Marriott TelePresence: Cisco Checks In, HP Halo Checks Out?
When Marriott International announced plans to embrace AT&T/Cisco TelePresence in hotels worldwide, The VAR Guy couldn’t help but wonder: Did an older Marriott relationship — involving HP Halo telepresence — get unplugged?
As you may recall, Cisco declared war on Hewlett-Packard during the Cisco Partner Summit 2009 in Boston. Now, that networking and server war is spilling over into the TelePresence market. Here are some quick observations…
Cisco’s Current Victory
On June 30, 2009, Marriott International announced plans to:
“offer telepresence technology in its hotels worldwide, using AT&T’s fully-managed AT&T Telepresence Solution. Cisco TelePresence(TM) technology will enable Marriott to offer customers the widest array of meeting options, whether in-person, virtual or both.”
Impressive. The move proves that TelePresence is reaching its tipping point, and managed video services are a fast-growing opportunity for VARs and managed service providers.
HP’s Previous Victory
HP today announced it has entered into an agreement with Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR) to make HP Halo telepresence solutions available for public use at select Marriott locations in major business centers around the world.
The specific locations will be announced at a later date.
Reality Check, Please
So, did Marriott have a change of heart — moving from HP Halo to Cisco TelePresence? Or is Marriott offering a mix of TelePresence systems to hotel guests? The VAR Guy has dispatched emails to Cisco, HP and Marriott for comment.
In the meantime, The VAR Guy’s best guess: Even if Marriott leverages HP Halo in some instances, it sounds like the Cisco/AT&T alternative will gain critical mass within Marriott. But HP does continue to gain momentum with its own Halo efforts.