Monday, June 1, 2009

HP Halo vs Cisco Telepresence

Once again, with a different rival this time, solid HP engineering and miniscule marketing weighs in against someone with almost reverse skillset. The HP Halo design has much to offer -- the eye gaze is really pretty good, even "cross-court", and the sound is inherently crisp and clear. Cisco Telepresence is terrible for "straight-ahead" discussions for people not sitting at the head; you are always looking at a side profile as the person intently gazes off over your shoulder.

For HP, the psychology of the users has been carefully thought through, and it shows, in minute detail after detail. For Cisco, "the wrong people" have been using the system more than was anticipated, but utilization is up, WAY UP. And they are awakening to the fact that "everyone" is thrilled to use there tools.

HP Halo marketing is akin to the old joke about HP trying to sell sushi, by marketing it as "cold, dead fish". Here, they market the travel cost savings, while the most significant gains are increased productivity, decreased mistakes at a distance, and better collaboration -- hardly mentioned in the standard materials.

Cisco on the other hand, has a proselyting CEO who loves this technology, one who uses it daily and speaks glowingly about it in forum after forum. In 135 weeks, they have installed 480 systems within the company for 40,000 employees; HP in almost two hundred weeks has managed only to install 80 in a company with 320,000 employees. Some might note that the cross-product is (320)/(40)*(480/80)*(200/135) = 72x more enthusiasm at Cisco than at HP

What's wrong with this picture (that $10,000,000 won't fix it)?

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