Selling high-end video conferencing system
AT&T Inc. has announced that it will partner with network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc. in selling top-end video conferencing systems to global corporate clients, beginning in the second half of 2008. The system, known as the TelePresence, was created by Cisco several years ago. The TelePresence features life-size, HD screens with easy-to-use, dial-in features.
The partnership announced that sales will begin in 23 countries initially, with expansion in 2009 into more countries. Plans are to sell the video conferencing systems as corporate telecommunications service, along with included remote help and on-site equipment maintenance, instead of selling it as a one-off hardware sale.
The TelePresence 3000 is currently sold as a small conference room setup with three HD screens with a retail price of $299,000. There will also be a lower-priced one-HD screen version offered through the new partnership. The service fees, which will be monthly, have not been disclosed yet.
Current competitors in the video conferencing corporate arena include Polycom Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company and Teliris. Verizon Business (part of Verizon Communications Inc.) also offers more limited video conferencing services.