Leading the Way in Telepresence Innovation

May 22, 2013 - 3 Comments

Over the past decade, I’ve worked on a number of different projects aimed at improving communications using video conferencing and telepresence. In that time, I’ve been fortunate to be involved with key innovations at first Tandberg then Cisco that have had great impact on video collaboration:

  • Forging life-like experience with immersive telepresence
  • Extending the power of in-person all the way to the desktop
  • Enabling a consistent and intuitive user experience with a revolutionary touch-enabled device
  • Playing a pivotal role in driving video formats like H.264 and H.265 to standardization
  • Growing the video calling circle beyond the enterprise with technological advancements like software video clients, cloud deployment models and firewall traversal that enable cost-effective B2B and B2C calling

With the spirit of innovation ingrained in both company’s DNA, the merger of Tandberg and Cisco’s video businesses in 2010 proved to be a major win for the industry and for the customer. Since then, we’ve focused our efforts on delivering next-generation video collaboration solutions that are enabling organizations to collaborate easily and efficiently, and allowing them to foster innovation within their own businesses.

Why is all of this so important? As time marches on, we see video becoming pervasive. Roberto De La Mora recently called video a business imperative, not a nice-to-have, and shared the five steps to success for deploying a business video strategy. The key to helping our customers prepare for the pervasive video future is through a flexible, scalable and interoperable approach. And others agree…

Wainhouse Research recently stated: “For organizations that embrace pervasive video, success no longer depends on where their resources are located. Success now depends on bringing the resources to bear to make a difference for the customer and provide a competitive edge for your organization.”

Today, video is everywhere we look – virtually on every pane of glass. This is why Cisco is working hard to make it easier than ever for customers to fast-track their pervasive video strategy through a new promotion that helps stretch their investment dollars.

I’m excited to be a part of Cisco and look forward to keeping you informed on the latest news and trends as we lead the industry into the future of video collaboration. I’ll be speaking about this topic in June at InfoComm 2013; be sure to catch my session if you’re there. In the meantime, I encourage you to discuss what you think the top innovations of the past were and what trends the future holds.

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  2. Ten years struggling to make video conferencing better. That’s a lot in this breakneck age of change.

    More to the logistics, it’s been my contention that lessons in lighting and sound ought to be mandatory somehow. There an decided under-appreciation or neglect or obliviousness to the art and science of light and sound. Sitting backlit, a silohuete against a window? Relying on the camera’s mic?

    Set design would be another good discipline. The average office or boardroom do not lend themselves to quality videoconferencing.

    Raising the bar on a few of the small things could really elevate the videoconferencing experience.

    Thanks for the article. Got me thinkin!


    • Hi Bob – I couldn’t agree more with your insights. Innovation is a continuum. We’re always striving to make things better and there will be no end date. The first portable cell phone came out in the 70s and look how it continues to evolve.

      True, a little education for the user on appropriate lighting and audio makes a great difference in the video experience. Room-based telepresence systems should be installed with room lighting and acoustics recommendations from the manufacturer. But the cameras, built-in mics and integrated lighting in many telepresence systems today are so sophisticated that you can rely on these built-in capabilities to get great experience.

      Another great point you mentioned was the importance of set design. This is something that is often overlooked. To help provide the “blueprint” for ideal room designs and offer some best practice guidelines for creating the optimal telepresence experience, Cisco developed Project Workplace: http://www.cisco.com/go/projectworkplace.

      Thanks for your comment. It got me thinking too.