New Bills in U.S. Government Show Commitment to Video

August 21, 2013 - 0 Comments

Being effective in your job doesn’t always mean that you need to be there.  In fact, many would argue that their productivity increases drastically when they are given the flexibility to work wherever they want as long as they can stay connected.  If that means staying off of a plane for a business trip, even better because it also saves the company money.

Enter video conferencing, the tool that enables users to be part of the discussion without being there.  But what does “there” really mean in today’s world? With mobile technologies, including video, transforming how and where we work, the concept of “there” is really anywhere you want it to be. “There” can be a traditional office that is now equipped with video technologies that enable collaboration with others across the world without having to travel in order to conduct business. It can also be working remotely and still being part of your business community with mobile video and other applications that allow users to work at home, at a coffee shop or anywhere they like.

The move to stay connected at anytime from anywhere has been engaged by many organizations including the U.S. Federal Government. To help agency’s ensure productivity while cutting travel costs the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would allow absent Congress members to vote via video conferencing. The bill allows members to cast votes remotely over video and be treated as if they were present in person at meetings.

Government members are also extending this sentiment beyond the walls of Congress as Representative Michael Fitzpatrick also introduced a new bill — H.R. 2643, the Stay In Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 — to review agencies’ efforts to reduce travel spending and develop a plan to cut travel expenses by 50 percent through the use of video conferencing technologies.

Is it really going to make a difference? We’ve seen it happen. Cisco customers collaborate using comprehensive video technologies, like Cisco TelePresence, to enable enhanced communication that helps reduce travel expenses, optimize employees’ productivity, speed up decision making and transform the way their organizations conduct business.

One example of government agencies successfully implementing Cisco TelePresence for telework is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  In 1997 the agency determined that investing in Cisco to support telework would offer a variety of benefits. Fast forward to 2013 and 65 percent of the workforce engages in telework at least once a week. The organization uses Cisco Jabber to connect with employees via video across the globe. With Cisco TelePresence, they have witnessed more than $24 million in savings and significant boosts in employee satisfaction. Likewise, FEMA recently experienced similar benefits when 3,300 employees successfully teleworked during Telework Week.

With a Cisco architectural approach to collaboration, we are able to help public sector customers maximize their existing deployment, invest strategically in future technology and ensure they are maximizing their resources. Either way you look at it video conferencing is taking a front seat in the U.S. government.

You can learn more about how video is at the core of government telework here.

Is your agency on board?

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