Video is the future
Chandan Mendiratta, VP, Service Provider and System Engineering, Cisco India and SAARC
Video is today's voice-on-an-IP network, moving from a standalone service to an application filling an IP-network. It has almost completely re-shaped the Internet and its use as the driving force behind the total transformation of user experience. According to the Cisco Visual Index study, video will account for nearly 90 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2013, and 60 percent of all online video will be consumer video.
Growth of video on the Internet has had a corresponding impact on the world of business, with meetings, presentations, security monitoring, training sessions, customer service, and other activities increasingly including video. Businesses are using video to transform key processes to create competitive advantage, lower costs and reduce environmental impact, by avoiding the need for travel.
All forms of communications, collaboration, and entertainment are becoming digitized, and connected. Video is becoming a key requirement for effective collaboration as increasing globalization drives a desire for more personal contact across geographic and cultural boundaries.
New, rich media applications, such as video collaboration, IPTV, music and video streaming, are flourishing along with a new generation of devices-from multi-function mobile phones to access control points; card readers and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. A multitude of video formats; devices and information sources are being integrated into innovative applications changing the way people interact.
Users have begun to demand the ability to view any content, on any device, anywhere. Communication -- just everyday interaction with coworkers or customers is increasingly beginning to involve video. Having video casually -- and good-quality video -- is becoming the norm. With video increasingly becoming part of how we communicate and collaborate, there appears to be a market transition to "pervasive video," in which video is infused at work, home, and play.
The growing use of video on networks requires a more intelligent approach to delivery. Companies recognize the network as an integral foundation to support new, robust video solutions and applications. Delivering new video experiences will place additional demands on IP networks in terms of performance, adaptability, and manageability. Therefore, networks will need to scale and support many rich media types as well as traditional voice and data services.
While each company and organization will judge for itself the speed and exact path it will take towards harnessing Video, success will come from a holistic approach. By being aware of the potential synergy between assets, applications, and the needs of different groups of users, the full potential of video can be realized.
Service Provider opportunity
Video delivery over IP presents multiple business and service opportunities. Service providers must accelerate their infrastructure upgrade plans in response to the growing network needs. Architectures that scale video delivery, implement Web 2.0 technologies to boost service delivery and use simplified deployment models help to increase efficiency.
In a well-designed IP network and with the help of appropriate service management tools, service providers (SP) can successfully deploy and operate large-scale video over IP services. Defining new IP services, building solutions that meet the needs of specific enterprise verticals, helps to increase overall profitability. To generate profitable revenues from the rise of Internet video, service providers need to put in place a good content delivery infrastructure and explore ways to develop new services on it.
SPs can reinvent their business models by offering new, profitable, next-generation services such as web-based video conferencing and collaboration, along with other unified communications solutions. They can provide customers with a rich collaboration environment that includes content sharing, instant messaging, and webcam video in a single communications session. Leveraging existing products and technologies, service providers can provide efficient, secure, and flexible application services to customers.
Managed service providers (SPs) who can activate key solutions to support customer service-level agreements (SLAs) around them, benefit from the fact that businesses might consider outsourcing video-oriented services. Network-based or hosted services or a combination of both provide flexibility for the creation of managed services bundles. Leveraging existing assets within their IP networks, managed service providers can create new revenue streams, upsell additional services, and create long-term customer loyalty.
As users continue to immerse themselves in video-based interactions anywhere, anytime, on any device, today's Web 2.0 and TV services will merge into a unified, ubiquitous, interactive, social, and media rich experience for a new breed of viewer/user. The source of video content creation will shift from a small number of centralized, organized professionals producing premium content... to billions of dispersed, independent individuals producing informal, personalized content as easily as email today. Ultimately, distinctions between applications and devices will become meaningless.
3G/4G and Wimax end-to-end mobile networks will deliver robust video and voice services on an unlimited number of channels and smart devices. Billions of video streams get delivered through virtual clouds. Network openness and virtualization will facilitate the flexibility and velocity that video service demands, while maintaining integrity and security. With millions of video streams distributed, network content delivery capabilities will transform as well. Content caching at the network edge will accommodate massive amounts of traffic.
Network flexibility combined with creative business strategies will generate an incalculable number of new applications. The "virtuous circle" of new applications driving bandwidth and bandwidth driving new applications, will continue and provide a seamless, continuous and holistic video experience... as a 'normal' part of everyday life!