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Cisco DNA Spaces Solution Overview

Networking Solution Solution Overview

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Updated:June 23, 2020

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Updated:June 23, 2020


Whatever your industry, Cisco DNA Spaces can deliver significant outcomes through existing wireless investments.


Cisco DNA Spaces helps to resolve the physical-space blind spot so you can better understand the behavior and location of people (visitors, employees) and things (assets, sensors). This cloud-based platform, which is compatible across Cisco® Aironet®, Cisco Catalyst®, and Meraki® wireless access points, lets your enterprise see what's happening at its properties, act on these insights, and extend platform capabilities via integrations and partner applications.

With Cisco DNA Spaces, you can now extract even more value from your Cisco wireless technology investments. Equally important, this value extraction is tied directly to your organization's critical operations and business outcomes. Cisco DNA Spaces enables you to understand how people and things are behaving in your spaces. The benefits are huge. Imagine:

      In healthcare, making sure infants are safe within the maternity wing or monitoring refrigeration temperatures to ensure that critical levels are not breached

      In education, automatically tracking student attendance through location-based programs

      In the carpeted enterprise, maximizing your real estate spend by understanding space utilization and occupancy of meeting rooms

      In retail, being able to better measure the performance of marketing campaigns, store location, and store size by looking at increases in customer dwell times and frequency of visits

      In hospitality, understanding historical density of guests in hotels to better predict employee staffing needs, acquire new loyalty members, and lower customer acquisition cost

      In stadiums, knowing which attendees are season-ticket holders and using location data to build a targeted upsell campaign

These examples and many more move Cisco and the partner ecosystem closer to the critical business operations of the enterprise, opening significant new opportunities to realize business outcomes.

Cisco DNA Spaces dashboard

Figure 1.            

The Cisco DNA Spaces dashboard offers a single pane of glass for all location-based services. It also provides different views based on types of users and their permissions—such as for executives, property managers, and others


      Simplification: A single, unified platform for accessing location products and apps and for normalizing data to create meaningful insights

      Cloud first, scalable: A cloud-first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach that enables presence and location connection to the cloud across the entire installed base

      Unified ecosystem for applications, partners and end devices: Cisco DNA Spaces Indoor IoT Services helps customers deliver multiple applications and use cases at scale and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

      Standardization: Compatibility and interoperability across all Cisco wireless—Aironet, Cisco Catalyst, and Meraki

      Support: 24x7 monitoring and Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) for end-to-end reliability

      Low touch: No need to upgrade your underlying network infrastructure to activate service

Business value

Line of business:

      Understand visitor behavior

      Curate better experiences

      Improve customer acquisition and loyalty

      Boost satisfaction


      Optimize operations

      Increase employee productivity

      Drive greater efficiency

      Reduce manual processes and costs


      Enable enterprise integrations and data export

      Gain centralized management

      Data privacy and compliance

      Provide reliable, end-to-end monitoring and SLAs

      Boost IT productivity

Key features

Cisco DNA Spaces takes the wireless network beyond connectivity to drive digitization in three easy steps: See, Extend, and Act. See, Extend, and Act are the three licensing tiers of Cisco DNA Spaces. Now you can see what's happening at your properties, extend platform capabilities by connecting to partner apps in the Cisco DNA Spaces App Center, and act on this knowledge through digitization toolkits.

See what’s happening at your spaces

Location hierarchy

The location-hierarchy capability enables you to manage and group locations based on business taxonomy. What we're doing is translating the IT backbone you already have (your wireless access points) into business context and nomenclature to create a centralized management view across all locations. You can group locations by geography, state, brand, type of store, zone, and more.

Behavior metrics

Measure visitor behavior throughout one or more properties. With this set of metrics, you can gain understanding, for example, of how behavior trends change from month to month, how subsequent visits affect dwell times, and how visits are affected by external events. Example metrics include visit duration, visit frequency, visit distribution, and impact analysis.

Behavior metrics

Figure 2.            

Behavior metrics

Impact analysis

Measure the impact of events, campaigns, and layout changes on location behavior. Compare average daily visits and visit duration throughout the year and during a specific event. This helps you infer whether an event has led to an increase or decrease in visitor activities at your location. For example, in retail you may want to know how Black Friday has affected shopper behavior at your location.

Impact analysis for Black Friday 2019 comparing overall visit duration and visit count with visit duration and count during the event.

Figure 3.            

Impact analysis for Black Friday 2019 comparing overall visit duration and visit count with visit duration and count during the event.


Benchmark and compare your property's performance to gain valuable context. You can benchmark against your industry (such as retail or hospitality), your organization (historical data). This feature allows you to tag and filter locations based on parameters and categories relevant to your business, so you can choose which locations to show for benchmarking.

The visit-duration benchmarking across key locations show the top- and bottom-performing locations.

Industry and organization benchmarks for the visit duration and visit frequency metrics

Figure 4.            

Industry and organization benchmarks for the visit duration and visit frequency metrics

Right-now metrics

Right-now data shows active visitors currently at a location, also providing a view into demographics.

Right-now metrics

Figure 5.            

Right-now metrics


Increase Wi-Fi attach rates with OpenRoaming, which seamlessly and securely keeps guests connected, wherever they go. OpenRoaming addresses the common challenge of onboarding guests onto your Wi-Fi network by allowing them to use common identity/service provider credentials to connect to any participating network.

Extend platform capabilities and drive business outcomes

App Center

Discover partner applications that can be quickly activated through the App Center. The partner applications can drive various industry specific use cases, such as asset management or infant tracking in healthcare settings. The 24/7 monitoring and support capabilities of Cisco DNA Spaces also apply to the partner apps to ensure high levels of uptime. Customers can control how they use and send data to the partner apps.

App Center with vertical-specific partner applications

Figure 6.            

App Center with vertical-specific partner applications



IBM TRIRIGA Building Insights and Cisco DNA Spaces together deliver a solution for providing space optimization and occupancy monitoring across the real estate portfolio.

Workspaces use cases

Floor level occupancy

Gain space utilization insights, categorized by building and floor. Understand how allocated workspaces are being used and by whom. Having floor level occupancy insights allows facilities and real estate planning managers to make informed decisions about expanding or even using less space. With these insights, they can make the most out of their spaces, given the budgets they have.

Wayfinding (coming soon)

Use indoor positioning to help employees navigate throughout their workspaces. For example, an employee can save time by using wayfinding to figure the best path to reach a conference room, breakroom, or other critical area. Learning from more and more location data, assign the right work tasks to the right staff on an automated basis.

Meeting room utilization (coming soon)

Save time during the day-to-day by simplifying the room booking experience. Whether or not a room has been booked, monitor the occupancy of meeting rooms are and effectively determine whether to use, book, or release the room. This improves productivity and optimizes utilization of meeting rooms throughout buildings.


Space matters. It’s at the heart of your real estate strategy, informs time-sensitive decisions, helps safeguard occupant well-being, and is crucial for controlling costs. That’s why you need IBM TRIRIGA, an intelligent real estate and facilities management solution. Through the smart application of data, IoT and AI, TRIRIGA helps you harness essential information and insights, and enables you to reimagine and repurpose space to meet ever-changing needs across your connected facilities. It’s also a single source of truth for your entire portfolio, giving you greater visibility into key areas: space and facility utilization, operations and maintenance, occupant experience, capital projects, and lease administration and accounting. With TRIRIGA – backed by the data security and expertise that only IBM can provide – you can create a more resilient real estate portfolio, regardless of size, scale and configuration.

STANLEY Healthcare

STANLEY Healthcare

Wi-Fi based Real-Time Location Systems for monitoring the location and status of people, assets, and environments across healthcare facilities. Together with STANLEY Healthcare, Cisco DNA Spaces delivers safe and efficient experiences for healthcare providers, caregivers, and patients.

Healthcare Use cases

Asset Management

Monitor the location of mobile devices and equipment throughout healthcare facilities to reduce cost and increase efficiencies. Understand where and how hospital equipment is being used to optimize workflows and manage supply and inventory accordingly. Ensure that critical equipment is available and properly maintained. Shortages are virtually eliminated and equipment on recall can be retrieved in a matter of hours – before they’re used on another patient. Save on costs by knowing the right amount of equipment needed. Prevent equipment losses by triggering alerts when something goes missing.

Temperature and environmental monitoring

Enterprise-wide temperature and environmental monitoring of refrigerators and freezers to ensure the safe storage of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and other sensitive materials. Wireless monitoring provides round-the-clock coverage and real-time alerts proactively address environmental changes before damage, loss, or patient safety issues occur. Reduce costs by eliminating manual monitoring. Reporting and analytics simplify regulatory compliance, and improve operational decision-making and process improvements.

Infant, staff, and patient protection

Provide real-time monitoring to safeguard infants, patients, and staff from abduction, protect against patient elopement and wandering, and ensure staff are shielded from threatening situations.

Patient and staff flow

Improve throughput in the OR, ED, and clinics to increase room utilization, understand and optimize flows, and improve family and patient satisfaction. Analyze average wait times at hospitals and clinics to improve the patient experience and determine staffing needs. Improve workflow and guide operational decision making.

Hand hygiene compliance

Automate the monitoring and reporting of hand hygiene habits to increase compliance and reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs). Set compliance goals and use visual analytics to identify compliance-related issues and for process improvements.

About STANLEY Healthcare

Over 15,000 hospitals and senior living communities rely on STANLEY Healthcare solutions to empower caregivers to deliver better care. STANLEY Healthcare is a part of Stanley Black and Decker and a proud supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association®. Learn more at stanleyhealthcare.com.

Cisco DNA Spaces Firehose API

The Firehose API is a cloud-native, high-performance streaming API that provides uniform access to location data for partner applications and other integrations. There is continuous monitoring and support to ensure that the API is working optimally.

Enterprise integrations

Cisco DNA Spaces also supports native integrations with enterprise software and big data/analytics platforms. There is monitoring and support to ensure that the integrations are optimal.

Internal Cisco integrations

Internal Cisco integrations -  A close up of a logoDescription automatically generated

Cisco DNA Spaces supports integration with collaboration endpoints and other Cisco technologies, such as the Cisco Meraki MV cameras.

Act on insights using engagement toolkits

Captive portals

The captive portal is the first touchpoint with your business for customers on Wi-Fi. It is an opportunity to engage with customers who connect to Wi-Fi, provide relevant information, drive monetization, and potentially acquire customer information.

Captive portals enable businesses to choose from multiple authentication mechanisms (such as phone number, email, social, and acceptance of terms and conditions) and to deliver targeted experiences based on business rules (who, what, when, where, and so on). For example, the captive portal can recognize repeat visitors by name and deliver customized offers (such as for exclusive savings or bonus loyalty points on a visitor's fifth visit).

A captive portal can be personalized based on location (such as by region, state, etc.) and visitor behavior

Figure 7.            

A captive portal can be personalized based on location (such as by region, state, etc.) and visitor behavior

Captive-portal reports

Captive-portal reports provide insights on the unique customers newly identified from the selected location during the specified period, and the data (personal and demographic) collected from the identified customers. Example metrics include number of impressions, menu clicks, opt-in rate, and data capture.

Captive-portal report showing the number of customers logging in and how many have opted in and completed data capture

Figure 8.            

Captive-portal report showing the number of customers logging in and how many have opted in and completed data capture

Location personas

Cisco DNA Spaces enables you to profile and segment users based on at-location behavior. You can identify key segments and personas and get a detailed picture of their behavior at your location. This information enables you to deliver relevant engagements based on personas. The types of location personas will depend on your industry. Location personas we've seen are repeat visitor, cross-property visitor, loyalty member, high dweller, season-ticket holder, and more.


With Cisco DNA Spaces engagements, you can leverage the right channels at the right time and place. Trigger contextual multichannel engagements based on the behavior of visitors. Multichannel-engagement capabilities include SMS, email, and app push notifications. Notify staff in real time of a visitor's presence through API triggers and Cisco WebEx Teams™ notifications to deliver a differentiated experience. Integrate with back-end systems and workflows such as marketing cloud, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), property management systems, and associate notification systems.

The engagement reports show how many engagements were successfully delivered to your visitors based on the rule configured. The total number of engagements is further broken down by channel (SMS, email, in-app notifications) to help identify the most- and least-used channels.

Engagement-rule report

Figure 9.            

Engagement-rule report

Asset Locator

Through Asset Locator, you can identify and monitor assets, detect anomalies, optimize operations and response times through alerts, and integrate with enterprise systems.

Asset tracking in Asset Locator

Figure 10.         

Asset tracking in Asset Locator

Detect and locate (advanced)

This feature enables you to view and locate devices onsite. Cisco DNA Spaces provides access to client history and APIs to access both real-time and historical data.

Example of detect and locate on the dashboard

Figure 11.         

Example of detect and locate on the dashboard

Proximity Reporting (coming soon)

Understand where an individual has been if they reported exposure or infection to the virus. You can trace where that person has gone, be it floor, zone, or building. You can also see what users were in the same space at the same time. The report would show a summary of the impacted spaces, users, and dwell time. You can categorize risk levels in the report based on proximity and dwell time. A useful outcome of this would be the ability to focus cleaning efforts on mainly the impacted buildings or floors, which can help save time, resources, and costs.

Proximity Reporting can be leveraged through your existing network and does not require any additional installation of a mobile application nor hardware.

Enterprises leveraging Proximity Reporting have complete control over the privacy levels they want to exercise. In the most privacy sensitive model, the report will not include a username nor any personal identifying information. If a person self-reports for exposure, Proximity Reporting will only look at where the person’s devices were, by building, floor, or zone. Enterprises alternatively can opt for the ability to notify other people that either were in close proximity or shared a space with the self-reported individual. In any scenario, Cisco DNA Spaces will not store details of the person who self-reported exposure. To preserve privacy, the report will auto-delete after a certain period of time. You can also limit access of the report data to authorized personnel.

If a person self-reports exposure, a proximity report can be generated that includes information on recently visited buildings and floors, and amount of time spent at buildings and floors.

Figure 12.         

If a person self-reports exposure, a proximity report can be generated that includes information on recently visited buildings and floors, and amount of time spent at buildings and floors.

IoT Device Marketplace (coming soon)

The IoT Device Marketplace provides customers flexibility of choosing their end devices based on the technology, form factor, price, and use case. It features a variety of end devices such as BLE asset tags and beacons, from multiple vendors. The device vendors are validated and are integrated with the Cisco DNA Spaces end-to-end support framework. End devices ordered through the IoT Device Marketplace can be activated and managed through Cisco DNA Spaces.

IoT Device Marketplace features a variety of supported end devices that you can discover and order.

Figure 13.         

IoT Device Marketplace features a variety of supported end devices that you can discover and order.

Access point gateways (coming soon)

Deploy cloud-managed Cisco Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) gateways on your Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 access points. Using this new architecture, you can replace overlay networks and decouple the BLE end device from partner applications.

Device inventory (coming soon)

Manage your device inventory and activate sensors, tags, and beacons through a centralized cloud dashboard. This supports access point beacons, third-party BLE devices, active RFID, Cisco Meraki Video, and Cisco Webex®.

Device management (coming soon)

Manage AP beacons and third-party BLE beacons with native management and partner integrations. Workflow-based configuration tool will automatically apply configurations to supported beacons based on user-defined criteria.

Device monitoring and performance (coming soon)

Monitor the status of AP gateways and the overall health of your beacons through a cloud dashboard that provides device battery levels, last-heard timestamps, and firmware versions. Evaluate device performance to ensure that devices act as expected.

Use cases

Table 1.        Key Cisco DNA Spaces industry-specific use cases


Use case


  Onboard and acquire customers and loyalty members, expand customer base
  Offer a differentiated experience based on location and persona
  Understand in-store shopper behavior
  Understand peak times, benchmark performance, and measure impact of events
  Integrate with enterprise systems and unlock data to drive outcomes from external systems


  Understand on-property guest and visitor behavior
  Enable loyalty sign-ups; co-branded marketing engagements, such as credit-card sign-ups; and elite-member differentiation
  Differentiate guest experience based on brand and guest behavior types
  Explore new monetization avenues from Food and Beverage (F and B), convention centers, and others
  Integrate with enterprise systems, and unlock data to drive outcomes from external systems

Carpeted enterprises

  Visualize conference room availability and utilization, and navigate to nearby rooms
  Identify employee behavior that affects performance, satisfaction, and attrition
  Deliver contextual notifications to employees based on location and behavior
  Optimize space utilization and occupancy with actionable insights. Correlate with energy, F and B, and others
  Onboard workspace visitors and guests to Wi-Fi
  Integrate with enterprise systems (such as BMS, HRMS, and HVAC), and unlock data to drive outcomes from external systems


  Asset tracking and management: Locate key assets to help reduce costs and save time. Monitor temperature
  Panic button for staff safety and infant and patient protection
  Gain insights into patient and visitor behavior. Benchmark behavior across locations
  Onboard visitors to Wi-Fi
  Provide relevant location context to new or existing visitors and staff based on location and behavior
  Integrate with enterprise systems, and unlock data to drive outcomes from external systems


  Understand employee behavior that affects performance and satisfaction
  Optimize space utilization with actionable insights
  Perform asset tracking and management
  Panic button for staff safety
  Onboard visitors to Wi-Fi
  Deliver contextual notifications to employees based on location and behavior


  Gain insights into time spent on campus by building
  Use smart captive portals for guests, students, event/venue attendees, and others
  Trigger contextual engagements at on-campus venues, based on location and behavior
  Navigate and find available rooms
  Integrate with enterprise systems, and unlock data to drive outcomes from external systems
  Automated attendance tracking

Customer testimonials




Call to action

If you're ready to get more from your Wi-Fi, contact dnaspaces-sales@cisco.com.

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