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With BRAC Moves Underway, Telepresence Is Poised to Ease Transitions

August 17, 2011 - 0 Comments

Back in June, I wrote about the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative, which will ultimately move 123,000 employees to new office locations. Affected employees expressed fears about impending changes in communication, collaboration, commutes, trainings, and other important everyday functions. I wrote a bit about how telepresence could help bring people together, bridge communication gaps, and alleviate many employees’ worries.

Well, the BRAC moves have begun. In Hartford Country, Maryland, they’ve welcomed base personnel who transferred from New Jersey, and they’ve used video technology to smooth the newcomers’ transitions, according to Baltimore’s ABC2 news station. The county created a series of videos to teach the Jersey folks the aspects of Maryland culture that they may not grasp naturally, like eating crab and pumping their own gas (it’s full service only at New Jersey pumps).

These videos are such a great way to initiate the New Jersey transplants into their new home state. But, I can’t help imagining how much more welcoming and wonderful they could be as telepresence connections! Think of a welcome ceremony, hosted by the county, where Jersey transplants receive interactive crab eating instructions or gas pumping tips: they could ask questions throughout the process and come to know the members of their new community that much faster.

Lighthearted as the welcome ceremony sounds, it’s just another way telepresence can help connect people and ease the transition for the area’s new military families.

We’re discussing telepresence and its uses for the military this week at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Customer and Industry Forum 2011 (DISA). Stop by our booth to demo telepresence equipment and share with us your thoughts on the telepresence experience—whether you’d use it for critical emergency communication or a tutorial on shellfish.

Hope to see you at the forum!

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