Cisco announced a major restructuring of its business operations Tuesday that resulted in not only the discontinuation of its popular Flip line of handheld cameras, but also its Eos website management platform used most notably by Warner Music Group.
Officially, the press release announcing the move only points to Cisco's decision to "assess core video technology integration of Cisco's Eos media solutions business or other market opportunities for this business." A Cisco spokeswoman further clarified the situation to Billboard by saying, "We are still evaluating the specific course of action for Eos."
But sources close to the situation confirm that the company is indeed planning to shut down the Eos platform. Cisco senior VP and general manager of the company's Media Solutions Group Dan Scheinman has already resigned. And in a Twitter message announcing the move, he wrote, "Eos succeeded technically, but economically we were still 2 years off."
WMG is deeply involved in the Eos platform. The label was not only the first Eos customer when it was unveiled during the CES conference in January 2007, but it also helped develop the product features and capabilities prior to launch, and today has some 80 artists with websites on the platform.
So what does Cisco's move mean? Well, not much really. Conversations with sources point to a transition period of more than a year for migrating those artists off of Eos and onto other platforms. What's more, because WMG played such a strong role in the development of the Eos system, much of the intellectual property may even pass over to WMG for continued use.
Fans are unlikely to notice much difference. Just as migrating artists onto the Eos platform didn't cause much of a stir, migrating them to another platform probably won't be noticed much, either. And some WMG artist sites are backed up on an internal Drupal-powered platform, where the label tested out many of the features that eventually found their way onto Eos.
The core selling point of the Eos platform was to let anyone using it to add social features to their sites, including fan profiles, member interaction and user-generated content. It also included a data analytic platform, content management tools and site administration tools. These are rather common features that can be found in multiple other technology partners today.