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Telepresence Explodes Following Volcanic Eruption

April 20, 2010

The volcanic eruption that shut down air travel in Europe has led to another kind of explosion - the use of online teleconferences to conduct business.

A Skype spokesman told the AFP: "We have seen an increase in the past few days in terms of video-calling because of the situation."

TMC's Rich Tehrani reported that many are discovering video as a solution to not being able to travel.

"Skype and Cisco happen to be highlighted in a story about video in the New York Times. By the way if you are stuck in London and sipping Early Grey with other real people is more your cup of tea than video you may want to download 13 temporarily free iPhone guides from Lonely Planet which are normally priced in the $10 to $15 range."

As an effective medium for immersive collaboration, telepresence offers a so-called natural environment for participants to create personal relationships and imitate intimate face-to-face communication, industry experts say.

According to the AFP, "Cisco also said Monday that the disruption of flights in Europe due to a dangerous layer of ash spewed into the sky by a volcano in Iceland has led to a surge in interest in its telepresence technology for online meetings.

Using telepresence to keep businesses productive is a way many companies are heading these days. But how do you do it and make sure that you are doing it right? unified communications recently spokewith experts Bob McCandless, CEO of BrightCom, a provider of integrated telepresence and videoconferencing solutions, and David Benz, president of Vaughan Benz, a BrightCom client and a manufacturer of high-end, custom made wood and upholstered furniture for the hospitality industry, to learn about the best practices to implement a telepresence environment by combining the technology with an interior design approach.

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with unified communications, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of unified communications's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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