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EDGE QUEST – Let the Final Round Begin!

After our first announcement, more than 40 thousand players have taken the EdgeQuest challenge, and now it’s time for the top registered scorers to move on to the final Tournament of Aces and play for a chance to win $10,000, a”signature edition” of an Cisco ASR 1002 router, and earn the bragging rights to the title of”Edge Master.” It’s been a lot of fun. We’re proud of the Cisco ASR 1000 series and some of the new ways we’ve started to engage the market as a result of taking these products to market. We’ve enjoyed some of the great feedback from Paul Young at Product Beautiful, Scott Johnson at MyExtraLife, Craig Matsumoto at Light Reading (here’s hoping you can get past the first level next time, Craig-!) and others.To add some intrigue to the tournament, for all of you gamers, we’ve created 4 never seen before levels that are sure to challenge your skills (don’t worry, if you didn’t make it into the tournament you’ll have a chance to check out these new levels by the end of the month). So, at this point, there are likely two main questions to answer as we get ready for the next round: Read More »

Simulcrypt: May They Live Happily Ever After

Peaceful Coexistence of Multiple CA SystemsContent security and conditional access systems (CAS) have been traditionally, at least in part, proprietary systems. While many CAS use standardized encryption algorithms, the key management and distribution techniques as well as entitlement messaging of each system have usually been kept”under wraps”. This presents a roadblock of sorts to the deployment of receiving devices from multiple vendors within a cable or IPTV system. Simulcrypt, which supports coexistence of two or more different CAS operating simultaneously in one system, is a technology that can enable existing CableCARD options and the evolving Downloadable CAS (DCAS) scenario when legacy receiving devices are already in place. The Simulcrypt specifications resulted from a DVB project and can be downloaded for no cost at the ETSI web site. While Simulcrypt has not traditionally generated a great deal of interest with the North American MSOs, there have been international CATV deployments of Simulcrypt and there is evidence of interest in the IPTV world. Read More »

I want my (insert technology here) TV

In a recent working session on market trends, we debated the issue of what impact internet video would have on the pay TV market such as cable or IPTV. This is an interesting one, as on the one hand, we have reports of increasing online viewership skyrocketing -over 10 billion videos viewed in Dec 2007 in US alone according to Comscore, and according to the research Cisco has done in its IP Traffic Study, the Internet video in the U.S. generated more traffic in 2007 than the entire U.S. backbone could handle in 2000.

Cisco’s Global Consumer Internet Traffic Forecastchart.png Source: Cisco
On the other we have forecasts for IPTV market claiming over 60 million subscribers by 2011, the mobile market forecast to grow over 200 million broadcast mobile TV users worldwide by 2011 and other digital Pay TV markets, such as digital cable, projected to grow to over 300 million by 2011. Read More »

What Makes a Great Partnership?

p9-partnership.jpgWhen the value of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. As service providers around the world are continuing their journey to transform themselves to”experience providers“, one potential avenue for increased revenue is creative new partnerships with web service providers, or WSPs. WSPs like Google, Yahoo, MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Travelocity, EBay and others, are establishing themselves as essential to consumers, and are driving huge increases in time spent on-line and overall bandwidth consumption. Service providers to some extent are struggling to monetize this growth in traffic on their networks, and in fact, some have gotten in trouble with regulators and in the court of public opinion by trying to”manage” WSP traffic. Service providers would be far better served by exploring how to create win-win partnerships with these companies, ones that both differentiate traditional service providers with existing and new consumer customers and position them as essential and value-add participants in successful delivery of the WSPs’ offerings. There are a number of very promising service provider capabilities in which WSPs would likely be willing to invest, and which would create very compelling mutual value for both sides. For example, the network can provide location and presence information for WSPs, along with additional information about what content, applications, or stores each customer actually accesses. This enables WSPs and SPs to deliver more targeted advertising and content offers, increasing the value of each advertising impression and actual sales transactions for highly valued content. Read More »

The Crazy Eights of EDGE QUEST

edge_quest_logo.gifHi. A few days ago I was recording a podcast for Cisco EDGE QUEST Game Tournament with uber-gamer/podcaster extraordinaire, Randy JordanThe Instance who runs a World of Warcraft podcast. After the session, we continued our conversation on communities developing around massively multiplayer online games (or MMOGs for short- which I believe is also the name of an alien robotic race on Star Trek) and how actual and virtual world lines are blurring. I was explaining that as a marketeer in the Web 2.0 world, we didn’t want to make our customer communications”too virtual” and that through this game and $10K winner-take-all tournament, that we really wanted know what the players are thinking. He said,”Ah, so it’s time for an EDGE QUEST Eight.” I replied in some educated way, saying”wha?” Randy responded (fortunately not referring to me as”Grasshopper”) that we should ping a select group with 8 questions and then have them distribute it to others, and so forth, effectively letting the Human Network itself disseminate it and compile feedback. Read More »