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Brian Riggs
Brian is a member of Ovum's Enterprise team, tracking emerging trends, technologies, and market dynamics in the unified communications and...
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Brian Riggs | April 01, 2008 |

 
   

Telepresence: Coming to a Hotel Near You

Telepresence: Coming to a Hotel Near You Something that was overshadowed in all the hullabaloo over Cisco's TelePresence marketeering at VoiceCon is that Marriott is deploying HP Halo in a bunch of its hotels around the world. It's a fantastic move, really. Many companies will simply not have filled a large enough piggy bank to buy the incredible experience of this incredibly expensive immersive video solution. Instead they'll be able to rent a telepresence room at a nearby business-class hotel and meet with colleagues at similar facilities in other cities or overseas.

Something that was overshadowed in all the hullabaloo over Cisco's TelePresence marketeering at VoiceCon is that Marriott is deploying HP Halo in a bunch of its hotels around the world. It's a fantastic move, really. Many companies will simply not have filled a large enough piggy bank to buy the incredible experience of this incredibly expensive immersive video solution. Instead they'll be able to rent a telepresence room at a nearby business-class hotel and meet with colleagues at similar facilities in other cities or overseas.

Something that was overshadowed in all the hullabaloo over Cisco's TelePresence marketeering at VoiceCon is that Marriott is deploying HP Halo in a bunch of its hotels around the world. It's a fantastic move, really. Many companies will simply not have filled a large enough piggy bank to buy the incredible experience of this incredibly expensive immersive video solution. Instead they'll be able to rent a telepresence room at a nearby business-class hotel and meet with colleagues at similar facilities in other cities or overseas.Some other, rather random, telepresence musings:

  • I recently heard Roberta McIntosh, executive vice president of global voice services at Verizon Business, refer to telepresence as "immersive video." I like this enough to have copped it for my blurb above. Ever since Cisco commandeered the t-word and it applied it to a specific product offering rather than to a general type of video solution, there has been general confusion whether we're talking about TelePresence, the Cisco offering, or telepresence the solution that HP, Polycom, Lifesize and others can provide.

  • While the use of telepresence may reduce your company's travel expenses, it will increase your corporate spend on network infrastructure and WAN bandwidth. In the Fireside Chat session at Cisco's C-Scape conference one of the executives - CIO Rebecca Jacoby, I think - said that Cisco's use of TelePresence internally resulted in a 400% increase in bandwidth on the corporate network. No wonder telepresence causes John Chambers' eyes to glow!

  • Glen Noga, Polycom's CIO, told the audience at a Juniper Networks conference that with his company's internal use of its telepresence technology, "the size of the packet has not changed, but the number of packets crossing the network has increased dramatically." This led to a rearchitected corporate network in late 2007, presumably based on Juniper switches. Again, the lesson here is that if you're thinking about an investment in telepresence remember that you're probably not just going to be buying video equipment but you're probably in the market for a network upgrade as well.

  • As of December 2007, Cisco had deployed 162 TelePresence rooms. Employees had participated in 42,000 TelePresence sessions and a total of 62,000 meeting hours. 9,000 of these sessions were in lieu of business meetings where employees would have had to fly to another location. Craig Hinkley, VP of Cisco's Architecture and Technology organization, said this amounts to a 5% reduction in travel, a $240 million savings.

  • There is nothing inherently green about telepresence, or any other technology for that matter. Technologies are not green. Green is more of an attitude that in business settings translates into specific policies aimed at the company being more friendly to the environment. Certain technologies can be leveraged to make these policies a reality. But they are not wands that can be waved around, magically making air fresh and crisp and pine scented. For companies using video conferencing, the technology needs to be viewed as just one component of an overarching green initiative, something that even Tandberg readily admits.



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