In conversation with Dataquest, Ankur Goel, Director Sales, Government & Commercial Business, Polycom India & SAARC, explained how simple everyday Collaboration Solutions such as web and video conferencing tool or an audio-only conference call solution can help the government in gaining a collaborative advantage. Excerpts:
Compared to commercial organizations, where does the Indian Government stand on the technology front at present? Should the Indian Government step-up its game in technology?
Previously, citizens held government and commercial organizations to different digital standards— they would expect less from their government than from commercial organizations. However, today, this digital gap is nearly gone.
Citizen expectations have increased tremendously and their patience level is not what it used to be; since citizens get instant gratification from private sector services, they expect the same level of service from government departments as well.
Keeping in mind these expectations, the way that the Indian government is embracing technology has been impressive; over the past three years or so, the government has put in place many programs to benefit the citizens – be it equity of access, utilizing technology to enhance citizen services or digitalization of records.
Unlike earlier, governance as we know, it has transformed into a two-way channel of communication between the government and its citizens.
What is the position of our government compared to the global scenario?
Thanks to the growing digital culture, India is going through a monumental shift and our government is well positioned to leverage this opportunity.
Compared to the global scenario, I believe India has a unique opportunity.
Also, what is being done on the technology front is fairly new in our country and we do not have the problems of replacing legacy applications and infrastructure, unlike other developed nations. Hence, I believe that our government is in a very good position compared to the global counterparts.
What is the role of collaboration technology in India’s digitalization process?
India is a very large and diverse country. It is impossible for administrators – i.e. ministers, government agencies and employees to offer citizen services and coordinate projects down to a village level. Therefore, in this situation, communication between different departments plays a key role.
Collaboration solutions such as video conferencing replace old and ineffective modes of communications and helps promote greater interaction and engagement between governments and its stakeholders.
Therefore, collaboration technology helps by:
Improving citizen services – government organizations can use collaboration solutions i.e. voice, video, and multimedia solutions to increase citizen engagement and improve outreach to remote citizens. Virtual classrooms ensure faster development of skills across the country. Collaboration solutions bridge the gaps in the availability of specialised trainers through video classrooms, so that these trainers can reach people all over the country, no matter where they are located, and help develop required skills.
Enhancing justice services – by enabling face-to-face contact between inmates and their friends and families, justice organizations can reduce detainee transportation and lower security risks, improve public safety, and decrease costs. This essential face-to-face contact has been shown to improve inmate health and increase their all-important re-entry success rate as they transition back into society. Justice services can also use video conferencing solutions to expand education for inmates and staff alike
Streamlining emergency management protocols – video conferencing solutions help equip government agencies for emergency situations, so that they save precious time regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. Reducing costs and carbon emissions, helping a government comply with budgetary and environmental mandates.
Elaborate on how Polycom is helping in India’s digitalization agenda.
We intend to play an important role in India’s digitalization agenda. Our solutions help the government take a collaborative approach to promote greater interaction and engagement citizens, to enable government to do more with less, and improve their service, responsiveness, efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.
We also offer a variety of applications for the education and health care sector, which contributes significantly to digitalization.
Education sector – Technology and globalization have transformed the education landscape. As part of the classroom of the future, educators are looking for voice, video, and content collaboration that aligns with the current digital world and global economy. Polycom’s video solutions, along with our tailored education programs and content, enable richer learning experiences, improve staff productivity, and reduce administrative costs.
Healthcare – To create a sustainable healthcare model, governments and organizations across the world are beginning to move beyond a single-minded goal of treating patients when they get sick and focusing more on integrating prevention and wellness into all aspects of people’s lives. The only way to effectively collaborate across distances and with multiple people is through secure and robust voice and video technologies that remove physical limitations and enable innovative ways for flexible delivery of information. Polycom solutions enable care teams, patients and families to easily connect via live single or multi-point video collaboration.
What difference has Polycom made by providing solutions to State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and police departments in the country?
Polycom’s collaboration solutions have powered many State Wide Area Network (SWAN) and police departments. Thanks to Polycom’s video collaboration solutions, today, many police departments in the country have the ability to transmit excellent audio and visual data between various locations.
This has reduced the need for police personnel to drive to headquarters for trainings or other meetings and has saved precious time. By using features such as advanced recording available in Polycom, now, police departments in the country have the ability to replace in-person training and classes. This lets police review classes, meetings, and other video calls during their downtime and help them utilize their time more efficiently.