COMO, Italy, July 7, 2003 - Cisco Systems, one of the main sponsors of the European e-Government Conference 2003, is showcasing technologies at the event which can help the public sector increase staff productivity and reduce operational costs.
The leading maker of Internet Protocol (IP)- based networking solutions has built a converged data and voice network at the conference venue, Villa Erba, to help connect delegates to the Internet at this and future events. Cisco is also installing three-hundred-and-fifty Cisco 7960 and Cisco 7940 IP phones.
The integration of voice and data onto one network can provide significant benefits including cheaper and more simple network maintenance, a reduction in the price of phone calls, the flexibility to move staff from one department to another while keeping the same phone number, the ability to scale the network to meet growing volumes of voice and data traffic well into the future and the ability to give email and Internet access to staff and citizens via the IP phones.
Examples of governments using IP telephony includes La Provincia di Torino, the local government Turin, Italy. With the guidance of CSI Piemonte, a publicly funded outsourcing agency, it is deploying Cisco IP telephony to help it lay the foundation of modern services for citizens. The goals are greater internal efficiencies and a way to help increase innovative online services to rural areas.
The Dutch Centre for Work and Income in the Netherlands has already implemented IP Telephony as an outsourced or 'managed' service in its headquarters and ten offices. Managed IP Telephony will be implemented in all its 130 offices to lower costs and further increase staff productivity.
The Canton de Vaud in Switzerland is using IP telephony to allow better and faster communication and a more service-oriented form of government. Last year, after the parliament building in Lausanne burnt down, relocated staff had fully-restored IP telephony services within two days.
The network infrastructure at Villa Erba will enable wired and wireless connectivity. Telecom Italia, another main sponsor, will be using the network to create a series of wireless 'hotspots' throughout the venue, using Cisco Aironet 1100 Series Access Points.
Governments already using wireless technology include the city of La Rochelle in France, which is connecting its offices, schools, libraries and other public buildings to the Internet without the cost of putting in cables throughout each building. The Austrian Parliament has installed a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) to the parliament chambers to improve the internal flow of information and to provide Members of Parliament with flexible Internet access from any location and any device.
"Cisco provides the networking expertise and technologies to enable governments to communicate in new ways and deliver enhanced services. For example, IP telephony and wireless broadband connectivity are two technologies which can help governments increase productivity and pass on those benefits to citizens and stakeholders," said Yvon Le Roux, Vice President of Public Sector, Cisco Systems EMEA.
"It is important deployments of these technologies are coupled with an e-Government strategy, to maximise the returns on the financial and political investments."
The European e-Government Conference 2003 is jointly organised by Italian Presidency of the EU and the European Commission. The aim of the event is to review the progress of e-government in Europe and to issue a declaration of best practices to help provide a framework for future e-government activities by public authorities.
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