Read the interview with Greg Griffiths, vice president of retail solutions at EarthLink Business, on the trends in retail WiFi. Also download RIS report “Is CMO on Your Side?”, courtesy of EarthLink.
Greg Griffiths, vice president of retail solutions at EarthLink
What are retailers looking for in WiFi today?
We need to look at retail and restaurants separately. Restaurants have deployed WiFi for a while for their operations and mobile POS. They want to take advantage of their loyalty programs to further connect with their guests, doing more with what they already have.
On the other hand, specialty retailers are just now deploying WiFi and it’s all about connecting with the consumer, especially the millennial generation. And that’s all because marketing is evolving from ‘one-to-many’ to ‘one-to-one.’
With AirTight’s scanning technology, retailers get presence analytics at the device level – when people come in, how long do they stay, etc. And with the social media integration, retailers can engage with the consumer and continue to do so even after they leave the store.
Wireless packet capture has always been important to Wi-Fi professionals and support engineers for resolving network problems. With the diversity of wireless clients that is already around and which is only expected to grow with the Internet of Things (IoT), packet capture capabilities will continue to be critical. Wireless packet capture can be facilitated in the AP radios using the hardware and the driver level hooks. Read on to find out what’s under the hood.
There are two main plumbing points to get frames from wireless up to the application: one in the hardware and the other in the driver software. At the hardware level, the radio supports “Promiscuous Mode” option. When this option is activated, the hardware passes all wireless frames received on the channel where the radio is operating up towards the driver software. When this option is deactivated, the hardware passes only the wireless frames for the MAC of the radio (and the frames like probe requests & beacons based on the additional sub-settings under non-Promiscuous mode) up towards the driver software.
The driver software can operate in AP, STA, or Monitor Mode.
WizShark is changing Wi-Fi troubleshooting for the better. This tool is now open for private beta; contact us to join.
Interested in WizShark? Request a private beta account.
At Interop in Las Vegas, a Wireless Field Day delegate and all around wireless guru George Stefanick presented “The Wireless Engineer’s Essential Toolkit” and covered everything you could need to properly deploy, maintain, and troubleshoot a WLAN. George took extra time to emphasize how important it is to quickly get the information needed to diagnose an issue. The attendees were engaged and afterwards the conversations continued in the hallways. It’s clear that people want to know how to use the tools of the trade but not everyone has the time to learn such specific tools (I know I didn’t when I was the resident networking jack-of-all-trades).
Register for ACTS Dallas!
Our ACTS 2014 Cloud W-Fi and Security roadshow continues, with the next stop in Dallas, TX on May 22, 2014, 2 pm to 6 pm.
ACTS (AirTight Cloud Technology Symposium) is a great way to interact with AirTight experts and your peers, learn about cool new cloud Wi-Fi / WIPS technologies and have a good time afterwards.
Who should attend?
CIOs, CMOs, IT managers and directors, marketing managers and technologists, IT solution architects, IT resellers, compliance officers, and information security professionals.
What will you learn?
You will learn about the latest developments in cloud Wi-Fi, how to turn Wi-Fi from a cost center to a business driver, and why and how to protect your organization from wireless threats. You will also hear from your peers about what they are doing to solve wireless challenges in a distributed enterprise environment.
For more information and to register, visit: http://go.airtightnetworks.com/ACTS2014Dallas
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In the comments to my earlier blog post (Social Wi-Fi and Privacy: Keeping Balance in the Force), Dale Rapp correctly notes that brick and mortar stores can use social Wi-Fi and analytics as a way to compete with online commerce, where every click of the mouse is tracked and scrutinized.
It’s been my experience that many B&M stores begin their thinking on implementing Free Wi-Fi as simply for Free Wi-Fi’s sake – they recognize that their competitors are doing it and that more and more shoppers are using its presence as a deciding factor in where they spend their time; this creates the feeling of crap-we-need-to-do-this-too (and most people don’t like to feel that way).
New opportunities for engagement
Plain-vanilla Wi-Fi or social Wi-Fi? Savvy businesses pick social.
It’s the savvy groups that recognize that their network can provide more than just Free Guest Wi-Fi; it’s a new opportunity to communicate directly with their visitors, one that takes advantage of the latest technologies and behaviors of modern consumers – and that’s the whole idea behind Social Wi-Fi.
I read with interest Lee Badman’s article in Network Computing: Social WiFi Sign-In: Benefits With A Dark Side. Despite the gloomy title, the article is a fair and balanced look at both benefits and privacy implications of social Wi-Fi.
Would you join a loyalty program to get a coupon?
Perfect timing, I said to myself. Facebook just announced that they will be adding new functionality to their OAuth capabilities which would allow users to access any service using Facebook OAuth anonymously. This is obviously in reaction to the ongoing privacy conversation across the entire Internet spectrum. And it just so happens that we at AirTight released a blog post about it on the same day as Lee Badman’s article ran: Facebook ‘Anonymous Login’: What Is the Impact on Social Wi-Fi? We’ve maintained since the beginnings that Social Wi-Fi should allow an anonymous path for any user who does not want to engage on social media.
Reporting from Facebook’s developer conference, CNET writes:
“The biggest news for Facebook’s 1.28 billion members is “Anonymous Login,” a twist on the standard Facebook Login option that gives people a way to try an app without sharing any of their personal information from the social network. The move addresses concerns about user privacy as Facebook seeks ways to encourage people to explore new apps.”
Note “Not so social?” option below the social login buttons.
“Facebook says it’s testing the new log-in option with select developers,including Flipboard. That means you likely won’t see the black button in your favorite apps for several months.”
“The news aligns with one of the event’s broader themes around putting people first and giving them more control over their data. Zuckerberg expounded upon this notion of improving trust and getting people more comfortable with using Facebook in conjunction with third-party apps.”
How does this impact social Wi-Fi, and specifically social log-ins?
As it turns out, we at AirTight recognized early on that despite tremendous growth and acceptance of social media generally, it’s essential that users are provided a means to utilize Wi-Fi services anonymously.
This was the first year we attended MES (Midsize Enterprise Summit) where over 200 CIOs of midsize companies gather to discuss how to improve business outcomes through the strategic use of technology.
Vendors give a 3-min pitch during Quick Fire general session, give boardroom presentations and demonstrate solutions on their booths in the showcase. We went with the Wireless Mojo theme (“we may not be the best known Wi-Fi vendor, but we have lots of mojo!”) CIOs then vote on numerous categories, including best Quick Fire, best ROI, best case study presentation, and others. (For all categories and winners, please see XCellence Awards Honor Vendors At MES East 2014 from XChange. As you will see, we beat other Wi-Fi vendors who had attended these events for many years).
Highlights from the show:
Team ahead of Quick Fire presentation
Roosevelt’s at 7
Airtight Networks has cracked the code on how to deliver meaningful customer experiences specific to each individual through the delivery of personalized analytics in real time. Understanding individual customer behaviors can now be driven by actionable data. Businesses are always looking at ways to improve sales and efficiency. AirTight analytics provide answers to common questions like:
- How long does each customer stay and shop?
- How often do they come in?
- How effective are my marketing campaigns?
Managed Service, Retail, WiFi Access
Need wireless mojo? We’ve got it!
This week we are at Midsize Enterprise East Summit (MES East) in Orlando. The conference brings together 220+ CIOs and senior level IT decision makers. They come together to meet with top technology vendors to focus on the latest and greatest IT opportunities for their business.
What is AirTight focusing on during the conference? Businesses are always looking at ways to improve sales and efficiency. At the same time, brand protection is paramount, especially in the light of recent high-profile security breaches at major retailers. With our analytics DNA, we are turning Wi-Fi from a cost center to a business driver – the value of the network is not just in connectivity, but in the ability to constantly monitor your environment, be it for sales & marketing or security.