Postscript on Cisco’s TelePresence: The Debate Continues

In the wake of Cisco’s TelePresence announcement, former Microsoft blogger extraordinaire Robert Scoble wonders whether the future of videoconferencing will be in big, expensive, elaborate systems such as Cisco’s, or in lightweight, low-cost, client-based software.

He concludes that both will find audiences and markets.

For reasons I put forward earlier today, I am not confident the approach Cisco has taken with its closed, expensive, telco-mediated TelePresence will find more than a modest enterprise following.

I have an inkling that the TelePresence system, developed internally at Cisco over a two-year period, could be a sign that Cisco’s overpowering need for accelerated revenue growth and fat margins — both of which are required to keep Wall Street’s hounds at bay — has overtaken its ability to focus on its customers’ needs and requirements. TelePresence strikes me more as what Cisco wishes large enterprises would adopt than as something developed to meet an emerging adoption curve.

I might be wrong, but I believe the TelePresence is white elephant in the making. It has the feel of Cisco jumping the shark in a big way.


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