for the forest?

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  1. Wow, this is perhaps the worst case of technology in search of a problem I've ever seen... In fact, you are shoe-horning new technology - what wireless location can do for printing - into a solution that could be solved with existing legacy"" technology (port location information in switching). Er Chris, if this were such a killer app, IT organizations would long ago have bridged the local port/switch location knowledge of that mobile worker's ethernet cabled switch connection into said print server system (saving tremendous time and energy having him not download a print driver etc). Unless that mobile worker cubible moves on wheels? I bet the ethernet port doesn't move. The quest for what wireless location services can enable is potentially interesting. The quest to solve static location problems long ago capable of being solved but ignored due to lack of benefit/cost/complexities trade-offs are not."