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On The Edge: Transforming the Branch Experience with Video

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”  -- Abraham Lincoln

Given its technical complexities, it’s understandable that some people have been skeptical about business video adoption over the past few years. But video is now much more than just a technology. Like printing and voice were not so long ago, it’s an irresistible force that is fundamentally changing the way all generations create and experience culture, business, and much of our everyday existence. For example:

  • Video and computer game time for kids 8-18 has doubled in the past 10 years, and only 4-6% of their time is spent on print media (source: Arstechnica).
  • In a recent enterprise survey, 57% of respondents are planning or have already implemented some desktop video conferencing, and 44% are planning or have already implemented some IP video for training, demos, and other purposes (source: Forrester Research).
  • By the end of 2010, almost half of all mobile data traffic was already video, and it’s expected to grow 26 fold from 2010 to 2015 (source: Cisco Visual Networking Index).

Forward-thinking organizations embracing these trends have already come up with some wonderfully innovative new business models built on delivering video everywhere. For instance, the Khan Academy delivers free education via YouTube to millions of people worldwide, and Marriott Marquis hotels are delivering unique new guest experiences for discriminating travelers via Cisco technology.

Here’s a dramatization of delivering video anywhere to enhance education:

While video offers competitive benefits to these and many other types of businesses, it can also have profound impacts on I.T. For example, despite flat budgets, many I.T. managers are already under increasing pressure to enable similar new business models and customer experiences by delivering multicast video to multiple remote sites.  However, several recent innovations can turn these challenges into opportunities to manage these changes proactively and cost-effectively, and help transform the branch experience in the process. For example, what if you could:

…bridge, transcode, and transrate content for video-enabled devices in each branch office using digital media processing in your ISR G2 branch router?

automatically configure video endpoints and easily integrate them with digital media players without having to set up every switch port or physically visit every site?

…reduce bandwidth usage and costs by intelligently managing bandwidth and video conferencing at each remote site instead of backhauling all video traffic to data centers?

…preserve video calling during WAN outages using survivable video services?

integrate consumer and business telepresence systems so staff and customers could interact in a more immersive video environment?

…use an architectural approach that includes pre-tested, pre-integrated designs for organizations with any size branch office as documented in the Medianet Enterprise Foundation Blueprint

Recent viewing statistics indicate that many of our current and next generation workers are already mentally “wired” for persistent video, and want anytime, anywhere access to more interactive video experiences. The question now is, which organizations will reap the most benefit from this fundamental cultural shift by integrating video into their I.T. and business processes sooner?

For more technical details on delivering video to branch offices, see Branch Routers and Medianet pages, and this case study on how a large school district in Mexico is using video to transform education. Click here for previous installments of this blog.

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