Cisco Goes Cellular in Pursuit of Device Data Insights


A state-of-the-art analytics platform from Cisco Systems promises to deliver companies and institutions greater insight into the devices connected to their digital communications infrastructures. By going deeper into the wireless DNA of consumers and employees, the Silicon Valley giant is hoping to boost corporate benefits from Internet-based networks.

Dubbed DNA SpacesOpens a new window , the Cloud-based platform for tracking indoor WiFi traffic of phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices is built on Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture that gives the software-defined service line its name.

DNA Spaces adds geolocation technology to Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) software that gathers frequency, duration and proximity data from devices as they move through IP addresses and WiFi access points on customer properties. The service then processes that information through an analytics engine to sends prompts and other notifications, including tailored offerings and triggers for workflows.

Cisco is pitching the platform at a range of commercial and institutional uses that includes everything from stores, shopping malls, offices and campuses to airports, hospitals and museums. It’s part of a suite of DNA solutions that uses the Internet, rather than local and wide-area networks, to improve availability and automation, as well as to lower costs.

Stitching the Fabric for Blanket Coverage

The company has been building DNA capabilities into the switches and networking hardwareOpens a new window it sells to enterprises and institutions since 2016, when the line was launched at Cisco’s annual Partner Summit. It features a security-friendly fabric for tying together a range of platform services delivered over the Internet, instead of via on-premises servers.

Underpinned by the cloud, the subscription-based suite permits increases in operational efficiency by automating a range of onboarding processes and controls. Cisco claims the conceptualized virtualization and scalability let users ramp up their networking infrastructure without investment in additional hardware.

DNA Spaces permits customers to monitor users who connect to their wireless infrastructures via WiFi, radio beacons, Bluetooth and Global Positioning Systems by tracking their movements with the geolocation tech gained in last year’s acquisition of July SystemsOpens a new window . The hypertargeting tech lets DNA Spaces assess proximity absent the need for dedicated mobile applications software.

That data then is run through a cloud-based computing engine to deliver business insights. Toolkits let users manage beacons as broadcast points for messages across a range of channels, including apps, emails and text.

ROI for Public WiFi Infrastructure

At infrastructure level, Cisco says that companies can measure the return on investment of their WiFi networks. They also can benchmark uptake and connectivity against historical records, as well as among company sites and versus peers, competitors and industries.

Using DNA Spaces, Cisco assures customers that they can extend partner apps and App Store interfaces, as well as facilitate enterprise software integrations. DNA Spaces extends those capabilities beyond specific sites with applications platform interfaces. Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce and ERP giant SAP are among those listed as project partners.

A granular location feature and angle-of-arrival data used in Cisco’s CMX software surveys the universe of access points in a given location, letting customers identify and track devices to monitor how they’re being used on company networks.

Cisco says it has deployed an on-premises version of DNA Spaces in more than 20,000 locations. It adds that the cloud platform rolled out earlier this month can embrace some 25 million access points on its cloud-managed Meraki and locally managed Aironet connection hardware.

Coupled with an expected four-fold growth in Internet hotspotsOpens a new window offered for public use by 2022, the company predicts use cases around customer engagement, sensor integration and the detection of anomalies in Internet of Things devices to lead the uptake.

Already active in the area of dynamic signage, Cisco is partnering with a pair of companiesOpens a new window to combine content and location information in personalized messaging. Announced this month, Australia’s Local Measure advertising agency is using a storykit from Snap Inc., the company behind social media site Snapchat, to display personalized content on Cisco Vision signs at travel, tourism, sports and shopping venues.