The VAR Guy

April 3, 2007

2 Min Read
Cisco Prepping Video Pods

The VAR Guy has a motto: If the door isn’t locked, he’s going in. About an hour ago, The VAR Guy wandered into the Venetian Hotel’s main conference hall at Cisco’s Partner Summit. There were 2,500 empty seats. So The VAR Guy grabbed one. Cisco executives were rehearsing presentations to be given later today. What are they preparing to demo? How about concept technology that ties together health care, video conferencing and TelePresence.

First, some background. As you likely know, Cisco is promoting next-generation video conferencing technology called TelePresence. Cisco itself expects to cut its own travel costs by 20 percent using the technology across its headquarters and branch offices. Within the next few months, Cisco may fine-tune TelePresence for several vertical markets. Imagine the following scenarios:

  • You visit a small bank branch office. Instead of speaking to a novice sales rep who’s just getting up to speed on home loans, you sit down in a video pod that connects you to a 20-year investment veteran who works in the bank’s central office.

  • You visit a local doctor’s office in a small town. An “attendant” in the office walks you to a video pod that includes basic tools like blood pressure monitoring. You’re instantly connected to a medical center, where a doctor reads your vital stats.

  • You’re in a big box retail store that has a financial services video pod. You can complete some financial transactions and potentially speak with an adviser over a video link, without ever visiting your bank’s branch office.

The VAR Guy needs to clarify all of these scenarios: They’re concepts that Cisco is currently exploring. The health care video pods were originally known within Cisco as “MediPods.” But Cisco changed the name out of respect for a certain iPhone maker. The new name for MediPod is HealthPresence. It’s safe to say Cisco will evaluate FinancialPresence, RetailPresence and other vertical market extensions to the “TelePresence” name.

Cisco will demonstrate the HealthPresence video pod later today during the conference. In fact, a concept HealthPresence pod currently sits on stage in the main conference hall at the Venetian.

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