By Monique Lucey, HP Networking FlexCampus/Branch Marketing
As I mark up my schedule of the live web streaming of Olympic Games events to watch, I’m reminded of how vital network performance is to rich media communications. Rich media enables simpler and faster communication, whether through webcasts, video-enabled customer service, video conferencing, video on-demand training or IP surveillance. But it all relies on robust network architecture.
Government agencies like yours are embracing rich media communications as a way to lower costs and to increase productivity. Rich media, including video, is also used to enforce laws and to protect citizens. Here are a few examples that I've come across in recent weeks:
- Courts in Missouri's 4th Judicial Circuit have installed high-definition video conferencing to preside remotely over motions, arraignments and other legal proceedings. The goals are to streamline scheduling and to cut travel expenses of judges traveling across county lines.
- Inmates at Iowa's Dubuque County Jail are able to chat with family members using the jail's new Web-based video conferencing system, which also supports email. Investigators and detectives are also able to logon to the system remotely to conduct interviews with an inmate or watch a visit taking place.
- Michigan is saving travel costs and protecting public safety by enabling parole board members of the state's correctional facilities to use video conferencing to carry out court hearings with prisoners.
- Chicago's network of surveillance cameras has led to more than 5,500 arrests since 2006. Cameras protecting private businesses, including Chicago's iconic landmarks Willis Tower and the Boeing and John Hancock buildings have linked their video feeds into a unified public and private surveillance network operated by Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
- Video games are being used by government agencies for training by simulating real-life situations. The U.S. Army, for example, has developed a "first-person shooter" and strategy game called America's Army, which it uses for recruiting. Meanwhile, emergency responders and medical personnel can use video games for training on everything from the process of responding to an emergency to diagnosing a patient.
The benefits of rich media communications are great but unfortunately, agencies like yours may not successfully reap the rewards because of the legacy networks that you're saddled with. Legacy networks are not equipped to deal with interactive and real-time requirements of rich media communications, making delivery and management of rich media complex for you and your users.
Hamstrung by legacy networks
Here are three examples of the challenges you may face:
1. Your state officials want to call a video conferencing meeting of agency leaders located in different counties. Your WAN must be able to deliver video and audio in sync, without drops or delays. That’s quite a challenge using a legacy network that's traditionally built to transport data.
2. A government building has suffered a security breach and you must aggregate and analyze data from every IP camera to determine the threat level. Do you have the right tools in place to quickly access that data?
3. A mandate has been issued instructing every agency employee to complete an ethics and conduct training class delivered through video-on-demand within the next two weeks. A sluggish WAN won’t cope with the temporary surge of employees accessing the class.
HP Networking delivers rich media communications
The HP FlexNetwork architecture is specifically designed for rich media communications. Your ability to deliver rich media communications is simplified in a number of ways:
- HP FlexNetwork simplifies and flattens your network, which reduces latency and improves your user’s video experience.
- HP enhances the WAN through HP AllianceONE partner, Riverbed, which accelerates access to rich media content by preventing jitter or excess buffering.
- You can manage all your network elements through a single pane of glass management platform, giving you a consistent management experience throughout the network.
Learn more about how to design and deploy a network optimized for rich media communications in our brochure, "Is your agency ready for video?"[
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