The benefits, the challenge and competition.
Cisco unveiled new desktop video conferencing devices at Cisco Live 2014, its annual conference.
The networking firm demonstrated the DX70 and DX80, along with other services it claims are all-in-one desktop collaboration devices.
Here’s five things you need to know about them.
1. The aim
Cisco’s goal is to target the business market segment it believes is in need of an easy to deploy and manageable video solution at an affordable price. The DX70 and DX80 would simplify work life by replacing phones, monitors, webcams, headsets and other communication tools.
Cisco is hoping the tools will attract third-party developers looking to create software for DX70 and DX80.
2. The benefits
Cisco has taken a low cost approach that is designed to combine a high-definition video camera and speakers for web conferencing, web browsing and other business applications into a single interface.
Both models run on the Android 4.1.1 operating system and come with the same 1.5GHz processors, along with 2GB of RAM.
The 14-inch DX70 features Cisco Intelligent Proximity for Mobile, which allows iOS and Android-based mobile devices to wirelessly sync and select Cisco endpoints when they’re located near each other. The 23-inch DX80 also includes this along with Intelligent Audio, which Cisco claims can filter out background noise.
Users can also save their details including contact lists and call numbers for when other users login with a different access code and extension.
Both devices can be used as displays for tablets and notebooks running not only Android, but also Apple’s iOS and MacOS, Linux and Microsoft’s Windows.
Cisco also announced a personal user interface, Collaboration Meeting Room (CMR), which sits in the cloud. Users can host or join scheduled meetings from any device including third-party endpoints of soft clients like Microsoft Lync, the company said.
3. The challenge
Rich Costello, a senior research analyst at IDC who specialises in unified communications, told CBR he doesn’t see mass appeal for the device.
"There’s a lot of competition already out there. You’ve got desktop video that you can do on your PC or laptop and that’s competing," he said. "You’ve also got global video on your tablet and that’s competition. And you’ve got end users own smartphone devices and iPads that they’re bringing to work and organisations rolling out Microsoft Lync."
"There are all these options for customers today for the phone device and so there’s a real challenge there.
4. The competitors
The devices put the company into competition with Logitech, PolyCom, Avaya and other up and coming video conferencing vendors.
Earlier this year, Google also teamed up with Asus, HP and Dell to offer Chromebox for Meetings, which includes a 1080p HD camera module, a microphone, a speaker unit and an RF remote control.
5. The business model
The DX70 is available in Europe from July, while the DX80 is available from June. In terms of the pricing, list prices are $2750 for the DX70 and $3990 for the DX80, but with typical partner discounts and promotions the figures are $1000/$2000 respectively.