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Orange, ESBC and Sight & Sound launch Telepresence Centre in Kenya

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Ahmed Youssef, FVC’s General Manager for East and West Africa showcases the new Telepresence solution at Landmark Plaza, Nairobi.

Ahmed Youssef, FVC’s General Manager for East and West Africa refers to open standards in video technology as an oncoming wave. Youssef was speaking during the launch of Orange Kenya Telepresence Centre in Nairobi, where he described the solution to be unique because it allows users to have online meetings from their mobile devices and tablets.

Complete with a Polycom OTX 300 Immersive Telepresence Suite, the commercial facility, which will be hosted at the ESBC’s new Business Centre at the Landmark Plaza, in Nairobi will be used to demonstrate the value of video conferencing to local businesses, thereby making communication more efficient.

Through open standards, different Telepresence equipment can communicate with each other. This therefore enables groups of people to meet and collaborate in multiple locations worldwide, while feeling as if they were all in the same room together at the same time. Alex Andrewes, CEO, ESBC says such standards will make it easier for organizations have access to cheaper communication through out the East African region.

“Communication is an important tool in business and video conferencing facility will allow dynamic enterprises in Kenya to communicate and collaborate with partners around the world, save on time, travel and resources”, says Andrewes.

Andrewes compares the cost of having these virtual meetings to a single flight ticket in East Africa for one board member of a company. He announced that the solution will cost USD 295 for the first one-hour meeting and USD 100 there after.

He, terms this venture as a Rolls Royce, a high end solution that will enhance collaborative work groups, global development teams and everyday meetings by the clarity, rich video and content detail offered by Polycom’s Open Telepresence Experience (OTX).

Orange, which provides the link to power the solution, has also embarked on a countrywide upgrade of its infrastructure, replacing copper with fibre optic cabling. This project will enhance network reliability with the installation of next generation network switches throughout the country.

Fibre optic cabling reduces costs of service as well as allowing for the increase in the bandwidth offering. This will in the long term enable the company build on the best practices and benefits from the expertise of Orange Business Services, its parent affiliate’s enterprise function, bringing a wealth of innovative products and services to Kenya.

“The service we launch today takes this to the next level by bringing the fully immersive Telepresence experience to users, the solution will allow up to 6 multi-point locations which can be increase on demand” says Rajesh Lakhani, CEO, Sight & Sound.  The company will provide technical support to this venture.

During the launch event, guests got to experience live telepresence with an interactive call with specialists overseas. The launch of the Orange Telepresence Centre was followed by the launch of FVC’s Kenya office, in Nairobi, as the value added distributor of emerging technologies extends its presence in the region.

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