BHP early buyer for HP videoconferencing suite

BHP early buyer for HP videoconferencing suite

Summary: update BHP Billiton is one of the first customers of Hewlett-Packard's videoconferencing solution dubbed Halo Collaboration Studio. The global resources giant has implemented a studio in each of its offices in Melbourne, Perth, London, Houston and Santiago, with a sixth being built in Singapore.

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update BHP Billiton is one of the first customers of Hewlett-Packard's videoconferencing solution dubbed Halo Collaboration Studio.

The global resources giant has implemented a studio in each of its offices in Melbourne, Perth, London, Houston and Santiago, with a sixth being built in Singapore.

BHP considered a number of products, but decided Halo was one of the more mature ones in a relatively new produce space, said the spokesperson.

Employees are using the studios for a range of purposes such as virtual team meetings, project reviews, steering meetings, senior executive meetings, training sessions and job interviews.

A company spokesperson said BHP conducted many video and teleconference meetings due to the global nature of its business, and the new suites offered the chance to reduce travel.

BHP did not disclose the cost of its investment, however, a single studio would have set the global resources giant back at least US$425,000 -- the entry-level price, according to HP.

A single studio allows participants to broadcast video of themselves and/or computer presentations to colleagues in a remote location in real-time. A studio can seat 12 people, HP said.

BHP was responsible for the 'shell' build of the studio, while Hewlett Packard performed the fit-out.

A Halo broadcast studio consists of three plasma monitors, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and access to a dedicated Halo video exchange network.

BHP CIO David Richardson was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Halo was first announced in the US almost a year ago. Last month, networking giant Cisco launched a similar product -- the Cisco TelePresence Meeting system, which is currently being evaluated by Telstra for communication between four of its capital city locations.

TelePresence simulates a regular meeting environment, using three 65-inch ultra-high definition 1080p panels and three cameras aligned along one side of a boardroom table, coupled with spatially accurate sound placement.

A Telstra spokesperson said the implementation was about using new technology to improve internal communications. The four systems, each with a price tag of US$299,000, are to be installed before the end of the year.

ZDNet Australia's Brad Howarth contributed to this report.

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Networking

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