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Tandberg (OSL:TAA) is unshackling its high-end telepresence video
conferencing system from the confines of the board room.

The video conferencing giant, which
is in play as a Cisco acquisition
, is offering a “custom” version of its T3
telepresence system. The high-end T3 telepresence system normally is packaged
with all the accoutrements of a board room, including table and chairs and
blue-lit walls.

But the T3 Custom Edition telepresence is packaged just with the components for
HD video conferencing, says Jerry Monroe, Tandberg’s director of telepresence.
That may even make it a better proposition for reseller channel partners and
solution providers.

That’s because partners can then take the HD video conferencing components and
package them with other room elements to suit the needs of the customer. Extra
design work and integration would be required.

“We see this moving from telepresence to a telepresence-enabling technology
that our partners can use to be very creative,” says Monroe.
“We think it will gain wide popularity. We see it being potentially explosive
in the future.”

For example, says Monroe, one
clothing designer customer had requested a virtual runway rather than the
conventional telepresence room. Such a virtual runway would let potential
clothing buyers view the new designs from a distance rather than gather at a
fashion show and incur travel costs.

“This T3 Custom Edition enables more collaborative settings rather than a
formal board room, but still with the immersive feeling to it,” says Monroe.
He adds that other collaborative settings may also be a good fit for T3 Custom
Edition. Specifically, design and research and development teams could create
collaboration rooms that include digital collaboration tools.

“From our perspective, we don’t want to re-create all the great collaborative
tools that are out there,” says Monroe.
“We just want to have them be able to work in a telepresence setting.”

Rooms could also be equipped to hold more than just six or eight participants.
For example, rooms with rows of seats could be set up if the intention of the
telepresence room was to provide distance learning.

Monroe notes that Tandberg VARs
will need to get some training of their own to provide maintenance and support
of the T3 Custom Edition systems once they are installed. Attaining
certifications will be required, and employees will need to attend training at
one of Tandberg’s training facilities—in the United
States in Reston,
Va., or Pleasanton,

Two certifications are available—installation and maintenance. The
installation and maintenance certifications require technical staff
members to go through formal training that includes a week of on-site training
at Tandberg facilities and then two ride-along events. For a business to be
certified, two staff members must attain certification.

Separately, a managed services certification is available as well.

Tandberg’s T3 Custom Edition includes three Tandberg C90 codecs, three HD
cameras and the telepresence control unit. Partners determine the sizes and
types of displays, audio, speakers and microphones. Monroe
notes that T3 Custom Edition works with Tandberg’s telepresence server that
enables multipoint telepresence.
In addition, a development kit enables integration partners to design for the