Cisco Offers Partners 90 Percent Discount on Telepresence Demo Units

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

Cisco estimates that in just a few years 90 percent of network load will come from video traffic. That could be a boon for smart partners who take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade networks.

To get partners on board and using video technology more regularly, Edison Peres, senior vice president of worldwide channels, announced the Yes! to Video promotion for partners, which will give partners a telepresence starter package that includes either the EX90 or EX60 telepresence units at 90 percent off regular price. This should put more partners on Cisco’s telepresence system, driving more use of telepresence conversations.

However, there’s one major obstacle in the way of video communications becoming the new voice. Interoperability between different vendors’ video communications systems, O’Sullivan told Channel Insider.  Vendor video-enabled endpoints need to be able to talk to each other for video to truly be like the phone (could you imagine if your mobile phone could only talk to other phones on the same network?).

The good news is the first developments towards creating a truly ubiquitous video user experience are already happening, with some vendors announcing their intentions to adopt a video interoperability protocol. Don’t expect that to happen over night, though. O’Sullivan said he expects that it could be two to three years away before video becomes truly ubiquitous, with the only requirement for video communication is a camera and a device with a browser on it. At that point, there will be more adoption.

Another obstacle is price. Right now, video deployments are mostly restricted to the enterprise. For the SMB market to latch onto the technology, the price points will need to plummet, and the installation will also have to become a lot simpler.