AT&T Reduces Environmental Impact and Delivers Savings of More than US$100,000 by Hosting Regional Customer Meeting Via Telepresence
AT&T Demonstrates Practical Benefits of Immersive "face to face" Video Collaboration Systems
Hong Kong, China, San Jose, California, June 1, 2009
AT&T* today announced that by conducting its meeting of a customer Regional Advisory Council (RAC) by Telepresence rather than face-to-face reduced emissions by an equivalent to more than 62 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e)** and saved participants more than US$100,000.
Twice each year, AT&T Asia Pacific Group meets with approximately 20 of its regional and global customers who make up the advisory council to discuss a wide range of issues from service quality and support to new products and investment plans for emerging markets.
“These meetings are critical in terms of getting direct feedback from some of our biggest customers,” said Bernard Yee, vice president AT&T Asia Pacific. “While we don’t intend to do away with face-to-face meetings entirely, we felt that hosting this meeting by telepresence was not only the responsible thing to do in the current economic climate, but also a great opportunity to showcase how efficient and cost-effective this solution can be for our customers.”
Previous RAC meetings have been held in Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Delhi and Singapore with customers generally devoting 3-4 full days including travel time. AT&T takes responsibility for the meeting and hospitality costs while customers pay their own travel and accommodation expenses, with total costs for each meeting exceeding US$100,000 on average.
Will Thomas Customer Chairman of the AT&T Asia Pacific RAC, said that the experience had clearly demonstrated how effectively group meetings could be conducted remotely, via tools and services that enable a truly lifelike, in person virtual experience.
“These meetings are all about open, honest exchanges of views and opinions from both sides,” Mr. Thomas said. “We not only managed to achieve our key meeting objectives in about four hours, we also had the chance to thoroughly test the technology by involving so many people in multiple locations.”
“Aside from the cost savings we achieved by meeting in this way, we were able to be more productive and improve our work life balance by avoiding the need to travel, as well as reduce the impact on the environment,” Mr. Thomas added.
Using Cisco TelePresence suites, the meeting involved 21 customers from 15 companies including Air Products, Intel, Cargill, Tata Consultancy Services and DuPont along with 15 AT&T staff in ten locations -- Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey in the US, London, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Bangalore.
"AT&T and Cisco are actively using the Cisco TelePresence technology and changing the way organizations do business by collaborating in an entirely new way,” said Mark Weidick, vice president and general manager of the TelePresence Exchange business unit at Cisco. "The AT&T Regional Advisory Council meeting is just one example of how intercompany Cisco TelePresence capabilities and service can enable real-time collaboration, deliver travel-cost savings and promote other efficiencies."
AT&T recently announced the availability of the AT&T Telepresence Solution in China in collaboration with local partners, as well as a new interoperability feature that will allow companies to connect their existing videoconferencing systems to the AT&T Telepresence Solution.
By the end of second quarter of 2009, companies will be able to connect their existing H.323 compatible legacy videoconferencing systems with their AT&T Telepresence Solution rooms, offering a cost-effective solution to leverage historically under-utilized systems. With this new feature for intra-company collaboration, existing SD (standard definition) or Internet Protocol-based videoconferencing systems will be able to participate as an end-point when a telepresence meeting begins. AT&T also recently announced 2009 plans to double the number of its own AT&T Telepresence Solution rooms worldwide to 50.
**Carbon calculations were derived by Cisco's IBSG, which uses the TRX Airline Carbon Emissions Calculator (http://carbon.trx.com/Home.asp) for the impact of air travel avoidance, along with a standard calculation for the impact of ground transportation avoided to and from the meeting and airport, less the impact of energy usage for the Telepresence application and carbon start up and disposal. Note: Ground transportation to and from the Telepresence location and airport were assumed equivalent to participants’ normal daily commutes, and thus, offset each other.
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