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Cisco Expo 2009 opens in Riyadh

Cisco showcases new network technologies, launches media content platform at Riyadh event

Cisco opened its Cisco Expo 2009 event in Riyadh yesterday, to share its vision of intelligent information networks in the Kingdom.

The two-day event for customers and partners includes sessions on a number of emerging technologies, including unified communications, collaboration, managed services, and Cisco’s Connected Home and Smart Education systems.

The event also included demonstrations of Cisco’s Telepresence solution, and online participation through Twitter, Facebook and live online streaming via Cisco WebEx.

The conference was opened by Dr Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, President of King Abdullah College of Science and Technology, and a keynote from Dr Badr Al Badr, managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia.

Massimo Migliuolo, vice president, Go To Market Strategy and Segments, Emerging Markets of Cisco told itp.net in a telepresence interview from Riyadh that despite the tough market situation, Cisco remains committed to its investments in Saudi Arabia, which have included setting up an incubator company for Saudi entrepreneurs, extending the Cisco Networking Academy program, delivering internet to low income households and building headcount in the country.

“There is a downturn in the economy, but as a company we are committed to major countries like Saudi Arabia. We are committed to the major players in this country, the public entities and big enterprises, as well as the commercial sector – we really believe the SMB market in the region is one of the fastest growing markets around the globe,” Migliuolo said.

“We are really committed to Saudi, we have grown here as an organization, we have gone from 30 people to 200 people and the Net Academy program, the program we have with universities, NetVersity, are essential to us. We believe that we are on the verge of a major transformation in the industry, with collaboration technology coming about, most importantly through having the right skills in the country. Our focus continues to be on the top countries in emerging markets, Saudi is a part of that, and we continue to do what we have to be successful,” he added.

Cisco Expo 2009 also hosted the launch of a new set of technologies from Cisco for the delivery of video and other rich media via IP networks,

The ‘medianet’ solutions have been designed to deliver video content and other applications from a single networked platform, to better handle the growing demand for rich content and applications online.

Research from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast shows that demand for video online is growing exponentially, with professional broadcast quality video set to make up 80% of all Internet video by 2012 and traffic from user-generated content set to triple by 2012. More than four billion video streams per month will be delivered by IP-enabled set top boxes and consoles by 2012.

Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies group said: “In the near future, 90% of consumer network traffic will be video and rich media, and new ‘medianet’ technologies and devices will drive the evolution not only to new networks, but immersive new experiences made possible by combining video, rich media, voice and data on a single networked platform.

“As businesses look to reduce costs and increase productivity, ‘medianet’ solutions will enable new methods of networked collaboration and virtualization, such as seamless language translations over Cisco TelePresence, which will eliminate communication barriers in the workplace,” he added.

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