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Cisco’s buying July Systems to bolster its Wi-Fi application options

News Analysis
Jun 19, 20182 mins
AnalyticsCisco SystemsEnterprise Applications

Cisco says July Systems offers an enterprise-grade wireless location platform with features such as instant customer activation, data-driven behavioral insights, contextual rules engine and APIs.

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Cisco took a step toward improving its mobile application family by saying it intended to buy privately held mobile firm July Systems for an undisclosed price.

July Systems, founded in 2001, features its flagship product, Proximity MX, that offers what Cisco calls “an enterprise-grade location platform” with features such as instant customer activation, data-driven behavioral insights, contextual rules engine and APIs.

The platform works with multiple location technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Beacons or GPS to sense the user’s device with or without an app installed. Proximity MX can engage the user with SMS, E-mail or push notifications or trigger a notification to the business user or system via API, SMS or E-mail, July says.    

“Enterprises have an opportunity to take advantage of their in-building Wi-Fi for a broad range of indoor location services. In addition to providing seamless connectivity, Wi-Fi can help enterprises glean deep visitor behavior insights, associate these learnings with their enterprise systems, and drive better customer and employee experiences,” wrote Rob Salvagno, Cisco vice president, corporate business development in a blog outlining the acquisition.

Salvagno noted that July and Cisco have an existing OEM relationship  for Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX).  “We plan to add July Systems’ platform and business context capabilities to provide a unified solution on which our partners and customers can build and deliver a range of indoor location services for industries as diverse as healthcare, government, logistics, manufacturing, sports arenas, hotels, education and retail. Some of our CMX Engage customers include Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Westfield Corp.,” Salvagno wrote.

Cisco has long envisioned a number of applications for indoor location services.  “A hospital manager can look at the concentration of activity within his facility and determine where bottlenecks are that could be removed, saving lives. A retail store owner can determine which areas of the store people tend to congregate in and move featured inventory for better display,” it wrote in a blog from 2016. 

The July team will join Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group led by Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager. Cisco said it expects the acquisition to be complete in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The intended July acquisition is Cisco’s third this year.  The company bought artificial intelligence firm, Accompany in May and cloud technology provider Skyport Systems in January.  Cisco made nine acquisitions in 2017 including AppDynamics and Viptela.