Cisco Boosts TelePresence With Recording, Search And Collaborative Features

by Gaurav Kheterpal on February 28, 2011

Cisco last week gave its telepresence services a boost with new features such as the ability to record and share videos on the fly. Cisco also unveiled several new hardware offerings including – MXE 3500 Media Experience Engine, an appliance that integrates Cisco Pulse analytics functionality for video searches and two new IP desk phones with integrated cameras and 5-inch displays.

Though video has always been touted to be the “next big thing in the enterprise”, it never really took off as the complexities involved in production and consumption left a lot to be desired. Cisco has always been a keen proponent of video technology and its latest offerings are a part of the company’s overall strategy to improve communications within businesses.

Cisco says more than half of all Internet traffic now is video-based, and that number will go to more than 90 percent by 2014. If this announcement is anything to go by, Cisco looks determined to grab a lion’s share of the video pie.

Cisco’s TelePresence Content Server 5.0 provides enterprises and business users with an end-to-end video recording and streaming solution. It allows users to record meetings in premium resolution (1080p at 30 frames per second), or 720p at 60 frames per second. What’s more – users can review, play back and share that recording with others through integration with Cisco Show and Share. IMO, this would be handy for enterprises in more ways than one – create instructor-led training material, integrate video as part of business workflows etc.

It’s unfair to compare Cisco Telepresence with other low-cost software-only video capture alternatives. As GigaOM points out, Cisco’s solution offers better video quality and it takes advantage of the multi-camera setups available in typical room-based telepresence installations.

TelePresence Content Server 5.0 is expected to be available globally in March.

The Cisco MXE 3500 (Media Experience Engine) will offer a host of transformation services to discover, connect, record, enrich and deliver video. It has now been integrated with Cisco Pulse analytics capabilities for video searches, thereby enabling users to tag word and speakers in videos for easier search.

The company also announced sevral new hardware offerings including a 47-inch TelePresence end-point that will support TelePresence Touch, a new touch-screen interface for the videoconferencing suite. The newly announced Unified IP Phones 8941 and 8945 feature a built-in video camera that to enable high-quality (VGA) video communications, alongside a 5-inch high-resolution display.

Video is a keenly contested market segment and with its latest offerings, Cisco has staked out a leadership position. If 2010 was hailed as “The year of the Tablet”, Cisco wants us to remember year 2011 as “The Year of Video”.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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