August 19, 2013
Bill Aims for More Government Videoconferencing
By Mae Kowalke TMCnet Contributor
Federal legislators jet around the country freely on the Emmy-nominated television series, House of Cards. If Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) has his way, however, such travel could become a thing of the past for real-life legislators.
Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives in July, H.R. 2643, aims to reduce travel expenses for federal employees by up to half by 2017. The bill would make videoconferencing an important component of the plan developed by the director of the Office of Management and Budget to cut $7.5 billion off the $15 billion the government spends on travel each year, according to federal technology Web site, FCW.com.
Some think not all federal agencies are ready for video conferencing, however.
"To get that kind of reduction, you're going to have to have a significant infrastructure upgrade – you're increasing traffic across the network when your employees are videoconferencing," FCW reported Jason Parry, collaboration practice director at federal IT solutions provider Force 3, as having said.
It is predicted that agencies with highly developed IT infrastructures should have no problem if the bill passes, but smaller agencies might not be prepared to deliver video conferencing to many of its employees.
One solution to the problem might be managed video services.
“Video conferencing is increasingly cloud-based or IP-enabled, so access can be available via an agency's established enterprise network," said Cindy Auten, general manager for Mobile Work Exchange.
She added: "Agencies do not necessarily need to invest in new systems for video conferencing solutions, which can range from off-the-shelf services to dedicated meeting facilities that make it appear as if remote participants are actually in the room.”
One managed services provider who will likely benefit from the legislation is Yorktel. The company is a seasoned provider of all video conferencing, telepresence and staffing solutions for the Federal Government. It has a team of federally-focused account managers, program managers and engineers that know the ins and outs of the federal government and how it differs from private industry, and the company has already done work for the DOE, DOED, SSA, VA, USDA, DOJ, and HHS, as well as all segments of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
If the federal government focuses on videoconferencing more, Yorktel is an obvious provider for agencies that need videoconferencing support or infrastructure.
“Based on our provided solutions, Federal agencies have experienced faster reaction time to emergency situations, increased departmental efficiency, achieved faster decision making, more efficient means to employee training, and increased content sharing,” according to the company.
If the legislation by Rep. Fitzpatrick becomes law, Yorktel also soon might help the government save money with its video solutions.