Changing pay-TV demands prompt Cisco to respond with SaaS delivery options

By Jim O'Neill on Sep 09 2016 at 1:15 PM

Pay-TV operators increasingly are looking for easier ways to deliver video to their customers, and are beginning to understand the value of the SaaS model.

Ken Morse, Cisco’s CTO of video software, said more operators are getting comfortable with the idea of transitioning to a software delivery model that helps eliminate the silos the companies face today.

“Operators now are savvy about the implications of not transitioning,” he said. “The longer they leave legacy systems in place, the more painful it will be for them to leave.”

The idea, he said at IBC in Amsterdam today, of taking the complexity out of delivery is “resonating’ with service providers, adding that there should be “no distinction” between traditional video delivery and delivery of over-the-top content.

Operators in the past have looked for best of breed hardware as they put their pay-TV tech together, Morse said. But, increasingly, they’re seeing more functionality in adopting software models than ones based on hardware.

Key to adoption, he said, is that a software solution be as robust as the hardware they traditionally relied on.

“We need to make sure ABR approaches are as good as what they’ve seen from their legacy systems in the past,” Morse said.

A software approach has the added benefit of flexibility, he said.

“Innovation really comes on top of the platform,” he said, noting that operators used to requires “fully developers products” before they tested them on user groups. Now, tweaked platforms can be rolled out more easily to explore how to connect with at-risk groups of viewers like Millennials.

That’s critical in an industry that’s “not what it used to be,” he said.

Stay tuned.

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