“There are some brilliant female role models in our sector, and IT is increasingly being recognised as a great career option for women. We’ve also got more legislation in place to protect women in the workplace than ever before, and more and more calls for greater diversity and more women in the boardroom.”
Telepresence and videoconferencing services (both hosted and managed) will reach a whopping $1.2 billion(US) worldwide by 2016, according to ABI Research.
Cisco partner Tata Communications is riding that wave and shares insights in a recent FastChat video with MSPmentor Editorial Director Joe Panettieri.
In the video below, Joe interviews Greg Brophy, Director of Product Management at Tata. Greg shares ways that the company is using the cloud to help its customers connect globally using Cisco’s TelePresence technology. He also shares a recent customer win and what he sees are key trends among his customer base.
Wondering how can you plug into Tata Communications’ infrastructure? Read More »
When the world economy went into recession, many political officials and commentators talked about “not wasting a crisis” – making sure we took the opportunity to learn some lessons from the downturn and solve problems that would make the economy — and the world — more cost efficient. Today, while there are brighter signs around economic recovery, we still face a seemingly intractable parcel of outstanding issues. Indeed many countries around the world are still struggling with both growing their economies and reducing budget deficits.
Rather than “not wasting a crisis” perhaps we should be thinking about not making a “crisis of waste.” Said simply, there are enormous efficiencies available to public entities to improve the lives and well being of citizens through transformational efforts that can lower the cost and increase the availability and quality of citizen services.
Across the globe, the public sector faces one clear and present challenge: the reality of increased service requirements bonded to constrained or declining budgets. Demographic shifts, growing social expectations, and an increasingly more complex and dangerous world are driving enhanced public sector requirements to serve and protect citizens. However the need to address deficit spending remains the defining paradox. The conundrum created by increasing need to serve and decreasing ability to pay is a “cost/reach gap.”
For the first time in several generations public leaders worldwide are rethinking both how they deliver citizen services as well as how they consume information technology. Many experts believe governments should not revert to traditional processes and IT practices. Instead, they should look for ways to improve both cost effectiveness and service. Indeed, the public sector could actually lead the private sector in transformational approaches to building efficiency and driving customer satisfaction through innovation in cloud computing services, cyber security, mobility, and video.
Governments are looking to technology to improve efficacy and efficiency of service delivery in key mission areas – intelligence, defense and security, economic development, education, and health care. In the area of healthcare, practitioners and payers are looking at remote forms of care like Cisco’s HealthPresence to extend the reach and availability of medical services, and particularly to help leverage and defray the typically high cost of specialist consults and other services that are typically geographically scattered. Being able to remotely “visit” with a medical specialist means less waste for everyone. For the patient, it means greater availability and quality of service, for the health practitioner, it means more time helping patients and less time travelling, and for the employer it means lower productivity losses.
Cloud computing is another area where governments and other public entities are cutting waste. Replacing large one-off department and agency- level system resources and sharing IT capabilities through a secure government cloud, or G – cloud, are becoming realities and gaining traction in the UK and Germany as well as a range of other nations.
While in the past technology has been often lauded for streamlining back office operations and speeding transactions, today’s challenges mean thinking about technology in a much bigger and more far-reaching way. Today’s needs are about cutting costs, for sure. What’s new is the triple expectation of reducing costs while increasing high-quality public support and driving new and higher-performing internal processes that connect people to solve problems and advance new ideas in highly useful and efficient ways.
A good example of this was recently announced by our partner, AT&T, with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA recognized that it needed to accelerate collaboration among a range of government agencies and put in place a managed, pay-as-you-go TelePresence service. The GSA took advantage of a public/private partnership with AT&T so regional meetings, training, inter-agency planning, crisis management, partner and supplier discussions can all use this service and pay for it on an hourly basis, avoiding agency start-up costs.
This is just one example of public and private partners working together to overcome the cost/reach gap and it is the tip of the iceberg. As technology solution providers like Cisco and forward-thinking public sector leaders work together to address how to best support increasingly complex public needs, I believe we will build a new public sector paradigm that will address the cost/reach gap in ways that will be both cost effective and provide new and better solutions for our citizens.
“Colin is a 20-year-old computer science student living in London with two other students in the year 2020. He enjoys backpacking, sports, music, and gaming. He has a primary digital device (PDD) that keeps him connected 24 hours a day — at home, in transit, at school. He uses it to download and record music, video, and other content, and to keep in touch with his family, friends, and an ever-widening circle of acquaintances. His apartment is equipped with the latest wireless home technology, giving him superfast download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.” Read More »
“Chinese students are taking degrees taught in English in Finnish universities; the Sorbonne is awarding French degrees in Abu Dhabi; US universities are opening in China and South Korean universities are switching teaching to English so they can compete with everyone else.” – Sean Coughlan, BBC News education correspondent Read More »