Cisco Buys Into Digital Signage

Unveiled late last week, the deal is expected to close during Cisco's current fiscal quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

Tivella, based in Half Moon Bay, Calif., makes the Piccolo family of IP-based media players and the Tivella Administration Server that supports it. The company has 10 employees and was founded in 2001.

"We feel there is enormous potential for digital signage to be integrated into our existing enterprise streaming and live video broadcasting platform," said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of the Emerging Market Technologies Group at Cisco, San Jose, Calif. "This will allow Cisco to provide live video, video-on-demand, and other rich media content to desktops and digital signage displays using IP for applications such as targeted communications, advertising and training."

Plans for the acquisition follow last week's Cisco C-Scape Global Forum 2006 analysts conference, where Chairman and CEO John Chambers previewed forthcoming Cisco digital signage solutions during his keynote address. It is unclear whether Tivella technology was part of the demonstration.

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Chambers highlighted digital signage as part of Cisco's vision for converged video solutions that help drive demand for enterprise and service provider network infrastructure.

"If there is a killer app, it's video," Chambers said.