Andrey Popov - Fotolia
Nato has become the first organisation to deploy Polycom’s RealPresence Centro unified communications system ahead of a wider launch in the coming months, as it seeks to enhance its internal collaboration capabilities.
With a highly secure and restricted network, long-term Polycom customer Nato was invited to act as a beta customer for the RealPresence technology – billed by Polycom as the first industry system purpose-built to put people at the centre of collaboration – as part of its New Ways of Working programme in 2015.
This programme is designed to account for the changing nature of the world of work, according to Gus Mommers, branch head of conference management services (CMS) at the Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency.
“Not only have globalisation and technology radically changed the business world, but a new generation of tech-savvy, flexible workers is poised to become the majority in the workforce,” he said.
“They inherently understand that they are expected to rely on shared resources, to collaborate with their team and to be innovative to develop the best systems.
“The principal benefit of transitioning to New Ways of Working in the NCI Agency is to improve collaboration, efficiency and productivity, cost-savings, flexibility of growth, and career flexibility,” said Mommers.
To this end, the security agency has put RealPresence Centro at the heart of its most important communications. The centre-of-the-room system serves as a focal point for command and control meetings, training and administration, international communications, and operational mission collaboration.
Read more about IT in defence
- Ministry of Defence CIO Mike Stone took to the stage at the Microsoft Future Decoded event to explain his plan for defence-as-a-platform.
- Opening up the Ministry of Defence supply chain to access SME innovation is vital to meet its technology needs, says secretary for defence Michael Fallon.
- State-sponsored cyber attacks must avoid sensitive civilian targets such as hospitals, dams and nuclear power stations, according to a Nato advisory manual.
A 360-degree voice and video system automatically tracks speakers, while showing the entire meeting space on the same screen. Four touchscreens are placed centrally to create what Polycom refers to as an “intimate” experience that it hopes will drive deeper collaboration and better outcomes.
“Nato relies on the advanced capabilities of Polycom’s collaboration systems to instantaneously bring our teams and nations together to carry out highly secure and highly critical missions,” said Mommers.
Polycom creates ‘a unique environment’
As a key player in a dynamic, insecure and threatening geo-political environment, Nato shares a great deal of confidential information across its network, and is meticulous in evaluating any and every piece of technology it procures to meet its internal compliance requirements.
It places particular importance on communications systems that hold up against attempts to intercept information by hostile organisations or states.
“The RealPresence Centro system provides the highly secure, highly interactive collaboration system we’ve been seeking to help advance our new ways of working programme even further,” said Catherine Galoppin, CMS section head at NCI Agency.
“For the agency this means saving time, resources, working securely from almost anywhere and an exceptional user experience. You walk into the room and you will realise this is not a traditional video teleconference room – Polycom has created a unique environment that takes collaborating from a distance to the next level.”