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Conferencing/telepresence

Cisco: Get a Room!

2:55 PM -- I'd kind of guessed that this would happen: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is going to provide TelePresence rooms for rent.

It sounds like that means actually visiting Cisco's HQ in Santa Clara, Calif., based on this article from Reuters. In India, though, they're making it more of an outside business, setting up in hotels through a partnership that includes Tata Communications Ltd.

This doesn't get around TelePresence's inherent weakness -- the fact that the other guy needs to use the same system. But it's a start, especially in an economy where fewer companies are willing to buy a system for $300,000 (or, again from the Reuters story, $34,000, which I'm guessing is for a one-person setup).

Then again, at a minimum $300 an hour, the service is like the phone they provide on the plane: an expense you'd better have a good explanation for.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

brtechy 12/5/2012 | 3:29:28 PM
re: Cisco: Get a Room! Addressing one of the shortcomings may be a matter of time. It is said that interworking the TelePresence systems with ordinary video-conference is a matter of time, and trials are under-way (obviously you do not get the benefit of the TP life-like audio/video, but it is a start).

Still on the compatibility discussion, with the "intercompany" TelePresence connections announced by AT&T and BT, Cisco is likely trying to create a network effect of sorts (you buy yours, I'll buy mine) and redefining a super high quality standard for remote meetings (and actually the difference to old stuff is gigantic).

As on the price of the in-flight call, well, you would not need to spend the $5k required to travel to begin with, and that is the justification Cisco is betting on for the future of TelePresence - actually I believe today people would pay the $5k NOT to fly... and if flying is high enough, than the $30k or $300k (x2) can actually save you $3M (several travel heavy multinationals are jumping on it).
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