It lived a good life. It showed people what video technology could unleash by putting training wheels on the video communications experience while adding cost, complexity and inflexibility. It was a solution for the select few. We thank telepresence – the three-screen, mirrored room, luxe video conferencing category – for giving the market a proof of concept. But its 15 minutes have come to a timely end.

There’s been a lot of industry buzz around both the Forbes contributed article and some new research that several analyst firms have debuted on the global video conferencing and telepresence market.

According to Frost & Sullivan, immersive telepresence remains a niche solution due to its exorbitantly high costs to purchase and operate. The firm reported that revenue growth from multi-codec immersive telepresence systems was significantly lower than the revenue growth in single-codec room systems in 2011. Further, Wainhouse Research reported a 16.3% year-over-year decline worldwide in the telepresence category.

So why is telepresence becoming obsolete?

The answer comes down to the two most valuable aspects of any company’s business: time and money. Let’s break it down.

According to Gartner, the total cost of deploying a single immersive telepresence suite (in just one room) can range in list price from $200,000 to $700,000. Tack on the managed service elements (which can average about $12,000 per system, per month with dedicated network bandwidth) and you’re looking at one hefty, ongoing price tag.

Businesses simply can’t justify the staggering costs to deploy telepresence. And honestly even if they could afford to, why would they? Is nearly half a million dollars really justifiable when all you need is to connect disparate teams to collaborate over just-as-good-as-being-there video?

There’s a better way

The time has come to enable companies to reap the rewards of the “telepresence promise” that’s within reach for every business. Organizations need technology that improves productivity, increases face-to-face communication and speeds up decision making at a price point that makes sense. You shouldn’t be bound by the technology you’re using; it should enhance the way you work. Being able to have a video call with any vendor, client or colleague (no matter what device they’re using) is no longer a nice-to-have option. It should be a requirement – anyone, anywhere, on any device. That’s why we developed the Lifesize Icon Series, a new product line that brings the quality of the telepresence experience with a price point that’s within reach for any-sized company.