Virtual Meetings: Experience the Revolution

In an effort to build a more environmentally sustainable future for the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, Sustainable St. Louis unites businesses, local governments, and environmental advocates. Members of the non-profit organization had expressed interest in telepresence technology as an alternative to physical travel to conduct business, as had members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA). So AT&T extended an invitation to participating business members in the St. Louis area to see first-hand how sustainability, profitability and technology meet. In December 2010, we co-hosted an open house event with Sustainable St. Louis to showcase our AT&T Telepresence Solution® and to talk about the benefits of telepresence, including:

  • Key findings of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s study, “The Telepresence Revolution”, which demonstrates that by using telepresence in lieu of some travel, large businesses can save up to 900 business trips in the first year, achieve a financial return on investment in as little as 15 months, and reduce emissions by as many as 2,271 metric tons over five years – the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 434 passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year.
  • In 2010, AT&T’s own telepresence use resulted in savings of almost $3 million in travel expenses and led to the reduction of more than 1800 metric tons of CO2.
  • Real-world examples of how we are “Transforming Business at AT&T” using telepresence technology. This included personal stories about how telepresence has improved employee productivity and work/life balance as well as an overview of various travel substitution applications, including Human Resource hiring, customer meetings, advertising campaign design and supply chain management

John Traeger, the Chair of Sustainable St. Louis, gives a first-hand account of the event in his blog, AT&T’s “Telepresence” – Seeing is Believing, noting that “there is an alternative to physical travel that produces both economic benefits to business and environmental benefits to the community.” He also writes, “As anyone who travels on a regular basis will attest, it’s not a lot of fun to spend time in airports and hotel rooms, away from family and friends. While this technology is primarily for large companies now, this will not always be the case.”

At AT&T, we’re big believers in telepresence and not just because we have a telepresence solution to sell. AT&T conducts nearly 600 telepresence meetings each month. Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman, CEO and President, told the Wall Street Journal that “Telepresence is the most exciting technology in enterprise business today,” and he puts his money where his mouth is. He uses AT&T Telepresence Solution to conduct his weekly staff meetings, customer meetings and partner meetings.

I believe telepresence is transformational — not just for AT&T, but for other companies as well. Ultimately, companies that invest in carbon-cutting technologies and that re-engineer the way they do business will not only be better positioned to succeed, but will experience considerable business benefits as well.

Contact us for a complimentary “meeting on us”.  Because as John Traeger says, “Seeing is Believing.”

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