Agito and Cisco Motion

Agito Networks was in the news recently as a part of Cisco’s Motion announcement. I have mentioned Agito a couple of times before in this blog. Like DiVitas it offers PBX-agnostic enterprise-based fixed-mobile convergence.

One of Agito’s unique technical claims is that it employs location based technology as one of the factors to determine the handover between Wi-Fi and Cellular (and vice versa).

The RoamAnywhere Mobility Router adds the element of location awareness to solve the challenging problem of routing between multiple networks.

From the Agito website

The Mobile Intelligent Roaming component of Cisco’s new Mobility Services Engine (MSE) also uses location as one of the factors (the other are signal strength and signal quality) to determine when to hand off between networks. This incorporation of location awareness into the MSE’s handover recommendation appears to weaken Agito’s claim to uniqueness in this respect, so why is Agito so enthusiastic about the MSE?

The MSE boils down an assortment of metrics related to handover decision-making to a simple binary message – link-up or link-down – which it sends to a third party eFMC controller like the Agito RoamAnywhere Mobility Router. The message is a recommendation, not a command, but since the MSE sends just this binary event, rather than any of the metrics that go into it, Cisco seems to be claiming responsibility for the decision about when to hand over.

Rather than simply obeying the link-up or link-down event by changing networks, the Agito mobility router takes these events as triggers to run its own handover-decision algorithm, using metrics gathered by the handset. This makes sense for several reasons. First, the Agito location determination mechanism is more precise for this particular application, since it knows when it is going through a doorway, whereas the Cisco location mechanism has a more general idea about the perimeter of the building. Second, the entire Agito handover-decision algorithm has to be maintained regardless of how good the MSE is at making the decision, because in many places there is no MSE (at home, in public areas, in buildings with non-Cisco networks and in buildings with Cisco networks lacking an MSE).

So Agito views the information from the MSE as a mere additional factor for its handover decision-making, rather than a substitute. On the other hand, Cisco’s marketing program around the MSE is a huge benefit to Agito.

Even though this part of the MSE will not be released until later this year, Agito’s Mobility Router works fine without it; the Cisco Motion announcement has led to a burst of interest in Agito from Cisco’s channel partners. According to Cisco, it has 65% share of enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure, so Pej Roshan, Agito’s V.P. of marketing, anticipates that the relationship will “slingshot us to the next level of sales and customers.”

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