Speaking with a friend who purchased the Cisco UMI Telepresence from Best Buy, I was made aware he cannot get service on the product. Also I was made aware that Best Buy had a fire sale on the product, selling them at a price of 2 for 1 not so long ago and then pulling the product from sale.
No formal announcement or press release was ever put out by Cisco. The Cisco UMI web site is still up and running so I decided to call customer service to get some answers. I called the number on the web site and after being transferred twice was told that the Home Product Call Center I was talking to no longer took calls for the UMI as it has been discontinued. They told me to call another number that would be for UMI Technical Support and maybe they could help me more with any questions.
So I called the new number to Technical Support for the UMI product, I was told that the product is under evaluation, they are not shipping or making the product at the moment. If I wanted to the product I should look on eBay for it as no retailer has the product. I then asked him, so it is really discontinued but you cannot say that, right? The technical support person from Cisco just mumbled at me. I took that as a yes.
I decided to call around to other retailers who were to have stocked the product and found out that they don't carry the UMI by Cisco. The places I called were Radio Shack, Staples, Office Depot and Office Max. These were given to me by UMI Support as other retailers who carried the product.
Cisco in the beginning had an agreement just to sell the product out of Best Buy Magnolia department, but as you can see below they had a fire sale on the product. This product was Cisco push into the consumer living room and pushed very hard by the CTO Padmasree Warrior. She has pushed Cisco into the consumer arena from her days at Motorola where she was the CTO and led Motorola downhill and down in revenue during her time. Seems she has done the same thing at Cisco, first the flip and now the UMI, I wonder what will be next for her to push on Chambers? Also since she took over as CTO Cisco has had a steady decline in market share, sales and profits.
When will Chambers realize what she is doing to Cisco and get Cisco back on track? Back to the roots that Cisco was built on and of which is losing to vendors like Juniper, Arista Networks, HP and others.
But now that the cat is out of the bag, Cisco can issue that press release telling the world that yep, we were wrong again and so was the vision of Padmasree Warrior.
Reference Links Below:
Bring far away family and friends into your home right through your TV. Simply connect this ūmi system to your HDTV and broadband Internet connection for crystal-clear get-togethers. (Monthly subscription required.) It also lets you check video messages on the go, screen video calls and create videos for sharing via Facebook or e-mail.
Now when you purchase a Cisco ūmi Telepresence webcam system, you get a second one for free.
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Larry Chaffin Ph.D is the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman and founder of Pluto Networks, a Consulting and VAR partner specializing in WAN acceleration, VoIP, WLAN, telepresence and security.
Pluto Networks is a Riverbed reseller. Pluto was previously a Cisco reseller but in June, 2010, ended its reseller relationship with the company and is no longer a Cisco channel partner.
Pluto Networks specializes in the needs of small, large and enterprise companies by always giving them a great ROI on the products they sell. Pluto Networks has a presence in 23 countries around the world enabling all of its consultants to be virtual. Larry was a Judge at Interop for the Best of Interop Awards for 2009.
Larry has also co-authored all of the books listed below:
Managing Cisco Secure Networks, Skype Me, Practical VOIP Security, Configuring Check Point NGX VPN-1/Firewall-1,Configuring Juniper Networks NetScreen & SSG Firewalls,Essential Computer Security: Everyone's Guide to Email, Internet, and Wireless Security, How to Cheat at Microsoft Vista Administration, Microsoft Vista for IT Security Professionals, Asterisk Hacking, 2008 VoIP and Video Conferencing, Infosecurity 2008 Threat Analysis and author of Building a VOIP Network with Nortel's MS5100, along with co-authoring/ghost writing eleven other technology books for VIOP, WLAN, security and optical technologies. Larry is currently working on a follow up to Building a VoIP network with Nortel's MCS 5100 Book as well as new books on Cisco Telepresence Networks, Practical VoIP case studies and WAN Acceleration with Riverbed.
Larry also has more than 29 vendor certifications and has been working on many others. Larry has been a principal architect around the world in 22 countries for many Fortune 100 companies designing VoIP, security, wireless and optical networks. He has expanded over time also to include application acceleration. Larry is working with worldwide company now out of Asia as a Special Assistant to the CEO and CIO as they go through organizational and network changes, helping them with strategic advice from his years of experience.
Pluto Networks is a channel partner of, LifeSize, Riverbed, Call Copy, Fastsoft and Symantec.