Tuesday, January 13, 2009

AT&T Telepresence Gets Retailers Talking



AT&T demonstrated its telepresence capabilities at this week's National Retail Federation conference in New York City. Retailers and other attendees are already talking about how the global industry could use Business Video technology to improve supplier and customer relationships, reduce travel expenses, and make supply chains more efficient.

Using Cisco's TelePresence technology for videoconferencing, AT&T offered attendees the chance to participate in sessions with Cisco employees in San Jose. Chris Eubanks of athletic equipment retailer Sports Authority said, "It was one of the most real things I'd ever seen. It was like being in the same room as the people in San Jose." Carlo Pochinesta of clothing manufacturer Gucci said, "It was as close to meeting in person as you can get and yet not be in the same room together."

As a salesperson, Erik Kostelnik of employment Web site careerbuilder.com found it helpful in his work. "I started reading the body language of the people. I'm in sales, so it's real important that to understand who I'm talking to and how they're responding to my questions."

Telepresence for Training and Improved Customer Experience
In addition, AT&T and Cisco announced that several retailers were already using AT&T's telepresence solutions. Office products retailer Staples is using it for corporate training, while Cabela's, one of the leading retailers of outdoor equipment is using it to improve the customer in-store experience.

Cisco's TelePresence solutions are part of its Connected Retail strategy to help retailers collaborate better with suppliers, partners and internal staff, while lowering operating costs.

Based on the reactions in the above interviews, telepresence is on its way to becoming a clear alternative to air travel for companies with a global presence. They can benefit from maintaining face-to-face discussions and relationships, while still avoiding the time and expense required for on-site visits.

Watch another video to learn more about the fully managed AT&T Telepresence solution.

1 comment:

David Deans - BTR moderator said...

Howard, thanks for sharing this insight. Clearly, business video applications are now evolving to support more visual networking opportunities - bringing people together with their commercial Community of Interest. Very cool.