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CES 2011: Kicking it off, together

What do smart phones, tablet computers, PCs, washers, dryers, TVs, content providers, medical devices and even athletic shoes have in common?

Yes, they will all be taking part in the excitement generated during CES 2011, happening this week in Las Vegas.  But what’s more, the most common denominator among the major breakthroughs and hot products is they all need to be connected to be truly useful.

And not just connected, but easy to use and seamlessly integrated with other aspects of our life.  These expectations are part of our DNA with more and more converting to a connected life.  Increasingly, our connected life involves increasing use of video to communicate, connect and engage with our family and friends.

Cisco has long been involved in the video space and announced Cisco Videoscape at a pre-CES conference yesterday.  Cisco Videoscape brings entertainment together from infinite sources of content from pay TV, online and on-demand and combines it with the social media, communications, and mobility to create a truly immersive TV experience. Read More »

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Videoscape: Cisco and Service Providers Reinventing the Television Experience. Together.

Today is an exciting day for us at Cisco with the launch of Videoscape.

As our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, announced in a press conference this afternoon, Cisco Videoscape is both an experience and a solution, purpose-built for delivering and reinventing the next generation of TV experience. Together we will bring , entertainment, social media and communications and mobility together to transform how users engage with video and how providers can prosper.

Right now the consumer video experience is fragmented requiring consumers to go to multiple sources for their content. They are going to their cable or IPTV subscriptions for some content. Or, looking to their DVR and on-demand content for others. At times, they stream online content or do applications from their PC. Even still they must find additional boxes to stream their PC experience to their TV and to others that help sling content from one place to another. And, the list goes on. Some homes are so complex that it seems users need to have CCIE just to hook it all up and make it work; but all of that still doesn’t address the experience where users are having to navigate all of these different silos and devices just to watch what they want to watch or do what they want to do (and, we haven’t even spoken of quality yet). Challenges also exist for service providers as they now must now handle the ever increasing load of traffic while simultaneously losing some traction with the portion of their audience that is considering trimming of the cord. Both dynamics can have a negative effect on their business.

Today’s announcement intends to change all of this for consumers and providers alike. With Videoscape, SPs can do for TV experience (and other screens) what the mobile internet did for the phone.

Let’s look at what Videoscape delivers to the consumer, service provider and media company. Read More »

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The History and Future of TV

From the first electromechanical television (the “pantelegraph,” in case it slipped your mind…), to the 64 million people who tuned into a website to view the 2010 World’s cup — and for the 168 years separating those two events — the ways by which we consume video entertainment morphed many times over.

Experience television’s transformation yourself by clicking into The History and Future of Television. It’s a comprehensive compilation of the technical and societal influences that shaped television – to learn from the past, and move with confidence into the changing landscape ahead..   Read More »

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The Business Case for Unbundled IP Video

As I mentioned in an earlier post on the recent market study of U.S. pay-TV subscriber needs and wants, the segmentation of the video marketplace potentially  brings both new challenges and opportunities for incumbent service providers.

That said, the debate around what to do about the unprecedented growth of the Netflix phenomenon now seems to be a moot point – as incumbent pay-TV service providers openly acknowledge its disruptive impact on the traditional video entertainment industry. And, now they’re proceeding with their plans to execute their long-awaited counter strategy.

Clearly, 2011 could prove to be a pivotal year for testing new business cases, as the marketplace becomes more fluid and is subject to further significant changes that are on the near horizon.

While it’s perfectly understandable that incumbent pay-TV service providers might prefer to bundle a Netflix-like, on-demand IP video service offering with their standard digital cable tier subscriptions, let’s remember that this is but one potential scenario.

Revisiting the results of the Cisco market study, it’s interesting that note that – by far – “the most likely motivation to pay for an online video package…” is a low price point. Call this the “value-based” market segment, if you will – it likely includes some current subscribers and previously lost customers. To win-back these prior subscribers, such as those that are looking at more of an iTunes or Hulu approach to catch up on their TV, an unbundled IP VOD offering by the provider could be very attractive.

Read More »

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Cloud Computing: Update ITU-T Focus Group and OMG-Hosted Telecom Cloud Conference

The first part of December has been very busy for me in terms of engagements focused on Cloud Standards specifically the ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing, where I am a Vice Chair; and as a presenter at the OMG-hosted Telecom Cloud Conference representing the ITU-T.

Well let’s start with the ITU-T Focus Group Cloud Computing meeting. My colleagues and I were greeted by quite a bit of snow at the third ITU Focus Group Cloud Computing Meeting held on November 30-December 3 and hosted by France Telecom-Orange:

We received 42 contributions with focus in orchestration; cloud management; cloud security; cloud broker functionality and cloud benefits. These contributions were towards the five output documents produced in the second meeting.

  1. Introduction to the cloud ecosystem: definitions, taxonomies, use cases, high level requirements and capabilities. The scope of this deliverable is to provide an introduction to the Cloud ecosystems, focusing on integration and support of Cloud Computing model and technologies in telecommunication ecosystems. The major changes include the addition of the value proposition, requirements and capabilities clauses.
  2. Functional requirements and reference architecture. The scope of this deliverable is to define the functional requirement and reference architecture of cloud computing, which includes the functional architecture, functional entities and reference points.
  3. Overview of SDOs involved in cloud computing. The scope of this document is to provide an overview of SDOs; to map the FG cloud working group and output documents to these SDOs ; and , to be as a base to produce a gap analysis that will result in a unique areas that can be under the ITU-T purview, specifically from telecom perspective.
  4. Cloud security, threat & requirements: Security Cloud has started to be discussed from reviews of other SDOs which are related Cloud Security activities in CSA, DMTF, CloudAudit, NIST, GICTF, etc. After the observation of the existing activities, the FG Cloud tentatively identify security threats from view points of Cloud user and Cloud service provider. Considering the identified security threats, the FG Cloud also studied security requirements to be considered for Cloud Computing Technology.
  5. Infrastructure and network enabled cloud. Position existing network infrastructure capability is a unique opportunity for service providers to provide bundled offers combining Network and IT resources. In addition, service providers can leverage their network asset to address network availability and performance for secure end to end cloud services. Another opportunity for service providers is to evolve network resource allocation and control to more dynamic in order to meet the needs to provision on-demand cloud services.

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