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Do you really need $300K in telepresence gear to avoid swine flu?

In Virtually Flu-Free Meetings Forbes writers Andy Greenberg and Quentin Hardy look at the rise of telepresence systems.  Their angle?  Avoid swine flu by avoiding travel.

With the specter of swine flu rising, companies have yet another reason to consider holding their meetings virtually rather than sending executives on planes. That’s good news for the likes of giants like Cisco and Hewlett-Packard as well as for smaller companies that offer specialized telepresence networking gear.

The article has some beautiful pictures of big screen video conferencing systems from Cisco, and talks about installations costing $300,000 along with an extra $10,000 per month in bandwidth costs. 

There are low cost alternatives to travel, however.  Forbes mentions solutions like Skype and Sightspeed, or … perhaps even a conference call?  Obvious, I know, but they overlooked that one.

For more pretty pictures of gorgeous telepresence systems, also check out Howard Lichtman’s Telepresence Options siteMinority Report grade tech porn. 

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Tsahi Levent-Levi April 30, 2009, 12:18 pm

    Alec,
    Well, as an industry we tried dot com burst. Then we tried going green. Then came this great recession to assist, so we moved to the recession. Didn’t work either. Time for a flu. If that won’t help, we might as an industry even try coming up with cost effective solutions. Not.
    Tsahi

  • jules May 1, 2009, 6:15 am

    I have to agree – the pricetag currently associated with the telepresence applications is a mighty big pill to swallow, especially when most of the companies who implemented videoconferencing infrastructure still have all the hardware, and rarely managed to use the tool.

    Still, the coolness factor of being at the same *virtual desk* is high.
    :-)

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