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Cisco Broadens Telepresence Line, WebEx

Cisco Systems recently unveiled a series of products and services that the company says are to make its telepresence and video collaboration more affordable and easier to manage.

Cisco Systems recently unveiled a series of products and services that the company says are to make its telepresence and video collaboration more affordable and easier to manage. In its announcement, Cisco said all its new enterprise collaboration endpoints would be video-enabled and that all voice- and video-enabled offerings would interoperate natively with Cisco Unified Communications Manager as part of the networking giant's strategy to integrate Tandberg, which it acquired earlier this year, into its roadmap.

Cisco TelePresence EX60

Cisco TelePresence EX60

Already the foundation for Cisco's voice offerings and Cisco TelePresence, the Unified Communications Manager makes initiating video calls a one-button-to-push process. Endpoints acquired through Tandberg will now connect to Cisco Unified Communications Manager, starting with the Cisco IP Video Phone E20 this quarter.

Cisco also introduced new endpoints for desktops and offices in midrange businesses. The new endpoints, the Cisco TelePresence EX60 and the Cisco TelePresence System 500 32-inch, have smaller footprint requirements and lower price points than previous desktop solutions, according to the company.

The EX60 is a desktop system designed for knowledge workers. It has a smaller footprint and a list price that is approximately 30 percent lower than the Cisco TelePresence EX90. It will be available this quarter.

The TelePresence System 500 32-inch (CTS 500-32) is a pedestal-based endpoint designed for executives with private office environments. The system gives executives a virtual in-person experience common to the popular Cisco TelePresence System 500 37-inch, yet it has a smaller form factor and similarly about 30 percent lower less expensive than its predecessor. It, too, will be available this quarter.

In addition, Cisco introduced WebEx Meeting Center, which the company says now supports with high quality video in full-screen video mode. In addition to seeing speakers in full-screen mode, users can share desktops simultaneously and connect to Cisco TelePresence meetings via Cisco WebEx One Touch. The new WebEx includes ActivePresence, which shows all the meeting participants in a strip along the bottom of the screen. The active speaker is shown in full-screen mode while maintaining immersion with the active participants. Through voice activated switching, when another participant begins speaking, that person appears in full-screen mode instead.

Cisco said the new WebEx experience would soon extend to mobile users through the Cisco Cius tablet and, starting in December, the Apple iPad.

 


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