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Business Video Increases Demands on the Network

The use of video in enterprises has been growing rapidly as many enterprises are realizing the value of video. Many enterprises use video for multiple aspects of their business operations including corporate communications, team meetings, e-learning, digital signage and the use of video assets within their business processes. Likely a combination of video technologies and tools are required to meet the enterprise needs.

Different video applications will behave differently and put different demands on the network. The chart below illustrates a range of business video applications with different characteristics and network requirements.

Telepresence is two-way real-time video while streaming video is one-way broadcast video. Telepresence has stringent network requirements and it is highly sensitive to latency, jitter and loss, whereas streaming video can better tolerate delays; by buffering a larger amount of content before rendering it, in order to smooth out the video experience and compensate for network jitter.

Generally speaking, it is straight forward to provision the network for Telepresence as long as you know how many rooms are in your network, the typical usage pattern (e.g. 60% usage between office hours) and the traffic characteristics. In contrast to Telepresence, it is much harder to provision the network for desktop collaboration video as the usage pattern is not as well defined. Worst yet, do you know how many users are equipped with high definition web cameras built into their laptop on your network? The situation is exasperated by new collaboration tools with one click away, what started as a low bandwidth instant messaging session could end up be a high bandwidth video desktop collaboration session.

These are just some examples of the challenges associated with deploying, managing and assuring quality of business video applications. As more types of video applications that pose different demands into the network are deployed, the need for intelligent networks like medianets become critical. Medianets can simplify and reduce costs of deploying video, as well as efficiently use network resources and dynamically adapt to changing network conditions and demands from different video applications to deliver optimal video quality.

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A View from Fashion Week: The Future of Fashion and Technology

Cisco’s Retail Industry Marketing team recently worked with fashion designer Simon Spurr during the September 2010 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City to demonstrate  how business video technologies can impact the fashion business.

Simon, who  was just announced as creative consultant for Tommy Hilfiger menswear , worked with Cisco Business Video technologies such as TelePresence, Flip Prosumer, Show and Share, MXE, Digital Signs and WebEx to streamline the processes of working  with his suppliers, retailers and customers.

Cisco technologies were also showcased during Fashion Week in the Spurr pop-up store and New York’s landmark retailer Saks 5th Ave..

The following is a video showcasing how Cisco and Simon worked together to showcase the future of fashion.

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Why Video? Why Now?

The world is becoming flat.  Enterprises are optimizing the diverse talents and skills of employees and partners around the globe.  The challenge of globalization is to provide effective communication across distances and cultures. Enterprises must focus on improving collaboration. The use of video to communicate and collaborate, for information sharing or e-learning, is perhaps the closest alternative to actually being there, enterprises will be able to transcend physical location. For more information, Cisco conducted an interesting study, “The Psychology of Effective Business Communications in Geographically Dispersed Teams.

The cost of traveling represents a significant proportion of recurring operational expenses for many enterprises, so many of them are looking for ways to reduce travel costs. The key is to make travel more productive by reallocating travel time to videoconferencing for routine internal meetings, and using that travel budget to visit more customers. In addition to cost savings, enterprises are turning to video to show shareholders and customers that they are serious about reducing their carbon footprint and doing what they can to be a Green company.

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