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HP Extends Halo Studios for Affordable Video Collaboration with Global ReachPALO ALTO, Calif., April 23, 2007
HP today announced that the network that forms the backbone of its HP Halo studios now circumnavigates the globe via an alliance with Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, VSNL (NYSE: VSL), a leading provider of international communication solutions.
The extension of the Halo Video Exchange Network (HVEN) enhances the natural, personal connection experience by further reducing the no-perceived latency standard of Halo. It also gives added business continuity protection to Halo customers by enabling automatic re-routing of Halo connections during earthquakes or other disasters that can disrupt all forms of network traffic.
Additionally, HP introduced two new Halo Collaboration Studio editions to offer customers access to the truly global network at dramatically lower prices.
The HP Halo Collaboration Studio enables participants to see each other in life-sized images projected on studio-quality displays. The studios are connected via the HVEN, a dedicated fiber optic network created by HP in partnership with many of the world’s largest telecommunications providers for the express purpose of transporting video.
The HP and VSNL alliance filled the last remaining gap in the network by connecting India to Europe via the Middle East. This link marks the HVEN’s complete circumnavigation of the globe and is similar to a “golden spike” – the ceremonial spike driven to mark the completion of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad.
This network extension provided by VSNL improves upon the HVEN’s leadership position as the lowest latency network on the planet. Such a wide-reaching network makes the world flat for any company looking to use video collaboration.
“Customers have told us that they want seamless and simple global coverage for their immersive studios and that’s what we have provided,” said Ken Crangle, general manager, Halo Collaboration Studio Unit, HP. “No other telepresence system can match HP Halo’s worldwide reach.”
New editions offer global network at lower prices
Customers can enjoy the extended global coverage via new editions of the HP Halo studios that offer lower base pricing and individual options that customers can tailor to fit their needs.
The new HP Halo Collaboration Studio Professional Edition starts at a base price of $329,000,(1) while delivering the uncanny “just like being there” experience that Halo offers. Multipoint capabilities and a dedicated video collaboration screen are included in this edition, while available options include a high-definition document camera for sharing critical hard copy documents or handheld objects.
The HP Halo Collaboration Studio Executive Edition, with a base price of $399,000,(1) includes the document camera along with all of the studio component options that can be purchased separately.
Later this year, through work with videoconferencing giant Tandberg, HP expects to begin offering the capability to connect Tandberg systems into Halo meetings. This capability will be available with all Halo studio configurations.
High-quality conferencing and business continuity with a global network
Connecting the HVEN around the globe brings additional customer benefits. The HVEN “hub-and-spoke” operating system automatically routes Halo transmissions along the shortest distances – east or west – to ensure no perceived latency between any points on Earth. Additionally, improved circuit redundancy greatly reduces the HVEN’s susceptibility to natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis and, in turn, greatly improves business continuity of global operations.
In addition, unlike competing telepresence solutions, HP Halo is the only offering that includes network operations and management support, diagnostics and calibration with a 24x7 concierge, an equipment warranty and ongoing service and repair. Also included is a non-obsolescence guarantee, which reduces technology risk by covering costs associated with future upgrades, such as the multipoint feature.
The growing number of companies that has deployed HP Halo studios include ABN AMRO Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, AIG Financial Products Corp., BHP Billiton, DreamWorks, General Electric Commercial Finance, Novartis and PepsiCo. HP Halo serves a wide array of industries including pharmaceuticals, financial services and manufacturing. Worldwide, HP Halo maintains a presence in 17 countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), a part of the Tata Group, is the leading provider of public international telecommunications services in India. VSNL has a global presence including operations in India, the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Its range of service offerings include wholesale voice, private leased circuits, IP VPN, Internet access, hosting, mobile signaling and other IP services. VSNL offers a full range of retail products in India to individual customers such as high-speed broadband, dial-up Internet, Wi-Fi, and net telephony under the Tata Indicom brand name. VSNL is listed on the major stock exchanges in India and its American Depository Receipts are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $94.1 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2007. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
(1) Estimated U.S. street price. Actual price may vary.
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