Telepresence in Iraq

1:50 PM -- The jury is still out on whether expensive telepresence systems will have any significant positive impact on a company's balance sheet. But here's a nice example of how they're having a significant positive impact on people's lives.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Verizon Enterprise Solutions have set up four telepresence rooms for U.S. soldiers to connect with their families back home. Two rooms are located in remote military bases in Iraq while the other two are located at Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. -- one in California and the other in New York. (See Troops Get TelePresence.)

While this is a heartwarming story, it's also another milestone in the development of telepresence technology, as it is the first time Cisco has conducted telepresence meetings via satellite. To accomplish this, Skyport installed the satellite ground links at the two bases in Iraq.

So while the main purpose of telepresence from Cisco's perspective is to save rich Fortune 500 executives money, it's nice to see that it's also being used to better the lives of those who don't stand to benefit Cisco at all.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:41:09 PM
re: Telepresence in Iraq I can understand the "heartwarming" part, but you have to understand Cisco gets *plenty* of benefit out of this.

Cisco is on a massive PR kick to try to become a household name; it's a copycat to the Intel Pentium campaigns of the '90s. This kind of publicity stunt -- one that's easy for suburbia to understand and is EASY TO SHOW ON TELEVISION -- is worth more to them than 100 mentions in Light Reading.
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