The Trials of Telepresence

Michael Vizard

Conceptually, the value of telepresence systems from companies such as Cisco, Polycom and others is easy to comprehend. The challenge is finding the wherewithal to actually deploy it. According to Dane Martin, a principal consultant with the IT services firm Dimension Data, there are basically seven reasons that explain why more companies are not adopting telelpresence at a faster rate. They include:


  • They already have videoconferencing systems in place.
  • The cost of telepresence systems is too high.
  • They had a bad experience with video conferencing systems.
  • Their network infrastructure can't meet the latency demands of telepresence.
  • They don't have any video specialists on staff.
  • Telepresence systems create too much pressure from business users for the IT department.
  • IT organizations are not sure how much real usage there would be.

Of course, we can add to these issues interoperability and the fact that many companies are not sure if they want to acquire telepresence products or have it delivered to them as a service. And finally, nobody is quite sure where telepresence fits in among the pantheon of unified communications solutions.

None of this means that telepresence won't become widespread. But while the technology definitely adds business value and has made significant strides in the last year, you can't help but wonder if all these issues mean that mainstream adoption of telepresence is still a year away or more.

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Mar 21, 2010 11:07 AM Jeannie McPherson Jeannie McPherson  says:

Hi Mike,

These are all very valid points. Investing in telepresence technology can be scary, but when done right, the return on investment far outweighs any risks. In my opinion, the biggest barrier to adoption is an easy way for companies to develop a customized plan based on their own situation to help ensure success. At TANDBERG we think there are 4 key areas every company should examine when looking at new, or expanding upon existing, video and telepresence investments. We've developed the TANDBERG Video Champion Consulting program to work with companies to examine these areas and help them aligning their technology to their strategies and business applications to drive increased adoption and an expedited return-on investment. Best of all, it doesn't matter what kind of equipment companies may already have or may be interested in purchasing, and there is no equipment purchase required. The goal of the program is simply to help companies realize maximum benefits from their video and telepresence investments.

It's critical that we not just sell, but also educate and help ensure the best experience for our customers so the above issues can be overcome. I don't know of any other programs like this, but I expect we will see more emerge in the industry as adoption and usage continues to rise.




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