Cisco Launches Lifelike Videoconferencing System 2By Paula Musich | Posted 2006-10-23 Email Print
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The Cisco TelePresence virtual meeting system creates an experience that closely resembles a live, in-person meeting.
Cisco Systems on Oct. 23 will attempt to change the videoconferencing game when it takes the wraps off its Cisco TelePresence system that more closely resembles an in-person meeting.
The new Cisco TelePresence virtual meeting system was designed from the ground up to create a meeting experience that is as close as possible to a live, in-person meeting. The comprehensive system controls all aspects of the virtual meetingdown to the physical conference table, lighting, room design, and audio and video inputsto provide a high-quality experience, according to Randy Harrell, director of product marketing in Cisco's new TelePresence systems business unit in San Jose, Calif.
"With the virtual table experience, we take a conference table, cut it in half and add 2,000 miles, but you still have the same human factors. Two people per screen are life size, you see eye contact and body language. All the components delivered on that promise," he said.
In a departure from its acquire and integrate strategy of innovation, about 85 Cisco engineers spent two years developing the technology with an emphasis on innovation. "We're one of the best funded startups in the Valley," quipped Harrell.
Despite an emphasis on time-to-market, the initial TelePresence system products, due in December, are trailing Hewlett-Packard's Halo next-generation videoconferencing managed service to the market.
"HP did beat them to market, but not by much. Cisco is usually a laggard, but they're trying to change that," said Ellen Daley, an analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.
Cisco took a very different approach from the Halo system, which pulls together several components not manufactured by HP, according to Harrell.
"The biggest difference is that we're an IT end point," he said. "We allow our customers to put this end point on their networks, and the customer can pick their carrier," claimed Harrell, who added that the Halo managed service requires customers to buy a DS-3 WAN link for the service.
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