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Cisco TelePresence via American Express vmX

American Express Business Travel and Cisco announced the global availability of public Cisco TelePresence Suites through American Express Business Travel's virtual meetings eXpert (vmX) solution.

This agreement provides corporate clients with virtual meeting consulting services which will enable clients to make better decisions about the best method of face-to-face collaboration -- by leveraging publicly-available Cisco TelePresence rooms and increase use of private, corporate-owned systems around the world.

Cisco TelePresence uses high-definition video and audio to create the experience of face-to-face meetings. People appear life-size around a virtual conference table, creating an environment where meeting participants feel as though they're sitting in the same room.

Public Cisco TelePresence Suites offer convenient access to organizations, travelers, remote workers or business partners to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners. Public Cisco TelePresence Suites are currently available from a growing ecosystem of partners supported by Cisco in major business centers around the world.

These include, Marriott International, operated by AT&T, as well as the Tata Communications operated rooms at the Starwood and Taj Hotels and the Singapore public room at the Rendezvous Hotel.

Growing Demand for Online Collaboration
"As virtual meetings gain traction among corporations of all sizes, it is critical to offer a network of locations that companies can use to connect to and integrate virtual meetings into their overall travel and meetings program," said Lisa Durocher, senior vice president, American Express Business Travel.

"Cisco is a leading provider of telepresence technology and facilities and we are pleased to add its public Cisco TelePresence Suites to our solution. Our ultimate goal is to offer clients the guidance they need to optimize virtual meeting options while providing the widest coverage of publicly available rooms extending the reach of private rooms companies may already have available."

By combining the availability of public and private telepresence suites, virtual meetings eXpert offers companies a broader pool of virtual meeting options to help achieve corporate travel objectives and savings. The vmX platform is currently available through an offline reservation desk and is expected to be available online in 2011.

Announced last year, vmX is a unique, patent-pending, solution that serves as a central hub and aggregator of both publicly available telepresence facilities and private corporate facilities.

As a comprehensive virtual meetings solution, virtual meetings eXpert not only provides the necessary inventory, technology and physical locations to connect virtually, but also guides travelers through scenarios that determine whether to meet virtually or in person based on criteria such as price, trip duration, meeting purpose, environmental impact and more.