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Telecommuting on the Rise, Video Conferencing Helps Remote Workers Maintain Important Face-Time

Teleworking could save 84 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually

Teleworking could save 84 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually

A recent report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation predicts that telecommuting could grow fourfold in the U.S. to 19 million and deliver substantial economic, environmental and quality of life benefits over the next 12 years. Spurred by advances in IT, such as video conferencing, many businesses have turned to telecommuting as a viable solution to cut costs, increase productivity, and expand the universe of potential employees. In fact, Fortune Magazine found that 82 out of the 100 Best U.S. Companies to work for provide telecommuting opportunities today, compared with only 18 in 1998. Furthermore, if those who could work from home did so half of the time, 84 million metric tons of greenhouse gas would be saved annually.

The report calls for the government to pursue policies to accelerate and maximize telecommuting. Video conferencing is an integral technology for teleworkers who need to maintain important face-time with managers and other remote teammates. More proof that now is the time to invest in visual communications solutions.

See how much you could save on your commute with TANDBERG’s Commuter Cost Calculator.

How a tech savvy White House stays connected

July 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm PST

When President Obama said he wanted to use a BlackBerry, it caused quite the debate about balancing technology and security. He loves technology and knows how to use it. From an updated, interactive website to Twitter, advanced communications are a given in the White House. Click here for the recent MSNBC “behind the scenes” story on the Obama Administration and what it’s like to work in the White House.

You’ll see iPODs, Blackberrys, and even a few TANDBERG video conferencing units at desks. It’s clear that this administration understands the need for open and clear communication and is willing to find the securest means to do so.

Oh, and they really like candy, too.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Telepresence Helps Widen the Hiring Net

TANDBERG Telepresence T1

TANDBERG Telepresence T1

One Communications uses telepresence to improve their hiring process. With two headquarters — one in Waltham, Mass., and one in Rochester, N.Y. — as well as executives split up among several locations throughout the country, the company found it could use telepresence to make hiring new employees more efficient and less costly.

According to InfoWorld, executives prefer to conduct interviews on the large HD plasma screens rather than over phone because they can clearly read body language during interviews and evaluate a candidate’s character. When they ask tough questions, they can assess the candidate’s reaction. It’s also less expensive than flying in candidates for in-person interviews.

Read about other innovative applications for visual communications here.

Video conferencing — an integral part of emergency operations centers

June 29, 2009 at 11:06 pm PST

Recently I went to the 2009 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. This conference brings together the leaders of many large U.S. urban areas, and they decide how to spend grant dollars and provide thought leadership to each other on a variety of topics. They also are part of teams that respond to emergencies facing cities across the nation.

This year, it was quite interesting to find that the perception now is that video communications can and should be used during emergency situations. In years past, I had to explain what video conferencing was. Now, many cities and counties have already integrated video conferencing into their Emergency Operations Centers. The questions I hear now are centered on making the technology work better for a city or county, and advice on how to incorporate video conferencing into existing technologies.

One great example of this integration is with existing tools such as Microsoft Office Communicator, thanks to the collaboration between TANDBERG and Microsoft to produce a powerful video unified communications solution. The use of this technology as a tool to IM, share documents and, of course, communicate using video has moved to the next level. Now, one can connect with larger video deployments that already exist and in fact can design/merge video deployments with Office Communicator. This is just one example of conversations taking place in cities about emergency preparedness.

For information about how Charlotte, NC, uses video conferencing to support their emergency response efforts, check out the video below:

Scott Feinberg, Public Sector Market Manager

Here comes the judge — via video

June 26, 2009 at 8:57 am PST

Recently the ABC affiliate in San Antonio, Texas, ran a story about another use of video that saves time, money -- and maybe lives. KSAT news talked about how the San Antonio police department is using video conferencing to greatly speed the granting of search warrants.

The story describes how it often took three hours or more for police to secure warrants. Now, it can take only a few minutes thanks to TANDBERG’s PC video conferencing solution called Movi.  All you need is a PC with a webcam (built-in or peripheral) an Internet connection, and it’s as easy to use as making a phone call.

Five judges are Movi equipped so far, and the city plans on all judges soon having the ability to administer an oath online, sign the warrants digitally and help police respond faster. All warrants are reviewed as before, but the police save precious time in going after suspects.

You can imagine the time and expense saved by this approach. Or you can check out the video. Here’s a link: