2016 Q4 Updates
The dashboard has received a plethora of feature additions and optimizations that greatly enhance performance and usability
The loading and accessing process of the location hierarchy on the Locations page has been optimized to significantly reduce the time required to load or access elements in the tree; especially when the hierarchy has numerous branches.
So if a customer has hundreds of Locations being serviced by tens of thousands of Access Points, and is looking to scale up even further, no longer do they have to wait for the page to load. Loading happens instantaneously, leaving them free to proceed with their tasks as per their convenience.
The Locations page has also received a new Search field to quickly identify Locations by name and Access Points by either name or MAC address.
The Experience Zone option has also received a similar treatment enabling faster loading, reduced access times and rapid identification through the Search feature.
Access Points in the location hierarchy are now synchronized based on their network ID for Meraki. This helps synchronization to succeed even when the network name is changed in the Meraki dashboard.
The synchronization status, itself, is displayed via a new, nifty icon on the topbar that changes according to the state of the synchronization, alerting customers instantaneously about any network synchronization issues.
As with the Locations section, each of the Proximity Rules sections (namely Engagement Rules, Captive Portal Rules and Profile Rules) now has a Search field to identify Rules faster by Rule name, Location name or Rule status.
Engagement Rules have been enhanced to be more flexible in terms of letting customers use an SMS gateway of choice for each rule.
A brand new feature, called SmartLink, has been introduced in the Proximity Rules section (create/edit rules) of the dashboard which allows users to be redirected to the customer’s web systems along with a list of location/user context variables.
The platform currently supports the following context variables
- First name
- Last name
- Mobile number
- MAC address
- Opt-in status
Customers can use the location/user specific context data, within their own web systems, to engage users with their own personalized content and services. The SmartLink feature can be used to configure engagement messages for SMS and email notification channels.
The SmartLink feature can also be used in the Portal Editor to configure link aways with the context parameters.
User acquisition through emails has been improved to allow email addresses entered by users during authentication or on the data capture form to be validated.
This allows customers to collect valid email addresses of all users who connect to the guest WiFi and engage with them in future through engagement rules via email.
The mobile number input feature, in the Authentication and Data capture modules, now helps users intuitively choose their country or country code with ease.
The Data Capture module now allows users to select their title (Mr, Ms, etc.) or skip the form in its entirety if all the fields in it are optional.
The Welcome module can now be configured to display custom welcome messages for repeat users which are different from those used to welcome new users. Welcome messages can also be customized by inserting the context variables such as first name, last name, mobile, email, gender etc.
A completely revamped Reports section, displaying in-depth information on user acquisition, activity and engagement, now displays the demographic details of users along with the number of times they visited each location and the time that they spent there in any given period.
This deeper level of analytics enables personalized marketing messages to be deployed to the right users, at the right time.
For customers who want more information than that is available from the standard set of reports, the data export API can now be customized to provide data in .csv files that can be uploaded directly to customers’ data centres.
For example, customers trying to measure the success rate of a particular user engagement campaign can now compare users who received the engagement messages/notifications to the e-coupons codes redeemed. This would not only evaluate the total redemption rate for the e-coupons but also help the customer gain valuable insight into the demographic profile of users who actually redeemed those e-coupons.
The ProximityMX SDK can now be downloaded, along with the associated Help documents, from the Tools section of the dashboard.
The SDK allows customers to integrate ProximityMX to their iOS and Android apps and engage with users who have installed the app on their devices through app notifications. Thus customers would be able to position their apps as attractive discounts/offers platforms for only those users who keep the app installed on their devices. This would not only increase the longevity of customer apps but also enable customers to keep gaining user insights for a longer period of time.
The Rule Engine has been revamped completely to provide different types of captive portal experiences for users using highly customizable Rules that autonomously trigger based on user behavior, location and time zone.
However, backward compatibility has not been lost in the process; as the rule engine falls back to the experience zone definition if it is unable to find a matching rule.
The new engine introduces a new type of rule, called the Profile rule, used to tag/target customers based on behavioral presets.
Customers who run loyalty programs as part of their customer outreach initiatives may choose to provide personalized benefits or services to repeat users. Profile Rules can be configured to automatically tag users logging in for the first time as candidates for such preferential treatment. Tagged users can then be engaged when they log into the guest WiFi at any subsequent visit with personalized marketing or loyalty campaigns.
The implementation of the Apache® Spark engine has been redesigned to support the evolved version of the Proximity Rules, which are based on a Sense, Identify, Schedule and Act flow to simplify the overall complexity in configuring and scheduling advanced engagement rules.
Customers who deal with high volume, high density user traffic over extended periods of time would benefit particularly from this enhancement. The scalable nature of the new engine also enables ProximityMX to comfortably process user data even when there are spikes in user footfalls.
Several Dashboard enhancements, relating specifically to our customers who use Access Codes for user authentication, have been implemented over the past few months – from supporting codes to a maximum character limit of 100 characters to greatly increasing the speed with which codes are loaded and then displayed by location.
Numerous other quality of life enhancements like the addition of a publish button inside the portal editor or warning messages for when mismatched images are uploaded in the Promos and Offers section, interface redesigns and functionality additions like UTF-8 character support for names, gender based tagging of users and support for posting Trigger API data sourced from the rule engine round up the list of product enhancements.