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Cisco's Rowan Trollope says videoconferencing is a pain

October 7, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Scott M. Fulton, III / Fierce Enterprise Communications

The man responsible for bridging all of Cisco's conferencing tools takes the side of users who have to perform the same tasks in their offices every day--and whose headaches have become too much to ignore.

In a devastating indictment of the entire videoconferencing industry, without making an exception of his own company's products, Cisco senior vice president for collaboration Rowan Trollope acknowledged the substandard state of the user experience for vcon technologies. Trollope's comments came by way of announcing a complete overhaul to his company's WebEx online conferencing platform replacing it with a concept that will give customers their own persistent URLs for entering and exiting cloud-based meeting rooms.

"We have to ask, where are they going to conference? Are they going to be joining from somewhere they have access? Are they going to have mobile? Are they remote? What kinds of devices are they going to use? What do you have? Do you have a videoconferencing system, or are you maybe in an office using WebEx? Are you going to be at home, on the Web? Do you need to share screens are not? Do you need content to be shared, or is this going to be a chat? How do I connect these people together?

"Really, it's just a big, confusing mess to bring all these things together into a cohesive, simple way of connecting to others," he continued. "That's preventing this technology from entering the mainstream. Because in order to use that technology across-the-board, pervasively, you have to have people that do all of this work. And it's really a pain in the [behind], frankly."

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