This NYT Article (requires login) has Cisco seriously suggesting that companies are going to buy $299,000 video conferencing stations. Wait…here’s the cheap version: The basic TelePresence 1000 model, designed for one-on-one meetings, is priced at $79,000 per station.
Oh, OK then I’ll take TWO of those please.
Talk about out of touch and over technologized? I suppose it’s possible that a brilliant sales effort will convince upper management of the big companies that this is worth it and that Cisco’s fancy pants model is the only way to go. It’s certainly also true that even this exhorbitant cost for the units pales in comparison to sending people around in airplanes and putting them up in hotels (well, actually you can buy a lot of plane tix for $299,000 but true that if everybody actually used this approach, which has been around for many years now, it would save money over travel).
My point? This totally misses the boat on how to get work done. Efficient people use email and, if really needed and they like it they call on phones. If they like to see people they can use existing, virtually free computer cam conferencing.
Efficient people also meet each other in real time and real space to have a beer or dinner and connect. That’s a primate thing and it’s condusive to good biz, but can’t be replicated via even a high definition TV environment. Nope, not even a $299,000 one.
I would have to agree with you that to physically connect is a totally different thing. But in times where efficiency and cost saving techniques is very important, I guess, this technology can be a very big help. However, I find this product very expensive. Maybe a low cost teleconference provider would do. My point is not to discount the fact that this is also an essential tool. If physical meetings are possible without spending too much time and money on travel, then by all means, go meet up.
C’mon Charlotte, you don’t have $299,000 lying around for one of these? Maybe you didn’t empty your change bowl?
And… good points by you. I can’t remember where but I saw a TV clip of a new system that really gives the feel of *being* in a conference room with the other person using HD and some visual tricks. This might have some promise for bigger meetings, but I still think effective biz would consist of 98% email contacts, 1% biz meetings and 1% intense, fun events to get to know the other party out of the biz context.