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rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 2:58:17 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? Raymond:

You are a good man - thanks for responding. Look forward to your next report.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:58:17 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco?
Depends on what you mean by build. Cisco does not "build" its routers. It outsources production. It buys off the shelf Silicon. It buys Printed Circuit Boards. Mechanicals, Power, ya da ya da ya da.

Some items are build to print, some items are commercially available.

The implication is that Cisco did not buy entire sub-systems (another highly ambiguous term) from a single manufacturer.

gbennett 12/5/2012 | 2:58:15 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? Comrades,
I have to agree with the comment about market size at this price. But isn't there an easier way?

I've never thought that the human video element of telepresence was all that important. The audio is, and diagrams and stuff but it's the human video that seems to be the expensive part of the Cisco and NT setups.

The big problem in conventional conf calls today is hearing people. Even with those "slave" microphones strung around the table it's tough most of the time. Room acoustics are terrible in most cases. Some people speak really quietly or even mumble.

Bluetooth headsets for cellphones are now dirt cheap. Why doesn't somebody make a Bluetooth mixer box that allows everyone in the conference to wear a headset, and have their sound mixed into the call? Audio mixers used to be expensive but it can be done in software these days.

Combine that with a simple online service to show Powerpoint slides, allow written questions to be queued and simple whiteboard functions and you're there, aren't you?

Maybe Skype could have done something like this - their conf call feature was OK most of the time. And most importantly, Skype would usually make it through the corporate firewall (unlike MSN or Yahoo messenger functions beyond chatting).

Solomonyang 12/5/2012 | 2:58:15 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? At least from the article and photos, I don't see any special features to make the NT PR guys so confident for such a statement.

There is a bunch of cisco telepresence video on youtube. If NT could comercialize this NOW, his claim is definitely true.

chook0 12/5/2012 | 2:58:15 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? Hmm. This has to have the tag of "rumour" I guess, but I have been told that Cisco's telepresence was largely developed by HP.

No great breakthroughs in eithe Cisco or Nortel's solutions as far as can see. Just a very nice job of system integration.

BTW I am not so sure the price tags are all that far over the top. The technology isn't cheap, and the fitout of even a good videoconferencing room can be well into the tens of thousands before you have spent a cent on technology. Since it is perfectly possible to roll your own comparable system I expect Nortel's and Cisco's sales to be zip if people can do this on a budget of less than $150k.

whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? This telepresence hype reminds me of the comment Tom Perkins makes in his new book regarding turning a $250 HeNe into a $5k survey instrument (back in the late 60's).

Their cusomers were happy because their alternative was a survey crew, theodolites and plumblines at even higher cost.

It's all in who you sell to, not what you sell, nor what it cost.

In the case of video conferencing raised to "telepresence", you can add: nor what it is really worth.

ron202 12/5/2012 | 2:58:14 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? nope chook.
was developed in house by Cisco.
there was nothing comercially outhere to match the performance needed.
audio and video are great ( I used it once)
numinary 12/5/2012 | 2:58:12 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? I had the opportunity to use Cisco's Telepresence and came away very impressed. This particular meeting was held between San Jose and Tokyo. The audio was very clear with no noticeable delay. The video was very high quality. My colleague on the other continent had notes on the table in front of him and I could see/read those notes. (By the way, I was laughing at the construction of a paragraph in the article -- it seemed that the key delta between the Nortel & Cisco systems is their choice of LCD vs. Plasma)

I have not used the Nortel product. I have not used any of the other recent startup products. Historically, I have tried other video conferencing systems, but have not been impressed. It would be nice if such a technology were reasonably costed for more general use, and it seems based upon investments by these companies that it could arrive soon (5-7 years?).

In regards to the comment about audio and not video mattering -- I think it primarily depends upon the type of meeting. Sales/Marketing & C-level exec's probably need the video to read body language & have face to face interaction. For R&D discussions, all I need is an electronic "whiteboard" (easy to use!) and good audio.

whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 2:58:10 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? So the sales pitch goes like this:

We'd like to tell you about our products, but first you have to install a $300k telepresence suite, or we just flat don't know aht to do.


If the CEO or chairman flys corporate jets, they will hate it; it's a reason to not own an airplane. Good luck trying to sell into that. On the other hand, if they can't get afford a private jet, but want something expensive and techie to show off their golf-buddies, this might be it.

But personally, for the price, I'd prefer to have a really nice car.

I hereby dub it: Ferarri-o-presence.


^Eagle^ 12/5/2012 | 2:58:06 PM
re: Nortel Trumps Cisco? ron202,

two comments: 1) about your post that Cisco developed in house.

have you actually taken apart the Cisco box(s) to see that they designed and built it themselves? Or did you just take their word for it? Unless you are an insider, or have taken one apart, you cannot know. I would bet my salary that most of the stuff inside the Cisco shells (boxes with Cisco logo's) is off the shelf that cisco simply bundled.

The other part they did was make it possible for the "telepresence" solution to ask for and get adequate bandwidth for the connection through the signaling to the core router network.

2) regards this bring a breakthrough and there being nothing commercially available: please note: there is NOTHING revolutionary or breakthrough in this product. What is breakthrough is the reasonable availability of higher speed end to end connections. The processors, video engines, protocols, compression have all been available to do this for some time. The ONLY limitation has been speed of end to end connections and their cost and availability.

But the basic video "telepresence" has been possible for a long time.

no breakthrough here except a new name: "telepresence" and a faster network connection.

This is why Nortel was able to so quickly make a system that matched (or exceeded depending on your point of view) Cisco's platform in performance and price. No breakthroughs here.. only great marketing.


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