Cisco UMI Price Cut

Well I could have told you this would happen….hmmmm, maybe I did.

The high and mighty are finding out (I spotted this article by Marguerite Reardon, CNET) that HD video conferencing is not all it is cracked up to be for the average person sitting at home.

Sure you can over-charge those companies with unlimited $$ to buy virtually useless tools (like a TELEPRESENCE ROOM that only talks to another room of equal cost at the other end), but not so at home.  It’s not all about the “experience”.  DUH.

You gotta be good, you gotta be easy-to-use, but, most of all….you gotta be cheap.

$399 (per end) is still too high, as is $9.95 per month.  Ahem…Skype is free, ooVoo is free.

A free version (that, by the way, also works with Skype) is good.

Looking into my crystal ball (because I have seen the high and mightly fall so often in the videoconferencing space) I see tough times ahead for UMI.  Unless….well, unless things change, and change quickly, or Cisco’s deep pockets can keep it alive until no one cares anymore…

Why UMI when you can Skype?

That is my question….feel free to comment.  And the “experience” is off the table…that is nonsense.

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About Mike Pihlman

Owner of AltamontCowork, a coworking location in Tracy, CA. I am the Director of ForCarol.com a 501c3 non-profit that awards college scholarships to local scholars in honor of my daughter's best friend, and our part-time daughter, Carol Phan who we lost on Sept 18, 2010, Book Review blogger (TracyReaderDad.com).

Posted on March 7, 2011, in VideoConferencing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi there, read your post and I had a couple of quick answers to your question:

    “Why UMI when you can Skype?”
    1. Simple, Skype gives me 640×480 max. UMI supports 1080p. On a 52″ LED 1080p TV, it’s a big difference.
    2. The consumer to business connectivity.

    Couple of things:
    1. HDTV needs time to grow. Who would’ve thought they would pay $10 /month for HDTV and an additional $5 a month for a DVR? The same can be said for smartphones, 3G and upcoming 4G is a rip off at $20/$30 a month for capped data. If we buy that bandwidth at the home, it’s a FRACTION of the cost (HDTVs consume like 500Gb a month). Yet we gladly pay for our data plans.
    2. Cisco needs to have a road for standards based video and interop. All the solutions out there are proprietary now. None support SIP, H.323. And that’s the challenge of why Facetime, Skype, GoogleTalk are ALL silos. If Cisco is the first to push this, they are in good position.
    3. Cisco needs to push this solution to a variety of devices. Develop UMI connect for iOS, Android, etc. People will use UMI connect if it’s free and can actually talk to anything. The problem is Apple might reject the app, seeing that it competes with FaceTime.

    Thoughts?
    -Valkur

  1. Pingback: Cisco Umi Update « TelBitConsulting: Technology Simplified

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