Telepresence No Longer Just for the Board Room

By Brian Boguhn
Updated: June 20, 2011

Telepresence No Longer Just for the Board Room

In an effort to make Telepresence Conferencing easier to use, have more capabilities, and fit into the budgets of more companies, Cisco announced a variety of new telepresence products and enhancements on June 14. The goal of these new products is to make the products easier to use while providing more bang for the buck, as well as making them more cost effective. Enhancements include the ability to interoperate between Cisco devices and any third party, standards-based devices.

What is Cisco’s Goal?

Looking at this announcement along with other recent announcements from Cisco, it is clear that Cisco is looking to unlock the power of video for its customers. The goal is clearly to make video easier to use, rapidly deploy it everywhere, and put people back into the center of collaboration.

What Products does this Announcement Include?

The Cisco TelePresence MX200, a “telepresence everywhere” endpoint, was a key part of the announcement. Customers can deploy the MX200 for team meetings or personal offices. It is easy to set up and can be running in as little as 15 minutes. With a list price of $21,600, the MX200 is priced so that customers can add video to as many rooms in their organization as they want.

The other key component in the announcement is the Cisco TelePresence Conductor. Aptly named, the Conductor essentially sits in the background and makes sure that meetings are assigned to the appropriate resources for the best possible experience. If a power outage occurs, it can divert meetings to another unit. Users also have the ability to book virtual conference rooms and hold impromptu meetings on the fly.

Standards-Based Interoperability

Rather than looking at itself as the only kid on the block, Cisco has smartly embraced standards-based interoperability. Point to point operability can occur between the Cisco products and any standards-based third party vendor without any additional hardware. This will make deploying the Cisco product much easier in an environment where another vendor already has a footprint.

Other Highlights

Enhancements to other Cisco products, as well as management software to make the user experience more consistent, were also announced. Cisco is clearly raising the bar with the portfolio of video products it now offers. With the ability to seamlessly work with other standards-based hardware, the company has positioned itself to more easily get in the door at companies where it might not have been able to before.

Already a recognized leader in integrated network-based collaboration solutions based on open standards, these offerings serve to enhance that standing and position Cisco well as it moves into the future.
 

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