AT&T today announced it is the first service provider to bring to market a network-based videoconferencing bridging capability that enables users of Cisco TelePresenceTM technology to hold inter-company telepresence sessions with both standard- and high-definition video equipment from multiple vendors.
Available today, AT&T is offering this first-ever, network-based telepresence inter-company interoperability feature for Cisco TelePresenceTM through the AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM Business Exchange. Companies can use the capability to significantly increase the number of available endpoints that can join telepresence or videoconferencing calls using virtual private networks, or over ISDN links. This enables businesses to link to a greater number of customers, partners and suppliers using existing videoconferencing equipment from such brands as Polycom, LifeSize and Cisco’s recently-acquired Tandberg. AT&T’s solution provides a reliable and scalable solution designed to accommodate the requirements of organizations who desire a network-based interoperability solution for greater flexibility and ease of use.
“This new feature allows AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM customers using Cisco TelePresenceTM technology to strengthen the return on their investment, to drive greater productivity and expand the opportunity of business innovation throughout their enterprises, partners and suppliers,” said Joe Lueckenhoff, senior vice president, AT&T Business Solutions. “This is one more example of how AT&T is helping enterprise customers transform the way they do business by delivering advanced applications and capabilities through virtual private networks to endpoints large and small anywhere, anytime.”
”As the first provider with a Cisco license for inter-company interoperability and the first to offer exchange-based inter-company interoperability with Cisco TelePresenceTM, AT&T marks another major milestone in Cisco’s mission to change the way people communicate and collaborate,” said Mark Weidick, vice president and general manager, TelePresence Exchange Business Unit, Cisco. “AT&T is a leader in the development of creative video collaboration solutions and this feature, a result of our close relationship with AT&T and our joint commitment to interoperability between equipment made by multiple vendors, and between company networks, continues to build on those developments.”
Pfizer Inc. is an AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM customer that has been testing the inter-company interoperability feature over its installed base of videoconferencing systems purchased from a variety of vendors.
"The addition of this interoperability capability to the AT&T Business Exchange will allow Pfizer to leverage our existing base of video endpoints to get even more value from AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM," said Beth Boucher, senior director, Connectivity Enablement Solutions, Pfizer Business Technology. "With AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM, Pfizer is able to enhance collaboration among our colleagues internally, and with our business partners externally."
AT&T demonstrated this capability to industry analysts at a forum May 19 at its Global Network Operations Center. The company conducted multipoint business-to-business between Cisco TelePresenceTM rooms and H.320 and H.323 high-definition videoconferencing endpoints from several endpoints.
“The universe of reachable endpoints for the AT&T Business Exchange has just become a whole lot larger,” said Brian Washburn, research director, Network Services at the research firm Current Analysis. “In the past, telepresence systems from the major vendors did not all connect with each other easily. AT&T’s telepresence interoperability capability lets Cisco TelePresenceTM endpoints and other standards based-videoconferencing equipment interoperate in the cloud, a good example of how service providers are evolving the telepresence landscape."
This inter-company, interoperability feature is the latest innovation in AT&T’s telepresence strategy. Other industry firsts that AT&T previously brought to market for Cisco TelePresenceTM included the first multipoint ‘meet-me’ business-to-business calling, the first automatic set up of One Button to Push and the first multipoint business-to-business call encryption service. In recognition of AT&T’s leadership in videoconferencing, Cisco named AT&T as Cisco’s Service Provider Business Video Partner of the Year.
The AT&T Business Exchange is integrated into the AT&T MPLS-enabled network, utilizing a high availability, fully redundant architecture. Globally, more than 100 companies and organizations can access the AT&T Business Exchange, and have the ability to connect with one another via more than 1,100 telepresence endpoints worldwide.