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Monday, 13 July 2009 04:21

Cisco aims to resolve the media paradox with EoS

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Six months after its launch, and two years after first talking about it, Cisco has revealed the goals of its Entertainment Operating System (EoS): to enable media companies to regain control of and monetise their content.

In a video posted to Cisco's blog site following a press briefing on EoS held in San Francisco last week, Dan Scheinman, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Media Solutions Group, said: "There is a real paradox in the media business: media has never been as widely read and consumed as it is today...but the actual business of media is becoming commoditised...How can something as vital to culture and so popular become commoditised?...EoS is designed to find a way to add value to that customer set...We believe that if we can provide media companies with a connection and data about who is using their media and give them control of distribution of that media we can find ways to bring value to that media."

Cisco has released no other information from the briefing, but in a report of it, Light Reading quoted Scheinman saying he hoped that media companies would welcome this latest Cisco initiative "because we're trusted, and we don't compete with these [content owners], and we can come up with a strategy where these people are actually making revenues - that's our basic pitch."

This latest event follows a pattern of drip feeding information on EoS that Cisco has followed for nigh on two years. In January 2008, iTWire attempted to make sense of the tidbits of information Cisco had been handing out about EoS.

EoS is billed as "hosted white-label software platform...that integrates social networking, content management and site administration features into a single operating environment, allowing content owners to deliver immersive consumer experiences, while increasing revenue opportunities and reducing operational costs."

It is also clear that Cisco aims to exploit the power of the network - where it core competency and current market dominance lie - to aid in this monetisation.

Monetising content is a theme Cisco has been pushing for some time. In January 2008, CEO John Chambers, delivering the keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Association's annual Leaders In Technology Dinner at CES 2008 in Las Vegas was reported telling the invitation-only audience that online social networking and streaming video would form the backbone of the next-generation Internet, and that government, business and educators must work together to ensure that the United States participates in the economic boom it will bring.

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According to the report of the event "Chambers spoke with evangelical zeal about the next evolutionary phase in broadband development, in which content will 'find' users globally, distant family members will gather together via holograph and the [consumer electronics] industry will move from a device-centric to a network-centric model. The advances, he said, represent a market transition that will supercharge productivity and 'change the economic fabric of nations'."

In March Cisco took its latest major step into this video dominated world, acquiring Pure Digital a US maker of low cost high definition camcorders and the operator of a facility designed to allow users to upload and share their content.

Ned Hooper, senior vice president of Cisco's Corporate Development and Consumer Groups, said at the time: "The acquisition of Pure Digital is key to Cisco's strategy to expand our momentum in the media-enabled home and to capture the consumer market transition to visual networking. This acquisition will take Cisco's consumer business to the next level as the company develops new video capabilities and drives the next generation of entertainment and communication experiences."


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