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What Do You Call It?

Question: What should end-users - not buyers or collaboration managers, real end-users - call an electronic meeting among professionals in disparate locations who are connected in part by high definition video technology and that's held in a room with superb lighting, acoustics, furniture design, and wall paint color and mediates people to their life-like human personas across distance?

Answer: ...Hello? ...Answer please. ...Anyone out there? C'mon Cisco, we need a noun and maybe a verb! Because we know "it's not a videoconference." End-users wouldn't call it that, right?

Check out the product-placement vendor promotion of telepresence that targets ordinary people at home watching their favorite TV shows. These people at home are the very people who might use remote meeting technologies at work, right? ...What do the actors say from the carefully crafted script when referring to the so-called telepresence system?

On Fox's "Vanished" the Cisco TelePresence system is referred to as "the call" that you're "patched" into. See video below.

On CBS's "Numb3rs," DVE's telepresence system is referred to as "the teleconference." See video below

In this doozy of a corporate video below from Cisco, a woman executive asks her colleague, if it's "a videoconference" to which he replies: "I wouldn't call it that."

So let's see. A few vendors are dissing the term "videoconference," yet their carefully chosen words to describe a telepresence system uses vintage telephony jargon. Oh the ironies!

We suggest that telepresence system promoters who are dissing "videoconferencing" come up with a noun and a verb (like videconference and videoconferencing) that describe their telepresence system meetings and the action of using it - for end-users. Until you do, we suggest not touting your high-end videoconferencing systems by saying "It's not videoconferencing" and offering no new name - for what's obviously a videoconference.


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