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De Beer Announces End of the Word at Cisco Live

That’s the end of the written word, by the way… or pretty much.

Listening to Marthin De Beer, Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group (ETG), who this morning addressed the Networkers at Cisco Live crowd in Barcelona, it’s easy to believe that in a few years you won’t be reading this anymore.

You’ll be watching it instead… because video is essentially taking over the (online) world.

According to De Beer, by 2013 90 percent of Internet traffic (and around half of all mobile traffic) will be made up of video, representing the biggest development in networking since voice and data first traveled along the same wire. It’s not a shift Cisco is worried about, though.

On the contrary, the company is doing its utmost to help the process, fired up by the growth in demand for video-based tools such as Cisco TelePresence, which has been sold to 550 enterprise customers since its launch in October 2006.

De Beer says video is “like chocolate”: once you try it it’s easy to get hooked. And getting people hooked depends on two things.

The first is simplicity. For all its high-definition, life-size, in-person brilliance, says De Beer: “the best thing we did with TelePresence was having the one-button push-to-talk feature. It’s CEO-proof.”

Building on this philosophy, Cisco is adding medianet capabilities to many of its existing technologies so business networks can handle video without creating a headache for IT administrators, and launching applications which harness the power of video but are simple to use.

Cisco Pulse, for example, automatically monitors video and voice sessions, transcribes conversations and uses the information to build tag clouds which are then linked to company directories and unified communications systems.

So if, say, you want to find out who in your organization is currently an expert on Multiprotocol Label Switching, fly fishing, or whatever, Cisco Pulse will be able to pinpoint them from their recent conversations on the matter—and give you the tools to talk to them in person.

The second—and rather more obvious—requirement for getting more people using video is interoperability. When Cisco launched TelePresence, one key piece of customer feedback was a desire to communicate with systems from other vendors. 

The TelePresence interoperability issue has since largely been overcome and De Beer announced another piece of the jigsaw this morning in Barcelona.

From today, Cisco is licensing its Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) to other vendors for free—and is putting it forward as a standard for interoperability between multiscreen telepresence systems. LifeSize, TANDBERG and RADVISION have already signed up to the idea.   

With TIP, telepresence systems may soon be able to talk to each other—and potentially to other devices—without the need for a technology-based ‘translator’

In the meantime, the Cisco MXE 3000 Series Media Experience Engine is able to take video from virtually any device, in any format, and deliver it to any other device in any other format.

It can produce a transcript at the same time and at some point in the future, De Beer hints, may even be able to carry out simultaneous translations. At this rate it won’t be long before I’ll have to trade in my laptop for a Flip camera.  

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5 Comments.


  1. so business networks can handle video without creating a headache for IT administrators, and launching applications which harness the power of video but are simple to use.

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  2. I am big fan of this field, i really like to implement new things on this field. Any way thanks for the valuable information..

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  3. The TelePresence interoperability issue has since largely been overcome and De Beer announced another piece of the jigsaw this morning in Barcelona.

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  4. Hats off to the Cisco team for understanding and capitalizing on these worthy innovations but as far as video destroying the print world within a couple years, I don’t think so. Letting history judge the subject should allow us to understand that just as print media did not disappear with the arrival of radio and radio did not disappear with the arrival of television, our beloved print shall never die. Yes, I know that today traditional newspapers are falling to side but not because of video. That dilemma is strictly monetary due to, you’re guessed it, cheap print on the internet, but I digress. Surely much can be said for communicating via video vs. print. Watching any evening newscast can reveal that. But it isn’t TV that is killing the newspapers and internet video isn’t killing internet print. Rarely is video as detailed and encompassing as print. Another problem is research. Sifting endlessly though numerous hours of video after video for specifics is nerve racking. I know because I’ve been doing it for the past 2 months via an internet “Video Course”. Now, I will agree that if these endless hours of video had a printed transcript to accompany the viewer, one that could be referenced and programmed to correlate with and seek out the proper sequences within the video stream, well then, I‘d think we‘d have something. All in all, I think worldwide video is something to embrace, I just wouldn’t be so fast as to throw out the keyboard yet.

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