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VoiceCon Cisco Keynote: Cisco goes vertical

During her keynote this morning, Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior emphasized the importance of collaboration in enterprise communications, with technologies that allow users to work in the way that they want to. In this vein, she talked about the importance of delivering a consistent user experience regardless of the endpoint device.

She also noted that her boss, CEO John Chambers, likes to communicate through video while her preferred modes of communication are microblogging services like Twitter. She said enterprise IT organizations should be prepared to support these multiple working styles by treating the network as a platform for delivering services. She noted said that companies should be focusing on Quality of Experience (QoE) in addition to Quality of Service (QoS).

Warrior and Cisco executive Sean Curtis demonstrated a vertical-market Telepresence system designed for healthcare, with cameras tailored for ear, nose and throat examination, blood pressure monitors, etc. Curtis showed how the technology could allow a doctor in China to treat him for back pain, even providing him with a recorded Telepresence session with instructions on how he should take an herbal remedy.

While this was happening, I noticed that IDC research director Abner Germanow was Twittering about how he is seeing a lot of healthcare applications from vendors on VoiceCon’s showroom floor.  Clearly vendors have identified healthcare as a vertical that will continue spending on communications technology in this economy.

Meanwhile, Abner’s colleague at IDC, Nora Freedman Tweet on Cisco’s demo captured perfectly what I was thinking about this healthcare Telepresence demo: “Keynote demo of health telepresence emphasizes need/relevancy of industry specific solutions.”

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