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Press Release -- January 18th, 2011
Source: Tata Communications
Tags: Exchange, Submarine Cable, Telepresence, Video

Research reveals German executives want to reclaim their travel time whilst retaining that personal connection

  • 50 per cent of executives in Germany spend on average up to 60 days a year travelling for meetings, resulting in substantial dead time
  • One in five executives surveyed spend over 36,000€ each on travel expenses annually
  • 91 per cent of respondents prefer face-to-face contact for meetings due to a heightened level of trust
  • 84 per cent of respondents recognize the need to embrace virtual collaboration technologies that provide personal contact, yet unaware of the options available such as Telepresence

Germany, January 18, 2011 – Approximately 50 per cent of executives spend up to 60 days a year travelling to-and-from meetings, resulting in extensive business downtime, according to independent research commissioned by Tata Communications, a leading provider of the new world of communications.

The survey of 100 decision makers in Frankfurt and Munich also highlighted that 91 per cent of respondents prefer in-person meetings due to a heightened sense of trust resulting from the interpersonal contact. 84 per cent of executives surveyed recognize that virtual collaboration technologies could be the solution to maintaining / increasing that personal touch. There is however still a large gap in understanding what technologies are available on the market.

Constantly being on the move also has a noticeable effect on travel expenses: one in five executives surveyed spends over 36,000€ on travel expenses, annually. In the current financial climate virtual collaboration tools can be effectively deployed to reduce what is in many cases, unnecessary cost.

One of the avenues that address the virtual collaboration need is video conferencing. Traditional video conferencing has been seen as a possible alternative to face-to-face meetings by 84 per cent of executives surveyed. However, 50 per cent of respondents stated that it would be the last communication method of choice due to reasons such as perceived technical complications, picture and sound quality, set-up time, security and end-point availability where customers and partners don’t have the access to the same technology.

This highlights a clear gap in understanding and awareness of recent developments in virtual collaboration technologies that address these concerns, with 90 per cent of respondents stating that they were not aware of innovative services available to them such as Telepresence, a next generation, high-definition and immersive video collaboration tool – allowing participants to meet colleagues, customers and business partners across a virtual table.

“The research clearly shows that German executives want to embrace technological advances that will help reduce time spent out of the office whilst, at the same time, deliver the reality of global collaboration. They are however held back through a lack understanding of the latest advancements in virtual collaboration tools that provide a life-like experience,” says Claude Sassoulas, Managing Director – Europe and Africa, Tata Communications. “We realized this gap in the market and as a result, have worked with partners such as the Starwood Hotel Group to give German businesses virtual access to the rest of the world via world-class public Telepresence facilities in Frankfurt and Munich.”

Tata Communications was the world’s first communications provider to offer public Telepresence rooms, giving customers the benefit of virtual conference technology at a cost effective, pay-per-use, hourly rate. The company currently has the largest global network of public Telepresence rooms and is present in 21 major cities across five continents – totalling 29 rooms, spanning 12 countries. The public room facility offers users who do not have Telepresence rooms within their company, access to this cutting-edge technology at an affordable hourly rate.

Le Méridien Parkhotel Frankfurt and Le Méridien Munich became one of the first of Starwood’s European properties launched in conjunction with Tata Communications to introduce new meeting facilities showcasing Cisco Telepresence technology.

The public rooms located within each Starwood hotel will be linked to a wider Tata Communications Telepresence network via its Global Meeting Exchange. The Tata Communications Exchange enables meetings to take place between any private or public room on its network; as well as rooms on the networks of Tata Communications’ Intercarrier-Exchange partners, BT and Telefonica, and the National Lamda Rail network, which links leading US universities. This network reach makes Telepresence a truly global collaboration tool.

Participants in Telepresence meetings will feel that they are in the same room together regardless of where they are individually located in the world. This creates the potential to improve all sorts of business interaction through better and more frequent meetings, resulting in stronger customer relationships and accelerated sales cycles, better project management and tighter integration of remote offices.

Methodology of the Survey
This survey was carried out on behalf of Tata Communications by the independent research group ‘Info GmbH’ from Berlin in December 2010. Over 100 decision makers in Frankfurt and Munich. 49 per cent of those surveyed indicated that they were a member of the managerial team or a team leader, 30 per cent were departmental or sector leaders and 21 per cent managing directors, executives or proprietors. Companies from a range of industries were surveyed. At 23 per cent, the processing business was the best represented, followed by the information and communications industry and business service providers (11 per cent respectively), as well as the health and social care industry, trade with truck maintenance and repairs (9 per cent respectively). Participants were asked about their habits and preferences regarding meetings and business travel and gave information about applied collaboration technology.

About Tata Communications
Tata Communications is the leading global provider of a new world of communications.  With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.

The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly 1 million square feet of data center and collocation space worldwide.

Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services, leadership in global international voice, and strategic investments in operators in South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited) and Nepal (United Telecom Limited).

Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE: TCL) www.tatacommunications.com

Media Contacts:
Natalie Chak
Tata Communications
+44 7833 043 779 natalie.chak@tatacommunications.com
Nicole Stück
Hill & Knowlton Germany for Tata Communications
+49 69 244 32 92 13
Nicole.Stueck@hillandknowlton.com

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