AT&T and BT have made commercially available what they call the industry's first inter-provider exchange-to-exchange telepresence meeting capability. The new connection between AT&T and BT telepresence exchanges allows their business customers to schedule telepresence meetings and to connect their telepresence endpoints seamlessly.
With the new inter-provider telepresence capability, AT&T and BT customers can now meet "face to face" from their Cisco TelePresence endpoints with an expanded network of customers and suppliers. Last summer, customers piloted this capability and successfully conducted numerous meetings between AT&T and BT telepresence locations.
The companies say their telepresence customers will enjoy a consistent service experience when using this new feature of their existing telepresence service. For example, AT&T customers may schedule business-to-business meetings involving a BT endpoint using the AT&T Telepresence Solution scheduling portal in the same way they schedule business-to-business meetings today, and BT's telepresence customers will be able to do the same on BT's scheduling portal. Customers will continue to rely on their respective service providers as a single point of contact for meeting support, assistance, and billing.
Additionally, key features such as encrypted connections will be available and can be established for highly sensitive meetings to ensure both AT&T and BT customers enjoy the same high level of security as today's business-to-business telepresence meetings. In the future, AT&T and BT customers will also have access to a directory that will help them determine what other registered organizations and locations are accessible through the inter-provider connection.
"AT&T and BT's exchange-to-exchange connection marks a significant milestone in the industry," said Brian Washburn, research analyst at Current Analysis. “Exchange-to-exchange telepresence is a major stride forward in building smooth, end-to-end telepresence experiences for customers across network boundaries worldwide, and advancing Cisco's efforts to support inter-provider connectivity for telepresence."
Today's announcement marks the latest of many joint BT and AT&T projects that are delivering benefits to customers across more than 100 countries.