Friday 5 May 2017

More connected and more efficient: The transformation value of Video Conferencing for Public Services

This model story from UK demonstrated the transformational value of video conferencing for public services. Through a modernized video service, it has been possible to transform the UK Criminal Justice System by allowing the creation of strategic partnerships across Justice and the delivery of a brand-new service.

With over 400,000 users, 1000 operational processes and 100 IT systems,  the UK criminal justice System was afflicted by excessive complexity, high costs, slowness and  chronic lack of efficiency. Budget optimization considerations led the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, the body in charge of supporting criminal justice agencies in providing an improved service to the public, to conduct a survey in order to formulate a proposal to the government on the possible measures to take to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

The results of the survey were quite surprising. At root of the problem there was a lack of connection and coordination among the several offices and agencies that were involved in the delivery of the criminal service. The state of disconnection and lack of standardization of the existing video service network made the situation even worse.

The solution was the adoption and implementation of a single – and updated – video conferencing system.  This automatically led to a strong increase in connection and thus communication among the several actors involved in criminal justice. The final outcome was the formation of strategic partnerships across the Criminal justice system that made it possible to deliver a less expensive and more efficient service to the public.

Criminal Justice is just one of the public sectors that can largely profit from video conferencing. Healthcare, crisis management, national and local security, chambers of commerce, education: these are just some few areas where video conferencing has been applied with remarkable success in the last few years.

Despite the huge diversity of the services we mentioned above, the reason of the success of video conferencing is always the same, interconnection. Faster and cheaper communication among public officials leads immediately to an increase in efficiency and a decrease of costs. This is nothing surprising, if we reflect on the nature of labor-intense industry of public bodies. Therefore, the quality of human interactions and human communication is the real key-factor to monitor in the public sector.

Another point to consider is that today video conferencing has become safe, secure, easy-to-implement, and inexpensive. A server of R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting for example, costs less than 2000$ and allows conferences up to 3000 participants. Maintenance and upgrading are managed remotely, so that a devoted IT team is not necessary any longer.

In conclusion, video conferencing will play a key-role in redesigning and remodeling public services next years, owing to its capability to decrease costs while increasing communication and coordination and, consequently, efficiency.