June 06--Cisco Systems Inc, the world's largest computer network maker, is overhauling its video conferencing technology by embracing consumer-driven design in its enterprise products in a drive to tap medium-sized companies.
The move aims to capitalise on growing high-speed broadband connectivity in a market worth US$54 billion, said Rowan Trollope, senior vice-president and general manager for collaboration technology.
"Our technology is expected to replace the existing conventional desktop video conference technology," he said, adding that the rise of a new-generation workforce and the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud technology will widen the use of video conferencing or video collaboration technology at workplaces.
To capitalise on these changes, Cisco is introducing a new Android-based video desktop conferencing model that features a multi-touchscreen display equipped with high definition (HD) audio and video technology.
Its flagship DX80 desktop device for office workers is priced $3,990 while the Mini DX70 costs $2,750. Both are aimed at the mid-tier market.
Mr Trollope said studies revealed 93% of meeting rooms globally are not equipped with high-quality video facilities. Cisco's new products will widen the new potential market by empowering office workers with HD quality communications.
Its embedded new Intelligent Proximity feature enables the video system to connect with users' mobile devices wirelessly, allowing them to share slides and other content via the video display.
Cisco will offer a "collaboration meeting room" service later this year which allows users to create a private meeting room online through cloud technology. Users only need a computer or mobile device with a browser to join the private meeting.
"Video collaboration will reduce travel costs, increase productivity and enable business transformation to differentiate from rivals," he said.
Mr Trollope said Cisco spends $1 billion per annum on research and development of collaboration technology.
Collaboration products account for 10% of total revenue of $50 billion.
Irving Tan, president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the region is still a growing market, particularly the emerging economies in Southeast Asia. "Thailand is one of the best performing markets in the world this fiscal year," he said.
However, he conceded that the cost of bandwidth is a major challenge to the widespread adoption of video collaboration in Southeast Asia.
Scott Brown, vice-president for technology solutions & architecture for Asia-Pacific, added that Thailand is an important market in Southeast Asia.
Cisco is considering building its own data centre in Thailand as it is one of the first countries in the region to provide cloud-based online services through its telecom service provider partner.
The company is on the verge of building 12 data centres across the globe.
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