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Our Cisco.com Homepage: 5 More Insights

In mid-June, we shared how video and live steaming perform on our Cisco.com homepage, particularly during Cisco Live. Well, since then we’ve continued to test and learn along the way on our Cisco homepage. It receives more than 2.5 million average monthly visitors and it’s truly a melting pot with 58% of visitor traffic coming from outside the US, so it’s a great place to innovate.

Here’s my latest top 5 insights about the Cisco.com homepage:

1.  Big is not always better.  We like to call our large banner ads on the homepage our “ hero” ads. They make a big bold statement and the hero ad in the number-one carousel spot receives the highest traffic on the page. That said, after analysis for several months, our smaller “feature” ads toward the bottom of the page actually receive more traffic and engagement overall per month. They seem to drive more value and are perceived as less marketing-oriented, at least that’s our theory for now. Read More »

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Cisco Succeeded in Network Functions Virtualization System Trial

I’ve had the opportunity this year to meet with mobile operator leaders from around the globe. Whether they are large or small, focused on consumer services or businesses, or engaged in video or mobility, their ambitions are much in line with our strategy: to help them monetize and optimize their networks, while accelerating their ability to deliver their services.

As mobile operators are deploying new technologies to help achieve their business outcomes, “virtualization” is often touted as the answer, and, in part, that is correct. At Cisco, we believe it is important to frame the discussion properly in order to reap the full benefits of what’s possible in networking.

The network is increasingly becoming virtualized, and virtualization is increasingly becoming networked. Virtualizing applications is an initial step that can provide some advantages. However, Read More »

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Telephony: Video is the New Audio

Video is the New Audio at Cisco. That’s an audacious statement for a guy who started working in the Bell system about 30 years ago. The New Audio? Audio sets a standard that is pretty hard to beat. Audio telephony has been around for almost 140 years. (The first major phone system was started in 1877.) And in that time it has grown to become globally ubiquitous, because of three things:

  • it works, really well, all of the time,
  • it’s easy to use, and
  • it doesn’t matter what phone you use; you just use whatever is available, because all the systems interconnect.

Good quality video communication hasn’t been around for a century – it’s been around for maybe 20 years. (Although click here for a great picture of a commercial video phone from 1969). As a Cisco IT guy, let me explain why video is the new audio inside Cisco today.

Read More »

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Join Us on Oct. 22 for Our Final Analytics Webcast

Hello, retailers everywhere! My name is Dianne Lamendola, and I am a senior retail practice advisor here at Cisco. My role is to work closely with store operators and merchants to help understand your business and how technology can help you reach critical goals.

I hope you have been following our three-part series of one-hour webcasts that Cisco has been hosting this year on retail analytics. In the store, online, and across data sources, retailers have been increasingly focused on how to gather and analyze the metrics that help provide insights to run a tighter operation and provide a more exciting experience for your shoppers.

On Oct. 22, we’ll wrap up this series with a session on “Technology that Gets Down to Business: Develop Your Action Plan for Retail Analytics Success.” Held at 10:00-11:00 am PT/1:00-2:00 pm ET, this candid discussion lets you learn how to:

  • Implement innovative retail analytics technologies
  • Drive added value from traditional and new data sources
  • Deploy mobility, wireless, video cameras, sensors, and services to jumpstart your action plan

Register today! By registering, you will also earn a free introductory analytics enablement meeting and additional tools to help you think more about your program.

While it’s not necessary to attend the previous sessions to join us, please feel free to review the recordings of our prior events:

  1. Part I: Understanding the Basics of Setting Up Your In-Store Analytics Program -- Recording
  2. Part II: Case Studies of Analytics Programs in Real-World Stores – Recording

We welcome all retailers, including IT staffers, who want to know more about how analytics fit into and enhance your store environment.

I’ll see you there!

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Cisco’s OpenH264 Now Part of Firefox

Voice and video communications over IP have become ubiquitous over the last decade, pervasive across desktop apps, mobile apps, IP phones, video conferencing endpoints, and more.  One big barrier remains: users can’t collaborate directly from their web browser without downloading cumbersome plugins for different applications.  WebRTC – a set of extensions to HTML5 – can change that and enable collaboration from any browser. However, one of the major stumbling blocks in adoption of this technology is a common codec for real-time video.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have been working jointly to standardize on the right video codec for WebRTC. Cisco and many others have been strong proponents of the H.264 industry standard codec. In support of this, almost a year ago Cisco announced that we would be open sourcing our H.264 codec and providing the source code, as well as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Perhaps most importantly, we announced that we would not pass on our MPEG-LA licensing costs for this binary module, making it effectively free for applications to download the module and communicate with the millions of other H.264 devices. At that time, Mozilla announced its plans to add H.264 support to Firefox using OpenH264.

Since then, we’ve made enormous progress in delivering on that promise. We open sourced the code, set up a community and website to maintain it, delivered improvements and fixes, published the binary module, and have made it available to all. This code has attracted a community of developers that helped improve Read More »

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