Cisco and Telstra have waded into the Qantas debacle, saying its TelePresence networks are ideal for face-to-face encounters for business meetings instead of “costly” travel. The telco are promoting its “highly secure, high definition video conferencing facility” video conferencing offering, officially launched today.

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Cisco Telepresence…better than flying first class?

“Telstra and Cisco have enabled members of the Australian Government to meet face to face without the need for costly travel, following the successful deployment of one of the largest national TelePresence networks in the country, the Government’s National TelePresence System,” the duo said, as the solution was announced in Canberra today.

The Telstra announcement comes as troubled Qantas could have flights back in the air by 2pm today after Fair Work Australia ordered the service to be restarted after ruling it was destroying Australia’s air travel. “We will fly mid afternoon (pending approval),” Qantas screens are currently indicating at airports.

The Telepresence video conferencing, which connects to 12 different locations had achieved productivity and cost benefits, saving government coffers an estimated $12 million, not to mention the carbon emissions savings.

The service has hosted more than 1031 official meetings totalling more than 1660 hours, to date.

Announced in February 2009, Cisco TelePresence units operating over the Telstra Next IP network has been operating for 18 months connecting the seven Commonwealth Government offices, including Prime Ministerial and Cabinet, Parliament House and Premiers and Chief Minister agencies in every state.

However, today’s announcement has “nothing to do with the airline industry” current woes, Telstra Public Afffairs Advisor, Peter Habib told SmartHouse, but saved the Federal government thousands in travel costs during CHOGM 2011, which has just wrapped up in Perth.

Philip Jones, Executive Director, Data and IP, Network Applications & Services at Telstra said the announcement indicates video conferencing has come of age.

“A modern meeting today is one that uses technology such as high definition TelePresence to bring people from across the country together for a meeting without the need for travel,” Mr Jones said.

“Telstra managed the planning, designing and deploying of the National TelePresence System in Government offices all across the country. Our combined network and project management skills  means we have now delivered a proven solution to a national Government audience that is capable of supporting the Government as it strives to deliver ICT deployments that deliver genuine productivity, sustainability and cost savings,” Mr Jones said.

Ken Boal, Director of Public Sector, Cisco Australia said the National TelePresence System is world leading in its deployment and utilisation.


“The Australian Government is at the global forefront by using immersive video technology to bring key decision makers together to solve critical national issues,” Mr Boal said.

“The Government’s National TelePresence System is enabling more effective and frequent collaboration with reduced travel, expense and carbon emissions and moves us to a more sustainable lifestyle.”

To view a video case study regarding the Australian Government using Telstra and Cisco TelePresence visit www.bit.ly/telstra-telepresence and for more information on video conferencing visit www.telstra.com/eyetoeye.

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