Just last week I went along to a talk from Cisco at the Bridgewater Hall as they were launching their new start up investment program called RAPTOR. The idea is that small businesses can create a ‘cloud-based’ app to integrate with a specific sector (such as transport or retail) and use it to communicate with their users (with Cisco communication tools).

To give an example:

Peter is a 27 year old from Levenshulme and he purchases 3 x tickets for The Courteeners for 7 December at the Manchester Arena.

Local businesses could potentially have access to this (basic) information via Ticketmaster and help plan offers around Peter (and his friends) night out. He will presumably need to get public transport to city centre, so lets give him the bus and train times (courtesy of TFGM & National Rail Enquiries) and also discounted car parking if he was to decide to drive (courtesy of local NCP). The show starts at 9:30pm but there are a couple of warm-up bands so they could get there earlier and they may decide to have food and/or a couple of drinks, so (courtesy of local restaurants) let’s give Peter some options for discounted meals or drinks offers near to (his likely entrance considering where his ticket is) the Arena.

Without going into every step, I’m sure you can see the possibilities of offers and options available to not just Peter, but to the other 21,000 fans of The Courteeners (and every other show at the Arena). Factors like the weather, traffic, crime and other local interesting events, could mean that when you think you’re going for a night to watch your favourite band play, you may also have made a few choices which will stay with you and help plan your nights out better in the future (and supporting local businesses at the same time).

This would all be presented in a very lovely one-screen app with maps, CCTV videos, local news and offers in front of you.

Rod Halstead, MD of public sector at Cisco, said: “By nurturing today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, we are encouraging the development of the innovators and tech leaders of tomorrow.

This all sounds like it should already be out there (so apologies if this isn’t new to you) but when you think of the possibilities it really is quite exciting to see how you can reach and engage with your users…

You’ll probably need a stable hosting solution for it too.

Chris Marsh
Commercial Manager