Cisco Bundles Software, Hardware And Services To ‘Save’ System Integration Hassle

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Cisco offers bundles to small companies to help them ‘digitise’ their processes simply, boosting revenues and improving employee and customer relationships

Cisco will offer packages of software, hardware and services to companies that want to ‘digitise’ their business processes more simply and without integrating various systems.

Speaking at Cisco Live in Berlin, the company explained its customer and workforce experience offers can boost business, encourage customer loyalty and improve the productivity of employees.

Digitalisation has been the central theme of the show as Cisco continues its recent diversification from its core network business to other areas like security, analytics and software.

“It’s part of Cisco’s transformation,” explained Stacey Goldsmith, director of business solutions, at Cisco’s new chief digital office. “We’re now listening to our customers [who say] ‘Don’t just sell us technology, sell us solutions that have been validated and delivering business outcomes’.

“No longer can companies just compete on brand and quality – they need to focus on customer experience.”

Customer experience

Cisco Stacey GoldsmithThree customer-focused packages will be offered. The first is ‘virtual expertise’ which allows companies to interact with customers on any device, while the second is ‘mobile experience’ which helps firms offer personalised mobile services, such as through an application, to drive more sales.

“Everyone is connected nowadays,” added Goldsmith. “What we’re giving is organisations the ability to offer the best mobile experience. We’re running analytics in the back end for predictive analysis and deliver real business value.”

The third is intelligent branch – a combination of routers, switches and e-servers – that allows companies to set up a new office quickly and securely.

“[The package] has everything the customer would need to set up a branch,” said Goldsmith. “They’ve been designed and validated with customers.”

Smart workforce

The workforce-focused package is designed to support different ways of working – fostering employee loyalty and attracting younger people who are used to flexible work. It includes video end points and telepresence technology for face to face collaboration and video conferencing, with Cisco claiming it can boost productivity and lower costs.

Finally, the firm is also offering a smart lighting system called ‘Digital Celing’, which connects lighting, heating and cooling to the network, along with sensors that can dCisco Live 2etect building occupancy. The analysis if this data can save money and energy, with Cisco and partner Philips promising the energy used to power the system is more than offset by the power saved.

The lights are powered by a dedicated router equipped with Perpetual Power over Ethernet (PoE), and worker can use a smartphone application to control lighting and adjust it for mood. This has the added benefit of improving morale, according to Cisco, which again can make an office a better place to work.

Partnerships

Cisco and Philips have worked on an installation with Dutch energy firm Alliander and the former has signed up other third parties to its lighting ecosystem.

When asked whether companies would not be better off hand-picking various elements of their infrastructure for a more customised system, Cisco said the bundles had been created after speaking to its customers and said many firms just want the “Lego bricks” to work with. Additionally, it says its willing to work with third parties for those who want flexibility.

“A lot of our customers are small businesses, not system integrators,” Cisco’s Inbar Lasser-Raab told TechWeekEurope. “They want to get out to the market quickly. You cannot do a full system, but you can give them the building blocks. We’ve pre-tested it, [so we say] here’s the hardware, software and services.”

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