A humongous company entering an existing market tends to validate it, and that’s what Cisco will do for high definition video conferencing with the company’s announcement of its new TelePresence product. Sure, companies such as PolyVision, Polycom, TANDBERG, ClearOne, VTEL and Sony slogged through this market for years before technology caught up with what they were trying to accomplish (IP and HD, especially, paving the way for companies such as Cisco to ride the tide of wide acceptance).
Cisco did a huge launch of the TelePresence Meeting Solution, with videos, all kinds of literature, and a dedicated website with a lot of educational materials. The company says they designed TelePresence from the ground up and that they have 25 patents pending.
TelePresence offers 1080p video, wideband spatial audio, and “imperceptible low latency” in two versions, depending on the meeting size. The Cisco TelePresence 1000 is designed for small group meetings and one-on-one conversations, and targets executive offices, hotel lobbies, bank branches and medical offices. The Cisco TelePresence 3000 is designed for meetings of 12 people or more around a virtual table.
Setting up meetings is done via integration with enterprise groupware like Microsoft Outlook and Cisco Unified CallManager 5.1. Users then simply launch a Cisco TelePresence call with the touch of a button on a Cisco IP Phone, or dial any other Cisco TelePresence room directly, just like a regular phone call.
The Cisco TelePresence Advanced Technology Provider (ATP) Program currently includes 23 partners from around the world. Cisco recommends, of course, a Cisco-certified TelePresence network connection. Cisco is also developing a program through which service providers can get TelePresence network certification.
The Cisco TelePresence 1000, $79,000 USD list; and the Cisco TelePresence 3000, $299,000 USD list, are expected to be available in December 2006. No monthly operating fee is required.
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