December 12, 2007 |
Recognize the name Cisco? Of course you do. It's the name of the company responsible for maintaining much of the telecommunications infrastructure for companies big and small in the US and elsewhere. It’s distributed fiber all across this here corn-fed land (a tired pun, I know), and established great numbers of switching stations keep those lines lit with activity. It’s even gotten into the business of making gadgets like phones and WiFi routers and such in recent years.
Sure, in a way, it's already there. It’s laid down many of the tubes digital data now travels through. Without Cisco, we’d have–well, we’d probably have some other massive conglomerate in its place. But you get the idea. The company is very much in the thick of it as far as Web transmission goes. Yet it sees big money in “helping media companies connect with their customers” in more ways still, and it naturally wants in on the next gold rush.
Or has the frenzy already manifested itself? One can hardly tell these days, what with the heavy investment by VCs in the field and all. What matters most in Cisco’s case, however, is that is literally going to force itself into the fold come 2008. It plans to do so with a bundle of products it’s calling the Entertainment Operating System, or EOS for short.
Yeah, I know. EOS is totally Canon’s thing. What a frickin’ rip, right? Sure, it probably is. But whether or not it has the imaging giant breathing down its neck come the new year is hardly of much concern. The main item of importance to ponder in this case is that the company’s drive to push the toolkit into the mainstream next year. And, well, it’s likely to achieve its goal. How? Money. Cisco’s a financial behemoth. A big splash is inevitable.
And the implications of Cisco’s entry are massive.
Cisco clearly sees that, while 2007 was the year of experimental media distribution via the Web, 2008 will be the annum in which mainstream outlets begin to deliver content by way of Internet Protocol in significant quantity – perhaps even to the point at which they may finally register profits in the sector. Most broadcasters currently dabble in online delivery, but with increasing demand will come increasing investment, and Cisco is working a sensible strategy by joining the fold right as the market is becoming considerably more valuable.
It’s too soon to say whether Cisco will devour the smaller fish currently subsisting on pool of small and mostly independent businesses in operating at present. It’s probably safe to presume Cisco will snap up entities with developments it finds useful, but it may just position itself wholly above most other industry players and focus exclusively on sales of its new services to large clients.
What do you think Cisco’s place will be come 2008-09? Will it dominate? Will it face strong competition? Share your comments below!