The situation is simple: More video data requires bigger and faster networks, and as the leading network vendor, Cisco has a vested interest in facilitating this video growth. Over 50 percent of all Internet traffic today is video, and by 2014 the volume will be 90 percent, says the company. While the scope of video communications (including Internet video calling, video instant messaging, video monitoring and Webcam traffic) is currently relatively small, it is expected to experience substantial long-term growth in the 2014-2019 time-frame.
From a customer perspective, 36 percent of Cisco's largest customers are rolling out video "pervasively" in 2011, and 46 percent will do so within the next two years. TelePresence is now deployed at 85 percent of Fortune 100 companies and 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and purchase intention grew from 23 percent last April to 31 percent in October.
So Cisco continues to prime the video pump with more and more new products and capabilities. Its latest additions include TelePresence Content Server 5.0, the MXE (Media Experience Engine) 3500 network appliance, a 47-inch Cisco TelePresence endpoint for office or small conference room settings, a new user interface for Cisco TelePresence endpoints, and the first line of Cisco Unified IP Phones with built-in cameras.
The new features of TelePresence Content Server 5.0 include integration with Show and Share, high-quality video production, and new use cases for events, training, education and organizational communications. Show and Share has been integrated with CTCS for recording and streaming, and now offers single sign-on and increased scalability.
In November the company made a number of video-related announcements, including video-enabling all of its new enterprise collaboration endpoints, native interoperability among all voice and video-enabled offerings with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, two TelePresence endpoints, and the Cisco WebEx Meeting Center with high-quality video.
Ira Weinstein, senior analyst/partner, Wainhouse Research, says that Cisco has an obvious agenda here: "Video eats a lot of bits." But the company has also staked out a leadership position. "In terms of vendors, they have a big advantage. They've put it all under one umbrella and made it easy to create, distribute and manage."
As has been the case since the inception of videoconferencing, today's market is about the group, not the individual, says Weinstein, but the technology problems that used to characterize this market are now largely gone. "Today, you will get an amazing ROI in a short time. This is a pervasive tool that helps companies be more productive."
Steve Wexler, Network Computing