Introducing a robust new product to a market that analysts say is poised to see rapid growth, a global communications provider that brings connectivity to more than 200 nations today announced that it’s teaming up with a business travel management provider on a new telepresence offering.
Officials at Tata Communications say they’ve joined Carlson Wagonlit Travel on “CWT Telepresence,” an enhancement to the latter’s broader offering that will leverage Tata Communications’ network of public Cisco (News - Alert) “TelePresence Suites” worldwide.
John Landau, senior vice president of global managed services for Tata Communications (News - Alert), told TMCnet in an interview that the company’s comprehensive telepresence solution includes managed private rooms as well as public Cisco TelePresence Suites and the telepresence exchange.
For customers who are looking for their internal rooms, Landau told TMCnet, Tata Communications provides an end-to-end service to establish these facilities around the world.
“To extend the coverage to their smaller sites, our world’s first public Cisco TelePresence Suites offer the facilities at pay-per-use hourly rates,” he told TMCnet. “To enable connectivity between an enterprise’s business system, our telepresence exchangeis designed to conveniently support business-to-business sessions on a global basis between any Cisco telepresence rooms (public or private), irrespective of the network service provider. These three components provide customers with a Telepresence (News - Alert) solution that can facilitate connectivity to a broad segment of their business community, high ROI and low TCO.”
Today, the company offers state-of-the-art private and public rooms that help companies boost their productivity, cut costs, and conduct meetings as often as needed while reducing their carbon footprint, Landau said.
“Furthermore, the seamless interconnectivity of our private and public rooms through our telepresence exchange minimizes distances across the globe and brings more people together quickly and easily,” he said.
That quality in the technology is a major piece of its rising value, according to market research analysts. As more and more companies look for cost savings during the economic downturn, high-tech solutions such as telepresence and video conferencing services are becoming more popular.
One recent report found that the telepresence solutions and video conferencing market is posed for strong growth. By 2014, the market is expected to reach $4.7 billion, according to analyst group Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert).
Of that total, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be a major market for telepresence and will account for more than one-third of the total market, or $1.7 billion in revenue, the report said.
“The telepresence market in Asia is definitely seeing a strong growth and awareness,” said Pranabesh Nath, an industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan’s ICT Practice for Asia Pacific,“However, to realize the full potential of this technology, customers need to be able to talk to each other no matter what telepresence system or vendor they use.”
What’s driving the growth? According to Frost & Sullivan, the introduction of higher quality products, dropping broadband prices, and the need to cut business travel costs are just some factors fueling telepresence.
Tata Communications’ managed telepresence technology allows small groups to use high-definition video and real-time audio to meet at any time from multiple locations, worldwide. Equipped with life-size images and immersive technology, participants have the effective experience of sitting opposite one another in the same room.
In addition to connecting and managing on-site private telepresence facilities for companies worldwide, Tata Communications manages several public rooms available on a pay-per-use basis in the United States, England, India, South Africa and the Philippines. The company also recently announced plans with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to open additional rooms worldwide in Starwood Hotels by the end of 2009.
According to Landau, using the Tata telepresence services increases the accessibility of businesses beyond major company offices to their wider ecosystem of users, including customers, suppliers, remote workers and business partners.
“We are excited to be working with Carlson Wagonlit Travel and look forward to helping them add a new dimension to their clients’ managed travel programs,” he said.
Michael Dinan is a group managing editor for TMCnet, overseeing TMCnet's Web editorial team and covering news in the IP communications, CRM and VoIP industries. He also oversees production of e-Newsletters in the areas of 4G wireless technology and smart products. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan