When most people think of their wireless network, they’re focused on its main role as an information highway for bytes of data. But what if the network could do more than simply act as a dumb pipe?
Extreme Networks aims to extract more value from the network with its new solution, Purview, which provides companies with the ability to monitor and understand user behavior based on the applications they’re using. More specifically, Purview integrates with network data that “carries context of users, devices, locations and applications in use,” according to the company.
“We're now starting to say the network is a strategic source of business intelligence,” says Mike Leibovitz, director of mobility and applications at Extreme Networks. “What we're really saying is bring the network to life.”
The NFL recently leveraged Extreme Networks’s tool at the Super Bowl to better understand how fans were using the wireless network at MetLife Stadium. Interestingly, the league discovered that Super Bowl fans had slightly different usage patterns compared with regular seasons fans.
“One of the patterns that we saw was that the use of Wi-Fi was almost consistent through the entire course of the game. During regular season games, our experience has been kind of peaks and valleys,” Leibovitz says.
Armed with this information, the NFL can appropriately provision network resources to ensure uptime and also push out messaging or advertising at key moments when they know fans are looking at their mobile devices.
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The Super Bowl is a high-profile use case for Extreme Network’s Purview product, but its application makes sense in a non-entertainment capacity too. In fact, the company itself started using Purview to better understand how workers were using its own network.
By watching how the internal sales team used the network, the company discovered that the top salespeople on the team spent more time on LinkedIn than others, and it shared the findings with the sales manager.
“[We said] the top guys on your team are actually spending two to three hours on LinkedIn. They're understanding the context of those people before they're calling,” Leibovitz says.
Ultimately, Purview is being positioned as a visibility platform. Going back to the analogy of the information highway, Leibovitz says, “While that fast highway is still important, what's being driven down that fast highway can add value.”