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Cisco expects 50% growth in telepresence

September 8, 2009 | Chris Payatagool

Cisco_3200_in_Meeting.jpgCisco is finding huge traction in Indian companies adopting its telepresence solutions. At present, the country stands third globally for the networking giant in terms of units sold after the US and Australia.

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to communicate from afar, with an almost real-life presence, and enables companies to save on costs. These solutions incorporate high-quality spatial audio and life-like video at low latency in a specially tuned environment.

Rajesh K K, business development manager of TelePresence Systems, Cisco India, said that Cisco had sold about 80 telepresence units or rooms in India so far. The company says it expects to see a growth rate of 50 per cent. It has been selling these solutions for about 18 months. "There is a lot of potential in this market for these products especially with travel becoming restricted due to the downturn,'' he said, adding that the IT/ITeS segment was the biggest driver for sales.

The company has sold 2,500 units or rooms, mainly in the US. This is a 67 per cent market share. Competitors in this space include HP and Polycom.

One of the products which Cisco is betting on is the public telepresence rooms. As part of setting up an ecosystem fortelepresence on the lines of internet cafes, the networking major is tying up with various firms to set up similar rooms.

Cisco has installed these public telepresence rooms in Starwood hotels (10 units) through Tata Communications, and in Marriot hotels (15 rooms) through AT&T, including in India. The Tata division has also put up similar units in its Taj Hotels and CII headquarters. "By the end of 2009, we should have between 60-70 public rooms for telepresence globally,'' Rajesh said.

The company is launching new products soon including an hi-definition interoperability product in November and an inter-company telepresence solution.



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