Cisco Networkers Live 2010: Cisco has announced plans to submit a Telepresence Interoperability Protocol in an effort to build an open standard for multi-screen videoconferencing software.
Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of emerging technologies at Cisco, said during his keynote at Cisco's annual Networkers Live event in Barcelona that the move is designed to stimulate growth in the business use of videoconferencing.
"We currently have 3,500 telepresence systems deployed, but to drive further adoption of this technology we believe that creating an open standard will help more businesses see the benefits of using telepresence for videoconferencing," he said.
De Beer explained that the protocol will be released royalty free to the public domain to encourage other companies to create further solutions for the videoconferencing market.
Michael Stone, head of collaboration solutions at Cisco, added that convincing businesses of the return on investment offered by telepresence is central to driving uptake of the technology.
"Cisco has seen videoconferencing take off for internal company communication, but to drive inter-company collaboration the company believes that interoperability is key," he said.
Cisco confirmed that LifeSize, Tandberg and Radvision have all signed agreements supporting the protocol, but said that it has not yet decided to which industry group the standard will be submitted.
Casey King, chief technology officer at LifeSize, explained that the company is supporting the protocol as part of its belief in open standards, and called on the industry to join the initiative.
"We encourage all vendors to embrace interoperability with the ultimate goal to deliver a seamless experience for the end user, even in multi-vendor environments," he said.
Cisco also unveiled two new telepresence products at the conference, the TP3010 for six seats and the TP3210 for 18 seats, both designed to reduce energy use by 25 per cent by using plasma screens rather than projectors, De Beer said.
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