Cisco Systems owned up to some miscalculations in its videocollaboration strategy but showed off some promising futurecapabilities in a briefing with media this week. The company’s video meeting business is best known for itsTelePresence Meeting Systems, especially the high-profilethree-screen meeting rooms that include Cisco-designed furnitureand cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Cisco is now lookingbeyond those swanky environments toward mobile devices that canbring video meetings to participants wherever they are. One platform intended as part of that strategy, the company’sAndroid-based Cius tablet, has been cut from future developmentplans, said Barry O’Sullivan, senior vice president and generalmanager of the Collaboration Technology Group, during the briefingat Cisco on Thursday afternoon.
Cisco discussed the move in a blog post later on Thursday. The Cius will still be available for companiesthat specifically want a device issued and tightly controlled bythe IT department, but Cisco won’t be developing more form factorsfor the platform, O’Sullivan said. Cisco now acknowledges most enterprises let employees bring their own tablets to work , citing its own survey that said 95 percent of companies have aBYOD (bring your own device) policy. “When we talk to them about the Cius tablet, they say, we love thecollaboration experience on Cius, but can you please take thatsoftware and put it on other devices?” O’Sullivan said.
“Our strategy for the future is all about software,” O’Sullivansaid. The next chapter in that push is a new client for Jabber, Cisco’svoice, video, instant-messaging and presence platform, coming thissummer. Jabber clients are already available for Apple iOS and forResearch In Motion’s BlackBerry platform, as well as Windows PCs,and will soon come out for general Android tablets, he said. The new Jabber client will allow users to take video calls on PCs,tablets and Cisco TelePresence systems and transfer the calls fromone platform to another. IPL Beauty Equipment
Cisco APIs (application programminginterfaces) allow Jabber functions to be integrated into MicrosoftOutlook so users can find contacts and start Jabber calls fromOutlook, and this integration will be expanded in the new versions. At the briefing, Cisco demonstrated Jabber sessions being movedamong different platforms. It also showed users of third-partyvideoconferencing systems, including Microsoft Lync and a PolycomHDX system, becoming full participants in a Cisco TelePresencemeeting. Cisco’s inclusion of industry standards including SIP(Session Initiation Protocol), H.323 and H.264 make this possible,the company said. The full-scale TelePresence platform is still marching forwarddespite the new emphasis on bringing in diverse clients. China Slimming Beauty Machine
Andreal-time translation of telepresence meetings is back on Cisco’sroadmap. In late 2008, Cisco video chief Marthin De Beer said that heexpected that feature to go on sale with 20 languages in the second half of 2009 . But a year later, Cisco said the system’s accuracy wasn’t highenough and the company didn’t even have a forecast for when it would go on sale. Cisco is still working on it, said De Beer, now senior vicepresident of Cisco’s Video and Collaboration Group. “It’s coming along. Diode Laser Hair Removal Machines Manufacturer
It’s not quite real-time yet,” De Beer said.”It’s a little bit too expensive still to do that and thetechnology’s not … perfected enough.” But De Beer once againexpects the feature to be commercially available within a year ortwo. Cisco does offer translation of a recorded meeting within afew minutes, he said. The Cisco TelePresence systems already installed in enterprises arebeing used about six hours per day on average, De Beer said. Butnew mobile video options may be hurting another business Cisco oncepromoted as a big potential market, of videoconferencing suites forrent 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 thatspace.” The Marriott hotel chain has set up suites in multiple ofits locations, he said. But the rentals, which in some cases werepriced at hundreds of dollars per hour , may not be necessary down the road. “Now that video becomes pervasive on your iPad, on your smartphoneand your PC, maybe that use case will actually diminish,” De Beersaid.
Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologiesfor The IDG News Service . Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia . Stephen’s e-mail address is email@example.com.