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The Cisco – SP Partnership: How Proactive Planning Drives Service Quality

By Carlos Cordero, Director, Service Provider Internet Business Solutions Group

In my previous blog I explained the importance of collaborative testing between telecommunications service providers (SPs) and their network vendors in order to achieve higher service quality levels. I’d like to start where I left off and move on to exploring how this type of collaboration can extend into the planning process.

SPs with the highest service quality tend to have a strong planning capability within both their Network Engineering and Operations organizations, which is directly coordinated with their vendors. Leading SPs establish a joint Program Management Office (PMO) with their network equipment vendor, whose scope of responsibility includes early bug identification, bug remediation, and new feature deployment. This includes structured, joint planning meetings and performance reviews which are attended by VP-level engineering and operations executives, as well as senior members of the vendor’s account team, services organization, and the development organization.

The joint SP-vendor PMO performs several critical activities.  First, it drives requirements gathering with senior network designers, and then works with them until actual code is released.  The PMO also develops network architectures with the vendor and the SP’s engineers using “Plan-of-Record” (POR) documentation.  Next, the PMO jointly prioritizes feature functionality with the vendor, keeping track of critical features needed by specified timeframes.  It works closely with the vendor’s development organization to understand any design limitations, testing issues, and special conditions.  In addition to performing classic management functions, the PMO makes use of “Bug Workbooks” to track all major, critical, and minor bugs and trends.

For example, Read More »

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My $0.02 on This Year’s NAB Show in Vegas

We’ve all now returned from the stardust of the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas last week, which seems a useful time to reflect briefly on the major threads of the show. It was a great one for us, and I’m pleased and grateful to report the following, in no particular order:

1.     Broadcasters and program networks are getting fired up about the IP transition, like the rest of us, and not a moment too soon. We fielded tons of questions about the cost savings associated with CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), IP distribution over terrestrial fiber networks--the proliferation of IP-based, video-capable screens, and cloud--how to get new services to market more quickly and how to streamline workflows. Transcoding engines, contribution networks, and all of the tacit and explicit benefits of the overall IP migration were all hot topics.

Of course, we, as Cisco people, can talk about IP all day long. And so we did: One of the Cisco booth demos highlighted Read More »

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North America Cloud Readiness

Improved fixed broadband network performance and access are key measures used to analyze global region’s ability to support business- and consumer-grade cloud applications. All regions can support some level of cloud services (basic or intermediate); however, no region’s average network performance can support the advanced cloud applications (such as HD audio conferencing; HD video conferencing or streaming super HD video, et al.).

Of the six global regions covered, North America leads all regions in consumer fixed broadband access (27% of households); while Read More »

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A Sneak Peak Behind the 2012 GRAMMY Awards

One of the tacit benefits of working for a technology provider is the access it provides to cool events. Like the 2012 GRAMMY Awards.

Here’s how it came down: Our esteemed partner, AEG Digital Media, needed a way to stream and monetize its production of GRAMMY Live, a three-day webcast covering exclusive events, parties, and red carpet interviews.

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New Age of Broadcast

It will not come as a surprise to anyone in the world of media and entertainment that we’re in a new age of broadcast. Take for a moment the success of premium video-on-demand portals over the last several years, like Hulu and Netflix, which indicate there is a viable market opportunity for long- tail content. Do you find that you are sitting on a library of content, but how do you tap into this revenue opportunity?

OK, you decide you want to be able to offer your library to your customers. Guess what they want to watch television when they want, and where they want—old and new content. But the road to what has been called TV Everywhere is littered with varying formats, new specifications and conflicting brands. Can you turn those vaults of older content into revenue? We believe that absolutely you can and are investing to research and development to make it possible.

When working on household projects we often hear how important it is to have the right tool for the job. Preparing media for TV Everywhere is really no different. For example, technology such as the Cisco Transcode Manager (CTM) gives you the right tools to turn your content library into on demand content for TV Everywhere. Whether you have hours of movies, television shows or broadcast content, you need a solution that can perform reliably, address your most strict requirements, and scale with your business. Cisco’s suite of Videoscape products and solutions also provides the ability to do just that (along with quite a few other capabilities).

Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPVideo for the latest announcements and updates on Cisco and video.

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