By Ben Simmons

To meet the growing demand of businesses for video communications, BT and Verizon Enterprise Solutions are extending the range of their telepresence immersive-video to enable virtual face-to-face collaboration in more locations around the world.

Under a new agreement, customers of Verizon and BT are now able to communicate with each other via Cisco TelePresenceTM. This new capability expands the community, helps clients collaborate globally and improves productivity.

Telepresence replicates face-to-face interactions so realistically that it feels as though everyone is in the same room - even though they may be thousands of miles apart. By deploying telepresence to replace in-person meetings, professionals can meet “face-to-face” with co-workers, partners, suppliers and customers around the globe while reducing the travel time, costs and carbon emissions associated with business travel. Telepresence supports a wide range of business-to-business applications and vertical industries— ranging from joint product development to supply chain management to customer meetings.

Sandra O’Boyle, service director, Business Network and IT Services, Current Analysis, said: “This initiative between BT and Verizon opens up new opportunities for enterprises to collaborate across their premium video platforms and will help multinational customers make the most of their Cisco TelePresence System investments."

Verizon and BT telepresence customers will experience the same interface and service quality they do today, with similar scheduling, support, security and encryption. In addition, customers will have access to a directory to determine which organisations are registered and are available for intercarrier telepresence meetings and where the sites are located. Customers will continue to rely on their respective service providers as a single point of contact for telepresence support, assistance and billing.

Mike Palmer, vice president of Product Strategy for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said: “This agreement makes video communications more widely available to meet the needs of the evolving nature of work. We believe that enabling customers to communicate across networks will speed the adoption of video communications and that one day it will become as ubiquitous as voice communications.

“As businesses adopt collaboration and mobility technologies to expand beyond the four walls of a traditional office, we’re seeing more of our customers turning to advanced collaboration tools like telepresence to help boost their overall productivity and performance.”

Rich Lowe, CEO of BT Conferencing, said: “This agreement, the latest expansion of the video industry’s connectivity capabilities, is an important step forward. Being able to connect across telepresence networks greatly expands the reach and value of the service. The more locations customers can reach, the greater the business benefit and the more quickly they can realise return on their video investment.”