TC3 SPONSOR SERIES: The “Hotspot-in-a- Box” Fog offers easy, inexpensive Guest Wi-Fi for Small Businesses, as shown at TC3 Summit
Author: David Coursey, Cloud4Wi
A quick walking tour told the story: For all the businesses that offer Guest Wi-Fi, there are many more that do not. Why? Maybe it is the perceived complexity and expense of creating a customer hotspot. Perhaps, the business owner is unaware of the huge benefits made possible by offering enhanced free Wi-Fi in their shop, restaurant or office.
Cloud4Wi’s mission is to improve Guest Wi-Fi, making it a valuable engagement and analytics tool for the businesses that offer it. We already do that at more than 15,000 locations in more than 80 countries. Those are, however, enterprise customers, typically having hundreds or even thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots connected to our cloud-based platform.
That is great for big companies. But, what about the business that has only one location? There has not – until now – been a feature-rich, easy-to-install solution designed specifically for them.
Beyond free Wi-Fi
Cloud4Wi’s new “Fog” is a service package, including access point hardware, which provides more than just free Wi-Fi. It includes a customizable portal that welcomes customers, requests social media profile information, and may offer coupons and specials. It also creates a profile for every Wi-Fi device it “sees” whether the user logs in or not. This gives the business new insight into customer behavior and foot traffic.
Fog has three major functions:
Connect – Fog makes it easy for devices to connect to the Internet at the business’s location. Customers may be allowed to simply click and login. Most businesses, however, will ask for an email address or social media login to access free Wi-Fi. These login options make it easy for the business to build a customer marketing list. The social login provides additional customer demographic information as well.
Analyze – Fog gathers valuable presence information about customers. When they shop, how long they stay, how often they return. Fog does this for customers who actually login and for anonymous Wi-Fi devices that the access point merely “sees.” This information is used with other data, such a purchases, to develop customer-specific strategies.
Promote – Fog enables businesses to drive customers’ path to purchase. They can offer specials and coupons to their customers on the welcome portal, while they are onsite, and/or by email, during or after their visit.
Fog addresses the huge market of businesses that would benefit from the enhanced Guest Wi-Fi but have not been able to purchase it until now. Many do not realize that smarter Guest Wi-Fi is even available to very small businesses or the benefits it can provide.
Fog is easy for businesses to understand. Fog is plug-and-play without requiring any configuration. Businesses just plug it into their Internet connection and start offering free Wi-Fi. Fog is easy-to-use. Businesses can use Fog Mobile App to customize their free Wi-Fi and design their business strategies in real time using only a smartphone.
A big opportunity for carriers
Fog offers carriers the ability to expand their services portfolio with compelling Wi-Fi managed services that require low touch and post-sales support. Fog also provides carriers with an upsell opportunity for existing customers, with a consequent increase of the average revenue per user. Fog enables carriers to target new customers with a service that does not require a change of their Internet connection. Carriers can also personalize their Wi-Fi managed services by fully customizing the Fog package and matching the feel and look of their brand.
For carriers that want to engage customers more often – and more profitably – offering our Fog package is the opportunity.
Cloud4Wi Fog is an exciting new offering for businesses, carriers and, of course, for us.
We would be happy to show it to you during the TC3 Summit (September 30th and October 1st at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA). Come visit us!
David Coursey – Cloud4Wi Platform Evangelist
David Coursey is Platform Evangelist for Cloud4Wi, Inc. Over more than 25 years he has been an award-winning industry analyst, columnist, and consultant. He has written for InfoWorld, PC World, eWEEK and other publications. He is currently a columnist for SiliconAngle.com. Besides writing, Coursey also consults with technology start-ups and volunteers for emergency service and animal rescue groups. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cloud4Wi is a cloud-based platform that revolutionizes Guest Wi-Fi at retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops and other venues. Using our platform and web applications, businesses can offer improved Guest Wi-Fi that engages with customers in real time to increase customer loyalty and retention. Using Cloud4Wi’s unique presence and location analytics, businesses can build a customized, location-based user journey that includes push marketing and advertising messages. Powered by a comprehensive SDK and open API, the Cloud4Wi platform enables companies to build web applications providing customers with a seamless digital experience and to integrate external business platforms to optimize the operational efficiency. Cloud4Wi provides its award-winning cloud platform to more than 1,000 customers and 15,000 locations in more than 80 countries. Distributed through managed service providers and other partners, major brand customers include Clarks shoes, Ermenegildo Zegna, Armani, Prada, , Burger King, Aliansce, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, Enforta, Telecom Italia and other leaders in customer engagement and analytics. Based in San Francisco, Cloud4Wi has offices in London, Paris, Milan, Pisa, Singapore and Bogota.
For more information, visit www.cloud4wi.com/