Tely Labs Seeks to 'Rescue' Cisco umi Users

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People losing access to their Cisco umi telepresence service, which will not work as of 11:59 p.m. Pacific on Jan. 31, have a switchover opportunity.

Today, Tely Labs said it has launched a "umi Rescue" program. The offer provides umi users with a $50 rebate for each telyHD device they buy, or $100 for each telyHD Business Edition video conferencing platform. The "umi Rescue" runs through Feb. 28. Purchases must be conducted through the Tely Labs website.

“Cisco has proven that it is not easy to build an affordable video conferencing and collaboration solution that truly meets the needs of consumers or small and medium business users," Sreekanth Ravi, CEO of Tely Labs, said in a press release. “We are completely focused on innovating in this segment and have delivered a game-changing solution."

Tely Labs said the telyHD is Skype-certified and delivers HD, two-party Skype video calling on any standard HDTV without a computer. The Business Edition features multiparty video calling, desktop sharing and document collaboration for SMBs. The latter is built on the Android platform as well as proprietary Tely Labs technology. Business users can connect up to six locations at one time. A Windows app facilitates wireless desktop sharing and document collaboration for Microsoft Office documents, Adobe PDFs and web pages. 

telyHD BE costs $499 per location; the price includes the first year of service. Thereafter, the annual service fee totals $199. telyHD costs $249 per location, with no ongoing service fees. 

Cisco is shutting down the umi after two years of little market adoption. After all, the $600 high-def webcam came with a $25 monthly service fee and sought to compete against Skype and other free Internet video services. The product, launched in late 2010, prompted disbelief among industry pundits who wondered what Cisco was thinking. Ultimately, their skepticism proved accurate. In just about two weeks, Cisco will end its umi service.

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