Telepresence is all about the experience, says Ira Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research.
“This industry has finally figured out that if you want people to use the system, give them an experience that meets or exceeds their expectations,” he says.
With systems from Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize touting single-button activation, you might wonder if there is more you can do to add to that experience. There is and the first suggestion made starts before that first button push.
Before buying anything, you must understand your company’s meeting structure. Giving your employees a new toy does not mean they will use it effectively. So develop a telepresence strategy. If your company does not have a collaborative culture, ask yourself what you have to do to evolve one before you invest in collaborative technology. How and when are you going to use the room? How can it save you money? How can it make you money? What exactly needs to happen in that room for you to recoup your return on your investment? Only once you have asked and answered such questions can you start evaluating products.
Kick the Tires
“Try more than one system. I really believe that as the buyer, you need to evaluate as many systems as you can—at least three—and try to participate in three different telepresence meetings,” says Tim Waters, senior technology consultant with the Sextant Group. Test your