Feeds

The Cisco Borg in your TV

An overview of Videoscape

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Regardless of your feelings toward Cisco – whether you’ve been absorbed into the Borg or are preserving your precarious freedom on the outside – the company’s CTO in Australia, Kevin Bloch, at least offers that rare combination of enviable technical competence and media-accessibility.

So it was that at Cisco Live, an event rampant with choice corporate jargons and catch-phrases (a personal favourite from the day would have to be “productionising the revenue opportunity”), Bloch’s discussion of Cisco’s Videoscape strategy was worth taking in.

Although outlined last January, Videoscape has had only limited exposure in the Australian market, although it had some attention internationally since it was part of the justification behind Cisco’s acquisition of Inlet Technologies for US$95 million.

Bloch put forward Videoscape’s objectives from two points of view: the carrier, and the end user.

There’s a reasonable degree of unanimity about the problem facing carriers: every aspect of their existing business model is becoming a cheap commodity.

This is particularly true in Australia, where the National Broadband Network (NBN) creates a nearly-ubiquitous and nearly-uniform fibre-to-the-premises transport to the consumer. The NBN’s architecture gives carriers little or no scope to protect margins they might now enjoy simply as carriers.

“If there’s any carrier or ISP that isn’t thinking about a new business model for te NBN, they won’t be around for long,” Bloch said.

So, in what must seem a phrase venerated by at least ten years of repetition, carriers need to find those “added value” opportunities that have so far eluded them. In spite of a long history of being advised to “move up the value chain” yet failing to do so, carriers will have no business at all if they can’t find some way to turn content into income, in Bloch’s opinion.

That’s where the consumer comes into the picture. One way or the other, Joe Sixpack needs to stick his hand in his pocket on behalf of those soon-to-be-starving giant carriers. If Joe can be persuaded to drop some coins in the hat for his favourite content, all will be well.

Except, Bloch told The Register, for one thing: delivery falls short of expectations. People won’t pay to have content delivered over the Internet if it’s of the unreliable quality they mostly experience today. Moreover, people are also sick of the complexity of today’s world of home media (or at least Cisco hopes they are).

He described Videoscape as a three-part platform: there’s the one-box offering that hopefully makes life simple and comprehensible for the home user; there’s the carier solution designed to provide a network infrastructure suitable for shipping IPTV content to huge numbers of customers; and there’s a cloud designed to host that content.

If the model might look attractive to the carriers, it’s also a pretty attractive model to the Borg: its customer is the carrier, and the carrier’s customer is the consumer. That’s a lot fewer sales to make than if Cisco chose instead to name itself a competitor in the valley of death known as the consumer electronics industry. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.