Telepresence is a way to make video-based meetings more lifelike by using very large screens and high-quality camera, audio equipment and software. The promise to replace many types of face-to-face meetings together is a bold one but, from what I have seen and heard, telepresence is set to be the technology star of the downturn.
Telepresence ticks a lot of boxes. It's green, it means you don't have to get on planes so often, and it works. CIOs certainly seem enthusiastic about it and, assuming they can get the upfront acquisition cost past the CFO's beady eyes, this is a technology that could fly very high in the next few years.
Because telepresence players tend to boil down to smallish specialists (Polycom, Tandberg) and large firms with mature revenue streams (HP, Cisco), it's quite hard to tell just how fast telepresence is growing but the word-of-mouth is loud and getting louder.
Already, companies are fixing their strategies to partner with the right folks. Alliances in the ICT business are ten a penny of course but the BT-Cisco axis looks as if it's worth far more than the press release on which it is written, and other companies are making deals with hotels and travel companies to make telepresence ubiquitous.