Saturday, October 24, 2009

Green telepresence to save Dimension Data time and travel costs

Datacraft, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data, has extended the Group’s telepresence footprint with the newly installed systems in its New York, London, Johannesburg, Singapore, Tokyo, Brisbane and Canberra offices.
The move is in line with the Dimension Data Group’s Green strategy to reduce employee travel globally, and increase accessibility of TelePresence to a broader audience in order to communicate and collaborate globally in real time.
Andy Cocks, Solutions and Strategic Alliance Director at Datacraft said: “We expect to cut travel costs among the Group’s senior management alone to between 15% and 20% – and that’s without comprising crucial, real-time, face-to-face contact which makes for successful leadership.”
Cocks said Datacraft has been successfully using telepresence to communicate between their Singapore and Tokyo offices. “In fact, we have even conducted job interviews as well as internal review meetings via telepresence.”

Click Here for the original and complete article

Friday, October 23, 2009

I have a few questions for those who favor so called net-neutrality.

First, is it possible that this is not about protecting the internet for the little guy, but rather a high stakes game between very large corporations, each with their own agenda? In this corner... the telecom and cable companies and in that corner.... The Content providers, Google, Facebook, and others. Why do you think Google and others are lobbying so hard for net neutrality? Because, they want to flood the Internet with mega-files without constriction. They do this without paying a nickle for HOW the content gets delivered. This is like flooding the freeway traffic in LA with thousands of semi-trucks and trailers without regard for the impact they have on the traffic or damage to the freeway itself.

Is it possible that the telecom companies want the opportunity to do their job which is to insure that the networks get managed so that the largest number of users have the best possible experience? Aside from the ham handed way that comcast slowed traffic, what other evidence is there that any network provider has deliberately slowed or blocked traffic?

Does it make sense to treat ALL traffic equally? I mean, why in heavens name would you treat an email data packet exactly the same as a video stream? Wouldn't it make sense to allow the network providers to offer the ability to prioritze the traffic based on traffic type and the willingness of users/providers to pay for a higher quality experience.

If net-neutrailty as proposed is enacted as policy, it will preclude the opportunity to develop high quality consumer applications such as high performance telepresence like you see on shows like 24 and others because to deliver applications like that demandes that the data traffic be actively managed and higher priority given across the network for the video transmission.

Are you really satisfied with the quality of your experience on websites like hulu and youtube? What is the likelihood that your experience of these sites will significantly improve without active management of the network? All the bandwidth in the world will not solve this problem, just ask Cisco who tied in vain to deliver telepresence in an unmanaged environment only to have the performance be so poor that they recommend their video equipment be used over a managed network?

So, before you buy into the idea that net neutrality is simply a way to stop the "evil, profit hungry" network providers from imposing their way on halpless and innocent users, stop and think, who is really behind net neutrality.

If you think Google (and Facebook) is on your side and they are only doing this to protect you, then you probably believe in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and I have bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Open Letter to the Chairman Genachoski of the FCC

Honorable Chairman Genachoski,

I must say that your recent statement regarding net neutrality is disappointing to me. I understand the need to make our Internet open and accessable to all who seek it, however your statement recently quoted as "One thing I would say so that there is no confusion out there is that this FCC will support net neutrality and will enforce any violation of net neutrality principles." may not be as consumer friendly as you would suppose.

First, a disclaimer here, I have worked in data networking for over 15 years, so I have a certain perspective and knowledge about the situation. When the internet began, much of what was transferred was static and text. One of the beauties of the data transfer is the ability to break a computer file into many parts and transmit them in pieces to be reassembled at the destination. When a photo, email, or document is transmitted, it matters little in what order the items arrive or even if a portion is missing since the receiving computer can wait patiently for all the pieces to arrive before re-assembling it.

As long as it is a traditional file, no problem. In human terms, it will happen in a perfectly reasonable amount of time. Things get trickier with higher value applications. For example, in order for real time applications such as a voice call or a video call (especialy high definition/high quality ones) it matters greatly that the file "packets" be delivered, in order, without delay and without any pieces missing. Otherwise, the transmission becomes gibberish and leads to a poor user experience. Fortunately, there are technologies avaialable that can help distinguish a video transmission from say an email transmission and this could lead to a better overall consumer experience.

However, in order for the technology to be workable, it requires that the network distinguish between types of data flowing across it and give priority to the data that needs it. Therefore, in order for providers to deliver high quality, high value applications, they must distinguish and prioritze the data. Unfortunately, Net Neutrality would take away this option.

By demanding so called "net-neutrality" you are condemning users to an internet experience not unlike the Washington DC beltway during rush hour. Yes, people will get to their destination, but not in a way that is very satisfactory. I say, you should allow for the creation of alternative networks that people can choose to obtain that would allow for better management of the data. Yes this would mean that some data would be "delayed" but not typically in a way that is disatisfaying nor would it mean that it would be permanantly blocked. This management of the data flow would lead to a better overall consumer experience by making those who place excessive demands on the network pay for that demand and allow those who do not need high demand applications not have to pay for it. Finally, if a provider, cay Comcast abuses their responsibility to deliver the internet in a way that is balanced, then a user can choose to move their service to a provider that is more fair, for example Verizon or T-mobile. (By the way, I am not making an accusation about either of these companies, just saying that people have choices.)

In summary, net neutrality, on the surface appears to make everything fair. However, by legislating fairness, we will likely endup with an equally bad experience (like the DC Belway at rush hour). Please do not force us to all have a poor experience because a few place high demands on the network.


-- James W Snowden

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Boardroom ReInvented

AT&T has teamed up with Cisco to take telepresence to the next level. They are re-introducing Telepresence as "The Boardroom Reinvented". Here is what was recently said by Cisco and AT&T TelePresence Live at NRF 2009 with Coach, Planet Retail, Polo Ralph Lauren, & United Rentals.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gartner’s Top Predictions for 2009 Include Telepresence

Gartner Predicts Video Telepresence Will Replace 2.1 Million Airline Seats Per Year by 2012, Losing the Travel Industry $3.5 billion annually

Analysts detail Gartner's Top Ten Predictions for 2009 and beyond at 'Gartner Predicts 2009' in Sydney

"Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face to face..." -- Gartner's Steve Prentice

Sydney, Australia, The challenge of current world economic conditions is set to drive uptake of video telepresence in the next three years, with the travel industry losing out, according to Gartner Inc. Gartner analysts predict that high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry US$3.5 billion per year.

Speaking at the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing in Sydney this morning, Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence systems.

"The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organization revisit the need for face-to-face meetings" said Mr Prentice. "Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies"

Original Article….

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

AT&T Makes $1 Billion Network Infrasructure Investment

AT&T is upgrading network applications such as its VPN, telepresence, unified communications and hosting offerings. The company will expand its network offerings into Asia by offering telepresence in China for the first time and managed IP telephony and LAN services for the first time in China, India, the Philippines and Thailand. AT&T will also increase its data center hosting capacity in three of its U.S. data centers, as well as data centers in Tokyo, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Complete Article:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Telepresence to replace 2.1 million airline seats, says Gartner
February 11, 2009 Chris Payatagool
Written by Vera Alves Gartner expects video telepresence to replace 2.1 million airline seats per year, by 2012, losing the travel industry $ US 3.5 billion.This was one of the top ten predictions that Gartner announced this week in Auckland, during a local briefing where researchers discussed emerging trends and technologies.According to Stephen Prentice, VP and Gartner Fellow, "videoconferencing has changed and telepresence does manage to fool the brain."Both because of environmental and cost-cutting reasons, Gartner expects the adoption of telepresence to be one of the major trends for the near future. "People will be travelling for leisure, not for business," added Prentice.Cisco and HP were the first major companies to launch telepresence suites but the business is still evolving, with Nortel, Tandberg and LifeSize also adding telepresence to their lists of products.

The economic downturn can even be seen as an opportunity for technologies such as this to experience further growth, thanks to the need to cut back on costs.The Cisco offices in Auckland were recently the stage for young players to audition for the Southbank Sinfonia, in the UK, when a panel of judges listened and watched the aspiring New Zealand musicians' 15- minute auditions from the other side of the world."This process represents a world first for the professional music scene and promises to change the way orchestras recruit new players now and in the future," commented Justin Lee, Southbank Sinfonia's Chief Executive.
Telepresence and VC Insight Ranks IVCi Among Best Managed Conferencing Services Providers for 2008
IVCi was chosen because its IntelliNet MCS® Managed Conferencing Service is well-established and highly reliable.
Hauppauge, NY (PRWEB) February 16, 2009 -- IVCi, LLC (, a leading integrator of enterprise collaboration solutions including high definition video conferencing, telepresence, audio visual integration, and managed conferencing services, announced today that it has been named one of the Best Managed Conferencing Service Providers for 2008 by Telepresence and Videoconferencing Insight newsletter.
"IVCi was chosen as one of the best managed conferencing service providers because its IntelliNet MCS® Managed Conferencing Service is well-established and highly reliable, and was used successfully by many large corporate clients last year," said Richard Line, editor of Telepresence and VC Insight...... (More)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bad economy lifts telepresence sales
Feb 6, 2009 10:42 AM, By Carol Wilson

Enterprises see cost savings, productivity gains in managed telepresence services from AT&T, BT, others
Telepresence services, and especially managed telepresence services, are weathering the current economic storm, according to multiple providers and vendors, but the sales tactics for these services are changing somewhat.

“To be honest, we are seeing telepresence take off like crazy,” said Jeff Prestel, general manager of the video solutions division at BT, which this week announced it was adding Polycom telepresence gear to its managed services offering. “You would think with the current economic challenges, given it’s a high-ticket item, that would be the first thing people would stop spending on, but we are seeing even more interest – our fastest area of growth is in telepresence. It is growing rapidly.”....

Changing sales tactics

It was once possible to sell telepresence primarily as a means to reduce executive travel costs, but while that is still a compelling argument for some companies, it doesn’t work as simply as it used to, Alan Benway, executive director of AT&T Telepresence solutions said.

“Some companies now say they’ve eliminated their travel budget altogether, because of the economy,” the AT&T executive said. “We believe that travel reduction is just the tip of the iceberg. Telepresence, with the ability to collaborate in a face-to-face way on short notice, can help a company do business in new and better ways. If you are thinking about that – ‘Can I bring my products to market more quickly, and what is that worth to me?’ – it’s a different way to prove the value of telepresence. Even if travel were free, there’s still that efficiency. How long does it take somebody to travel to China or Europe or cross-country? These are often highly paid knowledge workers and executives. What is the cost to quality of life?”

more can be found here