Almost one year after announcing that the Australian Federal Government would be implementing Cisco TelePresence in 20 sites around Australia, the Government has reported that Cisco TelePresence systems have been deployed by Telstra and current sites in operation include the Commonwealth Parliament Offices in Melbourne (Victoria), Brisbane (Queensland), Perth (West Australia) and Hobart (Tasmania), as well as a number of sites in the nation’s capital in Canberra including Parliament House, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister’s Department. The remaining systems are on schedule to be completed and fully operational by the end of June 2010.
Most recently, the Australian Government announced in a press release that the majority of its Government 2.0 Taskforce members were able to participate from cities around Australia in the presentation of its final report entitled “Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0” to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner and Special Minister of State, Joe Ludwig in Parliament House in Canberra because the handing over of the report was completed via Cisco TelePresence.
In the final report, the Government 2.0 Taskforce detailed (in section 7.3.4) that “The taskforce held fortnightly meetings with members from a number of different locations around the country. Most of these were held using Cisco’s high definition videoconferencing TelePresence system. As outlined (in Box 20), this helped the taskforce save travel costs, carbon emissions and time.”
The final report (in section 7.3.4) continued; “As a relatively large group of 15 members and a secretariat team in Canberra, this allowed us to avoid the expense and other costs of face-to-face meetings and improve the productivity of our work over the life of the taskforce. The Economics and Research team from Cisco’s global strategic consulting group, the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), has estimated that, over the 6 months, the taskforce has saved $65,000 in travel costs, about 350 hours in time that would have been lost in travel and reduced our carbon footprint by about 14,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions… And the value should also take into account the ‘soft’ benefits including making it easier to manage a work-family balance and being able to schedule a more frequent program of meetings which improves the interaction across a group of this size.”
You can read more in a recent article in The Australian on how “Cisco helps cut Finance costs”.