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Press Release -- March 22nd, 2011
Source: Cisco Systems
Tags: Exchange, Submarine Cable, Telepresence, Video

Sheraton Dallas Goes Live with Global Telepresence Meeting Suite Allowing Guests to Meet Across Continents

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Partners with Tata Communications to Bring Global Technology to Multiple Starwood Hotels

DALLAS – March 22, 2011 – The Sheraton Dallas Hotel, a Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) property and one of the largest convention hotels in Texas, recently unveiled a new feature for the property in conjunction with Tata Communications – an in-hotel Cisco TelePresence meeting suite, which provides a life-sized, high definition, immersive virtual collaboration experience. It is the next generation service that emulates a face-to-face meeting while being remote.

"The launch of the new Telepresence meeting suite at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel is another example of Starwood's commitment to innovation by offering our clients in Dallas and globally an exciting, new meetings solution that facilitates a 'face-to-face' meeting in the same room regardless of global location," said Ray Hammer, general manager, Sheraton Dallas Hotel. "Starwood and the Sheraton Dallas have a great partner in Tata Communications and look forward to the continued success this will bring our convention hotel."

In June of 2009, Starwood announced a partnership with Tata Communications and the plans to build Telepresence rooms in conjunction with Cisco in their properties worldwide. Today, in addition to the Sheraton Dallas Hotel and the W Chicago City Center, Starwood now has Telepresence meeting suites in more than 15 locations including The Westin St. Francis, Sheraton on the Park Sydney, the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton Centre Toronto, the Westin Los Angeles Airport, the Westin Georgetown Washington D.C., Le Meridien Munich, Le Meridien Park Hotel Frankfurt, Le Meridien Etoile Paris, Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers and The Westin Tokyo. Reservations for these Telepresence rooms can be made instantly using the Tata Communications online portal, with a convenient payment capability that accepts all major credit cards. The Tata Communications public rooms network that Starwood is part of comprises of a total of 33 rooms in 17 countries, an unparalleled offering.

The public rooms located within each Starwood hotel are linked to a wider Tata Communications Telepresence network via its Global Meeting Exchange. The 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 Lambda Rail network, which links leading US universities. This network reach makes Telepresence a truly global collaboration tool.

"Telepresence is a game changing technology, delivering a wide range of benefits to core business operations that ultimately help companies compete in an ever increasing globalised economy," says Peter Quinlan, Vice President, Telepresence Managed Services, Tata Communications. "Through our extensive Telepresence network and partnerships, we enable business executives to easily collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers anywhere in the world."

As the world and the hotel industry grow increasingly global, Starwood is continuing its legacy of innovation and looking at tomorrow's travelers and how they want to meet. There is also an increasing demand to incorporate technology, virtual meetings and social media into new meeting offerings from the next generation of business travelers.

Tata Communications was the world's first communications provider to offer public Telepresence rooms, giving any customer 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 across five continents, with its 33 rooms spanning 17 countries including the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, India, The Philippines, Singapore, Japan and Australia.

For more information about Telepresence, please visit http://www.tatacommunications.com/telepresence/.

About the Sheraton Dallas Hotel

The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is a spirited urban destination that helps guests stay connected with the world.  Only steps away from the city's vibrant arts and business districts, and adjacent to the DART rail line, guests of the Sheraton Dallas can experience the culture, sports centers, entertainment, shopping and dining options that have made Dallas a world-renowned destination. Featuring 1,840 guest rooms and over 230,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the hotel combines form, function and style to host a video conference for 10 or a gala for 5,000. In addition, the hotel's combination of engaging service and a fresh, inviting atmosphere allows guests who are traveling for business and pleasure to relax, take time to explore and celebrate time together.

For more information about the Sheraton Dallas, or to make a reservation, visit www.sheratondallashotel.com.  From the U.S. and Canada, reservations for any Sheraton hotel worldwide can be made by calling 1-800-325-3535 or visiting www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton.

About Starwood Hotels

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM.  Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

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

About Cisco

Cisco, (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

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Cisco, the Cisco logo, and Cisco Systems are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

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