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Four Starwood Hotels in Europe to Debut Telepresence 'Virtual Meeting' Suites Enabling Collaboration Across Continents

October 22, 2010 | Chris Payatagool
High definition, video conference services launch in Le Méridien Hotels
Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich
 
 
Cisco_Starwood_Tata.jpgRESTON, VA - October 20, 2010 - State-of-the-art "virtual meeting" technology will debut at four hotels in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) European portfolio, the company announces in conjunction with Tata Communications today.
 
Le Meridien Etoile, Le Meridien Brussels, Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt and Le Meridien Munich will become the first of Starwood's European properties to introduce new meeting facilities showcasing Cisco Telepresence technology.  All properties currently feature the new suites except Le Méridien Parkhotel Frankfurt, which will debut its new facilities in late November.
 
The new facilities are part of a year-old partnership between Starwood Hotels and Tata Communications to build Cisco Telepresence rooms at properties worldwide.  Starwood unveiled its first in-hotel Telepresence meeting suites earlier this year at Sheraton Toronto, W Chicago City Center, Sheraton on the Park Sydney and more recently, at Sheraton Kuwait City.  In late 2010, Sheraton New York and The Westin Los Angeles Airport also introduced their own meeting suites. Other Starwood locations planning to launch soon include key domestic and international business markets such as Dallas, San Francisco and Hong Kong.  
 
The public rooms located within each Starwood hotel will be linked to a wider Tata Communications Telepresence network via its Global Meeting Exchange. The Exchange enables meetings to take place between any private or public room on its network; as well as rooms on the networks of Tata Communications' Intercarrier-Exchange partners, BT and Telefonica, and the National Lamda Rail network, which links leading US universities. This network reach makes Telepresence a truly global collaboration tool.
 
"The opening of these four European public Telepresence rooms with Starwood marks another milestone for us in the Telepresence space. Since we launched the first public Telepresence facility in 2008, we have strived to develop a portfolio of Telepresence managed services that enable business executives to easily collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers anywhere in the world. Underpinning this portfolio is the ability for users to connect with an extensive business ecosystem of public and private rooms through our network and partner networks, spanning 35 countries." said Peter Quinlan, Vice President, Telepresence Managed Services, Tata Communications.
 
As an industry first, reservations for these telepresence rooms can be made instantly using the Tata Communications online portal, www.tatacommunications.com, with a convenient payment capability that accepts all major credit cards.
 
As the world and the hotel industry grow increasingly more global, Starwood is continuing its constant pursuit of innovation, anticipating how tomorrow's travelers want to meet.  The company is also responding to increased demand to incorporate technology, virtual meetings and social media into new meeting offerings for the next generation of business travelers.
 
"When clients are doing business globally, it makes sense to offer a meeting solution that's 'global' as well," said Mary Casey, Vice President of Global Sales for Starwood.  "Meetings no longer just mean sitting around a table, and the Telepresence technology we're unveiling in Europe helps clients shape meetings to their own needs."
 
Telepresence provides life-like, high definition, conferencing facilities with superior audio, video and environmental qualities allowing participants to meet their colleagues, customers and business partners across a virtual table. Participants in Telepresence meetings will feel that they are in the same room together regardless of where they are individually located in the world. This creates the potential to improve all sorts of business interaction through better and more frequent meetings, resulting in stronger customer relationships and accelerated sales cycles, better project management and tighter integration of remote offices.
 
 
The public room facility offers users who do not have Telepresence rooms within their company, access to this cutting-edge technology at an affordable hourly rate.  Tata Communications currently has the largest global network of public Telepresence rooms and is present in 21 major cities across five continents covering the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Kuwait, South Africa, India, The Philippines, Singapore and Australia
 
 
For more information about Starwood Hotels Telepresence Suites visit http://www.tatacommunications.com/telepresence/.
 
 
About Starwood Hotels

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft, and Element SM.  Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
 
About Tata Communications

Tata Communications is a leading global provider of a new world of communications.  With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.
 
The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly 1 million square feet of data center and collocation space worldwide.
 
Tata Communications' depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services, leadership in global international voice, and strategic investments in operators in South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited) and Nepal (United Telecom Limited).
 
Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE: TCL)
www.tatacommunications.com
 
 
About Cisco

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.






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