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First commercially available inter-provider feature for Cisco TelePresenceTM endpoints expands collaboration options for business customers
November 30, 2010 - AT&T and BT announced today the commercial availability of the industry's first inter-provider exchange-to-exchange telepresence meeting capability. The new connection between AT&T and BT telepresence exchanges allows their business customers to schedule telepresence meetings and to connect their telepresence endpoints seamlessly.
With the new inter-provider telepresence capability, AT&T and BT business customers can now meet "face to face" from their Cisco TelePresence™ endpoints with an expanded network of customers and suppliers. This past summer, customers piloted this capability and successfully conducted numerous meetings between AT&T and BT telepresence locations.
AT&T and BT telepresence customers will enjoy a consistent service experience when using this new feature of their existing telepresence service. For example, AT&T customers may schedule business-to-business meetings involving a BT endpoint using the AT&T Telepresence Solution® scheduling portal in the same way they schedule business-to-business meetings today, and BT's telepresence customers will be able to do the same on BT's scheduling portal. Customers will continue to rely on their respective service providers as a single point of contact for meeting support, assistance, and billing.
Additionally, key features such as encrypted connections will be available and can be established for highly sensitive meetings to ensure both AT&T and BT customers enjoy the same high level of security as today's business-to-business telepresence meetings. In the future, AT&T and BT customers will also have access to a directory that will help them determine what other registered organisations and locations are accessible through the inter-provider connection.
Brian Washburn, research analyst of Current Analysis, said: "AT&T and BT's exchange-to-exchange connection marks a significant milestone in the industry.
"Exchange-to-exchange telepresence is a major stride forward in building smooth, end-to-end telepresence experiences for customers across network boundaries worldwide, and advancing Cisco's efforts supporting inter-provider connectivity for telepresence."
Kevin Peters, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business Solutions, said: "Businesses are recognising the value of telepresence as an effective global collaboration tool, and we're seeing increasing adoption of our AT&T Telepresence Solution quarter after quarter by both small and large businesses across industries.
"The inter-provider connectivity established with BT is an important step forward for the industry and underscores our commitment to expanding the network of accessible telepresence locations for our customers and increasing the value of their investments."
Chris Clark, managing director, BT Enterprise, said: "This is good news for BT and AT&T customers. Companies are looking for ways to make employees more productive, reduce carbon emissions, lower travel-related costs and create a competitive advantage. Being able to connect across telepresence networks greatly expands the reach and value of the service and maximizes the business benefits. With this industry-first, BT and AT&T are changing the way businesses collaborate. It is a testament to our commitment to unified communications and telepresence."
Today's announcement marks the latest of many joint BT and AT&T projects that are delivering benefits to customers across more than 100 countries today. Collaboration between the companies continues to offer tremendous potential for customers and both companies alike.