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Global Village Telecom Launches Motorola EDGE Manager

Motorola Mobility announced today that Global Village Telecom (GVT), a Brazilian telecommunications provider, has selected Motorola’s EDGE Manager, part of Motorola’s EDGE Service Assurance software portfolio, to provide remote management and whole home service assurance to its high-speed internet customers. 

In addition to proactive monitoring and automated preventive maintenance updates of deployed customer gateways or other equipment, help desk agents will now also be able remotely access and support customer home networks real-time while the customer is on the phone, greatly speeding up the diagnostic process, shortening the support call and in many cases avoiding the need to dispatch a technician to the customer location. This will result in more satisfied customers and also in operational support cost savings for GVT. Customers can now manage their entire home network from a single platform while also allowing greater troubleshooting capabilities for a simplified, comprehensive converged media experience.

Motorola Mobility Users Conference: Sharing the Vision

This week in San Diego, we are meeting with our customers and industry peers to discuss the latest trends, new technology innovations and share ideas on how to breakthrough today’s challenges. Front-and-center to the discussion will be around the shift to IP, but we’ll also focus on a multitude of changes facing the industry and hear from Motorola executives, customers and industry thought leaders outlining solutions for each challenge. Of course, we’ll be showing off innovations from us for example – Motorola Televation, Motorola Medios Software Suite, 4Home Solutions and MPEG-4 encoding solutions.

The conference kicks off with Motorola Mobility’s president, Dan Moloney, sharing his vision for how Motorola is approaching today’s industry challenges and offer his perspective on the future of converged media experiences. Guest speakers include a couple of our customers and Shelly Palmer, host of NBC Universal’s “Live Digital with Shelly Palmer.”

Senior leaders, John Burke, Joe Cozzolino and Larry Robinson from our Converged Experiences, Network Infrastructure and Home Devices businesses respectively will be sharing the stage with Rob McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Global Home Go-to-Market, outlining solutions to meet today’s industry demands. We’ll also hear from our Chief Technology Officer Geoff Roman on trends transforming our industry and his vision for what’s next, and Vice President & General Manager of Video Processing Solutions, Kevin Wirick, on the evolution of digital video and multi-screen experiences. Follow our blog, Twitter and check out YouTube for insight and video from the User Conference.

Delayed gratification holding the industry back

One of the many dichotomies discussed at this years’ Connected Home Summit in London ran something along the lines of ‘why must consumers undergo a negative experience before they can experience a positive one?’ 

 Indeed, all too often, consumers have to go through the pain of setting up a complex pieceof new kit before they can begin to enjoy many of the life-enhancing qualities. When they spend a sizeable chunk of their salary on a HD, super-size flat screen TV, they have a right to expect that all they need to do is plug it in and switch it on when they get it home.

Competition in this industry may be fierce, but consideration must be given to the consumer who needs to master the new product before they can begin to enjoy it. The manufacturer with the most consumer-friendly out-of-the-box user experience will gain the most.

By the same token, service providers have to ensure the set-up user experience is simple and problem free for the subscriber, a task that is becoming more complex as TV goes beyond the set top to other devices connected over a home network.  The device that can be used with their service will be linked to their brand regardless of whether they have supplied them or not. Remote device management tools and customer self-help tools such as Motorola EDGE are a great help in improving the customer experience and reduce support costs. And there are cost savings too – for instance, user-friendly set top boxes that can be self-installed by the customer, represents massive savings in deployment costs for the service provider.

Until the industry as a whole takes this issue on board, companies that pass on that complexity are delaying gratification not only for the consumer, but for themselves,too.

Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed: Week of July 11

In the next few years, nearly half of our flatscreen TVs will feature social media and web-surfing capabilities. With the development of “TV Everywhere,” users often turn to their smartphones and tablets for streaming entertainment while the cable industry works to offer personalized, interactive viewing experiences that combine it all.

 In other news, Netflix left many disgruntled when they announced a significant increase in their subscription prices. Will Hulu Plus gain ground with this sudden hike in prices? Will you ditch your Netflix subscription?

1. 500 Million Internet TVs in Homes by 2015 (July 11, 2011) – By Pete Davison, GamePro: Research suggests that by 2015, around 47% of the flat-panel TV market will feature some form of internet connectivity.

2. Cable providers expand TV’s reach by pushing interactivity (July 10, 2011) – By Wailin Wong, The Commercial Appeal: The cable television industry wants TV viewing to go beyond the ability to watch the tube anywhere; it hopes to make the experience more interactive and personalized.

 3. SocialGuide debuts daily social TV rankings (July 11, 2011) – By Steve Safran, LostRemote: SocialGuide ranks shows based on their popularity in the social media sphere by day, week or month. It’s a new way of looking at engagement with programming.

 4. Beyond Netflix: where else to get your flick fix (July 14, 2011) – By Associated Press: For those looking to expand their media-consumption horizons, there are a growing number of options for watching movies and TV shows online, on DVDs or through cable TV’s on-demand services.

 5. Hulu Plus & Netflix Faceoff (July 12, 2011) – By Christina Warren, Mashable: When it comes to subscription streaming services in the United States, what option is most popular with users?

Motorola Acquires 4Home for Home Management Services

In case you missed it yesterday, Motorola acquired 4Home, Inc., a software and services company in the home management space. From the press release:

4Home delivers connected home services through its carrier-grade software platform, ControlPoint. These services include energy management, home security and monitoring, media management and home health. ControlPoint is based on a customizable design, using open standards that allow partners to develop compelling new services for consumers that utilize the growing number of connected devices in the home.

Although home automation and energy management technologies are far more popular today than they were a few years ago, the acquisition of 4Home isn’t Motorola’s first foray into the industry. Back in 2004 and 2005, the company had a Home Monitoring and Control solution (along with other home retail products) complete with accessories ranging from cameras to temperature gauges and motion detectors. The solution even included cell phone integration with the ability to get mobile alerts and spy on camera feeds. Of course, back then we were operating in an entirely different technology environment. Broadband penetration rates and broadband speeds were much lower, and we were still a long way from the smartphone explosion that was to occur later in the decade. The original Motorola Home Monitoring and Control solution didn’t survive very long, but the concept was ahead of its time. In 2010, using broadband for home management applications makes a lot of sense.

Motorola Medios in Quarterly Earnings News

A very perceptive Todd Spangler noted this morning that amid the Motorola quarterly earnings news was an interesting line item on Verizon implementing Motorola Medios software for cross-platform video sharing. Here is what the press release stated:

[Motorola] Supported Verizon with the launch of its video service by providing the Motorola Medios software suite to ingest content and prepare it for distribution, enabling subscribers to share video among devices such as set-top boxes, personal computers and smartphones.

SecureMedia’s Home at Motorola

Motorola’s acquisition of SecureMedia earlier this year sparked some interest in the trade pubs, but there’s been little follow-up to date. Since I’ve been equally negligent in my own coverage here, this seems like a good time to peek in on what SecureMedia is up to. If you haven’t been following along at home, SecureMedia does software-based content security – a nice complement to Motorola’s conditional access legacy in the cable industry. The SecureMedia team has been working with production studios since the 1990s, and the technology covers encryption, authentication, clone detection (making sure there are no black boxes on the network), and tamper detection. Historically, SecureMedia deployments have come primarily in the telecom space, with a good number of them running outside the US.

Unsurprisingly, part of Motorola’s goal is to secure further SecureMedia contracts with large operators both here and abroad. That includes cable operators, and I’m expecting to see SecureMedia on site in the Motorola booth later this week at SCTE. Since SecureMedia is an open software technology, it can be ported to any device, which also makes it suitable as a solution for multi-screen services. Note that I said “any device.” That means we’re not just talking Motorola hardware here either. Be it a set-top, handset, PC, or any other kind of connected device, the SecureMedia solution will work across the board. That’s one of its main differentiators.

Traditional television service providers today are still very much dependent on hardware-based content security. But we’re on the cusp of a major transition. That’s why Motorola brought SecureMedia in house. And why I believe we’ll see a higher profile from the SecureMedia team in the near future.