Cisco Veers Into Video Market

The new Cisco Digital Media System enables customers to create, manage and deliver video and audio content over the IP network, Cisco said. It was developed by the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor's Emerging Markets Technology Group, an internal team tasked with building product lines that push beyond Cisco's traditional networking focus.

"While the digital media explosion has taken off in the consumer world, businesses are just beginning to realize the potential of video," said Marthin De Beer, vice president of Cisco's Emerging Markets Technology Group, in a statement. "The Cisco Digital Media System, combined with the power of the IP network as the platform, allows organizations to move to a business environment where compelling interactions and experiences are created and shared."

Cisco President and CEO John Chambers has publicly highlighted video communications as a potentially fertile focus area for Cisco and its solution providers. Already this year Cisco has acquired two video companies-- video surveillance vendor SyPixx Networks and on-demand television vendor Arroyo Video Solutions--and invested in a third, on-demand video startup Akimbo Systems. The vendor is expected to launch new videoconferencing wares later this year.

Cisco outlined its vision for how the new technology could be used in various vertical markets, including financial services, retail, government, education, healthcare and public safety. Examples included remote training of customer service representatives, broadcasts of live promotional events and Web-based access to live and on-demand broadcasts of city council meetings, classroom lectures, medical educational materials for patients or public reports on travel and security at airports and train stations.

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The system is comprised of three product lines: Cisco Digital Media Encoder appliances, Cisco Digital Media Manager for adding and archiving content, and Cisco Video Portal, which allows users to browse, search and view digital content.

The Digital Media System is available now with a starting list price of $133,000.