Cisco today is expanding the reach of its TelePresence unified communications platform beyond the PC while simultaneously taking the quality of the overall experience up a few notches.
At the Enterprise Connect conference today, Cisco unveiled new Jabber client software for the Apple iPad, which makes the Cisco high-definition Telepresence platform available to Apple iPad users over low-bandwidth networks.
According to David Hsieh, Cisco vice president of marketing for emerging technologies, this new client software continues to take TelePresence beyond traditional Windows PCs to embrace a range of devices that are increasingly defining a new post-PC era of computing.
At the same time, Cisco says the quality of the TelePresence experience is going to significantly improve with the introduction of a TX9000 series of video conferencing systems for rooms; it is not only much easier to set up, but also is much more immersive, while consuming about 20 percent less network bandwidth than the previous generation of Cisco systems.
Hsieh says the TX9000 significantly reduces the total cost of deploying telepresence, while at the same time making the Cisco unified communications platform more accessible.
High-definition video has comes a long way since Cisco launched TelePresence in 2006. But some six years later, the technology as whole is not as ubiquitous as some thought it might have been by 2012, especially when you consider the gains in productivity and savings in travel costs enabled by high-definition video conferencing.
Obviously, reducing the cost of deploying a room-sized system coupled with more efficient usage of network bandwidth are two steps in the right direction. But it will be interesting to see as the economy steadily recovers whether high-definition video conferencing starts to move up the list of IT priorities, or whether organizations will opt for more application-centric approaches to videoconferencing or simply decide that less immersive free services such as Skype are going to continue to be good enough for now.