Case Study

Situation

In 1996, the Oklahoma Army National Guard became one of the first National Guard units to begin using a distance learning classroom. Over time, The Guard added units not only to support distance learning, but to conduct meetings around the state and worldwide. Between 2001 and 2007, the Oklahoma Army National Guard enhanced its videoconferencing capability by expanding its infrastructure to approximately 134 systems.

These videoconferencing sessions saved guardsmen valuable time and energy, but by the spring of 2008 there weren’t enough systems to accommodate hundreds of soldiers who had to drive to Oklahoma City four or five times a year to attend meetings. They realized it was time for a big upgrade in order to help all of their guardsmen.

Solution

Through the state’s cooperative purchasing agreement, the Oklahoma Army National Guard selected SKC to develop a solution that would enable their soldiers to protect and serve by improving efficiency through saving time. SKC began installing 122 Polycom HD units in National Guard stations around the state, completing the massive project. The results of the solution and installation have been so positive that Gibson is planning to add and upgrade more units to the Guard’s arsenal of telepresence solutions.

Results

The Oklahoma Army National Guard logs nearly 1200 hours of videoconferencing a month with their HD Polycom units. The number of units allows for more guardsmen throughout the state to participate in training courses through distance learning, but the benefits of the added units go well beyond distance learning.

“I know it’s benefitting the state because we’re keeping people off the roads, we’re keeping them at their desk, where they can do the work, and it allows them to go home at night to be with their family and friends,” Gibson said.

Additionally, the Oklahoma Army National Guard has taken HD videoconferencing to the sky by using it in counter-drug missions. The counterdrug section transmits live video and audio feeds from the helicopter to a base station. It is then broadcast through the high definition videoconferencing system. Operations staff can then see live images from the pilot’s point of view. Allowing those at the station to see these images enables them to make decisions while talking to the pilot, telling him or her where to go and what to look for.

About the Client

The Oklahoma Army National Guard, headquartered in Oklahoma City, maintains well-trained and well-equipped military units available for prompt mobilization during war and provides assistance during emergencies. The Oklahoma National Guard does everything from tornado and hurricane relief missions to deployments in the Middle East. It is their goal to protect and serve both the State of Oklahoma and the country as a whole.

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