Shopping centre giant Westfield is understood to have installed around 40 of Cisco's TelePresence video-conferencing units across Australia; however, its spokespeople have said the deployment is in its "early stages" and only a trial.
The deployment, believed to be the largest in terms of the number of units, is understood to include 38 T500 units — the smaller, single screen systems, as opposed to the more widely-known triple-panel T3000s — and two Cisco mid-range T1000 units. Cisco's largest units entered the market two years ago, and were valued at around $300,000 a piece.
The T1000 units are believed to have been installed at Westfield's corporate headquarters with the 38 smaller units housed at Westfield's shopping centre network across Australia and New Zealand.
A Westfield spokesperson would only confirm to ZDNet.com.au that the systems were being trialled and that they were amongst a number of technologies it was assessing. However, it is understood that Westfield has already locked in a deal with Telstra to run the new systems as a managed service.
Westfield appears to be on a major push with video and screen technologies, seeing that last week the company announced it had deployed a raft of LED screens as part of an advertising platform push.
ZDNet.com.au understands that Westfield intends to offer the video-conferencing systems as a communications service to its extensive retailer client base, though the project has been kept under wraps until terms and pricing for access have been finalised.
It is believed that Telstra's managed service will enable Westfield's retailers to communicate with other businesses, rather than typical deployments which only enable intra-company communications on the system.