News Release

Cisco Targets Emerging Internet Video Market

Network Video Solutions Take Advantage of IP Video Standards
Oct 25, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif. - October 25, 1999 - Casting an eye on the emerging market for the delivery of video products and services over corporate Internets, Cisco Systems, Inc. today dramatically expanded its offerings for IP-based videoconferencing and streaming. The announcement coincides with rising demand by corporate customers, service providers, resellers and partners for video communications gear equipped to take full advantage of today's robust and intelligent networks as well as declining costs for network bandwidth.

"Cisco now offers customers a flexible and scalable solution to enable the cost-effective delivery of videoconferencing, video-on-demand and video broadcasting applications over the corporate Internet," said Jack Bradley, general manager of the Cisco Video Internet Services Unit. "We are driving business adoption of IP-based video by investing in products and technologies that make it as sharp and reliable as a TV image."

At the center of today's announcement is the new Cisco IP/VC product family (see separate release), a videoconferencing solution providing a solid, cost-effective foundation for deploying high-quality, IP-based videoconferencing networks. The new product family is based on the ITU H.323 standard and is a key component of Cisco's strategy to take the lead role in the industry supporting the evolution of IP video.

Cisco is also announcing the release of its new Cisco IP/TV 3400 broadcast servers and Cisco IP/TV 3.0 software (see separate release), built on the Windows Media Technologies platform from Microsoft Corp. The pairing of Cisco IP/TV software and Windows Media provides a comprehensive and flexible solution to deliver streamed media to millions of PC desktops for everything from e-learning to corporate communications. These leading video solutions are key pieces of the recently announced Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data).

Finally, the company announced it has established a video solutions center for customers, service providers, partners and resellers at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif. The center is designed to help companies test IP video solutions and find ways to implement them in corporate networks. At the solutions center, customers can gain hands-on experience with new video solutions that meet their specific business needs.

"These product releases and the creation of the video solution center make a strong statement that Cisco sees the market for IP video taking off in the next few years," Bradley said. "Traditionally, several challenges have restrained the growth of this technology: high bandwidth costs, limited product offerings, lack of interoperability, and the perception that all Internet-based video is shaky and unreliable. But we've consistently shown that this doesn't have to be the case."

Earlier this month, for example, Cisco and the University of Oregon cooperated to multicast 14 hours of live concert programming and back-stage interviews from the NetAid extreme poverty relief effort to more than 150 universities around the world via Internet2, the "next-generation Internet." Students at UO watched broadcast-quality concert images from their dormitory rooms or campus "cybercafes" using Cisco IP/TV client software.

"Sending vast amounts of audio and video information over the Internet to large numbers of individuals is where the business world is headed," said Joanne Hugi, director of UO campus computing. "With everything connecting to the network these days, it's fairly obvious that IP video is about to take off, and networking companies like Cisco are going to play a major role in making that happen. Cisco IP/TV video streaming technology was a major part of our successful multicast of the NetAid event, which served as an important stepping stone for the delivery of high-quality, integrated data, voice and video over tomorrow's Internet."

As part of its expanded activities in the streaming video and videoconferencing conferencing markets, Cisco will actively promote public standards, such as ITU H.323, IETF RTP and IETF RTSP. Real Time Protocol (RTP) provides a common network transport for voice, videoconferencing and streaming video. Standards are expected to grow the Internet video market in the same way they helped speed adoption of many Information Age technologies, such as the World Wide Web, e-mail and electronic commerce.

Because the Cisco video offerings are a part of Cisco AVVID, they are all standards based, providing high levels of scalability, reliability and manageability. Cisco AVVID is a flexible architecture enabling customers to thrive in Internet-based business models while achieving a lower total cost of ownership for a converged network. By leveraging the Internet and scalable IP technology, Cisco AVVID enables companies to choose best-of-breed products and solutions from a range of vendors.

What They're Saying About the New Cisco IP Video Initiative

Convergent Communications

"As IP video emerges in the corporate network, cutting-edge technology like Cisco's IP/TV will play an integral role in the desktop delivery of everything from corporate communications to video-on-demand," said Sal Penzol, manager, data switching. "There is tremendous opportunity here for the channel to play a role in this emerging market."


"Hewlett-Packard has had an online-based training program in place for some time, and working with Cisco we are deploying high-quality video streaming to HP Virtual Classrooms over our internal intranet," said Francine Nunley, operations manager for HP Education's Online Knowledge Services. "Cisco's strength and committment to media convergence is a great step toward helping us deliver integrated learning solutions that incorporate data, voice and video over the Internet."

Minerva Systems

"Today's announcement is a demonstration of how industry leader Cisco continues to push the forefront of video streaming networks, opening doors for key technologies, such as Minerva's VNP, to help explode the IP Video market," said Reed Majors, director of business development. "Cisco has the vision and presence to know that IP video's time has come. Minerva Systems is thrilled that Cisco has the determination to drive this forward with its full line of highly scalable, reliable and flexible video streaming products."


"We are pleased that Optibase's MovieMaker family of MPEG-1 and -2 encoders has been chosen as an encoding platform for Cisco's IP/TV 3.0 and that our VideoPlex Xpress hardware decoder is supported by IP/TV," said Bob DeFeo, president. "Optibase and Cisco both believe in open standards and see RTP as an important protocol for efficiently sending packets of audio and video traffic over IP networks."


"Videoconferencing is rapidly becoming an important part of how businessescommunicate and collaborate," said Jim Slane, vice president of marketing. "Cisco and PictureTel recognize that IP video is where the market is headed, in large part because ofincreased customer demand for applications, like e-learning and businessconferencing, that simply run better and more cost effectively over an IP-basednetwork."


"Cisco's announcement underscores the fact that IP Video can empowercompanies to fully optimize the potential of their networks by offering avariety of time and money saving services, such as business TV, corporatecommunications, video-on-demand and e-learning," said Dave Caputo, vicepresident of marketing. "By combining PixStream video networking systems withCisco IP/TV 3.0, a large number of live video channels can be efficiently broadcast within an enterprise network."


"Our corporate customers continue to demand more from their videoconferencing systems and, as they do, it's not difficult to see that IP video's time has come," said Craig Malloy, general manager of the enterprise conferencing group. "Cisco's vision for evolving IP video, and its new IP/VC products are the catalyst that Polycom andthe rest of the industry have been seeking."


"As the Internet networking leader, Cisco is uniquely positioned to deliver integrated voice, video and data solutions for next generation IP communications," said Ami Amir, CEO. "Today's announcement should accelerate the deployment of IP video, and RadVision is pleased that Cisco is building its new IP/VC videoconferencing solution around our industry standard technology."


"The H.323 market is real, and we are seeing the results on our bottom line," said Bob Romano, president. "Cisco is stepping forward to put its clout behind H.323, and our mutual customers are the winners because now they have a world leader in the Internet space working to improve and expand this technology."


"Cisco's approach to the integration of voice, video and data is unparalleled in the industry as evidenced by its Cisco AVVID framework," said Chad Dore, vice president of national sales. "This is a growing need and an area where we've also been active, assisting many of our clients in maximizing video deployment with voice, video and data network services."


"Although broad deployment of video and multimedia content over IP networks has been delayed by bandwidth and infrastructure limitations, we are starting to see those barriers fall," said Stephen Von Rump, president. "With the rapid expansion of available bandwidth, adaptation of IP networks to the demands of video and a convergence of videoconferencing and streaming technologies, the marketplace is ripe for introducing visual elements into existing Internet applications. As technology leaders in these emerging growth areas, Cisco and VTEL are aggressively pursuing these new opportunities that will enable our customers to extend their visual communications reach."


"This is what the market's been waiting for, the entry of Cisco Systems, the leading player in IP networks," said Ken Garofano, president and COO. "H.323 is the future, and Cisco's support is critical to its success."

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