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Cisco DNA Spaces Solution Overview

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Updated:July 23, 2019

Available Languages

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    (1.4 MB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:July 23, 2019


Regardless of your industry, Cisco DNA Spaces can provide incremental value through existing wireless investments.

Cisco DNA Spaces synthesizes location data across your properties and wireless investments to deliver location-based services at scale


Cisco DNA Spaces solves the physical space blind spot to help you better understand the behavior and location of people (visitors, employees) and things (assets, sensors). A cloud-based platform compatible across both Cisco® Aironet® and Meraki® wireless, it enables location analytics, behavioral insights, asset tracking, and location-based engagement capabilities.

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 enterprise’s critical operations. Cisco DNA Spaces enables you to understand how people and things are behaving in your spaces. The benefits are huge. Imagine:

   In retail, being able to better measure the performance of marketing campaigns by looking at increases in dwell times or frequency of visits

   In hospitality, understanding historical density of traffic in hotels to better predict future employee staffing needs

   In stadiums, understanding who is a season ticket holder, or being able to build a targeted upsell campaign

   In healthcare, being able to monitor refrigeration temperature to ensure that critical levels are not breached

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


Figure 1.           

The Cisco DNA Spaces dashboard offers a single pane of glass for all location-based services. It also has different views based on users and permissions—for IT, line of business, executives, and property managers


   Simplification: A single, unified platform for accessing location products and apps and normalizing data to 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. Cisco DNA Spaces is currently live at over 26,000 locations

   Standardization: Compatible and interoperable across all Cisco wireless - Aironet, Cisco Catalyst®, and Meraki architecture

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

   Low touch: Does not require any upgrade to your underlying network infrastructure to activate service

Business value across all key stakeholders

Line of business

   Understand visitor behavior

   Curate 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

   Increase data privacy and compliance

   Provide reliable, end-to-end monitoring and SLAs

Challenges we’ve witnessed in the location services ecosystem

Fragmentation: Multiple offers and products that are not seamless across all hardware

Cost: Limited propriety systems that are costly to deploy and operate

Quality: Location data that requires significant cleansing and processing

Support: Lack of end-to-end support across customers and partners

Overcome location challenges with Cisco DNA Spaces by

   Providing a single entry point across all location apps and services

   Cleansing data across all infrastructure and entry points

   Offering compatibility across all existing Cisco wireless

Key features

Cisco DNA Spaces takes the wireless network beyond connectivity to drive digitization in three easy steps: see, act, and extend. Now you can see what’s happening at your properties, act on this knowledge through digitization toolkits, and extend platform capabilities through a partner app ecosystem.

Location hierarchy

The location hierarchy capability allows you to manage and group locations based on business taxonomy. What we’re doing is translating the IT backbone you already have in place (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, etc.

Behavior metrics

Measure visitor behavior throughout single or multiple properties. In this set of metrics, you can begin to understand 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 duration by visit number, and impact analysis.

The visit duration metric across locations show the average time spent by users per visit.


Figure 2.           

An event impact comparison


Benchmark and compare your property’s performance and gain valuable context. You can benchmark against the industry (retail, hospitality) and/or 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 metric benchmarking across key locations show the top and bottom performing locations.


Figure 3.           

The visit duration metric shows the average time spent by your visitors on your premises

Wi-Fi adoption metrics

Measure the adoption of your Wi-Fi and help make your Wi-Fi program more successful. In this set of metrics, you can begin to understand acquisition rates and see which locations are having connection issues. Example metrics include repeat visitor rates, hour-of-day connection rates, and access point density.


Figure 4.           

The acquisition rate metric shows the percentage of those clicking on an SSID who got provisioned for the internet

Right now metrics

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


Figure 5.           

Right now metrics

Captive portals

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

They allow businesses to deliver targeted experiences based on business rules (who, what, when, where, etc.). For example, the captive portal can recognize repeat visitors by name and deliver customized offers (such as offering exclusive savings or bonus loyalty points on a visitor’s fifth visit).


Figure 6.           

A captive portal can be personalized based on location (region, brand, state, etc.) and new vs. repeat visitor

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.


Figure 7.           

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 the industry. Examples of 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 ideal channel 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 Webex Teams notifications to deliver a differentiated experience. Integrate with back-end systems and workflows such as marketing cloud, CRM, PMS, associate notification systems, etc.

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.


Figure 8.           

Engagement rule report

Operational insights

Through operational insights, you can identify and monitor assets, detect anomalies, optimize operations and response times through alerts, and integrate with enterprise systems. Operational insights can track any wireless connected device and any Cisco Compatible Extension (CCX) certified tag.


Figure 9.           

Viewing asset activity playback, heat map, and location trail

Detect and locate

This feature allows customers to view and track devices on site through the ability to search for clients, BLE, active RFID tags, rogue devices, and interferers. Cisco DNA Spaces provides access to client history and APIs to access both real-time and historical data.


Figure 10.        

Example of detect and locate on the dashboard

Achieve business outcomes through a partner ecosystem

   Independent software vendors: Enable vertically relevant, prevalidated location-based services applications through the partner App Store

   Enterprise software: Integrate location data with enterprise software platforms to develop deeper insights about your customers, employees, and assets

   Solution providers: Work with third-party application developers to build customized applications for individual businesses leveraging Cisco DNA Spaces APIs

Use cases

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


Use case


  Understand shopper and associate behavior, benchmark performance, and make informed decisions
  Acquire visitors, and deliver relevant experiences through notifications
  Correlate location behavior with other business KPIs like revenue, operations, marketing, energy, etc.


  Gain insights into guest, visitor, and employee behavior
  Benchmark performance
  Provide location and user specific information (links to services, nearby events, daily specials, surveys, etc.)
  Integrate with CRM to gain a 360 degree view of users


  Gain insights into employee and visitor behavior to measure workspace utilization and understand patterns
  Understand how conditions in the office and events impact employee behavior
  Trigger notifications, alerts, and business workflows based on the behavior of people and things


  Gain insights into patient, visitor, and staff behavior
  Onboard and acquire patients and visitors
  Provide location and user-specific information (links to services, retail, surveys, etc.)


  Gain insights into employee and visitor behavior
  Trigger alerts when equipment hasn’t been used in a long time or enters prohibited zones
  Prevent damage to inventory due to environmental conditions
  Enhance your equipment paths of operation and make better workflows


  Gain insights into student, employee, and visitor behavior
  Understand how events and variations affect behavior
  Trigger notifications, alerts, and business workflows based on the behavior of people and things

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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