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When Cisco Systems bought telepresence rival Tandberg last year for $3.3 billion, analysts said Cisco would be able to leverage Tandberg’s presence in the midmarket space to expand its video-conferencing offerings into that area.

It was a market Cisco needed to access to continue growing its visual-communications business, the analysts said.

That push down the ladder is continuing, not only for Cisco but also for its biggest rival, Polycom. Both vendors will be showcasing new telepresence offerings aimed at small and midsize businesses—or smaller offices within large enterprises—at the InfoComm 2011 show in Orlando, Fla.

The two vendors are finding a host of competitors looking to challenge them in both pricing and simplicity. On June 8, Vidyo introduced its VidyoPanorama product, which offers an easy-to-use telepresence experience that can be had on a range of standard devices—from smartphones and tablets to PCs and high-end video screens. In addition, Vidyo officials said their telepresence experience can be had for a fraction of the cost of competing systems from Cisco and Polycom.

Cisco on June 14 announced the MX200, a telepresence endpoint geared toward team meetings and personal offices in both its pricing and ease of use. The 42-inch system endpoint offers high-definition 1080p resolution, starts at $21,600 and is a fully integrated one-piece system, with such features as the camera and codec in the endpoint.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Cisco, Polycom Look to Grow Reach of Telepresence Products