AT&T Williams, the Formula One team, has announced it has deployed the AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM, both at the team’s UK headquarters and through a unique travelling unit at every European Grand Prix race during the 2010 season.
AT&T* completed installation of AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM at the Oxfordshire HQ of Williams F1 in April, complemented by a unit deployed in the AT&T Williams motorhome which will travel to each of the European Grand Prix destinations in 2010. This traveling deployment will ensure the team has access to telepresence technology trackside back to the team HQ during race weekends, allowing the team to better collaborate with specialists back at the factory during the build up to the race and to optimize the performance of the AT&T Williams car.
The deployment of AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM provides the team with a fully managed, immersive high definition video conferencing service with the sensation of a “face-to-face” meeting. It is simple, easy and intuitive to use, highly reliable and enables the team to have high quality video based communications both for internal collaboration within the team during race weekends and also to connect to business partners around the world via the AT&T Business Exchange, AT&T's unique network-based capability for intercompany collaboration. It is believed to be the first time that telepresence has been installed within Formula One.
The AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM was called into immediate action following the travel delays caused by the volcanic eruptions in Iceland. AT&T successfully connected the delayed Williams F1 Marketing team in Hong Kong with colleagues in the UK thereby allowing important internal meetings to proceed as planned between the Chinese and Spanish Grand Prix weekends.
A key reason behind the deployment of the technology by the team was the need to control costs. For 2010, all of the Formula 1 teams have agreed to cap the number of technical staff attending races. This means that several engineers who would normally have travelled to races now stay in the UK, putting even more emphasis on the need for effective communication tools and rapid transfer of data from each of the 19 circuits, in 18 countries, that host Formula 1 races. In response to this, the team decided to implement AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM both at their factory and trackside at selected races.
AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM includes access to the AT&T Business Exchange, which allows AT&T Williams to be a part of one of the largest and fastest growing intercompany telepresence communities. 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, allowing AT&T Williams access to a wide range of business associates, including team sponsors, manufacturing suppliers and technology providers.
Alex Burns, CEO of Williams F1 sees clear advantages from this service. “The main benefit is that we can connect people who otherwise would be communicating over telephone and email links. This means that we can have the rich communication of a face-to-face meeting and still comply with the new agreement to reduce the number of staff travelling to circuits. The AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM came in to its own when UK airports were closed by the volcanic ash cloud in April. Many of our technical staff and marketing team were delayed in China after the Shanghai Grand Prix. The marketing department moved to Hong Kong, where they got access to a telepresence room in AT&T's office. From there, they were able to participate in regular meetings with their colleagues in the UK and minimise the effect of the travel disruption on the team”.
The fully managed AT&T Telepresence SolutionSM bundle is a turn-key, scalable service offering an immersive "face to face" meeting experience. The solution provides a unique, business-to-business, multipoint, "meet me" bridging feature that uses security PIN codes to simplify intercompany calling. It also allows companies to collaborate with their employees, customers, suppliers and partners worldwide in a highly-reliable, cost-effective way and transform their business processes.