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Prepare Your Network for Video Streaming and Telepresence Meetings

The right router can make all the difference between a smooth user experience and frustrating, choppy video

Small companies have found many compelling reasons to use video solutions and telepresence systems in their day-to-day operations: as a marketing tool, as a point of contact for customer service, and as a way to train employees. Internally, telepresence and its use of video technology is gaining traction among small businesses that want to conduct face-to-face meetings without the expense of travel. As advantageous as video can be, before you can successfully stream video broadcasts, you need to make sure the underlying network can handle the extra traffic.

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How the Acquisition of NDS Accelerates Cisco’s Video Entertainment Strategy

We are on the cusp of a whole new wave of digital entertainment experiences that will make video content much easier to find, navigate, interact with and enjoy, on any device and network. Today, Cisco took another important step towards realizing that vision by announcing its intention to acquire NDS Group Ltd. a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enables users to intuitively view, search and navigate across digital content anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Video is transforming every aspect of our lives. Telemedicine services in New Mexico are helping patients in underserved communities to secure video consultations with expert doctors many miles away. In India, classrooms in tiny rural villages are now being taught by remote teachers using Webex video. We’re even seeing technology that lets us use video to try on dozens of outfits without ever stepping into a fitting room.  For thousands of business professionals around the world, attending a meeting with colleagues, customers and partners in some far flung corner of the world via TelePresence is a routine part of their day.

It’s impossible to argue with the transformational power of video, but perhaps the most noticeable changes are happening right in our own homes, and on our mobile devices.

Television has been truly transformed in the past decade, from a one-way inflexible viewing experience, to a highly dynamic one, which can be time-shifted and enjoyed on an increasing array of digital video devices. But this is only the beginning of an exciting journey.

While clearly a substantial acquisition and major landmark in Cisco’s history in its own right, today’s acquisition is the latest in a series of milestones for Cisco’s Videoscape strategy. Videoscape is Cisco’s vision and platform for the creation of new visual, mobile and social video entertainment experiences through the convergence of digital TV, online content, and social media and video communications applications.

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Cisco ASR 901: Pioneering Innovation and Product Development from Emerging Countries

Guest post from Dr. Ishwar Parulkar

Dr. Ishwar Parulkar is the CTO of Provider Access Business Unit of Cisco Systems in Bangalore.

The Indian Information Technology sector is coming of age as it focuses on innovation and product development after a couple of decades of success based on service based engineering models. The Asian software and services engineering giant is also trailblazing for the emerging world by bringing in specific technology needs of this part of the world – which often leapfrog the needs in the developed world – into global products.

One such success in this direction is ASR 901, Cisco’s next generation mobile backhaul platform that recently won the New Technology Advancement Innovation Award at the NASSCOM 2012 India Leadership Forum. This product is also a unique case of reverse innovation, where even though initially driven by critical emerging countries’ requirements, it is now a competitive product in developed countries as well.

The product definition, its design tradeoffs, execution and development of ecosystem partnerships are a pioneering model for IT MNCs in the emerging world to innovate and drive end-to-end products development from their remote sites in emerging countries.

ASR 901 addresses the needs of Access, Carrier Ethernet, TDM backhaul and Cell Site Gateway. The features and price point of this product makes it very versatile and fit a range of applications from 2G/3G/4G/LTE cell sites, CE/ME/Business Access, NID to Optical Satellites, resulting in new revenue streams for the company. It is also the first Cisco product to be completely developed from the India site – from conception, architecture, hardware/software implementation, testing and qualification to marketing.

Some of the lessons learned in the development of ASR 901 that can be generalized for other similar efforts from emerging countries are:

1) It is important to define the right product – the product needs to be relevant to the business, the remote site needs to have an advantage in that space either because of proximity to the market or domain expertise and the product has to have the right level of complexity to succeed.

2) The right type and level of talent needs to be groomed or seeded from mature technology markets. Senior technologists/architects and product marketing experts, which are typically not easily available in emerging countries are particularly critical.

3) A work culture of innovation and product development, which is different than a service engineering culture needs to be consciously created through mentoring and work practices.

4) Product development requires a mature ecosystem of partners locally. The local ecosystem in emerging countries needs to be developed via co-development, transfer of knowledge as well building long term relationships.

ASR 901 is one key milestone in the evolution of Cisco’s focus on developing its engineering capability in its second headquarters, referred to as Globalisation Centre East- starting with sustaining work, taking on increasingly complex engineering tasks over time and culminating in an original product being developed from the site. A full-fledged mainstream business unit, the Provider Access Business Unit is now located in India.

Some of Cisco’s key innovative technologies, applicable across company’s product lines, are originating out of this site. The Cisco journey of evolution of engineering capability in emerging countries is well into the next phase of innovation and thought leadership.

Come with Cisco to Cork, Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day!

For the first time ever, Cisco will be linking the sister cities of San Francisco and Cork, Ireland live via TelePresence for St. Patrick’s Day!

Revelers attending the annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day parade will be able to watch live performances from the Christchurch in Cork on their cellphones and 3G/4G-enabled tablets live in the Civic Center Plaza outside City Hall in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, attendees at the Triskel Arts Center at Christchurch in Cork will be able to see the San Francisco St. Paddy’s Day parade as it winds its way from Market St and arrives at the Civic Center, where the Irish Flag was raised at City Hall last Friday.  City Hall will be bathed in green light on Saturday to celebrate!

Folks who prefer to enjoy a Murphy’s or two at home on St. Patrick’s Day can tune in via their web browser and watch the full experience of the two hour festival. Video from the event will be streamed live via the Cisco Ustream channel, so that anyone around the globe can watch the festivities!

The Lord Mayor of Cork Terry Shannon will kick off the broadcast on Saturday, March 17, at 1 pm PT (8 pm local Cork time) with co-chair of the SF – Cork Sister City Committee Jim Herlihy as our host in San Francisco.

Next, attendees in SF will enjoy a live performance of traditional Irish dance, music and song by Pulses of Tradition direct from Cork until the performances conclude at 3 pm PT. The performance features world class musicians and singers from acclaimed Irish traditional groups such as Buille, Liadan, North Cregg, and Nomos, along with breathtaking dancers, including students from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, at the University of Limerick.

Want a preview of what St. Patrick’s Day in Cork looks like? Check it out!

Download the Ustream app today for the best mobile viewing experience on Saturday if you plan to attend the Parade in San Francisco. If you are looking for a ticket to the live performance in Cork, there are still a limited number available here.

And here are a couple of pictures of the newly remodeled Christchurch in Cork to whet your appetite:

We hope you can join us in celebrating a very special St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte!

Look No Further, All New Cisco UCS Launch Resources Available Here

Did you know that 72 percent of the top 50 cloud providers rely on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)?

It’s true. And now the data center community is abuzz with excitement over new Cisco UCS innovations—the largest product refresh since its 2009 launch. Based on the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor, the new UCS servers deliver the superior application performance, design flexibility, and investment protection you need to capitalize on the build-out in private and public clouds. (For a complete tour of all new technology being showcased in Cisco UCS, visit our sister blog, Data Center and Cloud.)

So, why should you care? The benefits of course!
Check it out:

  • Easier migration from your customers’ legacy applications to Cisco’s latest technology
  • Customers gain a competitive advantage by deploying new business models to meet changing business demands
  • Data Center Architecture (DCA) Specialized partners differentiate themselves by selling across the portfolio—and bringing the benefits of Cisco’s architecture to their customers

Want to know more? Back away from your browser. There’s no need to search. All of the new UCS launch resources can be found in the UCS Partner Briefing Package.

What is the UCS Partner Briefing Package and what does it contain? Read More »

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