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Cisco Intros TelePresence Hosted Service for Small Organizations

Cisco has created a new TelePresence solution for small to medium-sized organizations with limited budgets and IT staff. Organizations can now purchase or lease select Cisco TelePresence endpoints and subscribe to the Cisco TelePresence Callway hosted service, which is part of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. Armed with endpoint hardware and subscription service, they simply plug their endpoint hardware into their broadband Internet connection, activate the Callway service, and they're ready to start videoconferencing.

Cisco touts the solution as plug-and-play, so anybody can set it up without additional IT equipment or support. OJ Winge, senior vice president and general manager of the TelePresence Technology Group at Cisco, said the next phase of TelePresence will "democratize the in-person experience for people in all sizes and types of organizations."

Cisco offers a variety of personal and conference room endpoints that work with the Callway service, and the Callway service itself it managed by Cisco. Callway subscriptions are commercially available in the United States through Cisco Authorized Partners. They start at $99 per month and include unlimited calls to any TelePresence endpoint, as well as to any standards-based video device from third parties over the Internet. Multi-party bridging capabilities for up to 12 participants are also available. Subscriptions include live 24/7 support from Cisco. Financing from Cisco Capital is available for the endpoints.

Cisco has also announced two upcoming TelePresence endpoints:

Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresense is a standards-based, high-definition video-calling software application. TelePresence customers will be able to visit a Web site where they can invite other people to join a TelePresence call for free from desktops, laptops, or tablets. Cisco said it plans to launch a global beta program for Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence in the first quarter of 2012.

Cisco TelePresence MX300 is a multi-purpose TelePresence system with 1080p high-definition video a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It is designed for small to medium-sized meeting rooms and supports TelePresence teams of up to nine people. Cisco said the system should be globally available in the first quarter of 2012.

Further information about Cisco TelePresence can be found at the Cisco site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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