Optus deploys multi-point TelePresence system

Wednesday, 14 January, 2009

Optus, an Australian integrated communications company, serves almost six million customers each day. The company provides a broad range of communications services including mobile, national and long distance services, local telephony, business network services, internet and satellite services and subscription television. Since commencing operations in 1992, Optus has invested more than $7 billion in the construction of fixed, mobile and satellite networks, including central business district and suburban local access networks, to create the Optus Evolve network.

A desire to improve the communication experience between organisations and customers in the corporate environment prompted Optus to call upon its ICT services arm, Alphawest, to implement the first multi-point Cisco TelePresence System in the country on the Optus Evolve IP Network.

In making the decision to work with Alphawest on the implementation, Optus took into consideration Alphawest’s unique relationship with Cisco, including its 10 years of Cisco Gold Certified Partner status. Alphawest also possessed the expertise and experience in unified communications solutions for large enterprises, and Cisco’s technologies in particular.

Les Williamson, VP of Cisco Australia and New Zealand said, “Deployment of Cisco TelePresence follows the rollout last year at Optus’ new Macquarie Park head offices of an end-to-end Cisco Unified Communications solution, one of the largest in Australia, which included 7500 Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) Phones. The TelePresence System at Optus uses the same network the phone network uses, dramatically increasing ease of use and reducing the need for labour-intensive management and operation”.

The TelePresence offering from Cisco creates an ‘in person’ meeting experience over a converged network, delivering real-time face-to-face interactions between people and places, using advanced visual, audio, and collaboration technologies. Alphawest implemented a three-screen Cisco TelePresence System 3000 unit at both the Optus Macquarie Park campus in Sydney and the Optus Collins Street office in Melbourne, and a single-screen Cisco TelePresence System 1000 at Alphawest’s Sussex Street offices in Sydney.

This multi-point TelePresence System is currently unique in Australia to Optus and gives the company the ability to employ up to 48 systems in different locations. The lifelike interaction TelePresence provides also gives Optus the flexibility to support intimate, one-on-one meetings between states and locations.

John Simon, managing director, Optus Business said, “Our next generation IP network, Optus Evolve, was built to support applications such as Cisco TelePresence. The success of this implementation has proven that Optus Evolve provides a robust foundation for the implementation of converged applications, such as TelePresence, in the corporate environment.

“The TelePresence implementation provides Optus with a multitude of benefits for our business, our staff and our customers. Already, we have experienced a significant reduction in travel for the Optus senior leadership team since deploying the solution. Not only will the technology help us to reduce travel and its associated costs, but it will provide us with a proven solution to demonstrate to customers and prospects,” said Simon.

Optus is also trialling Asia Pacific’s first ‘Personal TelePresence’ system, the Cisco TelePresence System 500, which will be deployed in conjunction with the multi-point solution in its headquarters in Sydney’s Macquarie Park.

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