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