Location, Location, Location Analytics!
In this article
It has been over two years since the Covid pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives and altered our behavior. In this stage of the pandemic, "Return to Work," is the new reality as numerous organizations, in various degrees, are requiring employees to return to the workplace. Employees are nervous about returning to "business as usual "and seek some level of confidence that they will be safe and protected upon returning to the workplace.
As such, organizations are outlining new regulations, strategies, and corresponding policies to ensure a healthy environment. The enforcement of guidelines and regulations are meant to affect employee behaviors such as proper social distancing, identifying bottlenecks, and limiting movement in congested locations and places within the workplace premises. Technological investments are essential. Technologies that drive impactful digital transformations are an indispensable aspect in attaining the desired operational framework and creating a safe work environment for a successful returning to work campaign.
Digital transformation can mean many things depending on who you talk to; retail establishments, healthcare providers, educational institutions and industrial enterprises may have different perspectives on what constitutes a digital transformation. This is expected, as diverse businesses and organizations have different requirements and use cases that lead to distinct technological frameworks that incorporate their digital transformation strategies. Irrespective of the specific adopted digital transformation methodologies used by the various entities, they all rely on location-based metrics that are leveraged to provide real-time visibility into behavior patterns of employees and sensors, and the movement of employees throughout the campus. "Digitizing Space" and "Location Analytics" are the new watchwords in this paradigm.
Unlocking the capabilities of the campus network infrastructure is emerging as a crucial element in implementing a location analytics platform. The following are the key underlying infrastructure components in the overall digital transformation architecture.
- High-speed, high availability and high-capacity network infrastructure.
- API-capable network appliances that can export real-time, short-term and long-term metrics and can implement changes and adapt to varying environments.
- Seamless integration with Wi-Fi access points controllers, beacons, sensors and IoT devices.
- A cloud-based location services platform that can seamlessly integrate with the underlying network appliance and sensory-devices.
- A platform that can analyze real-time metrics to tackle immediate problems and longer-term data to discover and rectify worrisome trends.
- A centrally located platform that can, in real-time, intuitively present location analytics data in a visual manner.
- Feature-rich reporting capability that can indicate policy violations and potential trouble spots.
- Ability to define and implement rule-based policies that align with safety requirements and the organization's business outcomes.
The Cisco DNA Spaces provide an array of useful location services that gather beneficial intelligence into the activity and interaction of people and objects, that can be digitized to generate an accurate digitized map of the organization's physical space.
The data aggregation collected by Cisco DNA Spaces allows the operation's supervisor to:
- Observe the customer behavior patterns such as visitors, visits and dwell times. You can refine and categorize the data by using various business criteria such as the location duration of visits. Industry and organizational guidelines such as visitation-rate metrics can be observed.
- Leverage the Meraki video camera's data to generate behavioral assessments of people within physical spaces. With the Camera Metrics app, you can examine the number of people in a physical area within some time duration and organize the data based on location and time.
- View real-time metrics of visitors at your premises. Using this gathered data, one can set density threshold rules to limit the peak visitation frequency of people within the physical property. These rules can be categorized by applied based on the building, floor, or zone you would like the rules to apply to.
- Perform contact tracing of an employee if they reported exposure or infection by an infectious disease. One can generate reports that will show an outline of impacted spaces and employees within those spaces.
- Manage and categorize locations from a centralized platform, based on the organization's business structure. The Location Hierarchy feature allows you to map and align the IT infrastructure including wireless access points, into the desired business outcome.
- Evaluate the effect of events, campaigns and changes in the floor plan of physical spaces by correlating location metrics to employee behavior within those locations. These metrics assist you to assess the effectiveness of various initiatives such as pandemic safety measures or return-to-office mandates.
Organizations may find that only some of the use cases above are applicable to their business. Regardless of the use case, without having an end-to-end architectural view that includes the underlying network infrastructure and adjacent technologies (like Wi-Fi) you may run the risk of developing a location services platform that does not reach maximum effectiveness and performance.
Cisco DNA Spaces has a broad range of specialized applications, and partners, to drive business-specific outcomes. These solutions are certified and integrated with the end-to-end framework in mind. In addition to these applications, the IoT Device Marketplace is a centralized shop for acquiring devices appropriate for your particular use cases.
Implement partner applications that can be immediately enabled through the App Center. The integration of these partner applications with Cisco DNA Spaces facilitates rapid deployment. The IoT Device Marketplace (IDM) highlights a large ecosystem of partner hardware and sensors.
You want to plan for a secure "Return to Work" strategy. You want to define and implement a next-generation indoor cloud-based location services solution, but you need help along the way. World Wide Technology can provide you with the guidance and the necessary tools you need for a smooth transition as you traverse the stages of architectural definition, technological design, and solution deployment. WWT will help in upgrading your network, integrating DNA Spaces with your underlying network architecture and developing an impactful solution that spans multiple technologies.
- Network engineers can leverage WWT's capabilities to help your network planners and engineers to define the capabilities of the location analytics services platform that is needed to align with your organization's business outcomes. By leveraging the Advanced Technology Center (ATC), network engineers can experience first-hand the features and capabilities of the solution.
- Network planners can evaluate the architectural ramifications of changes to your network by conducting proofs of concept (POCs) in the ATC.
- On-site workshops and training with WWT experts to help you facilitate the integration of various technologies, collaboration applications, colocation services and IoT devices.
- Engage WWT professional services for the design and implementation of complex use cases within your organization's existing infrastructure.
The era of next-generation location services is approaching. We invite you to partner with us as you leverage resources and expertise to implement solutions that help you be ready for the future.