Earlier this week, Cisco and Tandberg provided an initial peek at plans for an integrated product portfolio that will be disclosed following the closure of Cisco’s pending acquisition of Tandberg. In the announcement, the companies stated that they believe that competition and industry expansion will be best served through open standards and interoperability. I recently posted thoughts on Cisco’s release of its proprietary telepresence protocol to the public domain and its intention to propose the protocol as an open industry standard as is an initial step to drive interoperability standards in telepresence. The release indicates that Cisco will create an open architecture that enables greater interoperability with third-party systems beyond "telepresence" systems.
I’m curious to learn how this architecture will deviate from Cisco’s current visual collaboration architecture(s). I agree that one important factor related to industry expansion will be interoperability between vendors in all visual collaboration categories—immersive telepresence, room-based videoconferencing systems, personal systems, and infrastructure elements such as MCUs. The degree of customer acceptance and adoption achieved by video-based solutions will depend greatly upon how each type of solution can interoperate with other systems—from the same vendor and different vendors, both internal and external to the enterprise. I find that enterprise perceptions of video-based collaboration vary significantly, as many are still wary of past interoperability and limitations on system utility. I believe Cisco and Tandberg are on the right track, they realize that without widespread interoperability, the past barriers to video adoption will be difficult to overcome and new growth segments such as personal systems will not reach their market potential ... it will be interesting to see how the "open and interoperable" strategy will unfold and translate into actual product strategy and implementations.