posted by: Mark Cortner
The introduction several years ago of high-end, immersive telepresence systems redefined the collaborative experience available through “videoconferencing.”The telepresence market started to accelerate at essentially the same time that the broader concept of UC started to take hold in the industry. But despite the focus on integrating previously disparate communications applications through UC, the telepresence market continued to develop a silo-based application with limited multivendor interoperability.
The “islands” of telepresence have been slowly disappearing; most telepresence vendors now support the ability for non-telepresence, IP-based videoconferencing systems to participate in visual collaboration sessions with telepresence systems. The utility and value of any video-based communication product is often related to the availability and ubiquity of compatible endpoints, and the ability to room-based videoconferencing systems with telepresence systems was a good step in this direction. But the industry still had not delivered a solution that enabled a multivendor, immersive telepresence experience—this artificial barrier has now been broken down by TANDBERG.
TANDBERG recently announced that its Telepresence T3 is the first immersive telepresence solution that maintains the multi-screen, high-definition telepresence experience when connecting to third-party telepresence systems. The ability to enable telepresence systems from multiple vendors to participate in a visual collaboration session without any degradation in the full immersive experience (that customers have paid for) will impact the market in several ways.
First, expect other telepresence vendors to quickly address this issue. The ability to support a multivendor telepresence environment should immediately become a key consideration for enterprises in future purchase decisions for this technology. Second, look for service providers to develop new services that enable inter-enterprise video communications—essentially providing a trusted, federated service that allows enterprises to extend their investments in high-end telepresence systems outside the enterprise and collaborate with key business partners … sound a lot like UC?