Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Cisco partnering with Cloud Social Software Company CollectivWorks to help provide the ultimate neighbourhood experience

February 10, 2016

A recent publication by Glasgow journalist Kevin McKenna on the recently revitalised neighbourhood of Finnieston described how the “London’s chi-chi culture guides “, where comparing this area of Glasgow to the fashionable neighbourhood of Shoreditch in London’s East End.

Kevin’s publication, as with a lot of his work, is a unique ‘McKenna mash-up’ of fact, history and humour – with a sprinkle of attitude – which makes a really compelling read. Kevin attended the same school as me and as you can tell from my blogging skills spent more time in the English classroom than I did. I don’t know what Kevin’s view is on blogging, or me as a blogger, however his fantastic article provides the base for me to explain how an innovative community engagement platform piloted by Cisco and Glasgow based software company CollectivWorks, a graduate of Cisco Create’s RAPTOR incubator program, is adding value to the Finnieston brand.

Finnieston until fairly recently was known as a no man’s land that connected Glasgow’s bustling city centre to the city’s trendy West End. The opening of the closely situated Hydro concert venue, a couple of years ago, has helped expedite the transformation of this area. (Consumer experts tell us that people will spend around 7 hours in the area to maximise their concert experience on the day.)

Finnieston has just about everything to satisfy a this demand: Turkish barbers, art galleries, ice cream parlours, corner shops, design studios, laundrettes, cobblers, vintage shops, beauty parlours, you name it, it’s got it. Small businesses and residential properties are all sandwiched together between the numerous quality bars, cafés and restaurants that feed and water the visitors to ‘The Strip’ in a very authentic fashion. It is in these social businesses that the pilot is gaining traction.

So how can technology play its part in providing the ultimate neighbourhood experience? Cisco and CollectivWorks have partnered to pilot a new social WiFi solution that truly enhances the experience of anyone with an interest in Finnieston, may they be visitors, residents or local business owners.

For the initial pilot, Cisco Meraki MR32 Access Points have been installed in three popular Finnieston bars and restaurants, The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant, Lebowski’s and Porter and Rye to provide fast, secure and free wireless Internet access. All access points are configured to be part of the same “Finnieston Community WiFi” network.

To access the internet, users first authenticate onto the WiFi network. They are then landed at the venue’s profile on CollectivWorks own community platform,, which showcases the latest content from the venue and the surrounding area. This allows the venues to build followers on in exchange for Free WiFi and for WiFi users to discover hyper local content, offers, news and events both on and off premise, re-defining the concept of the traditional splash page. The KILTR WiFi account can be used as a passport to free internet in any participating venue in the Finnieston area.

CollectivWorks CEO, Brian Hughes, explains …

“Our platform is capable of adding personality and a new layer of value to deployed WiFi networks in any given area. We stimulate value by delivering locally relevant content about the area to the devices of users connecting to the networks. In this way we can bring about a new awareness of someone’s surroundings through a dynamic landing page that changes from one access point to another, down the high street and even from one minute to the next.

We pull content in from many sources, including social media and traditional media channels, sort it for its contextual relevance and then publish it via the deployed access points. The platform is also capable of connecting people together, as with other social tools, CollectivWorks encourages people to interact, share ideas, stories and experiences with one another but on a much more local basis. The more people interact the more relevant an experience we can provide.

Ultimately we can generate longer dwell times on our landing pages than other solutions and create lasting ties between customers and the businesses that provide that all powerful free connectivity: closing the loop on local community value.”

Stewart Fraser, CollectivWorks CTO adds …

“The CollectivWorks platform is a scalable, resilient and customisable SaaS solution which provides unparalleled levels of community engagement and insight by combining in-depth social engagement and Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) analytics.

Finnieston is a fantastic showcase for the platform. Although it’s early days for the pilot, the feedback from visitors, residents and the businesses operating in the area has been very encouraging, with more businesses lined up to join the network this month.”

Kevin’s article which this blog was based on can be found here.

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