TelePresence: meetings without travel


14 October 2009

South African telecommunications operator Neotel has launched the first TelePresence facility in Africa, making a virtual “public room” available for businesses to interact with their global counterparts.

TelePresence, which uses Cisco technology, integrates advanced audio, high-definition video and interactive elements to deliver “a virtual meeting experience that feels real”.

Neotel says it has introduced the value-added service in response to continued global economic pressures resulting in organisations looking for ways to cut down on overseas corporate travelling in particular.

“The launch of this TelePresence facility is in line with Tata Communications’ global strategy to launch more of these facilities across the globe this year,” Neotel MD Ajay Pandey said in a statement late last month.

By working closely with Tata Communications, Neotel is able to tap into their global network, providing South Africans with true global connectivity.

“We see this as a wonderful opportunity to enable our customers’ businesses by providing them with access to a solution that will streamline operations and reduce travel time and associated costs,” Pandey said.

Reducing business costs

In a recent report, research firm Gartner predicted that, due to the current world economic crisis, high-definition based video meeting solutions would negatively affect the global travel industry.

Locally, businesses are looking to reduce operational costs and are reducing their travel budgets significantly, says Neotel.

TelePresence creates the perception that the different parties are sitting in the same room, having a face-to-face meeting, without having to travel to the meeting.

“This means the effective use of this technology will save time and money,” said Pandey. “The business case associated with TelePresence is phenomenal.”

SAinfo reporter

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