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City Turns to Collaboration Solutions to Support Mobility

February 14, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

As we quickly approach Telework Week 2013 in March, I’ve been hearing a lot of discussion around the benefits of telework and the level of growth we have seen over the last few years in the demand for mobility.

Mobility is sometimes easier said than done, though, especially when you are a city government looking at bandwidth increases and potential infrastructure upgrades all while providing employees with a seamless virtual experience and avoiding any downtime in the process. This is exactly what the City of Jacksonville, NC did, and they are setting an example for other cities in similar situations.

The City of Jacksonville home to more than 70,000 residents and currently has more than  500 end users in its operations center that is supported by the city’s Information Technology Services (ITS) department. As the employees became more dependent on the ITS department, the department decided it needed to refresh its current infrastructure. Read More »

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Telehealth Takes Center Stage

January 31, 2013 at 9:43 am PST

As my colleagues just wrapped up participating in the 2-day World Congress Telehealth Executive Summit and are preparing for the 6th Annual Community for Connected Health Summit at HIMSS13, I’ve been thinking even more about telehealth technology and how far it has come since my first exposure to it almost almost thirteen years ago.

The technology has made amazing strides, and with healthcare costs on the rise, it’s no surprise government agencies and other organizations are looking to the technology to curb health costs while increasing the efficiency and quality of care.

Telehealth technologies, such as Cisco’s HealthPresence (and version 2.5, just announced this month), can increase access to specialized care and allow medical specialists to conduct virtual consultations. By leveraging technologies and solutions like Unified Workspace and cloud, telehealth has real potential to transform the delivery of healthcare.

Realizing the power of connected healthcare, House Representative Mike Thompson introduced a telehealth bill in late December. If passed, Telehealth Promotion Act of 2012 could extend telehealth benefits to more than 75 million Americans by removing two existing barriers--licensure and reimbursements.

…and the support for telehealth keeps going.

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced that it will allocate $400 million a year to expand existing telehealth pilot program. The funds will help increase connectivity between urban medical centers and rural clinics to better coordinate care and lower costs among other benefits.

With more organizations realizing the potential of telehealth technologies, it’s clear we may soon see it take center stage. Where do you see telehealth having the greatest impact on government and the public sector?

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BYOD & Mobility: Transforming the Public Sector

January 16, 2013 at 7:24 am PST

As we’ve all seen, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) made its way rather quickly into the public sector, and the challenges of implementing within government agencies has been well documented. In order to help agencies face these challenges, GovLoop recently conducted a survey & released “Exploring Bring Your Own Device in the Public Sector”. The report highlights challenges for implementing a BYOD initiative and best practices, and it also provides insights from industry and government experts related to mobility and BYOD.

Included in the report, David Graziano, Director, Security and Unified Access, U.S. Public Sector, Cisco, recently spoke with Pat Fiorenza of GovLoop on the current state of BYOD in government. David stressed that while challenges still remain for BYOD it’s one of the most important trends impacting government agencies. He advised that agencies must embrace BYOD and act on it along with their other mobility initiatives.

Not only does BYOD optimize business lines to workforce productivity and morale, but it’s becoming a necessity for recruitment, as a new demographic of employees enter the workforce and expect to be mobile and access information on any device, any time anywhere. Read More »

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Mission Accomplished: Federal Teleworkers Report Higher Satisfaction

December 17, 2012 at 11:17 am PST

AM86551Telework has become more prevalent within government agencies, and the latest intelligence from the Office of Personnel Management says employees are pleased! From the environment to the budget, the benefits are far-reaching. But perhaps the most important advantage is to the employees themselves.

Teleworkers say they are more engaged and satisfied than their onsite counterparts, according to the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Other reported benefits included a reduced number of sick days, increased employee motivation and greater workforce flexibility. As a teleworker myself, I can attest to these benefits.

All things considered, it’s no surprise  adopting collaborative tools in support of a mobile workforce is becoming a top priority for government agencies. These survey results demonstrate just how fast telework opportunities are growing:

  • In 2012, one out of three government employees were eligible for teleworking, up from one in four in 2012
  • Almost a quarter of the government workforce engaged in a form of teleworking over the past year
  • The General Services Administration and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation have the highest rate of teleworkers with more than 80 percent of their employees working remotely

Read More »

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Collaborative Technologies: A Key Tech Initiative during Obama’s Second Term

November 14, 2012 at 10:24 am PST

As President Barack Obama preps for his second term in office, we’re look out for what technology trends will matter most for government agencies and video technology has made the list.

Over the next four years we expect to see collaborative technologies, like Cisco TelePresence, transform the federal workplace. As businesses continue to adopt video technology and social platforms as a way to encourage efficiency and collaboration, the public sector will follow suit.

For more federal IT trends that we think will matter most during Obama’s second term, take a look at our very own Kerry Best’s post “With Second Term Ahead – What Tech Initiatives Matter Most for Government Agencies in 2013”.

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