Telepresence and the Network Effect: Cisco and Regus Perspective

While pretty much all of the telepresence solutions on display at Telepresence
World are impressive and have the ability to improve business communications,
the power of this is largely limited by the number of units deployed. It doesn’t
take a telepresence expert to understand that spending hundred of thousands of
dollars to enable face to face conversations between only two people is rarely
justified. But as soon as a third, then fourth, fifth and counting unit connects
to the network, the number of communications opportunities grows exponentially.

Cisco’s James Peters
explained this concept in a presentation titled, “Public Telepresence: The
Network Effect” and focused primarily on a worldwide telepresence initiative
between Cisco and Regus, the
largest supplier of office space, meeting and conference rooms in the world.
Regus is planning on rolling out 50 Cisco powered conference rooms around the
globe starting in 2008. The telepresence powered conference rooms will be
available for rent by business people for conferences between Regus centers as
well as Regus to business installations of Cisco telepresence systems. Park Ave
in New York City and Atlanta are two early location mentioned for Regus
telepresence centers.

The goal here is to apply Metcalfe’s Law regarding the power of communications
networks to telepresence.

Cisco and Regus has been listening to demand for telepresence solutions, and
have found opportunities largely near companies who are interested in
integrating telepresence into their workflow, but can’t justify dedicated units
on their own campuses.

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