Facebook, Cisco make up an unlikely duo ahead of holiday season

And now that it's October, it's also prime time for the deluge of all things related to the holiday season.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Although they don't make for the most obvious pairing in Silicon Valley, Facebook and Cisco are teaming up on a venture that actually might make perfect sense in the end.

And now that it's October, it's also prime time for the deluge of all things related to the holiday season.

Bridging the worlds of consumer and enterprise tech, Facebook and Cisco have cooked up a platform that will tap into customer likes and location for targeted promotions and ads while also aiming to improve brand recognition.

The official title for the venture is Cisco Connected Mobile Experience with Facebook Wi-Fi, or CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi for short.

While the networking giant has also provided plenty of in-house stats of evidence supporting targeted mobile shopping, Cisco will also be responsible for most of the Wi-Fi infrastructure work.

The project will be powered by Cisco's Unified Access architecture, which is also being expanded this week with the new Catalyst 3650 access switch designed to accelerate the convergence of wired and wireless networks.

CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi has also been programmed to utilize a software connector on the Cisco Integrated Services Router G2 and Aggregation Services Router 1000 series as well as Cisco's Mobility Services Engine for connecting users to Wi-Fi networks while also allowing them to check in through the store's Facebook profile page.

This is where Facebook plays a bigger role in the partnership by moving all of the data parts around.

After checking in, customers will be the business’ Facebook Page updated with information about the data. The social network then provides the business with relevant information about these visitors, primarily demographics about age, gender, and city.

Aiming to ease any privacy alarms, Facebook stresses that this is data is anonymous.

Regardless, businesses are touted to benefit by having access to this general data with the hopes and intentions of better understanding their customer base this holiday season, in turn being able to treat shoppers with better, more personalized advertising campaigns.

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