Take Control of Large Public Venues Through Mobile Engagement

July 07, 2017 • Blog Post • Eugene Berger, Chief Technologist, UK

Learning from data and protecting the network

Its 2017. Going digital is no longer a choice, but an integral part of any business strategy worth its salt. And mobile technology is at the heart of this, whether you want to boost engagement by placing connected devices in a museum, or improve the customer experience with custom applications for your shopping mall.

Now all we need is for mobile technology to work flawlessly: outdoors; indoors; in a venue of any size and capacity. The mobile-first, modern-day consumer expects instant access to maps; the ability to order products and services on a smartphone; and to have a constant channel of communication between friends, family, colleagues and online communities. Its up to the owners of our public venues to respond to this.


Mobile engagement in motion
From sports stadiums to music arenas, public venues are looking to improve the customer experience and boost revenue through mobile engagement. Take Levi's Stadium you can now order a hotdog from your seat (rather than joining a long line and missing the game), or get directions to your seat as well as watching replays on your device all via a smartphone app.

The SSE Arena in Belfast wanted to create a digital arena with seamless connectivity for visitors and a host of new IP services. The solution? Mobile engagement.

Using an app to enhance experiences in the stadium, the venue had the opportunity to boost revenue, security and the visitor experience. App users order and collect food and drink using a priority app queue; and 140IP CCTV cameras enable replays to be shown to spectators, and separate public and corporate networks work to keep a close watch on security.

This rich user experience is all possible thanks to Aruba Meridan and Aruba Beacons. Developers can create indoor location services within mobile apps, enabling users to locate each other in real-time and interact with physical spaces.


Learning from data

The principle of stadiums can apply to other venues and industries, including retail. In fact, by 2019 79% of retail organizations will have adopted IoT technology, which could include a large array of connected devices like cameras, sensors, lighting, tills or air conditioning systems. According to recent HPE Aruba research, 77% of retailers believe IoT will transform their industry. Of those who have adopted IoT, 73% have achieved cost savings and 78% saw an improvement in customer experience as a result of IoT technology.

The impact of IoT in retail is clear to see from mobile payments, where mobile devices become the point of sale for immediate payment and increase customer satisfaction, to apps that offer in-store rewards to customers in real time.

But what were not seeing, is the data captured from connected devices being utilized to leverage other areas of the business. This is an area where public venues can up their game to further reap the rewards of IoT. By analyzing data created by consumers, business can manipulate their offering to match the obvious consumer demands presented by the data.

To meet this need, we created the Aruba Mobile First Platform, the intelligent software layer that turns connectivity into a rich experience for mobile users and actionable insights for business and IT. It's designed to accelerate the adoption of mobile and IoT initiatives and give our customers a competitive advantage.


Protecting the Network

To protect the digital resources of the space, whether a stadium or a shopping mall, IT must be prepared to protect the onslaught of mobile devices on the network. Powered by Aruba ClearPass, developers of IT applications and security services can easily influence network access policies, get access to policy information about users in real-time, and automate secure onboarding of new and unknown devices to the network.

Public venues and retailers are using IoT for monitoring and maintenance, location-based services and connecting devices to Wi-Fi. As consumer tech advances, the opportunity for growth is huge, and as consumers receive a better experience as a result of mobile engagement, there is clear potential to increase ROI. And this, leads to more sales.

Of those surveyed by HPE Aruba, 56% predicted productivity would increase; 37% expected to see an expansion into new markets; and 29% believed customer referrals would rise. The expectation of mobile engagement from consumers is growing - match this with the untapped revenue pockets we see in the public venue space, and this presents a very positive future of companies planning to bring more mobile innovation into their offering.


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