NWN Helps To Power Collaboration For Telepresence Robots At Hospitals, Offices

The solution provider is handling video infrastructure and security for Ava Robotics amid growing demand for remote-collaboration robots.


Solution provider NWN Thursday disclosed that it has been working with telepresence robot maker Ava Robotics, helping to enable collaboration among distributed workforces and health-care providers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through its cloud-based Solution-as-a-Service offerings, NWN is providing voice, videoconferencing, networking and security capabilities for the robots, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said.

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Ava Robotics allows distributed workers to interact as if they were physically together by using telepresence robots in the office—providing the chances to sit, stand and walk with colleagues.

Customers of Ava Robotics include a large hospital in the Boston metro area. The company's work in hospitals "has been essential during the pandemic, giving patients face time with remote doctors and family members," NWN said in a news release.

Other customers include office furniture manufacturer Steelcase, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

NWN, No. 80 on CRN's Solution Provider 500 list for 2020, was chosen by Ava Robotics last November to improve and maintain its Cisco Webex infrastructure.

The two companies "are helping support the ‘new normal’ with dynamic workforces around the globe," said NWN CEO Jim Sullivan in the news release. "Leveraging our secure Solution-as-a-Service portfolio, we’re able to provide a layer of self-care, self-service and functionality that provides Ava and their users with the flexibility and support they need to succeed in any scenario."

NWN is a growing partner of Cisco, having achieved a ranking of No. 72 among Cisco's largest service providers last year, up from No. 243 the year before.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Ava Robotics was founded in 2016 by the team behind iRobot's Ava 500 remote presence robot, and the company's telepresence robot serves as an update to the Ava 500.

"With NWN, I have complete confidence that our machines will work," said Ava Robotics CEO Youssef Saleh in the news release. "There’s no question or doubt in my mind that when someone logs into our technology if it will work. It just does. NWN takes care of the video infrastructure so we have no concerns about our video functionality."

Ultimately, "NWN is a partner that has the infrastructure that allows us to grow, which is very important for our mission-critical technology," Saleh said.