Solidifying its position as the lodging industry technology leader, Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) is announcing it will offer telepresence technology in its hotels worldwide, using AT&T’s fully-managed AT&T Telepresence Solution. Cisco TelePresence™ technology will enable Marriott to offer customers the widest array of meeting options, whether in-person, virtual or both.
Telepresence is a rapidly growing and increasingly popular technology that enables small groups of less than 20 people to meet and collaborate in multiple locations worldwide in real time. By combining high-definition video, crisp, real time audio – no delays – and interior design for telepresence suites, groups feel as if they are actually meeting together in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles apart. (See video demonstration.)
“As the 24/7 world economy becomes more interconnected, the need to hold small global meetings that cross continents and oceans will only grow,” said Arne Sorenson, president and COO, Marriott International. “We believe telepresence will create more business meetings because people can travel shorter distances and easily connect with colleagues and clients around the world. The addition of telepresence meeting suites in our hotels will give Marriott a leg up on its competition.”
Initially, Marriott plans to locate telepresence meeting suites in 25 global gateway cities, including New York, San Francisco, Washington, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Frankfurt and London, in its Marriott Hotels & Resorts®, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts® and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts® brands. The first telepresence meeting suites are expected to go live at the end of October.
Marriott chose AT&T Telepresence Solution because it combines AT&T’s global communications networking capabilities with the Cisco TelePresence technology. The Marriott telepresence suites will also be able to connect to existing private Cisco TelePresence locations throughout the world through the use of the AT&T Telepresence Solution intercompany capabilities.
“Marriott is leading the lodging industry in using advanced technology to help extend the reach of meetings for participants in disparate locations,” said Ronald E. Spears, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. “Working closely with Marriott, we are focused on delivering to Marriott hotels throughout the world the premier telepresence experience through the AT&T Telepresence Solution.”
Since early 2008, AT&T and Cisco have collaborated to enable the growth and use of Cisco TelePresence technology and services among businesses and organizations throughout the world. AT&T Telepresence Solution leverages the power of Cisco TelePresence to create a unique, “in-person” experience with the simplicity of making a phone call as well as provides a “meet me” feature with a highly-secure PIN code that simplifies intercompany calling. AT&T Telepresence Solution also offers multipoint functionality and reliable intercompany capabilities enabling multiple locations to connect with one another.
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