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“Major step” towards telepresence interoperability with BT/Tata agreement

Cisco, the leading name in video conferencing technology and network services, has lauded an agreement between BT and Tata Communications as a “major step” towards interoperability between telepresence services.

Under the agreement customers of both Tata Communications and BT will be able to establish a video conference with their counterparts on the other companies video exchange. This intercompany service will see the number of connections possible to each video conferencing facility hosted by the BT or Tata exchanges expand dramatically.

BT has more than 350 Cisco Telepresence systems connected to 1,000 endpoints around the world. Tata Communications meanwhile has exchange hubs in Mumbai, New York and London, with 15 video conferencing facilities in locations across North America, Asia Pacific, India, London and Johannesburg.

The agreement is a significant development towards the overall goal of complete interoperability between telepresence systems. For some time Cisco has been working to create a common, interoperable standard for the video conferencing sector to allow its own systems to seamlessly communicate with those of third party providers.

These efforts took a significant step forward last month as Cisco announced its plans to integrate the in-house Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) on its newly acquired Tandberg Telepresence Server. This support now enables interoperability between multiscreen telepresence units from different vendors as well as between the full line of Tandberg products.