• United States
Senior Editor

Videoconferencing success stories

Aug 18, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsVideoconferencing

* How a school system and a supply-chain management systems consultancy have benefited from videoconferencing

There have been periods of time where “experts” said videoconferencing technology would be the biggest thing since hot dog buns.  And while its use has picked up, especially since Sept. 11 it has not become nearly as ubiquitous as its proponents said.  Still, there are some interesting success stories and that’s what our Special Focus author ( focused on this week. 

Here are a couple examples:

* At the Howe Public Schools near the Arkansas border in southeastern Oklahoma, videoconferencing was brought in to help expand the curriculum in the district but ended up having the opposite effect. “We wanted to bring classes in, but we ended up hiring teachers and do classes out now,” says Lance Ford, technology coordinator for Howe and a neighboring district. Video is used to offer classes such as video production (taught by Ford) and Spanish to other area schools, with the remote school picking up part of the full-time teacher’s salary. “Plus, we take our kids all over the country on virtual field trips.”

* Videoconferencing helps connect Manhattan Associates, a supply-chain management systems consultancy in Atlanta, consultants with clients and lets senior executives around the globe have meetings without traveling. IP is used for video calls on the internal network with ISDN providing the connection to the outside world.  Manhattan’s success stems from a heavy kicking of the tires before rolling out any technology to its users, ensuring all features, software versions and network connectivity work as advertised. Potential videoconferencing customers should be wary of sell-you-the-world integrators that may not have your best interests in mind.

For a look at some other key trends and directions in videconferencing see: