Cisco targets smaller firms in bid to boost video-conference market

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2011, 12:00am


Cisco Systems expects to broaden adoption in Hong Kong of its market-leading video-conferencing system, used in boardrooms of large companies such as HSBC Holdings and Procter & Gamble, with the launch of new desktop versions for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The introduction yesterday marked the US company's latest effort to expand its TelePresence product line since acquiring Norwegian rival Tandberg for US$3.3 billion in April last year.

Five years after entering the global market for high-definition video-conferencing hardware, Cisco has cornered 52 per cent share of the business, according to a report by Wainhouse Research.

'What started out as a way to save travel costs and optimise the time of employees in large companies has evolved into a way to expand access to experts and accelerate time to market for businesses,' said Barbara Chiu Cheuk-mun, the general manager of Cisco Hong Kong and Macau. 'Cisco has remained focused in helping customers maximise the potential of the network.'

The company's new MX300 system and health-care application-focused VX Clinical Assistant, which both emulate the highly immersive face-to-face meeting delivered by the original boardroom version of TelePresence, are set for release in the first quarter of next year.

The MX300 will cost US$27,600 while the VX Clinical Assistant's price will range from US$3,300 to US$32,100.

By comparison, the 3000-series TelePresence equipment deployed by large firms cost about US$300,000.

Eddie Lau Sui-yin, the head of systems engineering at Cisco Hong Kong and Macau, said the new desktop versions could be set up in as little as 15 minutes. He expected these to 'expand the community of users in the local market'.

Cisco has mostly been competing in Hong Kong against Huawei Technologies, which offers a cheaper product portfolio.

Infonetics Research estimated the global enterprise video-conferencing equipment market to be worth US$5.4 billion by 2015.