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Buzz from the GSA Networx conference — carbon footprints, unified comms and brownies

August 13, 2009 at 11:36 am PST

I’ve been at the GSA Networx Conference in Chicago for the past few days, where we have been showing how high-definition video conferencing and mobile video products can increase collaboration among government employees regardless of the distance between them.

The show is as big as last year, if not bigger, and there has been a lot of traffic on the exhibit floor. The goal of the show has been to help federal, state and local IT professionals learn more about the latest network technologies and services that are enabling a global, fully interoperable, secure, and seamless government network services infrastructure.

During stops by our booth, we’ve heard some interesting tidbits, including hearing that attendees want ways to reduce their carbon footprint. There’s also been a big focus on unified communications, and how it can provide easier ways to streamline collaboration by allowing workers to use communication tools -- desk phone, mobile phone, IM, video conferencing or another -- and reach a colleague on any device they are using. With UC, your desktop phone and mobile phone are one and the same, for example, making it easier to find colleagues and collaborate with them to make agencies and organizations work more efficiently.

Attendees have had a lot of great educational opportunities here on a variety of topics, including complying with Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-12), which calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government, to its employees and employees of federal contractors for access to federally-controlled facilities and networks.

After sessions, attendees are lured back to the show floor with the best brownies I’ve ever tasted -- after all the brownie was invented in Chicago! It’s been a great week for learning from attendees and sharing information with them.

Reporting by Chris Helms, TANDBERG Federal Channel Account Manager

Video Conferencing Helps Maintain Business Continuity During Swine Flu Outbreaks

Much of the recent discussion about video conferencing and telepresence revolves around their ability to replace travel, and the associated cost and time savings. But business continuity is a critical benefit that is now more pertinent than ever with the CDC’s prediction that up to 40% of the population will be impacted by Swine Flu in the coming months.

With the CDC recommending that people who have symptoms or have been exposed to others with symptoms stay home, telework is fast becoming a must have for companies preparing to deal with mass absences. Telework has historically drawn mixed feelings from managers who don’t want to lose control, and employees who don’t want to lose face-time. Video conferencing solves these concerns by enabling workers to instantly interact face-to-face as easily as making a phone call. The advanced content sharing abilities of today’s systems maintains the same level of collaboration and productivity for workers as if they were in the office – sometimes even more.

Watch this interview with TANDBERG Americas President Rick Snyder about the business continuity benefits of telework and how it’s enhanced by visual communications:

August is government show month

August 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm PST

We’ve got a busy month planned -- we’re visiting three shows in August to share how our video conferencing technology can create a stronger, more efficient and greener America. With the Administration’s interest in cutting expenses and operating more effectively, government agencies are looking for ways to increase productivity and become more environmentally-friendly at manageable costs, while continuing to meet constituent needs.

Our first show started yesterday. We are at Booth #518 at the GSA Networx Conference in Chicago through August 13. We are showing how high-definition video conferencing and mobile video products and services can increase collaboration and allow cooperation between government employees regardless of the distance between them.

From August 18-20, we will be at Booth #539 at Army LandWarNet in Ft. Lauderdale. We will be sharing how video conferencing can reduce the need to travel and enable face-to-face, real-time collaboration from the battlefield to Command and Control centers across the globe.

In late August, we head to Air Force Information Technology 2009 (AFITC) in Montgomery, Alabama. We will be at Booth # 314 from August 24-27. This year’s theme is The Warfighter’s Edge in Battlespace, and the show will focus on how advanced technology deployed by the Air Force gives our nation’s warfighters an unprecedented advantage over our adversaries. We look forward to showcasing how video conferencing can give our military a vital technological edge by allowing for face-to-face communication on the move, keeping them in contact with commanders wherever they may be.

TANDBERG will be posting about what’s happening during these shows throughout the month. Keep an eye here to find out about hot topics and what the government is looking for in technology.

Will you be at GSA Networx, Army LandWarNet or AFITC? Stop by to say hello and learn more about video conferencing.

Three Key Things to Consider When Choosing Video Conferencing Solutions

Video Conferencing Buyers Guide

Video Conferencing Buyers Guide

Three key things businesses should consider when choosing visual communications solutions are:

1.Quality of video:

To experience the optimal benefits of video communications, HD quality is absolute. With anything less than HD video, you quickly begin to lose the feeling of connectedness with the person on the other end because facial expressions, reactions, and visual cues become less apparent. This is a key differentiator between business caliber video and consumer video.

2. Total experience
When considering the entire video experience, ask: Is it easy to connect with everyone in the organization via multipoint calls? Can you collaborate by showing desktops and applications? Is the solution easy to deploy, manage, and scale as you grow? Does the quality the video projects reflect well on your business’ image?

3. Security
Lastly, because consumer PC video solutions are web-based and not designed for business use, they may be susceptible to security risks which can result in confidential information getting into the wrong hands.

See other things to consider when purchasing video.

Virginia's Telework Day — leading by example

August 6, 2009 at 9:59 am PST

Monday was Statewide Telework Day in Virginia, during which companies and individuals were encouraged to work from home or a remote location to save energy and increase efficiencies. The initiative grew from Governor Tim Kaine’s push to reduce energy consumption by state offices.

The Governor’s office sees telework as a business strategy that can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, improve organizational efficiency, and reduce traffic on Virginia’s roads. Here at TANDBERG, we practice telework on a regular basis as a way to decrease our company’s carbon footprint. We have the added benefit of video conferencing systems in our homes and on our laptops, so we can conduct face-to-face meetings with colleagues, customers or partners from wherever we work.

In the past year, the TANDBERG telework program has allowed us to replace much of our unnecessary business travel with in-person video calls, effectively helped us save 21,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, over $45 million in travel costs, and about 38,250 productivity hours.

On Statewide Telework Day, approximately 75 of our Reston, VA, employees participated, eliminating almost two metric tons of carbon emissions and creating almost 100 hours of productivity by allowing employees to avoid traffic.

Did your organization participate in Telework Day?