Scot claims savings in video conferencing are elusive
The independent Scottish Councillor, David Chisholm doubts that there are any financial gains for the Council taxpayer. His typical experience is that it replaces frequent trips to 2 other remote offices as chair of the Ross, Skye and Lochaber area planning committee in Scotland.
- It stops the carpooling that councillors used to use when traveling on business
- Video sessions typically involve three different rooms at three different locations.
- Planners and other officials sometimes have to travel to the planning meeting.
- People need lunch in all three locations, you need staff at three locations to manage the video equipment.
Here’s our rebuttal:
- Total miles driven are less with video communications than with carpooling since councillors are driving to their local office. Two short drives are better than one long one.
- Number of rooms affects only the cost of capital. Most video conferencing rooms are used as conference rooms when a video session is not underway. This amortizes the room costs over a wider array of applications and increases room utilization. That’s why some implementations involve portable video equipment so that it may move from office to office, or room to room.
- Planners and officials can drive to any video communications-capable facility, not necessarily a designated room. Networks can enable an service including rooms-for-rent capability.
- Wouldn’t the people need housekeeping services and catering even if the session was in one room? This is a spurious argument.
- Actually, modern video conferencing systems are simpler and more robust if they’re associated with an always-on IP network. This means that in fact, you don’t need to have people at every location in support of the video gear.
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