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TelePresence for SMBs: It isn’t just for the big guys anymore

- February 20, 2013 3:55 pm

Last week I spoke with Gary Isaacs on this blog about how my customers in the mid-sized business sector are using, and benefiting from, Cisco’s technology solutions. We also discussed some of the challenges facing mid-market businesses and the role that technology can play in helping them grow.  You can read my full Q&A with Gary here.

In this post, I take a deeper look at one of these technologies, telepresence, and outline the benefits it has brought to my small and mid-sized customers.

Working at an SMB company, you might think of telepresence as simply a tool built for enterprise, something that would be nice to have for your small business but just out of reach. You’d be wrong.

Video conferencing solutions like Telepresence and even web-based technologies like WebEx are more affordable than ever, making them a surprisingly viable option for Canadian SMBs.

To the big guys the benefits of web-based collaboration tools and telepresence are obvious. They increase employee productivity by delivering high-quality experiences and use cutting-edge video technology in the cloud to transform the way they business. And these benefits can scale down to meet the needs of smaller businesses too. But don’t take my word for it, let’s take a closer look!

Is it right for me?

There is a common misconception that telepresence technology is only available to big companies, however by leveraging the cloud to deliver video services, partners like Medwave Optique and others can offer purpose-built services that meet the needs of SMBs.

These services use high quality equipment, but do not require IT expertise. In just a few minutes, any small or mid-sized business can start using an unparalleled communication technology. Try it and you will love it!

What are the benefits?

A quick glance at the list of benefits and it’s easy to see how SMBs will benefit from these technologies. With telepresence and web-based tools businesses stand to gain:

  1. Increased efficiency: Real-time access to colleagues, customers, specialists and suppliers by providing a new way of collaborating;
  2. Improved productivity: Face-to-face meetings stimulate concentration, improve collaboration and bring people together;
  3. Savings: Reduced travel costs, including flight and hotel expenses;
  4. Affordability: These services can be provided to SMBs for a low monthly rate;
  5. Safety and reliability: All communications delivered through the cloud are secure and reliable;
  6. Easy-to-use: Solutions like WebEx TelePresence can be up and running in a few minutes. It only requires an internet connection and an endpoint;
  7. Improved work-family balance: Using Telepresence technology promotes teleworking and reduces business travels, letting SMB owners spend more time with family.

Looking specifically at Cisco, you can see how many options are available for small and mid-sized business owners in this space:

  1. Software (Jabber)
  2. Personal systems (EX60 and EX90)
  3. Integration solutions (SX20)
  4. Multi-room systems (MX200 and MX300)
  5. Specific systems (VX)

Do you want to try this technology?

Do you have any questions?

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2 Comments

  1. I think WebEx is great as it provides desktop and mobile video capabilities. Does Cisco Onetouch support 2-way video and does it also support non-Cisco video endpoints yet?

  2. Hi David, yes our WebEx OneTouch does support two way video, it also supports third party endpoints. From a third party endpoint perspective, one has to keep in mind that third party endpoints can be part of the conference. However, they will not have a Onetouch button to join and they’ll have to auto answer or dial in.

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