The acquisition of NDS will strengthen the ambitions of Cisco to make its Videoscape portfolio of solutions the preferred migration path for service providers moving towards an increasingly IP, multi-platform and multi-device world while looking to maintain the value of their legacy investments. Ken Morse, CTO, Service Provider Video Technology Group at Cisco, explained last month that with NDS, Cisco now embraces multiple STB manufacturers and SoC (Systems on Chip) environments and can meet service and content provider expectations for content security in a multi-DRM world.
And he emphasised the importance of the user experience, “which is really driving the marketplace right now because it captures the imagination of the end customer.” NDS is a leader in the whole user experience domain, of course, with its Snowflake user interface typifying the kind of next-generation STB/DVR experience demanding consumers are now hoping for. Snowflake has been deployed by ZON in Portugal and is also being used by Liberty Global for the new Horizon platform.
“Service providers are looking for a partner who can help them on a journey and the two solution portfolios from Cisco and NDS complement each other to provide a meaningful migration path for customers,” Morse says. “We both have the ability to bring a large number of customers onto this journey, too.”
Nick Thexton, Senior VP & CTO at NDS (now part of Cisco), says there are few overlaps in the technology the two companies bring to the table and notes that the combined Cisco and NDS will cater for operators small or large. He also believes a key benefit for existing customers is the way the combined entity can offer a more complete answer to IP and multi-screen migration and the increasing use of the ‘cloud’, not just for the delivery of video but other functions like data processing.
He adds: “One of the ‘soft’ issues when two companies merge is the DNA and the understanding between the engineering teams is great. It was love at first sight for the engineering communities! This is not some tenuous relationship where each party has to work hard at it. The market can be confident that what we have is a great bonding effect between the two groups. This is something that has depth to it.”