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Cisco TelePresence Is Dead. Long Live Cisco TelePresence!

A high five to Zeus Kerravala for hitting the nail on the head in his response to a recent Forbes article predicting the demise of telepresence as we know it. Here’s the key quote:

“The real question to be asked here is whether there is enough innovation left in telepresence to allow Polycom and Cisco to stay ahead of the commodity curve, and I think the answer to that is yes.”

Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a dancing elephant.  Why, just a mere five or so years ago, telepresence was just a twinkle in John Chamber’s eye.  Allow me to meander down memory lane. . .

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The Other Side of the Equation in Higher Education

There has rightfully been much emphasis placed on student achievement to justify technology investments in higher education. California Baptist University is focusing in on students as a primary driver for their collaboration architecture, but something else interesting popped out for me in this recent case study – how it is affecting instructors.

Clearly there is a business case for extending the reach of a university that has limited “brick-and-mortar space to grow in.  According to Dr. David Poole, Vice President, Online and Professional Studies, “I can now offer face-to-face instruction in real time to Chinese students at the bachelors and masters level. My ROI is tremendous because I am not sending faculty over there to spend months and months over there.” I believe that while some US-based instructors may enjoy an occasional trip to China, an extended stay could be an obstacle from a personal perspective.

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Telehealth Gains Support from Down Under

Earlier this year the Australian federal government announced it would provide up to $20.6 million, to fund telehealth programs from Australian health organizations, over the next two years in what will be referred to as the National Broadband Network (NBN) Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program.

The overall goal of the program is to enable better access to high quality healthcare services, including easier access to doctors and specialists, reduced travel expenses and less crowding. It will initially focus on aged care, palliative care and cancer care, providing patients health services from the comfort of their own homes.

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Telepresence Goes Hollywood

Throughout its history, Hollywood has been known for using and featuring some of the most advanced technology in its films. On May 18, Universal Studios’ latest film, Battleship, will be next on the list to showcase how far technology has come – featuring Cisco TelePresence front and center to connect scientists, NASA and the U.S. Air Force when it really matters. Take a look for yourself:
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Experience Matters in Collaboration (So Does Architecture)

When you engage each and every employee, you can transform them from “knowledge workers” into empowered employees. And that is a powerful value for business.

Most enterprise executives are facing a workplace that is no longer a physical place, but a blend of virtual and physical environments; where employees are bringing their preferences to work and BYOD is the new norm; where collaboration has to happen beyond walled garden; and any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a “nice to have.”

As business leaders we are faced with making this work, and we find ourselves asking: How do we engage customers to provide them with greater value? How can we engage our employees so that they can get better, faster? Read More »

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