Banks can use telepresence technology to take a subject matter expert -- such as a specialist in foreign letters of credit, for instance -- and transport him or her to any branch or office in the world. Telepresence technologies also have applications in training.
Telepresence technology just now is being rolled out at banks, primarily for intracompany business. But as more and more systems are deployed, you'll see this technology being used for intercompany applications. Banks also will use telepresence for more general applications -- general meetings, employee reviews, job interviews and a variety of other applications that aren't banking-specific.
Banks can deploy this technology on their own, or they can outsource to a managed service provider. Some banks have security requirements that don't allow them to outsource. For these banks, it's crucial to set up a help desk to help people with collaborative tools -- reservations and scheduling, for instance. Managed service providers often can provide these capabilities to banks more cost-effectively than if they did it in-house. It's also important to be aware of the hidden costs in the make-ready of the telepresence rooms -- banks may have to do some construction since these systems don't fit everywhere.
The end goal is to communicate with the greatest number of stakeholders -- customers, partners, vendors, employees -- and do so at the greatest potential quality. Banks need to understand the limitations of interoperability with other telepresence systems with which they may communicate. In the future, the industry will see improvements in the realism of the environments, lower costs and better collaborative tools.