Tom Szabo, CEO of Telanetix at Telepresence World

The CEO of Telanetix,
Tom Szabo, delivered a presentation titled, “Driving Telepresence ROI with New
Technology” which took at look at the driving forces behind growth in the
Telepresence industry.

Reflecting on the current growth in the telepresence market, Szabo suggested
that, “telepresence is turning into an overnight success that’s been 20-years in
the making.”

It’s all about driving the applications down to the user level. That’s key to
making this a big market.

Telepresence today, is largely a communications tool used between C-level
employees within a company or between companies. However, Szabo explained that
some of the biggest opportunities for improving business efficiency comes from
getting this technology into the hands of mid-level employees like product
developers, film production crews, and similar groups who do a lot of
collaborative decision making throughout their business days.

He explained that sales are generally limited to only a small handful of units
when sold as a C-level solution, but that number explodes when sold as solutions
deeper within organizations.

Tom Szabo, CEO Telanetix
Tom Szabo, CEO of Telanetix, On Stage and On Screen

Szabo summarized four drivers for growth in the telepresence industry:

1. Usability: It’s only just in the past 12 months that telepresence has been as
easy as pressing a button once set up. Telepresence systems have to be
“CEO-proof” when sold as C-level as they are today.

2. Accommodation of Technology: Users shouldn’t have to accommodate the
technology in any way. Instead, they should be able to conduct business and
communicate in ways that are comfortable for them rather than being forced to
learn to communicate all over again. They should be able to walk around, use
whiteboards, etc.

3. Data handling. Telepresence is currently a tool used by CEOs or high level
managers who focus primarily on face to face interactions. Employees deeper in a
country would benefit more from solutions that enable sharing applications or
products. This form of collaboration has the potential to significantly decrease
approval wait times. Sharing tools and applications in full resolution at a
remote location is where things get interesting.

4. Cost: It has to be affordable to get it into the core part of businesses.
Pricing has to be justifiable for rolling out telepresence solutions deep in

Put another way, when telepresence systems are easier to use, more flexible,
more powerful, and cheaper, this industry will really take off.

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