Telepresence providers like Verizon, Tata move towards common standards, interconnectivity

Verizon, one of the largest corporate connectivity provider in the world to enterprises, and Tata Communications (formerly VSNL), the India-based connectivity provider have decided to let their video conferencing customers talk to each other. Verizon said this is just the first step towards a world where subscribers of different high-definition video conferencing providers can call each other without changing their provider.

The trend is in line with the global requirement for different telepresence firms to allow their customers to call another telepresence company’s customer, instead of limiting them to only those who use the same company to provide live video connectivity. The situation at present is like a Reliance mobile customer can only call other Reliance customers or an Airtel subscriber can only call another Airtel customer.

Companies are trying to get over the limitation by working with each other to develop standards for video-based telepresence, jargon for high-resolution video conferencing with multiple screens.

“The agreement enables meetings to take place between Verizon’s telepresence customers and any public or private telepresence room on the Tata Communications Global Meeting Exchange,” Verizon, which has several customers in India, said in a statement.

“Plans are under way to establish similar agreements with other immersive video providers and services to further expand the availability of telepresence,” it added.

Farooq Muzaffar, Verizon vice president of enterprise network and communications solutions said that he is seeing a greater and greater use of telepresence among companies as they seek to cut down costs involved in air travel, conferences etc.. “As businesses expand beyond the traditional four walls of an office building, we’re seeing more of our customers turning to advanced collaboration tools like telepresence for a bigger impact on their overall productivity and performance.”