Cisco formally gets in the game

On the press release wires this morning …

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced Cisco Digital Signage, a solution for management, publishing and playback of digital media on networked digital signage displays that has the potential to redefine how organizations connect with their employees and customers. Cisco’s entry into the quickly-growing digital signage market shows that digital signage is a dynamic and easy-to-use communication tool that can enable businesses to optimize their marketing, advertising and training and drive a compelling and high-quality customer experience. Using the power of the internet protocol (IP) network, businesses can easily manage and communicate through a scalable digital signage network from a simple Web interface.

Cisco’s entry into the high growth digital signage market reflects growing business demand for rich media signage to optimize their marketing, advertising and training and drive a compelling, high-quality customer experience, said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Ciscos Emerging Markets Technology Group. Enterprises are beginning to realize the potential of video for many new functions. Cisco Digital Signage together with the power of the IP network as the platform will help businesses to reach customers and employees with powerful content.

The digital signage market represents another new emerging technology opportunity for Cisco. Cisco Digital Signage builds on the power of the Cisco Digital Media System, an integrated solution for the creation, management and access of digital media, with easy and flexible functionality for live video broadcasting and video-on-demand (VOD) for users at the desktop. (Due to its length, the preceding URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser’s address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

Cisco Digital Signage is comprised of two products:

  • Cisco Digital Media Manager: a Web-based software application that controls the creation, management and publishing of digital media to digital signage displays. The Cisco Digital Media Manager remotely discovers and manages individual and groups of digital signs connected to Cisco Digital Media Players. The software also handles play lists, content schedules, customizable templates with on-screen zones, role-based access control as well as monitoring and reporting.
  • Cisco Digital Media Player: a small form-factor device that controls playback of the video, graphics and text on digital signage displays. With industry-leading reliability, the Cisco Media Player supports full-screen video or graphical zoning and provides local storage for high availability and automatic failover. The Cisco Media Player offers support for MPEG 1, 2 and 4 in both standard- and high-definition.

Cisco makes great gear, but I also think most people understand any solution cooked up by Cisco means adding a couple of zeros on to the budget total. The media player alone has a price tag of $1,500, and that’s really just getting started as Cisco has a full content caching and distribution system it has as the foundation for a signage network.

I don’t see a lot of entrepreneur-driven networks hooking up with Cisco, but then I don’t see Cisco having much interest in them. This is a solution meant for banks and major, major companies that already have massive IT budgets. A couple of extra zeroes on a budget line will barely raise an eyebrow. 

This announcement comes quickly on the heels of Cisco’s acquisition of a tiny West Coast firm last month. 

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3 Comments on “Cisco formally gets in the game”

  1. MerWiz Says:

    If you want to see a video of a couple of corporate guys in suits pretend they’re Steve Jobs with this thing, check out this link: http://newsroom.cisco.com/Newsroom/flash/evp/Flash7/main.html?videoXML=../xml/high/89894656908D7DE956BBBD40EAA3356E_video.xml&defaultTopic=Technologies&defaultSubTopic=Video

  2. Minicom Says:

    The move by Cisco has really put the cat amongst the pigeons and got tongues wagging. Will be interesting to see what the next big move is.


  3. […] network gear giant Cisco bought tiny little Tivella at the start of the year and formally announced it was getting into the digital signage game, it […]


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