Singapore, June 2, 2010 – Tata Communications, a leading provider of the new world of communications, and Rendezvous Hospitality Group (RHG), a rapidly expanding regional hotel company in the Asia Pacific region, today announce that they have jointly opened Singapore’s first public Telepresence room. The opening furthers Tata Communications’ plans to drive global adoption of high-definition video conferencing technology for business collaboration. It also supports RHG’s mission to continually update business services offered to its guests.
The Rendezvous Hotel Singapore’s Telepresence public room is strategically located right next to the Singapore Management University and in between the world renowned shopping district, Orchard Road, and Singapore’s economic hub, Raffles Place CBD. It is the latest addition to Tata Communications’, and their community of partners’, existing network of 13 public Telepresence rooms worldwide that includes Asia Pacific countries Australia, Philippines and India. An additional 25 new public Telepresence rooms are planned for 2010. Scheduled locations include Hong Kong and Malaysia.
David Wirt, Global Head of Managed Services, Tata Communications, says “In mid-2008, Tata Communications was the first company to offer Telepresence public rooms that could be hired on an hourly basis. This revolutionary conferencing technology is transforming the way business is done and it is our goal to provide extensive access to this brilliant global collaboration service to enterprises around the world. Today, Tata Communications and RHG have reached a milestone by opening our first joint facility that will provide even more users with access to Telepresence.”
Outside the Asia Pacific, Tata Communications has Telepresence public rooms with their community of partners across major cities in the US and Europe, as well as emerging markets. The brand continues to grow as the world’s largest public room Telepresence network. Partnering with Rendezvous in Singapore underlines the commitment that Tata Communications has towards Singapore – which forms a key regional hub for the company in the Asia Pacific region. This is part of the USD 430 million investment that the company announced earlier last year.
“RHG’s vision is to be an industry leader in the development and management of business hotels in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Partnering with Tata Communications to bring Telepresence into Singapore emphasises that we are serious about being at the forefront of the business accommodation industry,” said Iqbal Jumabhoy, CEO of Rendezvous Hospitality Group.
“By opening the first Telepresence public room in Singapore, RHG will be able to offer a unique service to the many business travellers who frequent Singapore as a global and regional business hub and for local businesses to communicate with offices and associates around the world. With Tata Communications’ Telepresence network, executives can be here, there and everywhere without going through the hassle and stress of international travel and can reduce their carbon footprint,” Mr Jumabhoy adds.
RHG has started to explore additional public Telepresence rooms in its Australia and China properties to bring this unique service to even more corporate guests.
Telepresence is becoming important for business continuity is crisis situations such as the recent disruptions to travel in Europe following the Iceland volcanic eruption. The Tata Communications public room network enabled organisations to keep their staff connected with their team while stranded in distant locations. Commenting on the role of Telepresence in these situations, David Wirt said, “While waiting to find out when they were able to journey home, business travellers were able to go to our public room locations and connect via Telepresence with their counterparts and effectively meet without further delays. Our facilities could allay the tremendous disruptions that week and we expect that more organisations will consider Telepresence as a real and effective solution if travel is adversely affected in the future”
Based on Cisco Systems’ immersive videoconferencing technology, superior visual and audio transmission quality ensures that participants’ full range of facial and vocal emotions and body language are conveyed, making them feel as if they are all in the same room.
To give customers easy access to the public room network, Tata Communications has partnered with leading Travel Management Companies, American Express Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. This partnership will assist organisations to leverage the Telepresence public rooms while managing their business travel and meeting requirements.
To further extend the accessibility and reach of its public room services, Tata Communications has also partnered with Whygo, a leading broker of traditional video conferencing meetings. Leveraging Tata Communications’ interoperability services to facilitate meetings between Telepresence public rooms and video conferencing endpoints, this partnership simplifies scheduling and meeting setup with any of Whygo’s 2,500 registered locations.
Real-time and simplified reservations are possible through an e-commerce and virtual concierge functionality on the Telepresence reservations portal, the first in the world for Telepresence bookings.