Friday, June 1, 2007

Cisco's First Canadian Telepresence Sale - and Arnold Likes it

I'm not talking about myself, actually. This week, Arnold Schwarzenegger made a cross-Canada tour, with a stop here in Toronto the other day. Lots of green agenda messaging, which is great, and I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with Cisco and Rogers.

Well, here's why. In honor of his presence - not telepresence - he was actually here - Cisco sponsored a splashy event around the opening of a Canada/California trade mission. During the event, Cisco announced their first Canadian telepresence customer - Rogers. Sounds like a great first customer to me, as Rogers is probably more aligned with Cisco's vision that just about anybody, especially among big companies. As I'm saying that now, I just remembered that's exactly what I said in December while attending Cisco's analyst conference, which you can read here, or on Cisco's own blog page. Gee, what I said then now looks pretty prescient, if I must say!

Fast forward ahead today, and the news was officially announced this afternoon. You can read about it in Cisco's own words here.

And in case you're wondering, there's one more loose end to tie up here, and it's probably the most important one. As all Canadians know by now, Gov'r. Schwarzenegger has an aggressive green agenda, which was very well received here - that's what made the front pages in Canada all week - not telepresence.

Well, anyone following telepresence knows that cutting down on travel, carbon emissions, etc. is a strong selling point, and Cisco's John Chambers has been quite vocal about that. The environmental angle was only mentioned in passing in Cisco's news release, but you can be sure that was a big part of what Arnold was talking about during his Toronto visit when the news was announced. After all, Cisco is based in his state, and to make the connection clear, during the event I'm told there was a video clip of him and John Chambers make a telepresence call to Ted Rogers, CEO of Rogers. That must have been fun! Ok - I think all the dots are connnected now - back to work...

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