Exterity helps Cisco France “Sip their own champagne”
AvediaStream® TVgateways and Encoders integrate with Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS) in Cisco France office building to help keep employees informed, and increase their productivity by supplying live TV as well as camera feeds for internal events and communication.
Cisco Systems International is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Its office in Issy-les-Moulineaux, just outside Paris, houses some 600 employees responsible for the company’s activities in France, as well as some pan-European operations.
“When I worked for a time in America I heard it called ‘eating our own dog food. Here, we prefer to say ‘sipping our own champagne.”
Like all of Cisco locations throughout the world, the Issy-les-Moulineaux office emphasises what the company calls “Cisco-on-Cisco”: a dedication to using its own technology to demonstrate commitment, better understanding of Cisco product benefits and to share its own experiences with customers to spark ideas for their own applications. “When I worked for a time in America I heard it called ‘eating our own dog food’,” says Frédéric Groussolles, a global account manager based at Issy-les-Moulineaux. “Here, we prefer to say ‘sipping our own champagne’.”
As one part of its Cisco-on-Cisco efforts, the office rolled out a Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS) system focused on corporate signage to boost their on-site customer-facing communications, and to harness new media for employee communications and entertainment. The system displays a variety of information — Cisco corporate videos, product presentations, weather and traffic reports, live TV and internal camera feeds — through a number of flat screen displays in various rooms on each of the seven floors of the facility.
To help with the employee-facing part of the deployment, Cisco turned to its partner Exterity to supply live TV and camera feeds as part of the system head end. “Exterity is a valued part of the Cisco ecosystem,” says Mr. Groussolles. “We have a long experience with their products, and know their reliability and the ease with which they integrate into Cisco deployments.”
As part of the office’s DMS system, Cisco installed two AvediaStream TVgateways and two AvediaStream Encoders. The TVgateways supply live TV from both satellite and terrestrial sources, including entertainment (such as sporting events) and news.
One of the encoders is used to stream the output of a video camera focused on the queue in the facility restaurant on the first floor. “This was almost an afterthought,” says Mr. Groussolles, “but it has proved to be one of the most popular parts of the deployment. Employees like it because they can check the status of the queue between noon and 2pm to avoid long waits. Management also appreciates the greater productivity that results from people not wasting time standing in line.” He adds that customers who visit the facility find this application an innovative and interesting use of technology.
The other encoder serves to supply live coverage for all-hands meetings that are too large to fit into the facility meeting room. “We have two meeting rooms that can be combined into one to hold about 100 people,” says Mr. Groussolles. “Last year, the General Manager wanted to address the entire office, so we set up a video projector in the cafeteria and streamed his address to employees there as well using a camera and the Exterity encoder.”
He notes that the facility manager was especially impressed by the ease of set up this provided. “He commented that it eliminated most of the cabling and set up he would have had to do before the DMS system was available.”
“The Exterity products have worked just as we expected they would from other projects we’ve done together. Integration was quick and easy, and the devices have been very reliable. In the past year and a half there’s only been one service interruption, and that was caused by someone accidentally pulling out a cable!”