So what’s the big deal?
With recent stats showing poor Q1 performance at the top end of Cisco’s Telepresence offering, could the launch of this new product signal Cisco being out of step with market demands? Or something else?
Elliot Gold’s Telespan recently reported a sharp decline in Cisco’s Immersive Telepresence numbers, both Quarter on Quarter, and Year on Year. Now I’m pretty sure that the appetite for these systems is pretty limited, its a niche market, and the sales of these units are almost exclusively led by the manufacturer. But, from my time observing this market, one thing for sure I know is that customer that are making big investments in technology such as Immersive Telepresence are very aware of product roadmaps. I might be wrong, but I would not be surprised to see a resurgence in Cisco’s numbers post-TX 9000 launch, simply because in Q1, customers were holding off orders as they wait for the new product.
But in real terms, these Immersive TP systems actually contribute very little to the overall market, certainly in terms of numbers shipped, but also revenue (despite the very high ticket price!).
What’s most exciting about the TX9000 then is the research and development implications. Just as we see technology first seen in Formula 1 begin to appear in every day motor vehicles later on, the innovation we see appearing in the TX9000 will also start to appear in multipurpose and personal systems as new products are release.
We saw this with the Tandberg C90 on its release, and I fully expect to see the same with the TX series as it develops and matures. I also expect to see H.265 support on this hardware platform.
So my belief is rather than Cisco investing into an imploding niche market, what we’re seeing is a continuation of the same trend that made Tandberg so successful in the first place. Innovation of new features and functionality at the very top end, (in the knowledge that the market for these technologies may be limited), but then the exploitation of these technologies across the product range later.