A Family Reunion…
That’s the best way I can describe what this past week felt like as I attended the 2022 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With approximately 55,000 attendees gathered for the event, our team at Cisco had the awesome privilege and opportunity to reconnect with our customers, partners, and industry ecosystem after a two-year hiatus. Like any family reunion, our time at the show was filled with great discussions, laughs, hope for the future, and reflection on how far we’ve come.
What struck me most was the amount of growth and maturity I’ve witnessed in this industry over the last several years. We are seeing widespread adoption of IP, virtualization, full-stack observability, security, and wireless technologies (5G/Wi-Fi 6) in ways that weren’t even possible in 2019.
Adoption of Remote (REMI) production has moved into hyperdrive. SDN and Hybrid-Cloud have shifted from luxury to necessity for business growth and continuity. No longer are we in the phase of early adoption where the movers and shakers are the small few trialing new technologies through proofs-of-concept. Now, the industry as a community is embracing real projects that are fully operational. To me, that is very cool.
This NAB Show was also the mark of a couple of big milestones for Cisco.
Six years ago, we announced the launch of our IP Fabric for Media at NAB Show 2016. We have now reached over 150 IP Fabric for Media installations into media and broadcast facilities, stadiums, and OB trucks since that time.
We also celebrated a landmark of over 450 active sports and entertainment venue projects. Some of those projects include our partnership with the National Football League (NFL), end-to-end technology deployments at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and many other ventures with customers that are leveraging the comprehensive suite of Cisco solutions like Connected Stadium Wi-Fi, Vision Edge Dynamic Digital Signage, DNA Spaces, and IP Fabric for Media.
Strategy in Action
This time spent with our industry “family” also allowed us to re-establish and reiterate our market strategy. Many conversations held aligned well with this strategy which we laid out for our Sports, Media, and Entertainment business several years ago. Our strategy includes three main facets: Innovation, Ecosystem, and Standards Body Support.
On the innovation front, we had experts at our booth, including Sunil Gudurvalmiki, Director of Product Management for Data Center at Cisco, available to share how IP Fabric for Media (IPFM) is the industry’s best-in-class network fabric for IP broadcast and show how managing your IP Media Fabric is now easier than ever using the new Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller. Sunil also demonstrated how IPFM enables Distributed and Remote Production with Flexible Multicast NAT.
The conversations around innovation didn’t stop with IPFM. Both our customers and our ecosystem partners are looking for ways to continue evolving their adoption of IP technologies in the Sports and Media supply chain of workflows. As a result, there was plenty of discussion about what Cisco is doing in the area of Full-Stack Observability, Security, Wi-Fi 6, Converged Networks, and Vision Edge Dynamic Digital Signage.
We continue to work closely with our ecosystem partners to explore new ways of collaborating to bring end-to-end solutions to our customers. I had so many meaningful discussions with system integrators, channel partners, and hyper-scalers centered around how we can work together to continue moving the industry forward.
Whether it’s integrating our Hyperflex Datacenter technology into virtual workflows, partnering with Qwilt on the game-changing Edge Cloud for Content Delivery solution, or combining IPFM controller demos with Skyline DataMiner, Grass Valley and more, Cisco plays a pivotal role in partnering with our ecosystem. This will continue to be a key area of focus for us.
Our architects and engineers are actively engaged in all the standards bodies to bring our expertise in IP to these media standards.
We started the week as one of the official sponsors of the 2022 Devoncroft Executive Summit. This annual event brings together the cream of the crop to discuss and debate the latest trends in the industry.
Our continued involvement with SMPTE, NMOS, and AIMS was front and center throughout the week with a presence in the IP Showcase where the latest interop was on display, along with a full list of global deployments that, together with our ecosystem partners, we have completed.
We also had experts from Thousand Eyes, Vision Edge, App Dynamics, and our Data Center team actively discussing best practices, use cases, deployments, and more throughout the week.
This past week truly felt like a family reunion for me (minus the potluck). Full of energy, passion, and hope for what Cisco has in store for the future of the industry.