Cisco and their skybox bling

GMSV is chatting up Cisco’s vision of automating the ballpark.  In the late 90’s we looked a number of technology angles at the Charlotte Hornets where I was Director of IT.

The bottom line for these stadium technologies is that they are either venue-infrastructure or skybox fodder.  Putting technologies at the seat level is doable, but the payout just isn’t there.  The systems are expensive and the maintenance is through the roof.  If you consider how well ad inventory for these systems has sold in prior trials, you’ll see why Cisco will be buying all their own ad slots.

The angle Cisco seems to be pitching is to promote their consumer facing wifi routers, etc.  Unfortunately for their marketing guns, SMS is where the action is with ballpark automation.  At this point what’s holding things back is more about SMS training for the over 30 set, and creating quick response contests that sponsors can buy into than any “super infrastructure” project.

One area where Cisco could gain traction is with IP telephone.  If they VOIP the concourse they can at least get people past the call quality issue, but home wiring will still be their big challenge since Moms are clearly uncomfortable with orphaned POTS jacks.

Sure Cisco CAN create super fancy infrastructure at the seat level, but they are better off focusing on the back end and using their deployments to showcase reliability to entertainment industry customers, than they are trying to impress Joe Sixpack with touch screens and instant replay. 

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Posted on November 15, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Cisco and their skybox bling.

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