Once upon a time, not so long ago, high-end videoconferencing was a luxury item available mostly to the C-suite. It required special equipment. It was expensive. It wasn’t all that intuitive to use. That was then.
Today, video is part of day-to-day communications – not just for high-powered business interactions, but also for personal connections. In a world of distributed workforces where colleagues are separated by miles and organizations hire where the talent is located, video has become the standard form of collaboration and communication as a way to keep the pace of innovation and efficiency needed to stay competitive. Unlike before, the equipment now ranges from specialized rooms with high-end, high-def equipment to tablets and smartphones that provide the needed level of quality and fidelity required to be useful to the users. How are we getting from pricey and exclusive to completely pervasive? Technology catches up to what we want it to do. It’s the Moore’s Law theory applied to all technology that is valuable in business – performance increases while the economics and footprint decreases.
When Cisco dove into the waters of video collaboration, the demand was from the boardrooms of the business world. Business was becoming more global, yet organizations were trying to reduce travel costs –a communications conundrum. How could we improve the videoconferencing experience? Make it easier to do? Get the quality to the level where people would swap their carry-on luggage for a video meeting? The answer? Immersive telepresence: Room-based systems with high-definition audio, life-size screens, spatial high-fidelity audio, powerful network performance and reliability. Seven years ago, that was amazing stuff, and still is, but it’s not the only option for video conferencing. And it’s not the only option from Cisco –it’s just one end of the spectrum.
Technologies evolve in different directions. Sometimes entrepreneurs take something simple and build upon it to make it more advanced; inventing, incorporating, and iterating features until they create a market. Sometimes a company takes a complex technology and figures out how to streamline and scale it, make it more cost effective, and make it accessible to larger audiences.
We started with the high end of videoconferencing to effect change and create a ripple effect. At the same time, we know there are only so many boardrooms in the world and we wanted to deliver the same type of high quality experience to more users in more ways. It was never an either/or, all-or-nothing concept, which is why we took an intelligent approach. And as video became more desired in different levels of the organization, we created a complete portfolio of tools to fit the need – and the various pocketbooks in the market.
No one but Cisco has solutions from the boardroom to the browser. And we continue to build more options – marrying Cisco WebEx and TelePresence and introducing Jabber Guest.
But that doesn’t mean you trade in the Lexus SUV for the Toyota Yaris just because it’s smaller and cheaper. The Lexus and the Yaris share a lot of the same technology, but they’re designed for different needs and different people.
When talking about how Cisco’s video portfolio is delivering over 2.3 billion video driven meeting minutes per month, Peder said it well in his recent blog:
“We do this by taking an intelligent approach, by delivering across multiple experiences and multiple price points, integrated and completely interoperable with each other—from room-based systems to the desktop to the mobile phone. So everyone can be most effective at what they’re doing.”
One size fits all with hats –not video solutions. Cisco video comes in all shapes and sizes to fit the user’s needs