Cisco Cuts Price of Umi Consumer TelepresenceBy Channel Insider Staff | Posted 2011-03-08 Email Print
Cisco, which was widely criticized for the high price of its consumer telepresence system, has cut the price in a bid to become a bigger play in consumer video conferencing. But in a field where many competitors are free, will the price cut make a difference?
Cisco Systems officials, who faced criticism over the cost of the company's Umi consumer video conferencing offering when it launched in October 2010, are now driving down the cost and expanding the options of the platform as they look to grow the business.
Cisco on March 7 announced a price cut of $100 for the Umi 1080, from $599 to $499, as well as the service cost, from $24.95 a month—or about $300 a year—to $99 year, or $8.25 a month. In addition, Cisco is adding a new system, the Umi 720, another consumer telepresence offering, which delivers lower resolution and requires less bandwidth than the 1080 and comes in at $399.
The service plan for the Umi 720 also is $99 a year.
At the same time, Cisco officials rolled out the Umi Connect, a free high-definition calling client for PCs and Macs. Umi Connect is currently running in trials, according to the company. Cisco also is offering full interoperability between Umi and the company's high-end TelePresence business platform.
By expanding its Umi offerings and making it easier for consumers to buy the platform, Cisco is working to more broadly cover the burgeoning video conferencing space, according to Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's TelePresence, Emerging Technologies and Consumer Business.