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Cisco Announcements: Updated and New Telepresence and Collaboration Solutions

March 12, 2014 | David S. Maldow, Esq.


With Enterprise Connect just around the corner, Cisco has announced a number of new, and updated, visual collaboration products and solutions. Let's take a quick look at these technologies.

Let's start with our personal favorite, the "Intelligent Proximity" functionality. Everyone has personal devices, and they want to use them in the workplace. This technology allows users to pair their devices to the meeting, and use them to better view and manage shared meeting materials.

The next offering sure to get some interest at EC is the SpeakerTrack 60, with list pricing starting at $17,900. This two camera solution is Cisco's answer to the problem of capturing the speaker in a room full of people during a video conference. Very similar to Polycom's answer to the question, they are using two cameras, one of which pans around preparing to switch to the next active speaker. The basic idea is that remote viewers are distracted by cameras panning and zooming around. With this solution they will be less distracted as they will just see the view switching between cameras after they are done panning and zooming. The analyst community is mixed on this concept, but what really matters is whether the users will like it.


The MX800 (above) with list starting at $49,900 features a 70 inch screen for what Cisco calls a "people-focused" experience, while the MX700 (below, same price) features two 55 inch screens for the typical people plus content meeting experience.


These two MX offerings are clearly the high end of the Cisco room system line, with 1080p60 video and support for the SpeakerTrack technology described above.


The MX200, shown above, is designed for smaller rooms, with a list price starting at $17,900.


The SX10 is designed to turn an existing flat panel display into a VC system. With list starting at $3,999, Cisco says after discounts and promos they expect the final cost of the SX10 will be about the same as a typical PC.

The Precision 60 Camera (list starting at $8,900) and new SX80 Codec (list starting at $17,900) round out the endpoint hardware. We expect to learn more about these devices (and everything listed in this article) at the upcoming Enterprise Connect trade show.

And finally, those looking to set up their own collaboration environments can start by looking at the Business Edition 6000 and 7000 (lists starting at $9,900 and $23,468 respectively), or by checking out Cisco's cloud hosted collaboration solution.

While upgrades and improvements are always appreciated, there are no bombshells here. However, we do think Intelligent Proximity could be the start of a very cool new trend as organizations look to support users and their devices of preference.

About the Author
David_Maldow, Esq.David Maldow, Esq. is a visual collaboration technologist and analyst with the Human Productivity Lab and the Managing Partner at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration / rich media solutions. David is focused on providing third-party independent analysis and opinion of these technologies and helping end users better secure their visual collaboration environments. You can follow David on Twitter.

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