Cisco: Happy to be the Lamborghini of teleconferencing

June 14, 2011: 11:28 AM ET
Cisco Systems Building 2 at the San Jose, Cali...
Image: Gary King

Buyers of Cisco Systems' (CSCO) high-end videoconferencing solution, TelePresence, tend to be deep-pocketed enterprises like SAP (SAP AG) and Bank of America (BANK). Why? It costs about $300,000 to set up the screens, cameras, infrastructure, lights and furniture necessary to TelePresence-enable just one room.

So it's no surprise that smaller players--like newcomer Vidyo--are trying to undercut Cisco. Last week the New Jersey-based startup introduced a lower-cost telepresence solution for the masses called VidyoPanorama. According to the company, VidyoPanorama will support as many as 20 screens at a time (meaning employees from 20 different locations can participate in a simultaneous video conference) for as little as 10% of the cost of current telepresence systems like Cisco's.

Not to be outdone, Cisco responded on Tuesday morning with a flurry of telepresence-related announcements, including the "Telepresence Everywhere" endpoint, a new product that will allow customers to more easily telepresence-enable multiple rooms. More

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