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Cisco’s Connected Home…Reimagined

SteveGGuest Blog by: Steve Gorretta, Manager, Product Management, Cisco Service Provider Software and Solutions

When you hear Cisco leadership discuss the transformation of our business and the drive to be the #1 IT company, you will no doubt hear some recurring themes around cloud management, big data analytics, security, and Internet of Things (IoT). These themes play a major role in how Cisco drives value across every major market, and the same can be said about a space to which we can all relate: the Connected Home.

As I’ve discussed before, the home network is a constantly evolving intersection of devices, applications and content that provide both convenience and confusion for consumers. The emergence of the IOT-enabled home (or “smarthome”) means even more devices, including appliances and sensors, are now joining that landscape. Our strategy at Cisco is to provide service providers with applications that simplify and enhance the connected home experience, and allow them to monetize new opportunities that emerge as the home evolves. We already manage many millions of subscriber home devices with Cisco Prime Home, and we are expanding the portfolio with some exciting new applications that build on that strategy.

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At CES this January, we will be demonstrating the entire suite of Cisco Connected Home software applications, which are geared towards helping service providers and their subscribers gain better visibility, security, and reliability from their digital home. One new offer, Cisco Home Guard™, provides complete cybersecurity protection for all devices in the home, and perfectly complements the monitored home security offered by some ISPs. We are also launching Connected Analytics for Home, part of Cisco’s broader Connected Analytics initiative, which enables real-time and historical analysis on a wide range of connectivity and security issues within the home.

In addition to these applications, Read More »

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New DC Cloud Scale Platforms – What You Really Need to Know

The Cloud Scale launch in November focused on software enhancements to the industry’s most widely deployed high-end network operating system, IOS XR. While those points were important and well received, I want to emphasize a few points on the new NCS1002 platform that was launched within the Cloud Scale initiative.

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The Focus of the Cloud Scale launch was to show that Cisco is offering products with open programmability to new and existing markets. While Cisco has had great success in the service provider market, these new products are exceptionally complimentary to the Over The Top (OTT) and Colocation markets as well. The growth of “Cloud Exchange” as a service in Internet Exchanges and colocation sites as well as service provider data centers, requires the type of products that were announced in this release. For instance, typical cloud exchanges will use a high density switch to enable communication between OTT players, local ISPs and global carriers.

Local connections are also made to content delivery network (CDN) players such as Netflix and Akamai within the cloud exchange site. The NCS1002 might be used by a typical colocation provider in conjunction with the NCS5000 to provide the customer with single point of entry that connects to multiple providers. In fact, within the colocation itself, content providers may want to do their own interconnection with those located within the colocation area by using the NCS1002 to avoid monthly (and rising) cross connect costs. OTT, Internet Exchanges and colocation providers have been asking for open and programmable software to make service delivery at the application level more efficient and cost effective. In this case, using the optics for Data Center Interconnect (DCI) or within the data center with the aggregation router based upon IOS XR can simplify the overall network design.

Here’s a quick look Read More »

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Telecom Asia Readers Rate Cisco VPC as NFV Innovation of the Year

Telecom Asia has recently announced the winners of their 8th Readers’ Choice & Innovation Awards. For the Cisco Mobility team it was a proud moment to receive the award for “NFV Innovation of the Year” for our Virtual Packet Core (VPC) solution.

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(Left) Dirk Wolter, Managing Director, Mobile Service Provider Architectures, APAC Region, Cisco Systems, receives the award from (right) Amelia Ng, Director, Business Strategy Planning and Alliance Partnerships, Singtel

As a reader’s choice award it validates Cisco’s industry innovation, as recognized by our harshest critics, our Service Provider (SP) customers. But more than just collecting an award for the mantelpiece (or a paperweight for Dirk!) what is important is the way innovations in NFV are translating into innovation for our SP customers’ businesses.

We see Mobile NFV is Read More »

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There’s Money to be Made in the Smart Home

Smart Home Blog_image[1]The race for the smart home is off and running. Almost every global tech brand, from Apple to Amazon to Google and Samsung, to smaller entrants like Canary, August and tado, want to firmly establish themselves in the home.  Why? They see the home as the next big thing to go digital. The market for smart home services and devices is big. And it’s going to get much bigger in the next 5 years. The total smart home market is estimated to be $115 billion by 2019. Service providers can address a good chunk of it – about 55-60%.

There’s definitely money to be made here. To help service providers understand their specific opportunity, we developed the Cisco Monetization and Optimization Index Model for Smart Home. Use this tool to get customized views of revenues, profitability and rate of return for various smart home services.  With the popularity of Google Nest and Dropcam, it’s evident that the smart home is no longer just the realm of millionaires or technophiles.  Strategy Analytics forecasts that 40% of U.S. households will have at least one smart home device in use by 2020.

Cisco Smart Home MOI: North America TAM

Cisco Smart Home MOI: North America TAM

The fact that the smart home is rapidly becoming mainstream doesn’t surprise me. I don’t consider myself a true gadget geek or DIYer. However, just in the last year, I personally installed a wireless home security system and several monitoring cameras. Now, It’s hard to imagine not being able to see my toddler at home with the nanny anytime using my iPhone.

Strategy Analytics recently released the results of a survey of 7000 consumers throughout North America and Western Europe, which assessed interest in smart home services as well as willingness to pay for them.   The results are unmistakable. There is large, pent up demand for residential services that provide security, peace of mind and convenience.  What was surprising to me was the size of the gap between those who currently have a smart home service and those who do not (but were willing to pay for them). For example, in Germany only 2% of respondents had professionally monitored home security. Yet, 45% who did not have the service were very interested and willing to pay up to 17 euros a month.

Consumers clearly see the value in services such as home security, energy management, and elderly monitoring. What has held back purchasing? The market is fairly price elastic, so high price levels have been a deterrent. People are willing to pay for these services, but less than what’s currently charged. Awareness was another barrier. People generally weren’t aware that these services are available. For those who were aware, they had concerns about cyber intrusion and privacy.  Now, what does this mean to service providers who have entered or are considering entering the smart home market?  Recognize that you have unique advantages and assets that can help you take a leading position in this market. Initially, your marketing influence and retail reach can overcome low awareness.

Then your experience “in the home” and customer trust come into play. Your residential customers expect you to understand and solve all of their in-home voice, video, and connectivity problems. If an IP-connected device in their home is not working, they are more likely to contact you than the device manufacturer. You have the tools and the experienced technical and support personnel to handle potential customer issues around the connected home.

Know also that customers want these services from you. The trust you’ve built over time is so important when it comes to services involving personal security. Strategy Analytics found that consumers preferred to get their home and family monitoring services from service providers than from OTTs in the ecommerce, retail, or electronic manufacturing space.

Along with this trust, are the advantages of established billing relationships and the ability to bundle discounted smart home services with rest of your offers. Smart home as the “Fifth Play” makes a lot of sense for both you and your customers.

A tangible advantage is the equipment (gateways, set top boxes) that you have placed in the home – devices that can potentially be used to deliver these new services. Consumers want easy set-up and one single control point for their smart home services. And you can provide it for them. You can help customers simplify how they buy, set up and use their smart home solutions.

Service providers are well positioned to be a leading player in the smart home market. To ignore this opportunity or give it short shrift means leaving large sums of money on the table or worse.   What’s worse? Being dis-intermediated from your customers in the home by aggressive OTT players.

For more information on Cisco MOI check us out here.

 

 

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Cloud Baby, Cloud! A CES Tweet Chat (#CiscoChat) About the Interplay Between Devices & Clouds

The tech-fest that is the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just under a month away, and we’re celebrating it with a live Tweet-chat from Las Vegas, to dig into the intersections between devices, and the cloud.

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The numbers alone make it a big topic: An astonishing 80% of the world’s Internet traffic will be video by 2019, according to our latest Visual Networking Index, and the average household will have nearly five (4.3, technically) Internet Protocol/IP connections. (Bet you a dollar your house already has more than 4.3…)

That’s why the interplay between devices and cloud is Read More »

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