TechNet conference shows cost savings from mobile video needed in the military today

29th March, 2012 - Posted by Kourtney Wooten - No Comments

This week, the Polycom Federal team is at the Tucson Convention Center for the annual TechNet Land Forces Southwest Conference. This event brings together senior leaders from the Army, Marine Corps and other defense agencies to discuss the IT solutions that are powering a more connected war fighter on the battleground.

According to the federal team, the challenge that continues to come up in conversations with senior leaders is the current budget situation impacting the military. With the federal government facing a budget deficit and pushing agencies to tighten belts and save wherever possible, it’s not surprising that the military is feeling the same budget sting as civilian agencies.

To help reduce costs, many defense agencies are cutting their travel budgets. In fact, some senior military leaders from one of the bases close to Tucson struggled mightily to attend TechNet due to budget constraints. In the end, they had to ensure that they had enough interest and participation to fill a bus and drive to the event.

It’s for this reason that most of the attendees dropping by the Polycom booth were so interested in mobile video communication.

By embracing Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC), senior military leaders can attend events, conferences and meetings without needing to travel. However, sometimes travel is unavoidable. This is why mobile video is becoming such a popular proposition for the military.

By utilizing smartphones and tablet computers for video communication, military leaders can stay connected with  their agencies when travel simply isn’t an option, because mobile video communication enables them to have face-to-face interaction with their associates regardless of their location.

The other reason why mobile video communication is a hot topic of conversation at TechNet is training and education.

Many new recruits and young civilian military employees are familiar with the use of tablets and smartphones in their everyday lives. With travel budgets tight, the military can utilize the mobile devices that these individuals already have to push training classes and educational content to them at a significant savings to the agency.

By delivering educational content via video, the military can drastically increase the reach of each individual educator and deliver valuable content to a much wider audience. They can also record content and make it available for access from a soldier or employee’s mobile device on demand.

A recent program launched by the State University of New York (SUNY) is a great blueprint for using video for training that the military can follow. In addition to providing live classes via video, they can also  record and make the content available on demand at a later time. Quizzes and tests can even be administered following the event to ensure that the material was retained. This same program could be easily replicated for the military to help them better and more cost-effectively train soldiers and employees.

The Technet Land Forces Southwest Conference attendees are feeling the pinch of tight budgets in today’s difficult economic environment. And they’re not the only ones. Budgets are strapped across all federal agencies and government entities in the U.S. However, by embracing new technologies, such as mobile video communication, agencies can cut travel and training budgets without cutting back.

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