Saturday 28 February 2009


Here is an interesting idea from Aussie. They are spending $13.8 million to deploy videoconferencing at 20 government sites. The motivation has come from the Aussie Govt's staggering $280mil air travel bill ( domestic only) Considering that it will be at discount rates its a big bill.

We think that the best gains out of this idea are in productivity. You waste about an hour give or take to get to and from the airport ( much more in Auckland ) and the same onthe way home and its about an hour to fly to most destinations - Conservatively thats three hours of lost time. In the case of Aucklanders way more.

So is this an idea that needs to be considered alonside the expansion of broadband ?

We have been involved in video conferencing and for many meetings its great. There are still times when you need face to face meetings but it does have a place.

So all you geeks and techies and economists - how does it rate as an idea and what are the up and down sides?

THE federal Government will deploy Cisco videoconferencing systems across 20 government sites in an effort to drastically reduce its $280 million domestic airfare bill.

The contract, which will run for four years at a cost of $13.8 million, will be managed by Telstra and will run on its Next IP network.

Mr Tanner said the deployment will help the Government reduce the cost of travel, improve productivity and lower the impact of carbon emissions.

It is unclear how much the Government will save with the Cisco TelePresence system but Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has in the past indicated that he wants to slash at least $15 million from the bill.

“From a finance minister point of view the most important issue is saving money. We currently spend about $280 million a year on domestic airfares across government,” Mr Tanner said.

“The savings we make on airfares alone will pay for this system.”

Mr Tanner is also hoping the roll-out will help retain staff.

“I’m conscience that a lot of people tend to move away from very senior positions both in the public and private sector because of the burden of travel. This will enable us to get better value from people and achieve a better work life balance.”

Mr Tanner said there were robust security measures to make sure sensitive government meetings would not be breached.

“We have a secure phone system that we currently use and TelePresence is at least as secure as that,” he said.


Cactus Kate said...

For the public sector - yes, great idea.

For the private sector - terrible.

How do you long lunch by teleconference?

euminedes said...

well we servants of the public will work through lunch and start drinking at 4pm...

Boj anyone???

Anonymous said...

Already doing it. my corner of the PS has vidcon facilities in its main home and overseas offices.

its pretty clunky sometimes, particularly when trying to hook up three sites, but it does work, and saves a lot of shoeleather and flights.

adamsmith1922 said...

You can actually achieve a lot with audio-conferencing and Net Meeting. If using video, make sure it is a quality video. The new Cisco stuff is very good

Anonymous said...

It is no concidience thaT Cisco are supplying the software. A friend heads their Asia Pacific legal section and he told us over Christmas they have had their overseas travel slashed and most work is done by video conference now. Personally I think it is a good idea, we just have to increase our broadband speeds.