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London – 15 June 2010 – Tata Communications and BT today announce an agreement and associated customer trials for the industry’s first commercial service to allow customers on either of their existing video exchanges to establish conferences with customers on the other’s video exchange. The collaboration will provide each organization with open access to a much broader network of businesses.
This represents a major step towards open, ubiquitous connectivity between Telepresence™ endpoints, regardless of their parent network. The service will help enable Telepresence users to reach more partners, suppliers, customers and prospects at public and private end-points and will facilitate globally distributed, real time face-to-face virtual conference meetings that drive greater value to the collaborating businesses.
Using the intercompany service that both organizations are launching, any Cisco TelePresence customer of BT’s Global Video Exchange or Tata Communications’ Global Meeting Exchange can invite clients of the other service provider to join them in multipoint Telepresence meetings. The meetings can be hosted on either the Tata Communications or the BT Telepresence Exchange.
“Trials with current customers across both exchange networks have been strongly received”, says John Landau, SVP, Global Head of Voice, Video and Mobility, Tata Communications. “We are excited that two of the world’s leading Telepresence service providers have come together to open up this unprecedented collaboration opportunity for our existing and future customers. Cooperation was easy because BT Conferencing and Tata Communications share a common goal to provide our customers open video conferencing sessions with any other business around the world.”
Customers who wish to use the intercompany service simply need to contact their respective service provider with their request. They will then be given the necessary conferencing information to share with the other meeting participants so that they too can join the meeting. Customers will maintain their existing commercial relationship with their service provider at all times.
Jeff Prestel, General Manager, BT Conferencing, Americas, says, “BT’s agreement with Tata Communications is strategic and paves the way for the video industry to expand and truly deliver a highway of video connectivity to end users. BT Global Video Exchange customers continue to increase their use of our exchanges and their number one request is to maximize the reach of their Telepresence endpoints. The agreement with Tata Communications will expand the reach of BT customers via Tata Communications’ public rooms for added convenience and global reach. BT also will be announcing a comprehensive suite of services, as part of the Global Video Exchange, including multiple manufacturers’ video platforms for expanded customer communication and interoperability.”
Both Tata Communications’ and BT’s video exchanges are based on Cisco’s immersive video collaboration technology. The technology allows for superior visual and audio transmission quality and ensures that participants’ full range of facial and vocal emotions and body language are conveyed, making them feel as if they are all in the same room.
As a leader in pioneering video exchange services, BT has more than 350 active Telepresence customer sites connected to Denver and London exchanges and access to more than 1000 endpoints globally. On an annual basis, BT produces more than 60,000 conferences on more than 25,000 endpoints globally as part of its Global Video Exchange family of services.
Tata Communications has Global Meeting Exchange hubs in Mumbai, New York, and London. The company operates 15 (and growing) public meeting rooms with partners in North America (Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Santa Clara), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Manila and Sydney), India (Bangalore, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai), London and Johannesburg. The connectivity provided between Tata Communications’ public rooms and BT’s customer sites opens more customer communication possibilities and will be followed up by additional announcements by both companies with other communication carriers.