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Cisco Upgrades TelePresence and Unified Communications

March 28, 2012 | Howard Lichtman
The new Cisco TX9000 TelePresence System

Cisco has announced their newest TelePresence environments, the six-seat TX9000 and the 18 seat TX9200 which adds a second row of participants.  Both systems replace the flagship Cisco CTS 3000 which holds, according to Cisco, a 60% market share in group telepresence systems and 70% penetration into the Fortune 500.  Just as interesting Cisco announced significant improvements to its Jabber Unified Communications client for desktops, laptops, and mobile devices including support for iPads and Windows.

The new TX9000 and 9200 will offer the ability to use the main screens to display collaborative content and the ability to annotate over that content using the TelePresence Touch interface

Cisco_CTS_Camera_Darth_Vader.jpgCisco announced a multitude of improvements to their flagship multi-screen group telepresence environment most notably reducing the "Darth Vader shaped" camera array that hung visibly down in front of the center screen.  The new TX models have replaced this visual nuisance with a lower profile camera, which while still visible is much more natural than its predecessor.

Other Improvements:

  • New lighting shroud that bounces ambient light off the shroud into the room versus the old halo effect
  • Three channel spatial audio to more faithfully replicate the direction from which speech emanates
  • The ability to move collaborative graphics from the dedicated collaboration display to the main display screens
  • The ability to annotate on collaborative graphics using the TelePresence Touch interface (Demonstrated but will ship "by the end of the calendar year")
  • "Whisper Mode" - The ability to mute a couple of participants vs. muting the entire meeting to enable private "sidebar" conversations.
  • 1080p30 resolution for content shared in the room

On the back-end the company announced an even tighter integration with WebEx including the ability to schedule WebEx participants at the time that meetings are scheduled in Microsoft Outlook.  Select WebEx participants during meeting creation and a WebEx link will automatically be included in the  calendar entry generated for the meeting.  WebEx participants receive both a high quality video feed from the meeting and all the content.

Cisco_TX9200.jpgThe Cisco TX9200 adds a second row of 12 additional seats for a combined seating for 18

The company also announced that the new TX series will be easier to install and maintain.  The new systems use reportedly 20% less bandwidth or around 10MBps for a three screen, three video stream + content stream environment. There is a new wire run between the screen and the table which eliminates the need to trench the floor, all electrical components are now front-accessible, and the company has reduced the time to install a system to two and a half days. 

Cisco Jabber Upgraded

The company's Jabber unified communications' client has been upgraded to support Windows and iPad/iPhone in addition to the Android, IOS, Mac, Blackberry, and Cisco Cius

Cisco also announced that their Jabber unified communications client will now support iPad and Windows in addition to its previous compatibility with Android, IOS, Mac, Blackberry, and Cisco Cius.  The Jabber client brings together IM, presence, video, and data collaboration and allows participants to easily escalate conversations from IM to data collaboration to video and integrates easily with Microsoft Outlook/Office and Sharepoint to enable instantaneous collaboration with colleagues.

Cisco_jabber_Outlook.jpgJabber users can see the availability of participants in email messages and documents through a color coded dot next to the colleagues name.  Clicking on the colleagues name brings up options for contacting instantly via IM/Voice/Video and instantaneously sharing content from their screen. 

Cisco March 2012 Telepresence and Collaboration Launch

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