Cisco has reinforced its conferencing and collaboration portfolio by launching several new visual collaboration tools for their Telepresence and Jabber products, centered around the conference room and your mobile device.
The announcement, taking place at the Enterprise Connect show in Florida, has Cisco playing its networking strengths and updating current product specs and launching new ones, giving it a new “people-centric” twist.
On one level, Cisco’s Jabber software will now be available on both Windows and iPad, adding two more widely used platforms to the already lengthy list of supported OSes. With Jabber you can join a conference from whichever device you are currently using, on the move or sitting pretty in your office. Jabber will also now be able to interact with Cisco’s Telepresence range of products, including the ability to initiate conferencing sessions with Telepresence.
Next, the networking company is also enhancing the Telepresence experience by including an immersive teleconferencing system dubbed the TX9000. The TX9000 provides triple 65-inch displays conferencing at 1080p/30fps quality. Although the TX9000 is available this quarter in the US, more advanced features will be part of an update package later this year. The system supports SIP, BFCP, H.264 and Cisco’s own Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP).
The TX9000, claims Cisco, uses up 20 percent less bandwidth than its predecessors seats 50% more participants and provides better coverage and field-of-depth of the attendees. It is available on pre-order in the US, for $299,000, UK and Ireland pricing/availability is forthcoming. There will also be a TX9200 version which will provide seating for 18 participants, instead of six.
Visual collaboration, as Cisco uses it, is just a fancy idea for a very mature video conferencing system where interaction between the parties has been extended beyond mere audio and video communication through a point-to-point communication system. It involves advanced collaboration capabilities that include file sharing and desktop sharing, as well as seamlessly bridging multiple devices across multiple platforms, in multiple sites.
Although this evokes thoughts of evil geniuses conspiring with their seconds-in-command over video conference, it is a slightly more benign collaboration tool than that. Companies who operate a variety of sites, whether they are all about sales or R&D, require permanent conferencing capabilities and will be looking at this with deep, pensive consideration, we believe.