Conference Notes

Notes on CUST115 ABS on Visual Social Communications

Justin Lauder (ABS) and Darren Belford (IBM) are presenting on how the Australian Bureau of Statistics are using Polycom visual conferencing equipment in their environment. Some notes:

1. At the ABS over the past 14 months, have been doing a large project on visual social communications – essentially Sametime integrated with boardroom systems.

2. The ABS – the official national statistics agency. 3200 staff, with 700 field data collectors. Can grow to 40,000 temp staff during a census. 9 offices located in all capital cities across Australia.
– business strategy – to decentralize staff across Australia (so as to attract better qualified staff across a larger geographical footprint, rather than been limited to the head office in Canberra). Lots of virtual teams. Travel budgets are reduced.
– use lots of IBM tools – Lotus Notes, Sametime (including Sametime Gateway), Connections 3, Cisco Phone System, 31 video conferencing rooms (are very hard to schedule; are constantly used).
– thus the boardroom booking system has been very successful; but something more was needed to do high utilization / poor availability.
– solution – integrate desktop collaboration and Polycom.

3. Business goals:
– improve quality of remote meetings.
– ease collaboration across virtual teams, eg., time zones, getting access to virtual teams.
– reduce annual spend on travel.
– get away from one hour being the default meeting duration; new cultural norm for having the meeting for as long or short as you needed it.

4. There was a very strong communications campaign built around the release of desktop video conferencing, such as wall posters.

5. Technically, …
– two integration points between Sametime and Polycom. Right-click in Sametime, choose “Video Call.” And calling endpoints directly – for ongoing persistent meetings.
– support for Cisco phones, tablets, 1 800 from a smartphone, and from video conferencing rooms.

6. Benefits:
– … the right information, the right time
– … discovery and knowledge growth of employees.
– … social and real time
– … ease of escalation

Categories: Conference Notes