Thursday, July 5, 2012

ADVANCING COMMUNICATION IN GHANA THROUGH VIDEO AND TELEPRESENCE: THE HUAWEI EXPERIENCE




Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allows a person to feel as if they were present and to give the appearance of being present. Video and telepresence conferencing puts people at the centre of the collaborative experience, enabling them to work better together to transform business, accelerate innovation and do more with less. It provides the platform where everyone, everywhere can meet face-to-face and be more productive through the most natural video communications experience available.

An exact definition of telepresence is still up for grabs, but the technology generally offers users life-size, panoramic images of meeting participants, captured with multiple high-definition cameras and high-quality audio, says Andrew Davis, senior analyst and managing partner at Wainhouse Research. The market for telepresence systems was small in 2007—an estimated $72 million in sales (not including the many sites manufacturers installed for their own use), according to IDC, a market research firm. But IDC expects sales to reach over $1 billion during 2012.

The term telepresence was coined in a 1980 article by Marvin Minsky, who outlined his vision for an adapted version of the older concept of teleoperation that focused on giving the remote participation a feeling of actually being present. The first commercially successful telepresence company, Teleport (which was later renamed TeleSuite), was founded in 1993 by David Allen and Harold Williams. Before TeleSuite, they ran a resort business from which the original concept emerged, because they often found businesspeople would have to cut their stays short to participate in important meetings. Their idea was to develop a technology that would allow businesspeople to attend their meetings without leaving the resorts so that they could lengthen their hotel stays.
Today telepresence is becoming more familiar thanks companies like Huawei technologies, Cisco systems, HP, Polycom, Teliris, and other entries in the telepresence market. Huawei’s telepresence system provides you with a truly rich, live interactive face-to-face communication experience, thus reducing your costs, improving work efficiency, and saving on human resources/labor.

Huawei has been devoted to video communications research and development since 1993. Leveraging its years of expertise in video communications, Huawei provides industry leading end-to-end telepresence products and solutions, such as a telepresence service platform, immersive telepresence products, room telepresence
products, desktop telepresence products and personal telepresence products.

Huawei telepresence solutions can be deployed in four major sectors; solutions for remote command and decision-making, remote consultation, remote judicial proceedings and intelligent building multimedia.

Huawei enterprise telepresence comes with an immersive experience, ease of use, network adaptation, system stability, security, reliability and hierarchical service with role-based management. They can be deployed in headquarters and large branches, so that unified management, intelligent conference scheduling and hierarchical role-bases management can be achieved. It comes in 40in, 46in, or 55in ultra-slim LCDs, supporting three installation options (Wall mount, Floor mount, Wheeled or fixed) and users can use tabletop HD video endpoints, videophones, mobile pads, and PC clients to communicate "face-to-face" with virtual teams anywhere at any time.

Telepresence comes with a lot of advantages. It accelerates business critical decision making process, shortens sales cycles, reduces time to market, and creates new forums for collaboration thereby increasing work efficiencies. In terms of travel cost, many customers reduce their business travel by 30 percent or more when using of the telepresence. The true cost of travel is not just a plane ticket and hotel. Time on the road could be spent being more productive, bringing new products to market, reducing repair time, or meeting with more clients.
Telepresence makes it easy for teams to collaborate, innovate, and resolve issues. Now those benefits can be brought to customer service, supply chain management, and training; redefine best practices; and accelerate ROI even more.

As part of Huawei’s new innovations to bridge the digital divide, the company has introduced a demonstration truck which will soon showcase in Ghana. There is an ancient adage that says experience is the best teacher. Huawei is therefore offering its numerous clients the opportunity to practically experience new technology to support efficient operations in their businesses.
It is for this reason that Huawei’s road show will be stopping in Ghana to offer businesses the opportunity to witness, feel and experience new technologies that will help build business profitability. The Demo truck gives live demonstration of equipments ranging from IT, IP and Unified Communications. The demo truck will arrive in Ghana on Monday 1st October to Friday 5th October 2012 and will be positioned at La Beach Hotel – Accra, 9am-5pm daily. It is coming from Nigeria to Ghana and the back to China.
 


Benjamin Nana Appiah Acquaye
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