According to Cisco and Telstra, Cisco TelePresence creates an "in-person" virtual experience over a converged network, delivering real-time face-to-face interactions between people and places, using advanced visual, audio, and collaboration technologies. The system, they say, combines high definition audio quality, interactive technologies and a specially-designed environment to approximate the feeling of actually being in the same room as participants in separate locations.
Telstra, a Cisco TelePresence authorised technology provider (ATP) partner, says it will work with the federal department of finance to deploy 20 Cisco TelePresence units, including 13 three-screen System 3000s and seven single screen System 1000s, linking 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.
According to the two companies, four sites will be commissioned by June 2009, with the balance deployed by the end of 2009.
Telstra’s enterprise & government group managing director, David Thodey said the government’s introduction of the Cisco system was set to deliver extraordinary benefits to the public sector and he claimed that Telstra’s corporate clients were already seeing productivity gains from the unique, immersive experience where they can collaborate over documents or physical items without having to travel.
“It is really transforming the way Telstra and our customers are doing business and we look forward to seeing the benefits the technology will have for the federal government.”
And, Cisco was effusive in its praise of the government, with the company’s vice president, Australia and New Zealand, Les Williamson, saying the government was “displaying foresight and leadership by implementing this system, as it sets an example in terms of enhanced collaboration, increased productivity and efficiency and a decreased impact on the environment. These are benefits that can be enjoyed by the public and private sector alike.”
Williamson said the deployment of Cisco TelePresence by the federal government follows similar deployments at Telstra, the ANZ bank and several hundred system rollouts by Cisco customers around the world.
He also highlighted the fact that Cisco itself was a major user of TelePresence, with more than 360 rooms deployed worldwide to help reduce the impact of company travel on the environment and to improve productivity, and said Telstra was also deploying the system throughout its own corporate office locations, with recent additions in Wellington and Auckland and plans to roll out to Asia Pacific international offices in 2009.