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Knocking Down Barriers to Pervasive Video Collaboration: Comprehensive Interoperability

I am a strong believer in the power of video; video can transform the relationships we have with our colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers. Our goal is to make video as universally available and easy to use as voice and data are today.  Recent developments  make it possible to scale video more cost-effectively across organizations, but as an industry there are still more hurdles to knock down in order to make rich, effective and efficient video collaboration part of everyone’s daily routine.

Customers have a breadth of needs when it comes to when and how they collaborate, and it’s no surprise to me that customers are taking a step back to evaluate the needs of their organization both now and in the future.  While doing so, they are also trying to understand the alphabet soup of standards and what it means in terms of technologies working together.  Which standard is better? What are the benefits of each? Will a technology that uses one standard be able to communicate with a technology that uses another standard?  Will a technology made by one vendor be able to communicate with a technology made by another vendor?

I personally believe it is the vendors’ responsibility to take the complexity out of the equation and do whatever it takes to make things work together.  For me, that means industry-wide commitment to open standards.  Open standards ensure true interoperability across vendor and technology boundaries bringing us closer to our goal of making video universally available and easy to use.  Cisco has led the way in developing open standards, driving the industry towards interoperable collaboration solutions. And we continue to do so.

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New Unified Communications Features Add Power and, Flexibility to Cisco Personal Telepresence Systems

This week at InfoComm, we unveiled enhancements to the Cisco TelePresence EX Series as a result of a stronger alignment with the Cisco Unified Communications(UC) portfolio. We added a number of UC features, enhanced security, and enabled intelligent network functionality to create an even more flexible, powerful and reliable desktop telepresence solution for knowledge workers and executives. These enhancements are made possible through the TE 6.0 software update, which affect the EX60 and EX90endpoints,and will be available in late Q3CY12 to customers with existing service agreements. 

With the expanded capabilities of TE 6.0, we believe the EX Series secures its place as the market-leading personal telepresence products and will enable users to experience superior video and voice collaboration with colleagues, partners and customers. The new software integrates the EX Series more closely with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) to enable high-value telephony and UC features, including the following: 

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Cisco Extends High Quality Telepresence to Mobile Users

Mobile users collaborating, working, and leveraging video communications is quickly becoming the norm for organizations worldwide.

Cisco delivers a seamless video collaboration experience with Cisco TelePresence Server, Cisco TelePresence Conductor and Cisco Video Communication Server (VCS).  New advancements to these offerings support users at their offices, as well as on the road, with features that complement Cisco’s entire collaboration infrastructure solution.

New capabilities on the Cisco TelePresence Server include optimized video screen layouts for high-quality telepresence viewing on single-screen devices such as tablets, and increased scalability to further enable reach anywhere, at any time.

Cisco has also made enhancements to the VCS Expressway by enabling “encrypt on behalf of” to now provide encryption of data regardless of the endpoint’s own encryption capabilities, eliminating the need for additional VPN security.

For more information on Cisco TelePresence solutions, visit us at InfoComm this week or www.cisco.com/go/telepresence.

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Cisco Extends TelePresence to Rugged and Remote Locations

Not so long ago, OJ Winge unveiled Cisco’s mission to ensure the “Power of In-Person” experience to everyone and high-quality, lifelike video would be delivered to all users and environments in any organization.

Cisco continues to enable and extend telepresense throughout organizations worldwide for any environment. Our latest technologies – the new VX Tactical endpoint, ISDN Link and ISDN Gateway – allow telepresence more deployment flexibility in new locations regardless of environment or connection options.

Cisco TelePresence VX TacticalThe new Cisco TelePresence VX Tactical is a ruggedized mobile endpoint built for “in-person” conversations with other members of their team no matter where they are in the world. Portable and ruggedized, the VX Tactical offers the benefits of mobility through a hard case-style form factor that is ideal for use in military, emergency response, oil and gas, and construction environments where field work is often required. The VX Tactical features a high-impact plastic shell with an aluminum interior frame to provide structural strength, and is designed to be water-, sand-, chemical- and corrosive-resistant. It can be used virtually anywhere – in a Humvee, tank, fire truck, even on an oil rig – so that, anywhere you can get an Internet connection whether it be IP, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or satellite, you have TelePresence with you.

Speaking of flexible connections, there are many areas of the world where ISDN is the only option, or where connection to external networks such as V.35 is required. For example, small branch offices of banks located in smaller cities across the globe may only have ISDN connectivity, which previously limited customers’ choices in the telepresence endpoints they could select.  This has kept many of our customers on the MXP platform – but with the new Cisco TelePresence ISDN Link, a  compact appliance that provides ISDN and external network connectivity, our customers can upgrade to our latest products: Cisco TelePresence EX, MX, SX and C Series endpoints. The ISDN Link is a great companion product to the VX Tactical, which is often deployed in remote locations where ISDN is the only connection option.

While the ISDN Link is used for ISDN connectivity with one or two endpoints,  the new ISDN Gateway would act as a network resource for ISDN connectivity for multiple endpoints. ISDN Gateway completes the connectivity for customers with a dispersed network. The ISDN Gateway products support all Cisco TelePresence endpoints to enable a collaborative and secure ISDN network for a HD telepresence solution no matter where the customer is located in the world.

So no matter whom you want to talk to, where they reside, whether they use IP or ISDN, you will be able to connect in seconds and experience HD video.  The solutions continue to support new use cases as we continue to build out our telepresence technology that brings people together anywhere, anytime.

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Cisco Announcements at InfoComm: Transforming Video Communications

Guest post by Didier Moretti, VP/GM of Cisco’s Media Experience and Analytics Business.

We are approaching a new frontier for video.  Video communications technologies like Cisco TelePresence eliminate distance, making it easier for individual and teams to meet and collaborate regardless of physical location.

But how do we extend our reach, to hundreds or even thousands of people, across many different time zones and countries, in offices or on the go and on a variety of mobile devices?

My team within Cisco has been working on addressing these needs and developing a complete solution to capture, transform, and share video content, whether live or on demand.  This week at InfoComm in Orlando, Florida, Cisco announced the newest release of the Media Experience Engine (MXE) 5600, fulfilling the next part of our capture-transform-share vision.  The MXE 5600 delivers a breadth of services aimed at addressing specific customer needs, by bringing together telepresence, video conferencing, and unified communications endpoints into WebEx, and by enabling recording and sharing of live and studio mode meetings when combined with the Cisco TelePresence Content Server.

Our solution transforms any TelePresence or video conferencing endpoint into a content creation device – and enables users to time shift and engage when they are ready, from any device, anywhere. This combination enables people to engage and leverage talent at scale, and work together in new ways that were difficult to imagine before.

Here’s how it works:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bXxkdxT0as

This is just the tip of the iceberg:

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