Greasing the Video Collaboration Skids
I talk to customers virtually everyday as part of my job, and even though they thoroughly believe in the operational and transformative benefits of video collaboration, they tell me there’s still more we can do to help simplify the process for implementing video pervasively. So, at Cisco’s Collaboration Summit last week, we unveiled a host of technologies designed to do just that – grease the skids for driving video collaboration everywhere using an intelligent approach that is connected, adaptive and intuitive.
Cisco’s strategy for enabling pervasive video is aligned around three key strategies and, as such, so do our product innovations:
- Making video accessible on every pane of glass;
- Making video communications as easy as voice;
- Making the video experience better than being there.
To make video more accessible, we completely redesigned one of our most popular room-based endpoints, added new customer-requested features, and reduced the price. We combined Scandinavian simplicity with Californian approachability to re-create the Cisco TelePresence MX300, now called MX300 G2. The sleek, new design blends aesthetics, functionality, and ease of use in to the new system. Support for dual display lets users add an additional monitor for content viewing, leaving the entire screen real estate for video – which is especially helpful in larger rooms. Among other improvements and a big customer ask is an option for embedded four-way conferencing that lets users add three additional parties to a call without the need for an MCU.
Today, users expect to pick up a phone – any phone – and be able to make a call the same way. In an enterprise environment, they also expect to be able to take their personal preferences with them to personalize their experience when traveling to increasingly popular shared work spaces. On today’s network-connected phones, this is called “extension mobility.” To make video as easy as voice, we’ve enabled video endpoints with the same capability. By signing into a shared Cisco TelePresence endpoint, users can turn shared devices into their personal endpoint for a period of time. That means they can receive video calls coming into their video address and have access to their address books, call history and even pre-programmed speed dials. We think that if we make it easier for users to experience video the way the prefer it, they’re more likely to use it. This means utilization will go up and total cost of ownership will go down.
Video collaboration that is transformative has a great experience, and when it’s really great, the experience on video can be even better than being physically present. Cisco’s latest product innovations have really pushed the boundaries on this front. SpeakerTrack 60, a new dual-camera solution that uses microphone triangulation and facial recognition to automatically track down the active speaker in a meeting room and provide the far end participants a much better view of the speaker — properly framed and in more natural full size. The system uses an unparalleled dual-camera approach that has one camera trained on the current active speaker while the other camera readies to seek and present the next active speaker, resulting in a smoother and more life-like experience. This direct-switching approach is unique in the market.
Finally, we announced Intelligent Proximity – a new set of capabilities that allow users to link their personal mobile devices with on-premise products for an enhanced experience. The first endpoint to support Intelligent Proximity is the DX650 Smart Desk Phone, which allows users to wirelessly synch their desk phones with their iOS and Android mobile phones. Users can easily import contacts and call histories from their mobile phones to the DX650, and can move a call already in progress from their mobile device to the DX650 and vice versa.
With these new technologies, we are continuing to make the process of video adoption and scale easier – from delightful experience, to more intuitive usability, to more affordable price points. It’s an iterative process, which over time will make video communications just second nature for organizations of all sizes.
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