IT service provider CSC has debuted Cisco’s TelePresence platform as a cloud-based managed service, potentially extending the reach of the video-based collaboration tool to more and smaller enterprises.

The limiting factor on TelePresence has long been the cost—equipment and bandwidth are expensive, meaning only the largest and most well-heeled companies could afford to indulge. This move could mark the beginning of a shift to acceptance and deployment by smaller companies with lesser resources to devote to the service.

TelePresence is meant to emulate a live, in-person meeting as closely as possible, with participants sitting across conference tables virtually from one another with high-end video and audio. CSC’s offering entails renting cameras and monitors rather than buying them. The firm’s TelePresence as a Service offering also provides packages at fixed monthly costs and simplified user interfaces, according to CSC.

The company is now a Cisco TelePresence Authorized Technology Provider in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Infonetics has forecasted global revenue in video-conferencing and telepresence markets to hit $5 billion by 2015, up from $2.2 billion in 2010.

Check out a video on the new application of telepresence here, where Nimesh Shah, CSC's Global Portfolio Executive for Managed Network Services, talks about how the company’s offering moves TelePresence from a major capex outlay to an operating expense.