Sabre Travel Network, a global technology leader serving travel agencies and corporations, and Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), announced today the two companies are developing the first global reservation system for booking and scheduling public and corporate-owned HD video conferencing and telepresence rooms. Sabre Virtual Meetings will allow users to locate, reserve, and connect public and corporate-owned video conferencing rooms and set up “face-to-face” HD video conferences with colleagues, partners, and customers anywhere around the world. When integrated into travel applications such as online booking tools or travel agency systems, employees, agents, travel arrangers, and other travel buyers will be able to reserve and schedule video conferencing rooms at the same time they book flights and hotels. An industry-wide solution, the Sabre meeting room system will be open to multiple telecom and video conferencing providers, and be accessible through several travel and third-party distribution channels including global distribution systems, travel management companies, online booking tools, and directly on the Internet. Sabre Virtual Meetings will increase the adoption and use of corporate-owned video conferencing solutions, delivering a faster ROI on those assets. Additionally, the platform will increase use of public video conferencing rooms, such as those Polycom is helping to establish at Regus locations worldwide. “Advances in technology have changed the way we live our lives and run our businesses,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre Virtual Meetings will create a step change in the way corporate employees communicate and collaborate with each other and their customers. By making telepresence scheduling as simple as booking airline travel, Sabre and Polycom will help companies and employees form closer relationships with customers, enhance internal collaboration and increase productivity.” Sabre Virtual Meetings will allow travel buyers (including travel agencies, corporate travel managers, small-to-medium businesses, and corporate employees) to view conference room availability in real-time, review rates and features, and book meetings across geographic regions making reserving and scheduling video conference rooms as easy and intuitive as other travel options. Companies with their own video conferencing rooms will also be able to use Sabre Virtual Meetings to customize how they manage their rooms: making them available internally only, to select customers and partners, or to the broader public (as part of the Sabre Virtual Meetings public room selection). Sabre Virtual Meetings will offer a flexible platform to allow companies to choose how best to schedule and reserve their video conferencing rooms to get maximum ROI.
“Baker Hughes is a strong relationship-driven company. We value communication and foster long-lasting relationships,” said Clif Triplett, vice president and CIO, Baker Hughes. “We have made a significant investment in video-conferencing assets and it’s changing the way we operate. It’s become an important tool to leverage the strengths of a global company in bringing the best people together to solve problems, regardless of their location. I believe that the ability to use a tool that offers both video-collaboration and travel alternatives will take our video use to the next level. We have invested globally in video-conferencing resources and other collaboration assets and are very excited about what this partnership and technological solution will mean for our ability to maximize our investment.”Sabre is a leading technology provider to the travel industry, powering a dynamic marketplace where travel buyers connect with travel suppliers. Used by more than a billion people annually, Sabre technology powers the travel industry 24 hours a day, processing more than one million travel transactions a minute. Polycom, a global leader in video conferencing software and solutions, is committed to open standards-based technologies that help people use video conferencing as their preferred method of communicating – easily, reliably and securely – regardless of network, carrier, protocol, application, or device. This partnership leverages Sabre’s strong heritage and unique expertise in building highly scalable reservation systems and Polycom’s leadership in video conferencing, technical expertise, and vast network of public room providers, service providers, and industry associations. “Sabre Virtual Meetings is a bold new approach making it easier for companies to locate and reserve a video conferencing room – either as a complement to business travel or in lieu of it – to connect with their customers, partners, and vendors around the world,” said Sue Hayden, executive vice president, Polycom. “This solution will drive awareness and the use of video conferencing solutions, and help our enterprise customers maximize ROI on video conferencing technology investments while experiencing first-hand the advantages of visual communications.”
"The need for a centralized reservation system to facilitate business-to-business video meetings has grown tremendously in recent years. Incorporating a global reservation system into existing travel distribution channels is an innovative approach,” said Rich Costello, Senior Research Analyst, IDC. “Polycom and Sabre are addressing a real business need through the Sabre Virtual Meetings and I anticipate it will continue to drive the use of video solutions.”Sabre expects to launch the new reservation system in the first half of 2012 through travel management companies and directly with corporations. Sabre is a member of Polycom’s extensive partner community, an ecosystem of companies who embrace an open standards-based, flexible approach to video conferencing. Note to Editors: A video featuring Sabre’s Greg Webb and Polycom’s Sue Hayden discussing this news is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPv3nBM_cK4 ; an online press kit is available at www.sabre.com/sabrevirtualmeetings Polycom Unified Communications Leadership Polycom UC solutions create a highly collaborative environment that significantly improves learning and engagement, as well as overall productivity and efficiency. Polycom helps companies of all sizes, in all industries, become high-performance workplaces where people collaborate on-demand between any location, over any network, with their device of choice. The Polycom® RealPresence® Platform is the most comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration, and delivers the industry’s only universal bridging software that supports up to 75,000 device registrations and 25,000 concurrent sessions. The platform includes universal video collaboration, video resource management, virtualization management, universal access and security, and video content management. With a broad ecosystem of partners, Polycom provides the most comprehensive, reliable, and scalable collaboration platform for delivering UC solutions to employees, partners, and suppliers – on-premises or from the cloud. Polycom is committed to driving interoperability in the video conferencing market. Earlier this year, Polycom and leading global service provider companies announced the Open Visual Communications Consortium™ (OVCC™) – an independent, expanding group of global video exchange providers, network providers, and equipment providers – to expand video communications and enhance interoperability. About Sabre Travel Network Sabre Travel Network provides technology solutions to the global travel industry. It operates the world’s largest travel marketplace, connecting travel buyers and sellers through the Sabre global distribution system (GDS). Its innovative software connects more than 350,000 travel professionals to more than 400 airlines, 93,000 hotels, 25 car rental brands, 50 rail providers, 13 cruise lines and other global travel suppliers. More than 300 million people purchase airline tickets through this channel annually.
Sabre Travel Network is part of Sabre Holdings, a global travel technology company serving the world’s largest industry - travel and tourism. Its innovative technology is used by more than a billion people around the world to plan, book and get to their destination at a time and price that's right for them. For more information, please visit: www.sabre.com.About Polycom Polycom is the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC) solutions for telepresence, video, and voice, powered by the Polycom RealPresence Platform. The RealPresence Platform interoperates with the broadest range of business, mobile and social applications and devices. More than 400,000 organizations trust Polycom solutions to collaborate and meet face to face from any location for more productive and effective engagement with colleagues, partners, customers and prospects. Polycom, together with its broad partner ecosystem, provides customers with the best TCO, scalability, and security – on-premises, hosted or cloud delivered. Visit www.polycom.com or connect with Polycom on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. NOTE: The product plans, specifications, and descriptions herein are provided for information only and subject to change without notice, and are provided without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The parties reserve the right to modify future product plans at any time. Products and related specifications referenced herein are not guaranteed and will be delivered on a when and if available basis. © 2011 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles” logo, and the names and marks associated with Polycom’s products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50055799&lang=en