Cisco Unveils Lower-Price Videoconferencing Gear

Cisco SystemsCisco Systems has debuted some new lower-price devices as part of its TelePresence videoconferencing product lineup, aiming for midsize companies as it expands its reach beyond Fortune 500 customers.

Cisco's (CSCO) move comes at a time when videoconferencing is becoming more pervasive among consumers, thanks to video chat sessions now widely available through such offerings as Google's (GOOG) Gmail, Apple's (AAPL) FaceTime or Skype. And many of these people who are comfortable with the technology may be working for companies that are exploring the use of videoconferencing to cut down on their travel expenses or help co-workers to collaborate. Over the years, Cisco has poured billions into expanding its TelePresence offerings.

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Cisco is now trotting out its control-like device TelePresence EX60, which is designed to be 30% cheaper than its EX90 version, and its pedestal-screen TelePresence System 500 32-inch display screen, also with a 30% price drop from the earlier 37-inch screen. Both new devices will be offered beginning in the current quarter.

These products, which Cisco acquired via its $3.3 billion acquisition of Tandberg earlier this year, connect to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager. However, Cisco's TelePresence systems don't come cheap, according to ZDNet, potentially reaching into the $250,000 range.

The networking behemoth also announced its Cisco WebEx Meeting Center that aims to deliver high-quality video for teleconferencing and simplify the process of jumping onto a video call through the Cisco WebEx One Touch. Cisco, who's stock took a beating last week after its lowered future guidance spooked investors, is also throwing a little cloud magic into the mix through its hosted TelePresence Exchange System.

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