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January 8, 2009

Fujitsu makes telepresence call to AT&T

Wants to reduce costs and boost green issues

By Jason Stamper

Fujitsu in North America has called on AT&T Business Solutions to support its deployment of IP-based telepresence systems, as part of a two-year contract for fully managed network services.

The company expects use of high definition telepresence systems will continue to help it reduce travel costs at sites in Sunnyvale, US and Kawasaki in Japan, and help it meet some of its green environmental objectives.

Telepresence is slowly wining market acceptance, as businesses look to trim all sorts of expenses, including travel costs.

But a typical telepresence deployment from Polycom, HP or Cisco for two offices starts at about $500,000. Deployment across multiple sites is likely to cost several million dollars.

To give the effect of a genuine face-to-face meeting, telepresence relies on conference suites that are kitted out with expensive high definition screens and good quality sound systems, and draws on various elements of collaboration software.

Fujitsu says it currently uses telepresence for management, product design and cross-functional team meetings.

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