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Why Video?

Namely, Melanie and David kind of puzzle through why there was a focus on video at VoiceCon. My short, easy, partial answer is: Because Cisco focused on video. You get the current Nobel Peace laureate/former vice president in a telepresence demo, and it's going to generate some talk about telepresence. And I assume Cisco brought Al Gore in for that specific purpose.

And I think Melanie and David hit on the reason why Cisco did this, though they take the budget-conscious perspective, and don't specifically tie it to Cisco: It's bandwidth.

Cisco may sell a lot of telepresence systems, or they may not (best I can tell, they're doing pretty well given the price). But one thing is sure: Each room they sell is going to pull some big new Cisco routers in somewhere behind the telepresence sale. Nobody's got tens of Mbps of bandwidth just lying around unused, waiting for a Telepresence system to come along and soak up.

That strategy worked excellent well for Cisco when they introduced IP-PBXs to the enterprise. Shared hubs disappeared and routers that couldn't do QOS tagging became obsolete.

Now, Cisco and Al Gore and telepresence don't explain everything about why video was hot at VoiceCon. Fact is, video has been pretty hot at the past several VoiceCons, and our best measure--i.e., which breakout sessions do people attend?--has consistently shown us that video as a topic fills a session room (though this show was lighter than in the past).

As for Melanie's thought that there won't be a lot of desktop PC video, I guess I agree, though that's more because I think the personal/low-end video of choice is pretty clearly going to be wireless, which already is the personal video of choice, actually.

Which reminds me that I was driving recently, and when that song "Hey There Delilah" came on the radio for the 892-millionth time, I finally figured out the lines, "you're a thousand miles away but tonight you look so pretty." How does he know how she looks if she's a thousand miles away? I thought. Then I realized he's seeing her on his cell phone, a fact that someone so much younger than I obviously knew was way too obvious to need explaining. Shows how dumb I am.