Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), a global leader specializing in business travel management, and Tata Communications today announced they will team up to provide CWT Telepresence—an enhancement to the company’s broader demand management offering—which will allow CWT clients to access the Tata Communications network of public Cisco TelePresence Suites around the world. In an economic environment that requires companies to look for ways to reduce costs, clients now have an additional solution for effectively managing their travel and meeting expenditures while realizing their business objectives. Furthermore, CWT Telepresence offers flexibility, enabling organizations to bring together employees who might not ordinarily travel to participate in meetings.
CWT Telepresence offers clients a full range of services from help in determining if and when a virtual meeting meets their business needs, through management of the reservations process in any of Tata Communications’ public telepresence rooms, to regular reporting on adoption and related cost savings. In addition, CWT reinforces its position as a leading integrator of top-tier technology that enables clients to optimize their travel and meeting programs.
“CWT recognizes the intense pressure corporations are under to contain rising T&E costs and maximize return on investment,” said Pauline Quéré, CWT vice president, Customer Product Marketing. “By incorporating telepresence into the full range of products and services in our demand management offering, CWT provides a compelling alternative and solidifies its role as a key partner in helping clients demonstrate measurable return on investment. To that end, we are very pleased to be moving forward with Tata Communications, an industry leader in the telepresence arena.”
John Landau, senior vice president, Global Managed Services for Tata Communications, added: “Tata Communications became the world’s first provider of public Cisco TelePresence Suites in July 2008. Today, we offer state-of-the-art private and public rooms that enable companies to boost their productivity, cut costs, and conduct meetings as often as needed while reducing their carbon footprint. Furthermore, the seamless interconnectivity of our private and public rooms through our telepresence exchange minimizes distances across the globe and brings more people together quickly and easily.
“Using Tata Communications’ telepresence services increases the accessibility of businesses beyond their major company offices to their wider ecosystem of users, including customers, suppliers, remote workers and business partners. We are excited to be working with Carlson Wagonlit Travel and look forward to helping them add a new dimension to their clients’ managed travel programs,” Mr. Landau added.
Tata Communications’ managed telepresence technology allows small groups to use high-definition video and real-time audio to meet at any time of the day or night while in multiple locations worldwide. Equipped with life-size images and immersive technology, participants have the effective experience of sitting opposite one another in the same room. In addition to connecting and managing on-site private telepresence facilities for companies worldwide, Tata Communications manages several public rooms available on a pay-per-use basis in the United States, England, India, South Africa and the Philippines. The company also recently announced plans with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to open additional rooms worldwide in Starwood Hotels by the end of 2009.
CWT clients will also have access to Tata Communications’ Global Meeting Exchange (GMX). The GMX is designed to conveniently support business-to-business sessions on a global basis between any Cisco TelePresence rooms (public or private), irrespective of the network service provider. This pioneering global service will grow in reach over time and will enable subscribers to expand the use of telepresence from an internal meeting solution to one that reaches their global business partners outside of their company.
Smart demand management
Aligning the underlying drivers of demand for travel with business objectives means “traveling smarter,” not necessarily traveling less. CWT Telepresence complements a full range of products and services CWT offers to help companies effectively balance business travel with business needs and control costs.
CWT Meetings & Events helps clients optimize savings, improve services, increase control, enrich attendee experiences, and reach their company’s unique strategic objectives.
CWT Solutions Group, the company’s global consulting arm, can help clients define and implement best practice demand management strategies based on their travel needs and their company’s specific objectives.
CWT Policy Builder helps companies design a travel policy that sets clear parameters and mandates to contain costs while driving business performance. Communicating the policy to all travelers through CWT Portal helps drive compliance.
Online booking tools and CWT travel counselors can help travelers make informed decisions at the time of booking by documenting the trip purpose and proposing alternatives adapted to business needs.
Automated emails targeted to individual travelers via the award-winning CWT Policy Messenger encourage behavioral change that supports business objectives.
Consolidated data that tracks the quantity, frequency and specifications of travel as well as realized savings is available through the award-winning CWT Program Management Center.
Acknowledging the role demand management plays in a well-managed travel program, Ms. Quéré said, “The key to successful demand management is to be holistic in your approach. At Carlson Wagonlit Travel, we are committed to helping our clients make and implement the best choices that will enable their employees to connect easily and efficiently with key stakeholders and drive their business to new heights.”