Cisco, Sabre to Develop Industry's First Telepresence Reservation Platform

To give corporations more virtual meeting options, Sabre Travel Network will collaborate with Cisco in order to develop what it claims will be the industry's first telepresence distribution and reservation platform, it announced this month.

The platform, which will feature both public telepresence providers and private corporations — who will be able to provide open or restricted access to their telepresence suites for booking by the general public or select audiences, such as employees or business partners — will make it possible for users to view room availability in real time, book meetings, and review applicable rates and restrictions.

"Corporations are using telepresence technology to collaborate more effectively and to solve real business problems, which is driving the significant growth of the technology," said Mark Weidick, vice president and general manager for Cisco's Cisco TelePresence Exchange business unit. "Cisco believes that by distributing telepresence unit availability using a common platform with appropriate viewing restrictions and access controls, corporations will be able to improve productivity and drive new levels of collaboration across their organizations and with their partners, customers and suppliers."

According to Sabre, the new platform — which it's calling a "travel and collaboration management" solution — will utilize existing workflows for travel booking and management, pulled from other Sabre tools like GetThere, its online travel-booking platform.

"For years, corporations and agencies have been using Sabre and GetThere technology to effectively manage their business travel, and today it remains one of the primary tools used to collaborate," said Sabre Travel Network President Greg Webb. "Over the past few years, we've also seen the demand for telepresence grow and become an important collaboration technology that, like travel, drives business and economic growth for our customers. We believe our long history of technology and distribution leadership uniquely positions us to deliver the industry's first platform for virtual meetings."