Unified Communications

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December 29, 2008

Teliris CEO: Taking Telepresence to the Next Level

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

Founded in 2001, Teliris (News - Alert) delivers fully managed telepresence solutions to customers in over 26 countries with an impressive installed base of Global 1000 companies, including Lazard, Pearson plc, GlaxoSmithKline, QUALCOMM and Royal Bank of Scotland, among others.

In May, Teliris announced a suite of telepresence solutions designed to be more accessible to enterprises and smaller businesses. These solutions include Teliris Personal Telepresence (News - Alert) and Teliris Express Telepresence — both of which are built using the same core technology as Teliris’ flagship VirtuaLive telepresence solution.
Teliris’ CEO Marc Trachtenberg took the time to answer a series of questions regarding the company’s past year, as well as his upcoming presentation at ITEXPO.
GG: You are on the schedule to present at the upcoming ITEXPO (News - Alert). What can attendees expect to learn in your session at the event this February?
MT: In today’s global environment, corporations need the assurance that all offices can meet when necessary, and unified communications plans are becoming a top priority to guarantee that companies can conduct business as usual under all circumstances, including public emergencies, epidemics and budget cuts. In this session, attendees will learn how to leverage telepresence and other unified visual communications systems to create a global business continuity plan.
GG: When you look back on 2008, was it a good year for your company?
MT: 2008 was a great year for the industry and certainly for Teliris. We are quite proud of the progress we made in expanding our customer base and product line, leading the industry in innovation and deployments, and scaling our business appropriately to accommodate the increasing interest in telepresence as companies struggle to reduce expenses in these challenging economic times.
GG: What was your firm’s biggest achievement last year?
MT: As the leader in the industry, we are continuously innovating to make the telepresence experience more immersive, so it’s hard to pinpoint the single biggest achievement of the year. With that said, we are quite proud to be the first in the industry to take telepresence beyond audio and video with the introduction of our immersive collaboration platform. We believe that telepresence is only the first step to bringing true immersion to video, audio and environment, and in order to obtain a deeper immersive experience, the experience must be extended to enable the other “senses” humans use to collaborate. This philosophy fueled the development of our collaboration tools, and more specifically, our Teliris InterACT TouchTable, which is the first-ever multi-touch surface computing solution that allows documents, video, audio, presentations and a wide range of other content to be instantaneously shared and manipulated across any number of locations, naturally and easily, as if participants are in the same room.
GG: What can we expect to see from your company for the next 12 months?
MT: Teliris launched two new solutions this year that significantly lowered the investment required to take advantage of telepresence. These solutions, called Teliris Personal Telepresence, the first cost-effective solution for private offices and individual users, and Teliris Express Telepresence, a two or three screen system that fits into any existing conference room and accommodates four to six participants. Teliris will continue over the next 12 months to introduce additional products and new features designed to extend the reach of immersive telepresence and make it even more immersive. Watch Teliris in 2009, it will certainly be an exciting year!
GG: Do you think a new administration in Washington, D.C. will be good for the communications industry? If so, how? If not, why not?
MT: The new administration promises new programs to incent businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. Telepresence is positioned to help companies achieve this worthwhile goal while also reducing expenses.
GG: In your view, please describe the future of the IP Communications industry?
MT: Telepresence currently operates using dedicated MPLS networks with stringent QoS requirements. We envision 2009 as the year that telepresence will operate over a wider variety of networks, including those with less stringent QoS requirements. In this sense, telepresence is a subset of the overall visual communications market which, in 2009 will continue to see exponential growth using IP Communications as the underlying transport mechanism.
GG: How do the current market conditions affect your potential customers? Do you think they will hold off on purchasing new solutions or do you think the economic conditions will spur them to make purchases that will allow them to be more competitive?
MT: Telepresence is a business solution that helps companies reduce expenses. Telepresence, unlike traditional videoconferencing, delivers the only virtual meeting experience that actually cuts travel costs and allows colleagues to collaborate more frequently and more effectively. Our customers, just like all companies, have had find ways in these challenging economic times to do more with less. They are looking to not only survive these economic times, but also to grow their business. Telepresence gives them the tools to accomplish these objectives. It’s interesting that in recent months, Teliris has seen a 30 percent increase in both usage and participants for its current customers. Additionally, we have also experienced an increase in inquiries as companies quickly realize that they must find long-term avenues to accomplish their goals and still reduce expenses.
GG: What sets your company’s solutions apart from the competition?
MT: Teliris launched the first commercial telepresence system and continues to lead the market in terms of innovation and flexibility. Teliris’ sole focus is telepresence, which allows us to accelerate the development of technologies that create the most immersive virtual meeting experience available. Teliris Telepresence is the world’s most natural, immersive telepresence environments combining an intimate experience with innovative collaboration tools that allow effective interaction over distance. All solutions are packaged with Teliris’ managed service including a 99-plus percent guarantee. Teliris Telepresence is the only solution offering true immersive collaboration that takes telepresence beyond simply audio and video.
GG: If you had to make one bold prediction for 2009, what would it be?
MT: If you have read my blog — www.discovertelepresence.com — then you will have heard this before. It is my belief that telepresence will become so successful that it will be as common as any traditional conference room in every major company all over the world.

Greg Galitzine is editorial director for TMC’s (News - Alert) IP Communications suite of products, including TMCnet.com. To read more of Greg’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Greg Galitzine

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