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1/27/2010
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Cisco Offers Open Telepresence Standard

In agreeing to release its protocol to the public domain, Cisco joins Juniper Networks and Polycom in the growing trend toward collaboration among videoconferencing providers.

Cisco has announced the release of an interoperability protocol that it believes will enable vendors and suppliers in the telepresence space to seamlessly collaborate with each other and with customers. At the same time Cisco cited five new telepresence applications with collaboration features.

"Cisco has offered to license its protocol to industry participants royalty-free," the firm stated in a release Tuesday. "Many have already expressed their support for this protocol and are now evaluating how it could be deployed with their product offerings."

In agreeing to release the protocol to the public domain, Cisco noted that it already supports the H.323 standard, which Cisco uses to interoperate with standard and high-definition video conferencing systems and other collaboration systems.

In an example of the growing trend toward collaboration among telepresence and videoconferencing providers, Juniper Networks and Polycom reported Monday that they have agreed to share resources to help improve the reliability and quality of the technologies.

Cisco said the five applications it unveiled Tuesday are examples of how collaboration can help drive wider acceptance of telepresence.

The five applications range far and wide and demonstrate the versatility of telepresence. For example, an application called The Classroom of the Future is designed to bring Cisco's Telepresence offerings into lecture halls and corporate training rooms while the Cisco TelePresence Streaming Service can deliver webcasting and recording services to various access points including desktops, mobile devices, and social video systems.

The Cisco TelePresence Active Collaboration Room combines virtual meeting experiences with collaborative applications like WebEx on virtual whiteboards. The Cisco TelePresence Remote Demonstration Center showcases new products and solutions virtually, eliminating the necessity for many onsite demos. Rounding out the new applications is the all-important Cisco TelePresence Live Desk, which provides help desk support.

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