Charles Stucki is general manager and vice president of Business Telepresence at Cisco. Here he talks about the company's plans for its TelePresence software, and how the technology might used by businesses in the years to come.
V3.co.uk: How do you see the use of videoconferencing
technology progressing among businesses this year?
Charles Stucki: The awareness of telepresence and its capabilities is very high among enterprises now. For some years the technology wasn't good enough to make it a feasible service, and costs remained too high for all but the largest firms. However, the technology is now at the stage where it's possible to provide a very high level of service with feature-rich additions for a lower cost. As such we think the technology will become much more pervasive for both internal and external communications within the businesses sector.
Was this the thinking behind the TelePresence Interoperability
Standard (TIP) launched at the Cisco Networkers event in Barcelona?
We think it's important that businesses can purchase videoconferencing equipment knowing it will work with any other system, thereby removing any hidden costs, if the technology is to really take off. The TIP would enable customers to know that they can talk to other businesses regardless of the system they are using.
What is Cisco's reaction to the PolyCom and Juniper Networks
partnership announced this week in the videoconferencing arena?
Any partnership that could lead to the possibility of increased use of videoconferencing technology is something we welcome. If firms like Juniper also start to lay infrastructure that offers a higher level of service, that can only be beneficial for all.
What do you think could be some of the future uses and benefits of
telepresence in the home, as demonstrated at the event in Barcelona?
The benefits of telepresence in the home would be huge. It would enable workers to have meetings with clients, colleagues and partners across the world without the need to travel. This is something Cisco staff are using already to remove the inconveniences of time differences for worldwide meetings, and reduce the cost and environmental impact of travelling. Furthermore, we've already had several firms talking to us about the potential ways they could use the technology to allow consumers to access their products and services, much in the same way they do now for e-commerce transactions online.
Do you think people could be concerned that the idea of a
video-calling device in their living room has Big Brother connotations?
We've been putting the service through a lot of testing within home mock-ups in our labs and the key question we always had was about security and privacy, so we understand it's a concern. However, we've already started to develop technology that will ensure that the user is always completely in control of the system, and that any sort of cold-calling would not be possible. We think the security we will be able to provide will allay any fears.
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