Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets

Network equipment manufacturer Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) hopes its expertise in building carrier networks will translate to success in consumer and media markets, with a slate of new products and services that will be shown off this week at the 2009 International CES in Las Vegas.

It's a big move for Cisco, as it gets into the business of home networking devices with the launch of a media hub geared toward home networking for digital media. At the same time, it's also launching Eos, a content-management platform for media and entertainment companies, which is an entirely new market for Cisco.

Get all the details at Contentinople.

— Ryan Lawler, Senior Editor, Contentinople

Challenger 12/5/2012 | 4:14:53 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets I believe that Cisco wants to see their Consumer Market business increase the demand for Carrier infrastructure. If they can help generate more traffic from the home, then carriers will need bigger, faster, more. Supply and Demand economics at work here.
Sisyphus 12/5/2012 | 4:14:53 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets give Cisco credit for pushing into new markets and business models in creative, not-afraid-of-failure ways that cpmpanies this size typically don't go for.

i think it is an excellent move to try to leverage the core technologies into the consumer market - because invariably that's where technology goes. who would have thought 10 years ago we'd all have Gigabit Ethernet in the home? it was supposed to only ever appeal to the high end Enterprise market, right?

of course there are risks involved. does Cisco really have the people in-house that can infuse solid technology with a sense of "cool"? kinda turn into the Apple of home networking? the new Linksys wireless routers look more hip than they used to, but there are several "buts" to their usability and flexibility...

i don't think anyone has really gotten the network-media-hub device or application right for the consumer market yet. and it will be very hot - think about it, we have OLEDs coming our way, content from all over the place (cable, stuff like netflix), music, photo and video storage localy and to share over social media... and yet these are all still silos in the home...
tsat 12/5/2012 | 4:14:53 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets
Does Cisco's blitz into consumer markets mean that they will lose just a bit of focus in their infrastructure, security and enterprise businesses?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:14:52 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets I think this is a good move for Cisco. Challenger and Sisyphus have brought up some good points.

One quibble - I'd say Cisco is trying to be the Microsoft of home networking, not the Apple. The distinction being that Cisco, while it does sell retail products, is only peripherally interested in becoming trendy.

Cisco really covets the background role, the one that turns your house into an extension of the telecom (or even enterprise) network. If Cisco can claim that role, then it's succeeded regardless of how the retail fight goes.

That said, to claim the background role, Cisco needs a greater level of consumer awareness. Hence, the "Human Network," and Cisco Field. (You could also say these things are done more for the sake of the stock market, trying to pump Cisco's name/image to investors, and I can't argue with that.)
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:14:51 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets Soupafly -- excellent point, and one that Cisco concedes. Cisco seems to think it's going to produce the breakthroughts to make home networking simpler to install/run.

So, in a way, Cisco is not approaching this as a pure networking problem.

As for the part about the background role in general, I take back what I said. We've gotten enough evidence over the past two years -- and some direct quotes from CES today -- to show Cisco wants to be a consumer devices player.

Soupafly 12/5/2012 | 4:14:51 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets Hi Craig, all,
Valid but in order to perform the background role you need to have the smarts to build systems for "joe bloggs" to use (note this has very little to do with instal, TR-069 can deal with that comfortably!) but more to do with interface and simplified intelligence.
Am not sure about the stimulating supply and demand argument. I have a "friend" who over coffee has openly admitted that he has been downloading video and other media for almost 10 years. So the demand curve has always been there and growing, cisco have not created anything. The most you can credit them with is highlighting publicly the curve. But thats purely for marketing and to demonstrate "thought leadership" (lol!!) purposes not for actual relevance.

The key to this will be how well they can convince the carriers to buy into their "vision" and but more of their kit, its that simple.
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 4:14:50 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets Gee, I thought you had to be certified to operate cisco gear!

bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:14:48 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets Cisco pushing into more consumer market to drive demand for carriers. Mmmmm. well I always thing of CISCO has an Enterprise company centainlly not a carrier grade company.

If it pushs more into consumer then all these producte will come out of CHINA - that is why half the consumber SMB team is in CHINA already.

Sisyphus 12/5/2012 | 4:14:46 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets ease of use *is* an integral part of perceived cool. it is a key aspect of any smart design.

it seems to be an integral art of the driving force behind Eos. let anyone with good content deliver it reliably, and through a slick interface.

consumers demand the same thing. with high tech, crossing over into the consumer market is the ultimate expression of the much-touted "crossing the chasm". it's a shame every time a company pioneers a technology, but only though the early adopter phases, and then lets it slip away.

but the thing with the consumer market is that unless it is differentiated, unless there is a "brand cool", it is a cut-throat mass market that will make any company with target 70% profit margins (you know who we're talking about) think twice about embarking in it. but make it hip, make it the-toy-to-show-off-to-friends, and voila, you'll have wall street convinced you're walking on water and parting seas simultaneously...

and that is the big question for Cisco in the consumer market... sure, you have the solid, proven technology that works... and even if you make it easier to set up... can you really make it *cool* and command a premium...?
somedumbPM 12/5/2012 | 4:14:38 PM
re: Cisco Blitzes Consumer, Entertainment Markets are companies that make these sorts of moves going into competition with their own customers?
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