Cisco Pushing Partners To Attack $2B IoT Opportunity In Media And Entertainment Industry

Cisco Systems is urging its channel community to pursue Internet of Things deals in the media and entertainment industry, which is undergoing a significant transformation that partners can capitalize on today.

"We are dealing with a very interesting opportunity that has really never presented itself to Cisco and its partner community ever before," said Bryan Bedford, global senior manager for media and consumer for Cisco's Global Partner Organization, during IoT Connex, a virtual conference hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company. "We want partners to understand that this is possible today, as a partner, to jump into this opportunity and to realize that there's 8.4 billion connected devices out in the market."

Cisco is pushing partners to deploy IoT solutions to media and entertainment businesses through the Cisco Media Blueprint, a set of infrastructure and software offerings that power cloud-scale media experiences.

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The solution set inside the blueprint includes Cisco Spark specifically for media collaboration; Tetration Analytics for media, media storage, video solutions and video security; and Cisco CloudCenter, to name a few.

"It's a series of specific solutions for the media and entertainment industry, or augmented solutions inside of the Cisco portfolio that we've been able to specifically cater and market for the media and entertainment industry," said Bedford.

Bedford said Cisco is opening a $2 billion total addressable market for partners to attack the media and entertainment market, which is looking for digital transformation and technology that gets content directly to viewers.

Cisco's offerings can help move live media productions to IP while preserving existing workflows, migrate satellite distribution on an all-IP infrastructure, and adopt holistic approaches to securing content from cyberthreats and online piracy.

"Cisco has the ability to realize over $2 billion in TAM. So there's no better time for you as a partner to capitalize on this," said Bedford.

Some partners already are delivering IoT solutions to the media and entertainment industry. Kent MacDonald, vice president of business development at Long View Systems, a Calgary, Alberta-based top Cisco partner, said he's seeing a strong and growing market opportunity in video and media.

"More and more of our clients are looking to enhance and manage their digital media from security surveillance to training and marketing," said MacDonald.

MacDonald said Long View also is making a big IoT bet in 2018 around smart cities. The solution provider is building out a practice to help companies, buildings and cities deploy and leverage IoT technologies.

"We're doing that to improve customer experience, drive economies and efficiencies, and bring formerly siloed systems together to communicate and collaborate," said MacDonald.

Cisco also focused on enabling partners around smart city opportunities during IoTConnex.

"Cisco's vision of a smart city is one where cities will have one unique, flexible digital platform that will enable cities to add urban services in a very cost-effective way," said Andres Ruiz, global senior manager of smart and connected communities for Cisco's Channel and Partner Ecosystem. "The digital platform will extend into the street and places where data will be gathered and transported in a very highly secure way to compute data centers where it will be analyzed. That data will be turned into action."

IoT solves critical challenges facing nearly every city across the globe -- from pollution, public transportation to the need to reduce crime, according to Ruiz.

Ruiz said Cisco is providing partners with a toolset to attack this market including ruggedized hardware such as its IE2K switches and IR829 routers, as well as its IoT Kinetic platform.

Robert Keblusek, CTO of Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based solution provider and Cisco Gold partner ranked No. 117 on CRN’s 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, said Sentinel has a "robust" government business thanks to IoT.

"We have worked on projects for things such as the Department of Homeland Security to do smart video in areas for cities and provide connectivity, enclosures, camera, recording and more," said Keblusek.

For years, Sentinel has implemented wireless, mesh and other services to provide networks in the government sector driven by IoT readiness.

"We even do the design and construction of towers and other infrastructure, and offer support and managed services with monitoring across all of the solutions we have done for these environments," said Sentintel's Keblusek.

Keblusek said Cisco has been a key partner in Sentinel's IoT success with wired and wireless solutions that work well with smart devices.

"With the new intelligent software-defined networking, I feel that Cisco will not only have the best physical hardware and software but also will build more analytics into the platform we can leverage, automated intelligence for IoT and also security," he said. "Security is critical as IoT is added to networks and Cisco is in a perfect position to offer solutions and leadership to help our customers solve for the rapid acceleration of IoT devices."