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HSBC begins TelePresence rollout

September 9, 2008 | Chris Payatagool
hsbc_logo.gifBy Nick Heath,

Global banking giant HSBC will aim for big savings and to slash its air travel by millions of miles as it begins a global rollout of Cisco's videoconferencing system, TelePresence.

TelePresence will be fitted at nine of the bank's offices worldwide by the end of this year under a plan to grow videoconferencing use by 16 per cent each year and "significantly" reduce air travel.

The Cisco system uses life-size, high definition images and "spatial" audio with the aim of creating a more realistic videoconferencing environment.

The system has already proven successful for HSBC: during one month of use between its 8,000-strong London HQ and its Hong Kong office, the bank saved US$604,000 on air travel bills and reduced distance flown by staff by 522,000 miles.

Cisco TelePresence will be available in offices in London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, New York, and Dubai; with plans already afoot for three more installations, likely to include Brazil and China.

The bank has been trialling the use of TelePresence in London and Hong Kong for about a year and in 2007 reduced its CO2 emissions per employee to 0.557 tonnes from 0.62 tonnes in 2006.

Aside from the unit in Dubai, each HSBC system will be a Cisco TelePresence 3000 unit. HSBC is now conducting a consultation exercise to see how it far it can reduce its travel with use of videoconferencing technology.

A spokesman for HSBC said: "We have always had a very conservative travel policy at HSBC and monitored very closely what is considered essential and non-essential travel, and where possible we encourage staff to use videoconferencing as an alternative."

"This is the first step towards TelePresence and other videoconferencing facilities achieving critical mass and reaching a point where you will see a significant drop away in business travel."

[via ZDNet]


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