Today I had the opportunity to meet with Robert Plamondon at Orange Business Live North America. Robert is a partner account manager at Cisco in charge of Video Conferencing and telepresence. In the following interview I asked him a few questions about Telepresence today and in the future. (transcript hereafter).
"Videoconferencing has been around for a long time and companies have made significant investments in conference room video systems. Part of the problem is that they are difficult to use and they weren't always reliable and they were very challenging so customers typically weren't using them and utilization rates were therefore very low (5 or 10% on average). With Telepresence, not only do you get an immersive experience which is very close to that of a real meeting and you can almost touch the person in front of you, but it is also more reliable and more importantly it is extremely simple to use. There is just one button to push and you're done! Where is this market going and what is your vision for the future? Are we all going to have 3D telepresence on our desks?
Potentially yes! Many organizations are starting to adopt not only immersive telepresence but also video systems that interoperate with the immersive telepresence unit (immersive = life-size 3 screen system in which one . Cisco just recently acquired Tandberg and they have a very comprehensive line of products from the immersive systems down to desktop products and even client-based products that run on a laptop. We are now seeing the ability for all these things to interoperate. Over the next 3 years we'll start to see it become more pervasive we'll see a growing number of companies adopt business video as a way of doing business. Others are taking a little bit more of a conservative approach. Over the next 5 years you'll see a growing number of companies redefine their business process.
Will we get 3D telepresence as in a Robert Heinlein science fiction novel?
I don't know but I'm sure that the technology is there to do it. But what matters is the customer experience, more than just the technology and when people try it they really appreciate the experience."
I specialize in information systems, HighTech marketing and Web marketing. I am author and contributor to numerous books and the CEO of Visionary Marketing. As such, I contribute regularly on this blog for Orange Business Services account on cloud computing and cloud storage topics.