Feeds

Video conferencing gets cheaper, nastier easier

Poor showing precipitates price cuts

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

HP has slashed the entry price for its top-end video conferencing platform as it tries to convince businesses that it is no longer an unaffordable luxury.

The big hardware vendors - most noticeably Cisco, HP and Polycom - have been trying to flog pricey systems which they call telepresence - high-end purpose-built videoconferencing rooms with 65-inch plasma screens, large enough to display lifesize images of meeting participants.

But despite having some of the largest marketing budgets on the planet, these vendors have only managed to sell to 225 customers worldwide, according to analyst firm Ovum.

The big problem has been the price - HP launched its Halo Collaboration Studio with a hefty $550,000 tag, and Cisco still charges $300,000. Those figures are per site, and you've gotta have two to have a conversation.

HP yesterday made the first move to make telepresence more affordable, introducing a scaled-down product at a dramatic discount.

Unlike the initial product which requires a fitted-out room dedicated to the purpose, Halo Collaboration Center is small enough to fit into an executive's office. It will ship for a relative snip at $120,000.

Ken Crangle, general manager for HP's telepresence offerings, said the product was developed to bolster sales. "It was originally designed for larger teams," he said, "but we are seeing people using it more for one on one, two on one meetings."

HP's also inked a deal to get telepresence into many of the Marriott chain of hotels, of which there are more than 70 in the UK.

The theory is that travelling business people will be able to have proper face-to-face meetings on a pay per use basis in the major cities around the world without having to find their way to their nearest company office.

Though it has been slow to take off, there are signs large businesses might eventually warm to telepresence. Astra Zeneca, Dow Chemical and Toshiba have recently signed deals with HP. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.