Cisco Public TelePresence Suites, a Starbucks on every corner?

I was asked last night what my opinion was on the new Cisco Public Telepresence Suites from a CIO in New York. So today I thought I would share my view on the subject, it is all not that bad. After I read this post below I tried to contact Cisco for a few days over email with no luck, bad email address. So I contacted Susan Bostrom and she put in me contact with the right people. I told them I was interested in the project and was looking to become a partner as they said they were looking for on their web site. But then started to think about it and talked to other people, and now I am having second thoughts.

After doing some research and reading it seem like Cisco has put all of their eggs in one basket with an India Company in Tata Communications. This makes me wonder why them and not an American Company? Is Cisco so worried about the American economy that much that they push something this big to an emerging market? They also asked for partners but yet they say Tata Communications will be putting out 100 suites in the next year, does not seem like there will be much room for more partners. Cisco did say they wanted the public suites to be like starbucks, one on every corner.

I think that's a bit ambitious by Cisco since these public suites are not cheap. Will Cisco work with new partners to finance the project through Cisco Capital? I think they will have to with the current economy to get more partners into the project. If Cisco offered me this through Cisco Capital I would be on board as long as I got into a few cities away from Tata Communication.

So is this a good or bad idea from Cisco, well I will say they needed a little help on the announcement and roll out to the public. When people want info, Cisco should have everything ready to send to them.  The package for potential partners should have been locked down before they stated they wanted new partners for this project. The pricing is a bit high for the public, for businesses it is ok but maybe still a bit too high. If they really want this to be a success they need to lower the price per hour down a bit too really get this in the public eye.

I ran the prices by some public people and they said no way, that's what why I have a video camera on my Skype.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/101508-cisco-tata-take-public-telepresence.html?hpg1=bn

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