Archive for January, 2023

Patient Engagement Technology is Revolutionizing Healthcare

Patient engagement technology concept

Connected health technologies, such as remote patient monitoring devices, wearables, and mobile apps, are increasingly being used by consumers to share patient-generated data with their healthcare providers. With telehealth solutions, patient portals, smart devices, care automation platforms, and more, patients today can access health services anytime, from anywhere. 

More effective treatment with patient-monitoring technology

Secure connectivity for wearables and medical devices enables continuous monitoring and reduces technology frustration with an always-on experience in hospitals. Wearables also enable personalized, prevention-oriented health and more proactive care. The hope is that these deliver more effective treatments, better outcomes for individual patients, and reduced costs.

Remote patient monitoring technologies such as these generate vast amounts of real-time data, paving the way for a new type of high-precision medicine. Providers can now detect, predict, and treat emerging health issues before the patient experiences symptoms. With the Meraki dashboard, empower your hospital staff with the ability to deliver exceptional patient experiences and manage your network with an intuitive and interactive web interface connecting you to the industry’s leading cloud IT platform.

Delivering care anywhere with telehealth solutions 

Virtual care is here to stay. Healthcare organizations are looking to provide more care in nontraditional care settings, including telehealth services, retail clinics, community- and employer-based clinics, and even at home, which will drive investment in connected health, networking, cloud, and edge computing. 

A growing majority of consumers now say they prefer telehealth over in-person visits for a wide range of routine care, including prescription refills, reviews of medication options and to discuss medical results. 93% of consumers are open to engaging with physicians digitally if that would be cheaper, faster, more convenient, and would give them access to electronic records, and 57% to 80% of patients prefer telehealth when obtaining care, revealing high levels of satisfaction.

Future-forward healthcare providers interested in telehealth can better scale patient care and relationship management without being confined to organizational limitations. Equipping healthcare professionals with secure, reliable technology helps them provide better virtual care for patients. Doctors can now deliver telehealth services in front of the office (securely connected) or from their homes leveraging SD-WAN and cost-cutting telemedicine as a remote work solution with robust security. 

Enhanced patient experiences

Connecting hospitals, patients, and healthcare providers quickly and securely to patient monitoring devices, wearables, and mobile apps provides scalability to extend healthcare to thousands of sites. Patient engagement technology guides them through all steps of their health journey, as well as provides tools to proactively manage their health, lifestyle choices, and chronic conditions, in partnership with their providers. 

Through security, simplicity, and ease of management, cloud-based IT enables healthcare providers to become more efficient and can enhance the patient experience.

Learn more about our cloud-based solutions for healthcare.

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Thrive in 2023 With Scale and Automation

Man with laptop, scale and automation concept

The economic outlook for 2023 isn’t so rosy. None of the experts can decide how bad the economy will be, but most agree it will be challenging. But that doesn’t mean you have to stress about how you will run your business. Instead, put a strategy in place that will allow your business to become more efficient and agile so you can take on anything this economy has to throw at you. 

Cutting costs is one way to tough it out, but you could also go on the offensive by investing in technology that prepares your business for anything and gives your staff what they need to be at their peak of productivity. That technology is the Meraki platform

Deploy fast to take advantage of opportunities

Volatile economies are often when some of the best business opportunities arise and it takes a nimble network to be able to ramp up quickly to take advantage. Need to add a new location to get that contract or business deal? Unbox and plug in IoT or network devices and the Meraki platform will have your infrastructure up and running in minutes.

The Meraki platform even enables you to deploy tens of thousands of networks quickly through automation and simple configuration, accelerating your strategic business goals anywhere in the world.

Add automation to streamline operations

In 2023, doing more in less time will be the name of the game. That’s where automation comes in. Our APIs let you integrate your current procedures, such as security updates, into your Meraki network and then automate them to save more time. What used to take hours can now be done in minutes, giving you and your staff more time to focus on increasing customer satisfaction, starting new business initiatives, or increasing employee productivity.

If you don’t want to build your own apps using our APIs, you can take advantage of the Meraki Marketplace where you’ll find hundreds of custom-built apps across a broad range of use cases. This allows you to pick and choose the apps you need to gain valuable insights about your business and take intelligent actions to increase revenue and business performance. 

Leverage artificial intelligence to optimize networks 

Because Meraki operates the largest cloud-networking platform in the world, it also means we have the largest data lake to feed our artificial intelligence (AI) efforts. This provides a more intelligent platform that can automatically scale networks anywhere in the world—no matter what capabilities are needed. 

Our AI can help you take the guesswork out of running and optimizing your networks, saving you even more time while creating an efficient and agile network that can help you meet your business goals. 

In all, Meraki creates the scale, automation, and insights you need to gain the agility and efficiencies necessary to thrive in a challenging market. So this year, don’t be afraid of what’s to come. Devise a strategy that leverages the Meraki platform so you can become a lean, efficient organization that’s ready to take advantage of opportunities as they come. 
Read our whitepaper to learn more.

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An Extra Set of Eyes On Your Production Line

Despite its reputation as a risk-averse industry, manufacturing is innovating at an unprecedented pace to address many of the obstacles it’s faced in recent years. From supply chain disruptions and material shortages to accelerating energy costs and labor shortages, the industry has been faced with numerous challenges leading to rapid technology adoption.

Computer vision’s role in manufacturing

One key area of innovation is computer vision (CV), sometimes called machine vision, which is transforming the production line. CV, as IDC defines it, is a software platform with a set of commercialized software tools and technologies that enables customers to design, train, build, validate, deploy, and manage CV artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) models. Common areas where CV assists manufacturers include quality inspection and safety, security, and compliance.   

Quality inspection and control

Quality is a key performance indicator (KPI) in manufacturing. Quality inspection allows manufacturers to verify quality at different stages of the production process. Inspection involves measuring, examining, testing, or gauging characteristics of the product and comparing the results against specific requirements. For instance, most AI-powered robots in manufacturing environments are extremely accurate, but they are not infallible.

That is where CV and AI modeling can be used to examine product quality. This advanced type of automated inspection involves scanning finished products with smart cameras and processing visual data with ML algorithms to identify anomalies. Reducing or eliminating defects can help ensure that each item (including its packaging) meets all necessary quality standards—and can help preserve the bottom line. 

Almost one in three manufacturers currently use vision-based quality inspection applications. Key areas where CV can assist manufacturers include:

  • Ensuring production consistency across locations and shifts
  • Supplementing repetitive or error-prone manual operations 
  • Examining production that is challenging to the human eye
  • Reducing waste and materials costs
  • Predicting machinery maintenance needs 

Safety, security, and compliance

Many manufacturing environments are hazardous, requiring workers to carefully navigate production areas and wear proper equipment. Further, manufacturers must adhere to various safety and compliance laws imposed by local regulators. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, among private industries in the U.S, manufacturing jobs have the highest rate of workplace injury. 

Ensuring physical and asset security is also a concern within manufacturing, with median theft reaching almost $200,000 per company. Visual data from CV cameras can be combined with other data types, such as data from sensors, to detect and track assets or people moving within a particular monitored location and automatically send relevant alerts. 

It can be difficult to manually monitor all areas of a production facility for safety and security. CV can help by:

  • Managing safety on the production floor to reduce claims and comply with regulations
  • Notifying supervisors of lone worker conditions and/or risk and compliance warnings
  • Providing visibility into personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance
  • Safeguarding intellectual property
  • Reducing threats to staff and/or vandalism to equipment and spaces
  • Protecting assets (such as machinery, inventory, finished products) from theft

Computer vision is helping manufacturers address many complex issues along their production lines, including quality, safety, and many others.

Watch our webinar with partner Cogniac to learn more about how computer vision can provide business value to your production line.

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The Year of Transforming Spaces

People working in office, 1970s vs today

A desk, a plant, a keyboard, a few photo frames. Maybe a magnetic sculpture or a clock with a modern aesthetic. Meeting rooms around the corner. Much like corporate organization structures, the office environment has weathered decades without any material changes. Sure, we put up and tear down walls every 20 years or so—today’s open floor plans look a lot like typing pools in the 50s and 60s—but the basics are constant.

The office was where we went to work, and these physical spaces still serve crucial needs for  collaboration, conversation, or just plain focus. Certainly, there are far fewer roommates to contend with at the office, but as organizations adapt to a permanently hybrid workforce and a rapidly changing economy, they’re also transforming the physical spaces they use. 

With fewer people on site on a daily basis, HR, facilities, and IT teams are looking for new ways to make the office a place workers want to be. On top of that, businesses are stepping up their corporate and environmental sustainability goals, leading to creative approaches that include retrofitting rather than rebuilding spaces. And none of that lessens the requirement to continually maintain, optimize, and expand the services available to workers, whether they’re in the office or in the field. 

In short, if 2022 was the year we returned to the office, 2023 will be the year companies transform the campus experience into something that’s truly a magnet for workers and a crucible for new ideas. 

Creating magnet experiences

We know that the flexibility of hybrid work improves worker well-being and feeling connection to their work. The most recent Cisco Hybrid Work Index confirms that 73% of workers feel “happier and more motivated in their roles” in a hybrid environment. Moreover, 60% of respondents “feel more closely connected to their organizations.” 

The wrinkle here is that connection to an organization does not necessarily equal connection to a workplace. Along with all the benefits of a hybrid workforce comes the reality that expensive office space goes underutilized. As the pressures of a changing economy and the desire to reduce exposure to vacant real estate mount, facilities, HR, and IT teams are racing to create spaces that are a true magnet to dynamic workforces. 

We believe that workplace experiences that truly attract talent back to the office will focus on a few differentiating characteristics:

  1. Dynamic spaces that facilitate inclusive collaboration, blending virtual and in-person participation.
  2. Intelligently aware environments that promote health, comfort, and sustainable practices.
  3. Adaptive networks that seamlessly connect digital and physical infrastructure and automatically scale to unpredictable traffic loads.
  4. Converged security systems that blend physical and data security together. 

The sustainability retrofit

Speaking of health, comfort, and sustainability, 2023 will also be the year of “everything old is new again.” Despite board-level focus on sustainable practices, organizations can’t afford to take every building back to the studs and remodel from the ground up. 

Instead, a more practical approach is a retrofit model. Take advantage of the spaces and materials you have and build sustainability as a crescendo rather than a crash. A great example is the transformation the University of Ottawa led when they seized the opportunity to revitalize an existing space. The OU team transformed a theater built in 1906 into a modern esports arena, delivering a brand-new wired and wireless experience that not only delivers fast-twitch gaming performance, it’s created a new forum for collaboration and learning that’s pulling students in from around the globe. 

The other sustainable benefits? Retrofitting existing facilities reduces the need to produce more building materials. That’s less wood, concrete, steel, and other byproducts produced.

Smaller, more focused campuses enable employers to optimize for efficiency and worker experiences

Even the network closet is a target for retrofit. It only takes a few minutes (and a few adhesive strips) to install temperature and humidity sensors that can continuously monitor environmental conditions so that heating, cooling, and ventilation can be adjusted to protect network devices and maximize efficiency. 

The cloud value multiplier

Transforming any space can feel daunting. Enter cloud networking and the tools, efficiencies, security, and intelligence it brings. There’s no one technology solution that’s going to bring workers back or make your building carbon neutral. It’s going to require a myriad of technologies all working together to deliver results. 

A cloud-based network is a platform for innovation where experiences can be built and unified within a single dashboard. IoT and network devices can all be managed seamlessly, and the intelligence they provide can be easily accessed and analyzed by those who need it. The platform is also the home for automations and APIs that enable scale with less manual input or travel between locations. Artificial intelligence optimizes network performance in the background while providing critical alerts and helping to diagnose problems.

Go forth and (re)build

As you plan for the year ahead and all the ways you are transforming your work spaces—to achieve sustainability goals or perhaps support an esports team—remember that the Meraki platform is here to turn all those ideas into real-life results for your business.

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Resolve to Transform Banking Experiences in 2023

Banking transformation through the cloud illustration

The new year presents a great opportunity to set new goals, both personally and professionally. For financial institutions, there’s no time like the present to evaluate the technology supporting your customer offerings. 

From open banking to buy now, pay later offerings, demand for digital experiences will continue to drive cloud platform adoption in retail banking. Cloud-based solutions can help financial institutions, mortgage banks, and insurance providers achieve rapid scaling with purpose and outcome-focused digital transformation in weeks and months, rather than years. 

Here are three ways to transform your banking experiences and prepare for a fantastic 2023.

Leverage data

Cloud platforms allow banks to focus resources on the biggest source of differentiation today: data. A cloud platform can help organizations be more flexible by emphasizing banking processes and combining applications with pre-built but customizable financial services processes and tools like automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). 

Cloud infrastructures enable ease of operation between different systems while preserving data security and privacy. These platforms help retail banks manage their data and processes without reinventing the wheel, freeing them to spend more time building customer and partner relationships. This capability becomes critical as financial institutions work in multi-industry ecosystems and are called upon to share data and applications with other organizations. 

Enhance banking experiences

A cloud platform can be a starting point for innovation, experimentation, and business agility. Moving to the cloud enables banks to improve the security, resilience, and efficiency of their IT services. Simply put, the cloud allows banks to get new things done faster. 

Ebook -- Top tech trends in financial services -- READ NOW

Cloud infrastructure can facilitate the applications, analytics, and scalability needed to quickly and securely launch new services to meet customer demands. One emerging service that cloud technology has enabled financial institutions to embrace is buy now, pay later—a form of short-term loan. Expanding opportunities into new lines of business, such as short-term loans, can be a stepping stone into other larger areas of digital business.

Take a cloud-first approach 

Taking a cloud-first approach when evaluating your customer offerings and the underlying technology supporting them can better enable innovation and open revenue streams. With the agility, speed, and efficiency of the cloud, banks can wield technology as a true differentiator. 

Cloud networking enables banks and credit unions to more easily tap into the next generation of digital technologies that are already reshaping the competitive landscape, as well as unleash the full value of their digital data. Cloud solutions can open the door to advanced technologies like AI/ML and the devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Banks that are not migrating to the cloud are missing opportunities to make their businesses more efficient, resilient, and customer focused.

In an industry where customers’ expectations continue to evolve, embracing cloud technology can help you meet the needs of 2023 while preparing for the years ahead. Get started on your banking resolutions with more insights about future-proofing banking, and learn more about how the Cisco Meraki cloud platform can empower your teams with intuitive experiences that help scale operations.  

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We Meet Again: NRF 2023

Woman in retail store working on ipad

We’re back!

After a chaotic few years, we’re back—in person—and look forward to seeing you at NRF 2023 to learn about the newest technologies shaping the retail industry.

The Cisco Meraki team is planning an on-site experience like no other where we’ll address the most pressing topics facing the retail industry. In the current climate, there are several key areas that will help differentiate brands: customer experience, associate engagement, operations optimization, safety and security, sustainability, and more.   

We love to push boundaries, experiment, and make IT easier, faster, and smarter for our retail customers. Innovative technology, now more than ever, can provide opportunities and access for all, make a meaningful impact, and bring about a better and brighter future. 

We hope you’re able to join us in person to see firsthand how cloud-first technologies can help you meet ever-changing demands and priorities. The unmatched breadth and performance of our cloud-first platform allows our customers to thrive and focus on what is best for their business. 

Get the most out of your NRF experience 

Here are four ways to connect with us during NRF: 

  1. Visit our booth, #5739, and experience what’s possible for your retail business with our secure, intelligent solutions. Cisco Meraki, Webex, and our ecosystem partners meldCX, SES-imagotag, EVERYANGLE, and Wipro will host demos throughout NRF to help you: 
  • Orchestrate richer communications 
  • Gain visibility, derive insights, and take action 
  • Secure assets and ensure compliance 
  • Automate the intelligent store 
  • Personalize engagement 
  1. Inquire at our booth or contact your Meraki sales representative to request a meeting with a Meraki subject matter expert or executive. Our team is available for on-site or virtual meetings to help discuss your specific business needs.
  1. Attend a Meraki theater booth session for an opportunity to win a raffle prize. Join our team as we share insights and best practices across top-of-mind subjects like network uptime, customer insights via smart cameras, and cloud-managed wireless WAN strategies.  
  1. Join Cisco Meraki Insiders. Connect with your peers, hear from our executives, and continue conversations from NRF around the future of retail. 

Our entire team looks forward to connecting with you during NRF 2023! 

Visit our Cisco Meraki at NRF 2023 events page for registration, updated information on all of our sessions, resources, and more.  

If you cannot make it to NRF 2023, download our e-book to learn more about the latest retail technology trends.

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