Cisco Telepresence vs HP Halo

Cisco Telepresence
Meet face-to-face with remote customers, suppliers, and partners using the Cisco TelePresence. Build and scale differentiated video collaboration rooms to meet the needs of your organization—from small huddle spaces to large, customized board rooms. Now you can with the Cisco TelePresence SX Series, a powerful and flexible technology platform designed for integrators.
HP Halo
HP Halo is a state-of-the-art telepresence solution that brings meeting attendees from around the globe into an environment that feels as if they are in the same room. The only telepresence offering that runs on a private network designed specifically for video collaboration Delivers fully duplexed audio, company-to-company connections via the Halo network and 24/7 support with concierge service. HP Halo acquired by Polycom
Cisco Telepresence vs HP Halo in our news:

2011 - Polycom buys HP's videoconferencing business to take on ClearOne

Polycom HP Halo

In 2009 Cisco acquired the leading videoconferencing provider Tandberg and get too much power in this market. And of course, the competitors had to do something with that. At first the rumors appeared that HP would buy the second largest market player - Polycom. But it turned out that Polycom is more interested and more solid in the videoconferencing market than HP. Yesterday Polycom announced that it will buy HP's video conferencing business for $89 million. HP is mainly focused on high-end telepresence systems, sold under the Halo brand. They will organically supplement the Polycom's mainly low-end video conferencing solutions. However, according to the market experts, the main competition will take place not between the two giants Cisco and Polycom, but between the two approaches to videoconferencing. First - is expensive hardware systems (Cisco and Polycom) and the second - cheap and mobile Internet services (Microsoft Skype, Google Talk, GoToMeeting).

2009 - Cisco buys Tandberg for $3 billions to win over LifeSize

Cisco videoconference

Cisco Systems announced that it has agreed to acquire Norwegian videoconference equipment maker Tandberg for $3 billions in cash. Cisco competed with Tandberg on the high end of the videoconferencing market (in the telepresence niche), but on the smb videoconferencing  market, they had no chance to reach the Norwegian company. So they decided to buy the rival and its 40% market share. In result Cisco becomes the leading vendor of the video systems that range from small "videophones" to full conference-room setups. Number two in this space, US based Polycom has 34% market share. By the way, it's rumored that Polycom after that has all chances to be acquired by another IT giant,

2009 - HP SkyRoom to rival Skype and Webex to strike back at Polycom

HP SkyRoom

It's generally known, that Hewlett-Packard produces the complex telepresence and collaboration system Halo. It costs almost half a million dollars and occupies a whole conference room. But as the rich customers die out, HP is going to target the small business market with its new HP SkyRoom. It's a p2p application (like Skype) for videoconferencing and collaboration. Unlike Skype it supports up to 4 concurrent users that can share video, documents, applications, 3d-content, files, streaming video and whiteboard. SkyRoom is a business-class system. First, video quality and screen-sharing speed is very high. Of course, it requires a powerful computer and broad internet channel (at least Core 2 Duo 2.33 GHz, 2 GB, 1Mbit channel). Second, it provides a high level of security by encrypting all streams of media—audio, video, and data.

Unlike Webex, SkyRoom can support multiple monitors. I.e. you can see your co-workers on one screen and shared document or application on another. SkyRoom has no inbuilt text chat and online status indication, but can be smoothly integrated with MS Office Communications Server and Jabber for these needs. To plan a meeting, it can create appointments in MS Outlook.

Of course, it's not a freeware, but it's rather affordable. One-user SkyRoom license costs $149 (one time fee). Yes, it's more expansive than Skype's $0, but cheaper than Webex's $59 per month.