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Cisco takes its lumps, keeps developing video meeting tools

Stephen Lawson | May 28, 2012
Cisco Systems owned up to some miscalculations in its video collaboration strategy but showed off some promising future capabilities in a briefing with media this week.

Cisco is still working on it, said De Beer, now senior vice president of Cisco's Video and Collaboration Group.

"It's coming along. It's not quite real-time yet," De Beer said. "It's a little bit too expensive still to do that and the technology's not ... perfected enough." But De Beer once again expects the feature to be commercially available within a year or two. Cisco does offer translation of a recorded meeting within a few minutes, he said.

The Cisco TelePresence systems already installed in enterprises are being used about six hours per day on average, De Beer said. But new mobile video options may be hurting another business Cisco once promoted as a big potential market, of videoconferencing suites for rent in hotels and airports, he said.

"It is being used. It has not gone pervasive, it has not gone big," De Beer said. "We've sold probably hundreds of units in that space." The Marriott hotel chain has set up suites in multiple of its locations, he said. But the rentals, which in some cases were priced at hundreds of dollars per hour, may not be necessary down the road.

"Now that video becomes pervasive on your iPad, on your smartphone and your PC, maybe that use case will actually diminish," De Beer said.

 

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