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The World Has Spoken: Telepresence is Still Dead

November 30, 2012 | Telepresence Options

NEW-Michael-Helmbrecht1-150x150.jpgBy mhelmbrecht, LifeSize,

Michael Helmbrecht, VP & GM Video Solutions

In a world where technology is getting smaller, lighter and faster (think about the Zach Morris cell phone vs. your iPhone or bulky desktop computers vs. the MacBook Air), it's a wonder to me that companies are still investing in three- and four-screen telepresence solutions to collaborate over video. The rest of the tech world has realized that smaller, faster and lighter is the way to go, but why hasn't the video conferencing industry? Trends like BYOD are plunging ahead at the speed of light, smartphones are estimated to reach the billions in just three years and software-based solutions are more popular than ever. We've said it before and we'll say it again, the days of the three-screen, bulky video conferencing solutions are over. Telepresence is dead.

Sorry, telepresence we hate to tell you, you are dead and we've got the numbers to prove it. Telepresence started the year with its worst showing in four years. Cisco's results from last quarter showed another decrease in telepresence and since Cisco controls a large portion of this specific market, we think it's safe to assume that this portends to a decline in the industry category as a whole. Honestly, is anybody surprised? Telepresence technology has always been outrageously expensive, inconvenient, impossible to scale and unnecessarily complex. When you are looking to deploy video conferencing in your organization, would you want a solution that will grow with your company or a $300,000 investment that will sit in a conference room and collect dust?

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