Borderless Network Strategies in Government
Posted by Force 3 | July 9, 2010
Government agencies are intent on meeting citizen expectations. But they’ll need to be able to facilitate real-time interaction between people and departments if they are to meet this objective. They’ll need advanced networking strategies that remove barriers or borders in government networks that inhibit efficiency and productivity.
Among the key borders that now hold back government networks are:
Device Borders.These are barriers encountered when integrating different devices or people in the government environment. This challenge is increasing as new devices whether laptops, smart phones or other consumer devices become key elements of government communication.
Application Borders. These are barriers associated with optimizing the network for voice and video to enrich citizen interactions and make government employees more productive.
Location Borders. These barriers inhibit employee efficiency by limiting the physical locations in which work can be effectively performed.
Consider one government agency that’s addressing such borders with a commitment to advanced networking strategies. Several years ago, a state commerce agency moved from its existing PBX-based communications system to an IP Telephony system provided by Cisco.
In the years since, the 100-employee department has realized compelling benefits that continue to contribute to its mission of producing new jobs and attracting new employers to the state. One accomplishment was to help more than a dozen groups create new efficiencies. Now, these groups can ensure they are not replicating each others’ work or spending an inordinate amount of time arranging inter-departmental meetings.
The department’s initial investments in an IP Communications system and applications to access databases from IP phones led to six-figure annual savings. But it also increased service effectiveness by providing access to customer records and employee itineraries. Employees can now collaborate with their colleagues more effectively using capabilities such as six-way conference calling and voicemail forwarding.
Mobile employees can check voicemail even in areas with poor cell phone coverage. Unified messaging has proved particularly valuable, enabling staff members to access both voicemail and e-mail messages from an e-mail inbox and forward voicemail messages as e-mail attachments.
As such examples suggest, government agencies and organizations not to mention the citizens they serve have much to gain by tearing down the borders that now interfere with network performance.
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