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Tandberg’s director of telepresence, Jerry Monroe, says that the video conferencing giant created its new T3 Custom Edition to bring the benefits of immersive HD video conferencing to applications that go beyond board room-type meetings. Tandberg announced the Custom Edition yesterday, saying that it provided channel partners with greater flexibility as well as opportunities to sell their own telepresence room designs to end customers, with suggested designs that include fashion runways, collaboration suites and distance learning.

But Tandberg’s own courses that are required to achieve the telepresence certification from the company are not yet available via telepresence. Solution providers in the United States still have to travel to the company’s facilities in Reston, Va., or Pleasanton, Calif., for the weeklong training required to attain certification.

Why? Monroe says that the telepresence systems are in high demand and Tandberg doesn’t want to commandeer units that could be going to end customers. He says eventually Tandberg will offer its courses via telepresence. But there’s no date on the calendar yet for that.

But maybe there ought to be. If you are going to be promoting distance learning as a market for your solution provider channel partners to sell to their end customers, you need to lead by example. Offer at least some of the training via video conferencing. If you aren’t doing it yet, you need a plan for when you will offer it. Not to mention the fact that your channel partners would likely appreciate avoiding the travel expense as we are at the end of one of the toughest business years in recent memory. Do it, Tandberg!

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