Cisco pinpoints who the customer of tomorrow might be

LAS VEGAS – In the midst of releasing three new mobility products, Cisco Systems indicated to solution providers the customer you sold to yesterday will not be the same customer of today nor tomorrow.

According to Sujau Hajela, the vice president and GM of Cisco’s wireless networking business unit, the line of business managers are the new buying centres of today. IT procurement is steadily moving away from the traditional CIO, CTO or IT manager level.

Line of business managers such as chief marketing officers (CMO) are gaining more power within large and mid-size organizations. With speed to market concerns, these line of business managers have either gotten the freedom to bypass the IT department or simply can’t wait for an approval.

Hajela added that executive such as CMOs have realized that wireless networks and mobile devices provide an impact on the business beyond just connectivity and communications.

IDC estimates that 61 per cent of enterprise technology projects are now funded by business instead of the information technology department.

Cisco released three wireless products at the Partner Summit conference. They are:

Cisco Aironet 2700 Series Access Point for next generation Wi-Fi standard 802.11ac;

Mobility Services Engine (MSE) 8.0 for connected mobile experiences; and

Cisco Enterprise Mobility Services Platform, a software module that creates integrated custom mobile apps that can be specific to a line of business and provide a new revenue source.

Hajela said that all these new products address the line of business requirements in the market and provide solution providers with potential access to new customer or market opportunities.

He added that the line of business buying groups specific to wireless solutions today represents a $400 billion channel opportunity and 80 per cent of Cisco’s business in this area goes through channel partners.

“This is a big deal for our partners. It expands professional services to address end-to-end mobility solutions,” he said.

For example, solution providers can build their own mobile back end and deliver in an as-a-service model.

The new Mobility Services Engine will focus on driving the connected mobile experience.

“I’m sounding like a real estate guy, but this is all about location, location, location and you can engage customer more proactively with this,” he said.

Inside this new product is a technology called Fast Locate and it supplements direct probing and can sense data down to a mobile device. “It says ‘hey where are you?’” Even if a person takes left turns and then quickly turns right in a retail location they can be tracked and the retailer can give them a special offer as they walk into a new department or area of the store.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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