Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Government

Maximizing Telepresence’s Value for Federal Agencies

Wanting to treat himself, my friend recently upgraded to the ultimate cable service in his area. He now has thousands of channels from which to choose, access to any movie on demand, and is the proud owner of a remote control with more buttons than the control panel of the Death Star.

You may wonder: Has he expanded his viewing preferences since acquiring the new system? Hmm … no. For one, he’s afraid of his remote—it’s way too complex. He also often struggles to turn the system on.

Those who invest in telepresence need not suffer this technological befuddlement. Nor would they want to miss out on the technology’s benefits, especially after making such a large investment. Yet, as Cisco’s Tim Markey pointed out at our Federal TelePresence Users Forum, several telepresence customers have struggled to maximize the potential of their systems. They had trouble transforming their workplace cultures to communities that embrace video as the paramount means of communication. Read More »

Tags: , ,

Register to Attend the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace

Join your government, education and healthcare peers at the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace event December 15 co-sponsored by Cisco and VMware. This townhall will be hosted online with participants joining via 10 TelePresence locations across the US. 

During this free interactive virtual discussion, government, education, and healthcare leaders will share their experiences deploying virtual desktops and the transition to the virtual workplace including specific concerns relative to desktop management, security, policy, and desktop delivery, and gaining control of desktop TCO.    The Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI)  is an end-to-end, tested system that delivers the next generation virtual workspace by unifying virtual desktops, voice, and video.   

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Ensuring Secure Telepresence for the Mobile Federal Worker

The General Services Administration (GSA) has had its telework initiative in the pipeline for some time now, but it recently became official: the vast majority of GSA employees are now eligible to telework, and managers need to implement policies that support remote workers.

The GSA telework mandate is an exciting step forward, leading the way for other federal agencies to realize the benefits of telework, which include increased employee satisfaction and productivity. Empower teleworkers with collaboration technologies like telepresence and they enjoy the best of both worlds—no commute, but the same collegiality and interaction with co-workers and supervisors they would have if they worked in a building together. 

There is one more factor that plays into fine-tuning the telework machine, however. GSA and other agencies can face challenges in determining their technology protocols. As mobile technology takes over, and as people express personal preferences for particular smartphones and tablets, agencies have to weigh employee ease and comfort against potential security risks. The “Bring Your Own Device” to work movement has momentum and merit; it simply requires careful planning. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Scotland and California Governments Embrace Healthcare Technologies

Government support for healthcare (telehealth or telemedicine) technologies continues to gain momentum across the globe. The latest examples in Scotland and California emphasize improved medical care and reduced costs from adoption of technologies such as telepresence, home monitoring and Internet services.

A recent Guardian article highlights a report from the Scottish auditor which urges NHS to consider telehealth when developing or redesigning services. The report sets out a series of questions for NHS boards to ask around improved access, increased capacity, cost avoidance and health benefits. They include: Are any patients unable to access the current service because of geography? Do clinical staff have to do more than a four hour round trip to deliver the current service? Could using telehealth potentially reduce hospital admissions? Hopefully NHS takes this recommendation seriously and starts to make some serious headway on the telehealth front. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Technology, Policy and People – Your Keys to a Successful Telework Program

At Cisco we recognize that successful telework programs include technology as well as policy and people!  When I  speak of “policy” I am referring to mandates at state, local, provincial and/or federal levels; as well as any internal organizational policies and procedures to ensure delivery of agency mission.  But what about the ‘people’ – your workforce?  I read a lot about policy and trends happening around the globe – focus on GhG emissions, continuity of government, energy and real estate reductions, information assurance, etc… but hear little of “the workforce” and the acknowledgement that “work is what we do, not a place.”  

Critical to the success of any telework program I would suggest are the ‘people.’  We are what makes any good strategy succeed!  If you agree with my thinking, then you may find a recent paper authored by WorldatWork, “Telework: Considerations for an Effective Program,”  may help your assessment on workforce eligibility… and help contribute to program success as it focuses on the user of telework, we the people.  Here is a sampling of few questions you may take into consideration when determining eligibility of telework… Does the job lend itself t o a telework environment?  Does the employee who is requesting the arrangement demonstrate a strong work ethic and does he/she continuously meet his/her work deadlines?  More…

 As you execute your plan and move from “the evaluation phase” to “training and launch phase” Cisco Collaboration/Video Solutions for Government like Webex and video are very effective training and communication tools to help facilitate your telework program training plans.  These secure, collaborative tools can meet the requirements of the entire workforce including employee, middle management, IT and facility organization, as well as help avoid unnecessary travel and expenses too!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,