Cisco announced this week at the InfoComm conference in Las Vegas that it is fulfilling its promise to adopt its own Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP). The protocol will enable multi-screen video streaming between Cisco and Tandberg TelePresence systems, or between any third party system that adopts the standard. According to the TIP website Cisco TelePresence also is compatible with other video products such as Cisco WebEx Meeting Center and Microsoft Office Communicator.
In April, Cisco announced it would open source the TIP by July.
In October of last year, When Cisco announced plans to acquire Tandberg, Gartner Research highlighted the enterprise's need for interoperability between desktop and room telepresence systems, and noted that Cisco's solutions lacked said interoperability. The Tandberg deal and the push for standards should help open new doors for Cisco's telepresence systems.
Cisco has been diversifying its business in recent years. "With roughly 70 to 90 percent market share in its core businesses of switching and routing, Cisco needs to find new markets for growth," Marguerite Reardon wrote for ZDNet on the occasion of Cisco's acquisition of WebEx in 2007. Gartner valued the video conferencing market at $2.1 billion in 2009.
As blogger and Institute for the Future researcher Chris Arkenberg put bluntly: "Anything that drives more bandwidth through those increasingly clogged arterial Intertubes makes Cisco very happy. Video is huge and hosting more and more of it will require companies to budget for bigger & better routers to handle the throughput." But, as we've noted, Cisco might not be king of the network equipment market forever.