HPL Press Releases

Human Productivity Lab Announces New Addition to Consulting Team

Collaboration adoption and training expert Stephanie L. Carhee joins group.

human productivity lab

Ashburn, VA – August 29, 2013

The consultancy Human Productivity Lab (HPL) is pleased to announce that senior technology executive Stephanie L. Carhee has joined their internationally renowned team to help clients improve their adoption and consumption of visual collaboration.

Ms. Carhee has worked in the technology industry for 20 years, including 10 years as the Senior Unified Communications Advisor at Cisco Systems. In 2004 she was awarded the Cisco Excellence Award for her work in defining a proven lifecycle methodology to accelerate enterprise customer implementations as well as a tool to train on how to properly prepare, plan, design, implement and support Collaboration Solutions.

Her specialties include Telepresence Change Management, Unified Communication Consumption Strategies, End User Adoption and Outcome-based Training Services, Organizational Transformation, Learning Strategy and Design, and Performance Business Process Improvement.

Ms. Carhee is also the author of numerous publications, including the 400 page book, The Road to IP Telephony, How Cisco Systems Migrated from PBX to IP Telephony, published by Cisco Press/Pearson Publishing. Her best practices have been featured in IQ, Packet, eWeek, BusinessEdge and VoIP magazine.

Howard Lichtman, HPL founder and president states, “We are thrilled to include Stephanie as part of our visual collaboration “Dream Team”. Her record of excellence, depth of experience, and proven ability to help clients adopt and implement advanced and emerging technology solutions will make her a key part of our team.”

Ms. Carhee is located in Chicago, IL and graduated from the UCLA Anderson School of Business MBE Program and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Communications. She will lead the HPL End User Adoption and Training Services practice where she will help clients improve their time-to-value and business relevance with an adoption strategies and training for videoconferencing, telepresence, unified communications, and IP telephony.

About the Human Productivity Lab:

The Human Productivity Lab is the leading consultancy for organizations looking to deploy and future-proof visual collaboration solutions including videoconferencing, telepresence, streaming video, unified communications, and Video Network Operation Centers.

The Human Productivity Lab offers organizations a host of consulting and advisory services including:

Video Conferencing Planning Guide PR

Human Productivity Lab Releases New Publication, “Planning a Video Conferencing or Telepresence Project”


Detailed guide outlines end-to-end planning of a telepresence or video conferencing project.

Ashburn, VA May 31, 2013

The visual collaboration consultancy Human Productivity Lab (HPL) announces the release of the publication Planning a Video Conferencing or Telepresence Project. Written by HPL Consultant Richard Tucker, this guide is based on the experiences and lessons learned by end user organizations that have implemented telepresence projects, from personal systems to immersive room systems.

The detailed guide provides information for end-to-end planning of a telepresence or video conferencing project, including an overview of solution types and components, budgeting, timelines, market considerations, and requirements determination. The guide also outlines how to get hands-on experience, select a provider and implement your solution.

Author Richard Tucker notes, “This guide will help end users understand everything they need to know to successfully create a telepresence project, starting with a high level explanation of telepresence solutions, all the way through design, delivery, testing and training.”

The 32 page Planning a Video Conferencing or Telepresence Project Guide, which includes detailed charts, diagrams and checklists, is available online.

The Human Productivity Lab, which recently expanded its consulting practice with addition of ten prominent industry experts in the fields of videoconferencing, telepresence, streaming media, robotic telepresence, and unified communications, will be available to meet with potential clients and partners at the InfoComm tradeshow in Orlando, Florida the week of June 10th-14th.

About Richard Tucker

Richard has extensive experience working with end user organizations to deliver telepresence solutions that meet business objectives. This includes strategy development, procurement and implementation of telepresence and video conferencing solutions, both standalone, and as part of broader unified communications solutions.

Click Here to: Download PDF version

HPL Dream Team PR



Adds Ten Prominent Experts including CEOs and Inventors in Europe and the United States

 Ashburn, VA, May 29th, 2013 – The visual collaboration consultancy Human Productivity Lab (HPL) is pleased to announce the addition of an internationally renowned team of experts to significantly expand the Lab’s consulting capabilities for enterprise clients and vendors/service providers.  The HPL team is now comprised of twelve consultants with diverse specialties within the fields of videoconferencing, telepresence, robotic telepresence, streaming media, unified communications, and visual collaboration.  The group comprises a talent pool that includes multiple former CEOs/company founders, multiple inventors and intellectual property developers, and specialists in the design, implementation, and adoption of visual collaboration solutions.

Continue Reading…..

Human Productivity Lab Charities 2012 – Helping Others


My favorite part of being a publisher is getting to promote deserving charities. In that spirit, I wanted to take a moment to recognize and promote some charities that were founded by members of the telepresence industry and a couple that are near and dear to some of us at the Human Productivity Lab and Telepresence Options. The list includes: Kiva, where our Linked In group: Telepresence Industry Professionals has a lending team, Bicycles for Humanity co-founded by Pat Montani, CEO & Co-founder of IP-V Gateways, Vacations for Veterans founded by Chris Carr, Director of Video Markets at MASERGY, The Fluoride Action Network which I am supporting, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. If anyone knows of any other worthy efforts supported by members of the industry then please pass them along and we will add them to the list.

Telepresence is Dead! Long Live Telepresence!


Telepresence is Dead! Long Live Telepresence!

An Expansion of my Remarks at the Visual Communications Industry Group Conference.

By Howard S. Lichtman, Publisher – Telepresence Options

Telepresence is Dead! That’s the meme that’s been going around the Internet lately to explain why the industry has seen a slowdown in multi-screen, multi-camera telepresence group systems. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

First, let’s address the slowdown: According to a report by Infonetics Research that came out in late September, revenue from the enterprise telepresence and videoconferencing market dropped six percent to $644MM in the second quarter of 2012 with Cisco taking the biggest hit with revenues down 17 percent and a five-point loss in marketshare. IDC reported that Immersive Telepresence sales collapsed 38 percent in August. Both Polycom and Cisco closed their quarters with revenue declines of about eight percent on group systems. Wainhouse Research shows multi-camera, multi-codec shipments have declined to 2008 levels after seeing a peak in 2010.

Sounds bad, eh? Keep in mind that this sales decline in the two most expensive (and sophisticated) providers of visual collaboration solutions on the market comes at a time when less expensive upstarts like Vidyo are reporting they are growing at four times the industry average. In addition, the decline comes after telepresence group systems became one of the fastest selling new product classes in telecommunications history even with a price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars per room so there was probably a little market saturation. Also, the decline in both room systems and multi-camera, multi-codec systems comes during a global economic depression which has seen demand destruction across virtually every industry. Finally, the visual collaboration industry is expanding rapidly with a host of new visual collaboration solutions from relatively new companies: Zoom, Spranto, Ten Hands, FuzeBox, Vu Telepresence; major Chinese players (such as Huawei and ZTE) making their first significant push into foreign markets; and established companies that have never had a visual collaboration offering before or are expanding into delivering their own solutions, including Brother, AVI-SPL and Adobe Connect.

The reality is that for an industry experiencing Shumpeterian creative destruction at the speed of light (both figuratively and literally), a flurry of new entrants, and a global economic depression, that sales remain relatively steady and most analysts see continued investment and growth. Research and Markets is predicting the industry will grow at a CAGR of over 27 percent between 2011-2015. Infonetics sees spending of $22 billion through 2016. So reports of the death of telepresence have been greatly exaggerated.

The more important issue is that telepresence should not be defined by the sale of multi-screen, multi-codec group systems at all. Our definition of telepresence conferencing is: “Visual collaboration solutions that address the human factors of participants and attempt to replicate, as closely as possible, an in-person experience.” Under that definition, the revolution is very much alive and kicking. At the VCI-Group conference in Monterey I polled the audience of visual collaboration architects from some of the leading companies, universities, and governmental agencies in the world, including Accenture, Mitre, Pfizer, Penn State, the Cleveland Clinic, and NOAA, among others. I asked how many would dream of deploying a visual collaboration environment today and not addressing the human factors of participants to the greatest extent they could afford. Not a single hand went up.

The industry has exploded with innovations that improve the human factors of visual collaboration experiences while the cost of high-quality components such as: HD video codecs, large format displays (65 inch and larger), and ultra-bright DLP projectors are dropping like rocks.

Here is a broad survey of some of the many innovations in the human factors of visual collaboration from both industry and academia.

Altia just announced on Kickstarter its PanaCast, a panoramic camera with a 200-degree capture, and it funded in two days.

ProjectionDesign just came out with a ultra-wide panoramic projector.

Microsoft Research is working on technologies that project on all four walls, an augmented-reality display called the Holoreflector and a lens technology called wedge optics that can be embedded in the screen at eye-level to solve the parallax issue.

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Japanese telecom provider NTT is experimenting with rotating semitransparent screens.

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U.S. start up Revolve Robotics is doing something similar with iPads.


Visual collaboration is getting integrated into virtual worlds where avatars can interact in a shared virtual space including shifting to a videoconferencing experience between participants. Virtual business worlds are a form of “telepresence” in-and-of themselves.


Danish researchers are exploring mediated spaces and sketching


I’m working with Herold Williams, the inventor of the TeleSuite (now Polycom RPX) on a technology that will bring the farthest participants in an elongated conference room “up close and personal” while improving both gaze angle and meeting format. Williams also has designs for a highly immersive telepresence environment that could be deployed in the $130,000 range.

The telepresence revolution continues!


We are gearing up to continue our coverage in the next issue of Telepresence Options Magazine which will be printed in late February and put into the mail March 1 for delivery to 100+ countries this year. You can subscribe for free at www.TelepresenceOptions.com/magazine. If you are interested in advertising in the issue, we just kicked off our 2013 advertising program.

Howard S. Lichtman – Publisher & Editor-in-chief

Howard S. Lichtman is a visual collaboration-focused technologist, author, publisher and consultant with specialties in telepresence, videoconferencing, and visual collaboration to improve organizational and personal productivity. He is the founder and president of the Human Productivity Lab, an independent consultancy and research firm that helps organizations design telepresence strategies and deploy telepresence solutions. He is the editor-in-chief of Telepresence Options Magazine and the monthly Telepresence Options Telegraph, the world’s most widely read publications focused on telepresence, videoconferencing, and visual collaboration technologies.

Mr. Lichtman is also the author and/or co-author of the Telepresence Options 2011 Yearbook (2011), The Inter-Company Telepresence and Videoconferencing Handbook (2009), The Telepresence and Videoconferencing Exchange Review(2010), Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light (2006), and Emerging Technologies for Teleconferencing and Telepresence (2005). He is currently working on Telepresence Options 2013.


Will Expand the HPL’s end user Education Practice and contribute to telepresence options and telepresence options magazine

Ashburn, VA, September 8th, 2011 – Telepresence and visual collaboration consultancy Human Productivity Lab (HPL) is pleased to announce that David S. Maldow has joined as an analyst and writer. David is a visual collaboration technologist with extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration technologies.  David will be focused on providing third-party independent testing of telepresence and visual collaboration endpoints and infrastructure and helping industry participants explain complicated subjects through white papers and other end-user facing publications.  Finally, David will be a contributor to the Human Productivity Lab’s publications: Telepresence Options and Telepresence Options Magazine.

Prior to joining the team at HPL and Telepresence Options, David worked at industry analyst firm Wainhouse Research (WR) as a member of their video collaboration coverage team. While at WR, he supported a variety of videoconferencing, streaming, and end-user consulting projects. David managed WR’s videoconferencing test lab where he oversaw and conducted evaluations of rich media products and solutions. David wrote, or co-wrote, numerous evaluations and other reports for WR publications.

David has hands on experience with many videoconferencing and other rich media solutions from his years of conducting evaluations, as well as an insider perspective gained from countless briefings with product development teams. As such, David brings a unique blend of user and industry knowledge to the team.  Human Productivity Lab President and Telepresence Options publisher Howard Lichtman commented “David has a superb knack for explaining complicated technologies which should pair nicely with Telepresence Options’ ability to disseminate to the largest identifiable audience in the world interested in visual collaboration.

“Telepresence, visual collaboration, and rich media are incredibly exciting fields right now,” commented David.  “The technology has reached a point where it not only provides an acceptable experience; it can provide a fantastic experience. Unfortunately, the technology can still be confusing and overwhelming. The Human Productivity Lab is helping people understand their “telepresence options” and how to use these collaboration capabilities to increase productivity and improve quality of life. I have been a believer in visual collaboration since day one and I am excited to be a part of a team making the dream a reality for end-users.”  David can be reached at David@TelepresenceOptions.com

About the Human Productivity Lab:

The Human Productivity Lab is the leading consultancy for organizations looking to cost-effectively deploy and future-proof telepresence and visual collaboration. The Human Productivity Lab offers telepresence end-user firms, vendors, and investors a host of advisory services including: Equipment Acquisition, Managed Services & Network Consulting; RFI & RFP Preparation; Telepresence and Visual Collaboration Strategy; Investor Due Diligence; and Best Practice Assessments. The Lab also publishes Telepresence Options, the #1 publication focused on telepresence and visual collaboration. More information at: www.HumanProductivityLab.com

About Telepresence Options

The Telepresence Options website at www.TelepresenceOptions.com is the #1 website in the world covering telepresence and effective visual collaboration with over 20,000+ unique visitors per month from 165+ countries. The company also publishes the Telepresence and Videoconferencing Catalog which is the most comprehensive on-line overview of telepresence and visual collaboration solutions.   The Telepresence Options Telegraph newsletter has over 5,000 subscribers and is the most widely read periodical in the world focused exclusively on telepresence and visual collaboration. The brand recently launched Telepresence Options Magazine with 2400+ hard copy subscribers in 25+ countries and hard copy distribution at conferences and events of 8500+.




ASHBURN, VIRGINIA – May 10, 2011– Telepresence Options, the leading publishing firm and website covering telepresence and effective visual collaboration, has announced the launch of Telepresence Options Magazine. The new periodical covers the revolution in telepresence conferencing, telepresence robotics and high-definition visual collaboration which is restructuring work, impacting business travel /airline profitability, and enhancing interaction of friends and families separated by distance.

The first issue of the magazine covers telepresence end-points and environments and is available in both hard copy and a digital edition.

Articles include:
What is Telepresence?
Understanding the Telepresence Marketplace: Endpoints & Environments
Robotic Telepresence: A Primer & Tale of the Tape
The ROI of Telepresence in a World of Economic & Geopolitical Uncertainty
Creating Telepresence Environments: A Design Guide

Subscription is free and provides instant access to the digital edition at
The next issue which will be published in fall of 2011 will cover: Video Network Infrastructure, Managed Services, Internetworking, Security, and Exchange



Telepresence Consultancy Human Productivity Lab will be exhibiting in South Upper Hall in Booth SU9307

Ashburn, virginia – April 5th, 2011 – Human Productivity Lab, the leading telepresence and visual collaboration consultancy, today announced that Howard S. Lichtman, the firm’s president, will be speaking at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Mr. Lichtman will be speaking on the topic of Telepresence, Visual Collaboration, and Hollywood at the 10:15 session on Tuesday, April 12 in Room S225

Mr.Lichtman’s presentation will focus on what telepresence REALLY is, how it is revolutionizing how movies are being made, how it integrates into global transmedia events and cuts the cost of capturing and delivering content globally.  Emphasis will be placed on what the broadcasting industry needs to know to be ahead of the curve, cut costs, and create compelling content using the latest and greatest tools in the kit.  Topics include: Telepresence in editing and production, on-stage telepresence, telepresence integration into transmedia events, and leveraging low-cost, high-speed, high-quality networks for real-time content acquisition and broadcast.

In addition, Human Productivity Lab will be an exhibitor at the NAB Show on April 11-14 and can be found in the South Upper Hall in Booth SU9307.  Howard Lichtman and Thomas Kayser, Managing Director of the Lab’s European Consulting Practice out of Frankfurt, Germany will be on hand to discuss how the Lab can help global organizations supercharge their telepresence and visual collaboration strategies to cut costs, improve productivity, and connect with partners, vendors, and customers.

The Human Productivity Lab is an independent research firm and consultancy that follows the telepresence and visual collaboration industry. The Lab’s Telepresence Consulting Practice specializes in helping Fortune 5000 corporations and leading international organizations understand, evaluate, design, purchase and effectively deploy telepresence and visual collaboration solutions.


“Telepresence Industry Professionals” group now on XING

Frankfurt/Main, Germany – November 14th, 2010 – The Human Productivity Lab launches the new “Telepresence Industry Professionals” group on social network XING

The Human Productivity Lab, the leading independent research firm and consultancy that follows the telepresence and visual collaboration industry, is pleased to announce the new “Telepresence Industry Professionals” group on XING. The company’s flagship industry association on Linked In is now over 3500 members.

XING is one of the biggest social network for business professionals. XING currently has more than ten million registered users, 4.2 million of whom are from German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) where the platform is successfully building on its market leadership. XING’s core international markets, Turkey and Spain, are also experiencing accelerating member growth with Turkey notching up more than 980,000 members and Spain passing the 1.5 million mark. XING AG, a publicly listed company, is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with key strategic offices in Barcelona, Spain, and Istanbul, Turkey. XING’s members are highly active. With more than 40,000 specialist groups available, they go online to exchange information and views while also meeting in person at networking events.

The “Telepresence Industry Professionals”group is open for all German-speaking XING members working in the field of telepresence or HD videoconferencing. Regardless if as vendor, end-user, as engineer or in sales or marketing. The goal is to offer a vendor-neutral platform to discuss telepresence and HD videoconferencing products, trends and news, current and future developments, events and jobs. Although active for just a few weeks, with 180+ members the group is already the #1 German-speaking community for telepresence!

The English-speaking “sister-community” Telepresence Industry Professionals (TIP) on Linked In has been very successful over the past years. It is the Human Productivity Lab’s telepresence industry association on Linked In which is now over 3500 members! The group is a superb venue for discussion, networking, and industry news and information. There is a job board for organizations looking for talent and for folks that are in the market for their next gig.

To get a member please sign:  
XING: http://www.xing.com/group-56506.f9483f
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=76977


World’s Most Comprehensive On-Line Resource for telepresence, Videoconferencing, and unified Communications Solutions
Ashburn, virginia – June 2nd, 2010– Telepresence Options launches the on-line Telepresence and Videoconferencing Catalog @ www.TelepresenceCatalog.com

Telepresence Options
, the #1 website following telepresence and effective visual collaboration has launched the world’s most comprehensive on-line catalog of telepresence, videoconferencing, and unified communications solutions at www.TelepresenceCatalog.com.

The new Telepresence and Videoconferencing Catalog breaks out technology solutions for visual collaboration into a variety of categories: Telepresence Stage and Podium Systems, Group Systems, Large Group Systems, Small Group Systems, Executive Systems, Telemedicine & Healthcare TP, Video Conference Systems, Video Network Infrastructure, Cameras and Codecs, Managed Services Provider, Inter-Networking Provider, TP and VC Exchange Services, Resellers and Integrators, Consultants, Recording, Streaming, and Archiving, Video Network Management, Public Telepresence and VC Rooms, Peripherals and Accessories, Telepresence Robotics, Virtual Reality CAVESs, Unified Communications, Desktop Conferencing, Webconferencing and Virtual Collaboration, Display Technologies, Publications, Conferences and Events.

Telepresence Options’ Publisher, Howard S. Lichtman explains the rationale for the new Catalog: “We are constantly amazed at how many sophisticated organizations are only familiar with a small handful of telepresence, UC, and visual collaboration offerings.  We wanted to create an on-line marketplace where buyers have the broadest view of their options including solutions that they didn’t know existed.

For companies that are taking their visual collaboration solutions to-market we wanted to create a cost-effective targeted way to reach those interested at the optimum time: When they are reaching their telepresence and unified communications options!”

The new Catalog is a stand-alone website that is already rising rapidly in the search engine rankings.  The site is promoted by www.TelepresenceOptions.com which has seen its traffic double since 2009.  The new website will also be promoted through the Telepresence Options Telegraph newsletter, the Human Productivity Lab’s website, Telepresence Industry Professionals, and banner ad and search engine advertising on other websites.

Vendors interested in having their solutions listed in the Telepresence and Videoconferencing can download information here: http://www.telepresencecatalog.com/category/get-listed/