Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Should Your Company Be Girding up for Telepresence Services?

The popularity of HD video services could have a ripple on your small or medium business. Carriers, such as Verizon and France Telecom, and Cisco, the industrys leading networking company, are preparing new telepresence services that eventually could make it possible for companies to conduct lifelike virtual meetings.Telepresence combines HDTV devices and broadband connection to deliver high quality video communication. The experience is considered superior to traditional video conferencing systems, which often encountered problems, such as garbled speaking and fluctuating pictures.

Cisco considers video network transmissions a key part of its future. At the end of 2009, the company paid $3 billion to acquire videoconferencing leader Tandberg in an effort to fill out the mid-range and low-end of its videoconferencing and telepresence offerings. Cisco announced that is will start a telepresence trial in the US with Verizon and a second later in the year with France Telecom.

Telepresence services could help companies reduce their travel budgets and improve their internal and external communication. While small and medium businesses could benefit from more telepresence options, these services do have some limitations. In many cases, the underlying hardware does not support common interfaces, so it is difficult (sometimes impossible) to connect a variety of vendors telepresence equipment. Also to date, telepresence has been a technology limited to large companies because these systems have been expensive. The cloud based approach that Verizon is taking may lower pricing and make the services more readily available to small and medium businesses. So, it is becoming a technology that they should start to monitor.