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Disney Partners With Cisco for Its StudioLAB

Disney has struck a partnership with Cisco to collaborate on technology for the media company’s new StudioLAB unit, both companies announced at Cisco’s XR On the Bay event in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday.

Cisco’s engineers will work hand-in-hand with StudioLAB employees on security, collaboration and data delivery, said Cico SVP, CTO and chief architect David Ward in an interview with Variety. “We get to work with their imagineers. We get to work with their creatives.”

Disney officially announced the launch of its StudioLAB in March. The 3,500-square-foot facility, which is housed on the Disney studio lot in Burbank, Calif., is meant to use emerging technologies to create new entertainment experiences.

“We are very pleased to welcome Cisco as a StudioLAB Innovation Partner, as we combine the best of Silicon Valley and Hollywood to help our storytellers tell their very best stories,” Disney Studios technology innovation group VP Benjamin Havey said in a statement. “Through this partnership, we can push the boundaries of how content can be created and consumed.”

One of the areas that the two companies will work together on is increasing the use of collaboration software in the creative process. Cisco also aims to help Disney further increase its security as it works with facilities around the world. And finally, Cisco is looking to help Disney optimize some of its infrastructure to help deliver production assets from studio sets to the cloud.

Cisco noticed a few years ago that its tech could be applied to studio production processes, Ward recalled. “We realized we can really help out studios.” However, in order to really make Cisco’s tech work on set, the company had to tweak quite a few things. “It did require that we changed our portfolio,” he said. “Enterprise switching is not the same as media switching.”

The partnership announcement was made at XR On the Bay, an event on Cisco’s campus that is meant to bridge the divide between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Said Ward: “We are producing a lot of really good technology up here. Hollywood can take advantage of that.”

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