Feature Story

The Technology Behind Election 2012

Scalability and flexibility are put to the test on the campaign trail. The National Political Conventions showcase these IT challenges with temporary environments and high-impact events that demand flawless, seamless and secure communications anytime, anywhere.

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The 2012 U.S. National Conventions: Compelling, Collaborative… Connected!

Full Transcript

Andrew Binns, DNC CIO: We're dedicated to being the most open and accessible convention that's ever been.

Max Everett , CIO Republican National Convention: It is an impossibility to run a convention today without having that secure platform that we know  is going to work and is absolutely bullet proof

John Elliot, Networking Consulting Engineer, Cisco Systems: Things that were kind of state of the  art back in 08 are no longer state of the art.

Max Everett , CIO Republican National Convention:Traditionally we just provided phones, few other things as the Internet came around we started to provide you know basic Internet connectivity. But now it's really gone to a new level. As you can see being at the convention with all the digital display, we're feeding everything from phones on the floor all the way to all the sound systems you can hear to all the teleprompter system.

Karen Snell, Cisco Systems: To give you and idea of just how much networking technology is ta the this convention and the Democratic National Convention it is equivalent to a medium sized corporation.

Max Everett , CIO Republican National Convention:The volume you can imagine with 50 thousand from delegates to the media with everyone doing live photos, video and tweets its unbelievable the increase of volume.

Andrew Binns, DNC CIO: I think the massive amount of infrastructure we have to put into to place is our largest challenge and we have a limited resources and a limited amount of time to put in essentially what is a temporary network across all of our sites

Max Everett , CIO Republican National Convention: You know voice over IP is an extremely important part of the convention for us because we spend almost over a year building a temporary office for almost 100 staff who are doing all the logistics and so when we have to literally overnight pick up and move a majority of that staff into an arena like this, which is obviously not made to be a business environment, it's a real challenge….

our folks were able to pick up their office, and pick up a laptop, and pick up their Cisco phone. They walked into a space, we plugged in a wire, and they're back online. Same phone number, same everything. Literally with no change whatsoever.

Rob Bowlby : The customer requirements here are never going to be known, in fact they're never written in stone, so we have to be highly adaptable and responsive to what the customer needs in this type of environment

Max Everett , CIO Republican National Convention:You know, you use every usable space in the building, we've got things built in showers.

This handles our teleprompter network and our floor phone system.

Gary Willhite: This was a very fluid and very dynamic environment. Things change daily and we had to keep up with that and we were actually ahead of the game. And we're pretty proud of that.