October 31, 2011 – Telstra and Cisco have enabled members of the Australian Government to meet face to face without the need for costly travel, following the successful deployment of one of the largest national TelePresence networks in the country, the Australian Government's National TelePresence System.
In Canberra today, the Government announced the TelePresence solution had achieved productivity, sustainability and cost benefits, with the service hosting more than 1031 official meetings totalling more than 1660 hours. This has enabled staff to stay at their interstate offices instead of travelling to Canberra.
For one TelePresence meeting connected to 12 different locations, the Government estimated to have saved $100,600 in costs relating to travel.
The Government also revealed the service has delivered cost savings in excess of $12 million relating to travel expenses which in turn has directly enabled the Government to reduce carbon emissions by not having to travel to meetings.
Announced in February 2009 as a joint initiative with Telstra and Cisco, the deployment of Cisco TelePresence®units operating over the Telstra Next IP® network has been operating for 18 months. The service incorporates 36 Cisco TelePresence sites connecting the seven Commonwealth Government offices, Prime Ministerial and Cabinet offices, Parliament House and the offices of Premiers and Chief Minister agencies in every state and territory to one highly secure, high definition video conferencing facility.
Philip Jones, Executive Director, Product Management at Telstra said the announcement indicates video conferencing has come of age.
"A modern meeting today is one that uses technology such as high definition TelePresence to bring people from across the country together for a meeting without the need for travel," Mr Jones said.
"Telstra managed the planning, designing and deploying of the National TelePresence System in Government offices all across the country. Our combined network and project management skills means we have now delivered a proven solution to a national Government audience that is capable of supporting the Government as it strives to deliver ICT deployments that deliver genuine productivity, sustainability and cost savings," Mr Jones said.
Ken Boal, Director of Public Sector, Cisco Australia said the National TelePresence System is world leading in its deployment and utilisation.
"The Australian Government is at the global forefront by using immersive video technology to bring key decision makers together to solve critical national issues," Mr Boal said.
"The Government's National TelePresence System is enabling more effective and frequent collaboration with reduced travel, expense and carbon emissions and moves us to a more sustainable lifestyle," he said.
The Government established the National TelePresence System (NTS) to reduce the travel and consequent carbon emissions, fiscal costs and productivity losses associated with meetings of COAG officials, Ministerial Council officials and other intergovernmental-related interactions.
The Government's NTS uses the power, reliability and in-built security of the Telstra Next IP® network and both Telstra and Cisco's business video and unified communications expertise to enable collaboration.
Cisco TelePresence systems combine life-size, ultra-high definition video, spatial audio, specially designed meeting rooms and interactive elements to create the feeling of being "in person" with participants who may be located hundreds and thousands of kilometres away. This simple, easy to use technology makes it possible for Government officials to communicate as naturally and effectively as they would in person.