Cisco snags potential customer-sniffing biz for an undisclosed sum

OEM partner July Systems' tech tracks in-store punters by Wi-Fi

Cisco is to slurp up cloudy indoor location services biz July Systems to add to its Wi-Fi platform and boost customer experience capabilities.

July Systems, founded in 2001, offers services to track people's locations within buildings through Wi-Fi.

The idea is to allow companies to identify customers when they enter a space, sending more targeted communications for – as the biz would have it – a better customer experience.

Customers of the firm, which offers behavioural insights and instant customer activation, include Westfield shopping centres, the Intercontinental Hotels Group and a number of sports teams.

For Cisco, the acquisition is one in a series aimed at helping it shed its hardware dinosaur image and pull in new clients; it will hope its Wi-Fi capabilities combined with July Systems' global cloud footprint will let it target enterprise clients at scale.

The smaller firm – already an OEM partner for Cisco's Connected Mobile Experiences products – will join the larger firm's Enterprise Networking Group.

"Enterprises have an opportunity to take advantage of their in-building Wi-Fi for a broad range of indoor location services," said Cisco's head of M&A, Rob Salvagno.

"In addition to providing seamless connectivity, Wi-Fi can help enterprises glean deep visitor behaviour insights, associate these learnings with their enterprise systems, and drive better customer and employee experiences."

IDC analyst Brandon Butler said that Cisco was "doubling down" on the Wi-Fi-based indoor location services market.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, should complete in the first quarter of 2019. ®

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