Orange Business Services Promotes Telepresence

Companies are increasingly turning to videoconferencing solutions, whether to reduce travel costs, ensure business continuity in the event of a natural disaster, or reduce their environmental carbon footprint. Service providers are also progressively working together to advance the adoption of new video communication capabilities.

Orange Business Services is offering its Telepresence Community, a solution that provides direct access to Cisco TelePresence in 800 existing meeting suites around the world, on a free trial basis. They are also promoting service interoperability with other global service providers.

As an established global provider of fully managed Telepresence solutions, Orange Business Services offers video communication solutions for on-demand collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers -- using the immersive virtual meeting experience of Telepresence.

"Through Telepresence Community, our B2B Telepresence solution, opening our network and customer base to work with enterprises connected to other operators' networks will create a global video community," said Marc Blanchet, senior vice president, Global Communication Services, Orange Business Services.

Working Together on a Common Cause
Orange Business Services has signed an agreement with Cisco to access its service platform. Customers in the Orange Telepresence community will thereby have access to an additional 800 private and public Cisco Telepresence rooms around the world, as well as to companies already connected via Cisco.

To encourage the B2B use and adoption of Telepresence, Orange Business Services is inviting its customers to experience their Telepresence Community solution free of charge until April 1, 2011, without any commitment.

With Orange Business Services, customers benefit from the largest Telepresence network, accessible in 140 countries, and the only one certified by Cisco in 46 countries. In order to give its customers the opportunity to maximize their return on investment in Telepresence, they are pursuing an active partnership policy with several global operators.

This interoperability is already in place with one partner, recently enabling a customer of Orange Business Services -- a leader in the pharmaceuticals industry – to apply Telepresence meeting capabilities to successfully connect to one of its partners via a different service provider.

"We aim to have at least three major interconnections in place before the end of the year and will continue adding to the community as required by the demands of our growing customer base," according to Blanchet.

Solving Economic and Environmental Challenges
As French Minister of State for the Digital Economy Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet emphasized in her commentary following a Telepresence debate held on June 9 "This conference was in itself an illustration of what Telepresence can achieve. It avoids many long and costly journeys which managers in globalized companies often need to make. This not only represents a major saving but also an obvious gain in terms of sustainable development. I can also imagine the possible effects of such a tool on remote working."

The debate entitled "The Rise in Digital Communications: a lever for emerging from the crisis" was organized in partnership with Cisco and involved 50 Orange Business Services customers spread over six sites in France and abroad.

Hannover Re Adopts Tata Managed Telepresence

The reinsurance business is evolving. Traditionally, reinsurance transactions are between two insurance entities: the primary insurer that sold the original insurance policies and the reinsurer. The companies in this industry are long-standing users of advanced communications technology, now including video collaboration.

Tata Communications announced that it has been chosen by German reinsurance company, Hannover Re, to deploy and run its Telepresence facilities -- serving the group’s internal teams in 18 locations across 16 countries, worldwide.

Tata Communications will deploy the Cisco TelePresence high-definition, immersive video collaboration systems to help employees based in Europe, North America, Asia, Middle East and Africa collaborate with each other on a daily basis.

Under this agreement, Tata Communications will provide Hannover Re with a solution that includes deployment and installation of rooms, maintenance, management and concierge service for scheduling and reservations, the world's first public rooms, open global Telepresence exchange as well as the Cisco-certified TelePresence network.

Reliable Integrated Telepresence Solution
Tata Communications' Telepresence services include managed private Cisco TelePresence rooms, public Telepresence rooms that can be rented by the hour -- and the ability for these private and public rooms to connect with each other.

"Tata Communications is the vendor that meets our expectations in respect of Telepresence operations and services. We are confident that Tata Communications will prove its reliability both in the course of the implementation project and in the operations phase," says Mr. Hartmut Fuchs, Hannover Re, CIO and Managing Director, Information and Technology.

"What convinced us is the option to integrate our internal Telepresence network into the general Telepresence infrastructure provided by Tata Communications. We expect that this will allow us to extend Telepresence based communication to business partners in a second phase."

Global Telepresence as a Managed Service
Tata will manage all aspects of Hannover Re's Telepresence needs, supported by its world-class global network. Tata Communications' open exchange also means that coverage can be extend to any public Telepresence rooms that Hannover Re chooses to use in the future, catering to external users such as customers, prospects and partners.

Tata Communications' Global Meeting Exchange enables meetings between any connected private or public rooms, and moves Telepresence from a private intra-company experience to a broader based inter-company collaboration tool of choice.

It meets the market demand for Telepresence meetings, regardless of the service provider network. With this collaboration, customers on either network can connect to each other extending their Telepresence coverage across their business ecosystem.

Claude Sassoulas, Tata Communications' Managing Director for the Europe and Africa Region, says, "This deal with one of the world's largest global reinsurance groups is a significant milestone for our organization. It will strengthen our position as a global provider in the German market, where we are looking to continue our expansion."