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Digital Signage: Cisco’s Perspective on the Industry and What’s Next

Earlier this year, Cisco was named the market leader in digital signage by  Frost and Sullivan. With our broad customer base and large IT & AV partner ecosystem, this places Cisco in a unique position to have insight into emerging digital signage trends and customer needs. Digital signage is more than just a targeted advertising device; it becoming one of many video applications considered in enterprise video strategies and it’s an interactive communications tool to speed information across a large campus and increase collaboration within an organization.

For example, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) deployed Cisco Digital Signs as part of an emergency preparedness initiative. With over 100 Cisco Digital Signs across multiple campuses and sites, NOVA was able to respond quickly during a campus shooting: they used a customized front-end web interface, accessible from campus safety officials’ mobile devices, to display emergency content to all the screens. In just a few clicks, all screens instantly switched to the emergency messaging.

In the video below, I highlight some of the established signage trends that we are seeing across multiple industries, as well as new use cases for digital signage that continue to add value to customer deployments.

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Digital Britain: BIG things are happening

August 4, 2011 at 2:00 am PST

My wife was shopping online this past week. While she was watching the rich-media cat walk feature on asos.com, which is now the norm for clothing retailer websites, it occurred to me how things have changed. Moreover, how our expectations have dramatically evolved.

On a regular basis I hear friends, colleagues and business partners complain about the perceived speed of their internet connection – web pages not loading fast enough, unable to reach a particular website, or a poor user experience on Skype. Consumers are demanding more – more broadband speed, better applications and abundant availability.

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Medianet Service Discovery and Auto-Registration: Building the dynamic media system – Part 1

August 3, 2011 at 10:09 am PST

We’re already seeing the beginnings of the transition from unified communications to pervasive video. Companies are not only starting to leverage video to enhance their communication experience but also they are finding new and innovative ways to leverage video to improve business operation and improve customer interaction. You only have to walk into a retail store or get on public transport to see video being used at the heart of the customer experience. As video becomes more ubiquitous this will drive two trends that impact how video endpoints and applications are deployed.

The first is the need to simplify deployment of those IP enabled endpoints. Deploying large numbers of video endpoints, often in a diverse range of locations and by personnel who are not skilled in IT and network deployment. We’ve already seen enhancements in earlier versions of medianets that enable devices such as surveillance cameras and digital media players that enable the installer to plug the devices in and have the network configuration automatically applied to the switch port. This simplifies the network configuration but challenges still remain in configuring the endpoint or application to connect to and register to application services. To address this issue, there are a number of service discovery mechanisms that can enable a newly deployed endpoint or application to automatically discover and register to its application server.

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Tablets Welcomed. Can Your Wireless Network Support the User Experience Expected of These Sleek Devices?

Ok, so maybe you are starting to give in to the idea that, employees bringing personally owned tablets at work, is indeed not a fad and you have to deal with it. You have decided on a BYOD strategy that protects company and network resources, while (mostly?) satisfying user appetite for connectivity anywhere from any device.

Great! Now. Is your 802.11n wireless network capable of delivering the user experience that is associated with these new sleek gadgets?

If you thought your network is “good enough”, then think again. This client wave is about to disrupt everything in multiple ways.

  • First, more devices on the network translate to significantly higher demands for bandwidth. In many cases bandwidth requirements can grow exponentially because the ratio of user to devices is no longer 1:1 but 1:2 and often 1:3. We therefore expect to see network utilization significantly rise over time.
  • Second, tablet form factor now allows users to truly be mobile. Unlike laptops, users can now walk/move and be productive at the same time. This new type of behavior will increase the number of clients roaming between access points.
  • Finally, it has been observed that tablets are primarily used for content consumption (as opposed to creation), and video is one of the predominant types of content being consumed, which further complicates bandwidth issues, but also creates new challenges.

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Courts, Corrections, and Cuts: Is it time for Connected Justice?

I live in California where we are facing severe challenges in our economy and funding public services ranging from teachers in the classroom to courts and correctional institutions.  In San Francisco, cuts to 25 courtrooms and 40% of staff are underway to address the $13.75 million budget gap.   Longer lines for citizen services and delays up to 5 years for cases coming to trial are expected.

Of course, the economy is not only challenging governments at the state and local level but nationally and internationally as well.

Isn’t it time we use technology to help cut costs and deliver services that are more efficient?

A great example is the City of San Antonio Texas  sharing video across public safety and justice systems. 

See below for more information about Connected Justice. Read More »

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