The Polycom Federal team attended the General Dynamics Secure Communications and Computing User Conference and Training event at the end of May. The conference is tailored for government employees that work in field where communications are sensitive and require increased security.

Between the many breakout sessions and other events, attendees visited the Polycom Federal team and the advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions that they brought with them. With security the focus, the team had come equipped with products that interface with General Dynamic’s Taclane Encryption devices  for  secure UC communications.  These products included video teleconferencing (VTC) solutions, classified and unclassified VoIP phones, mobile UC devices and a new all-in-one UC endpoint that brings together voice, video and a credit card size PC.

Although all of the secure communications equipment received attention from attendees, there were concerns about embracing video in the fields that were highly represented at the event: namely the defense and intelligence communities.

In the conversations that they had with attendees, the Polycom Federal team repeatedly heard the benefits that video could have on these organizations. From increasing collaboration and information sharing, to expediting decision making, video is a great solution for many of the challenges that agencies in the defense and intelligence fields are facing today.

Unfortunately, many of these agencies are feeling the same budget pain that other government agencies are currently struggling through. Although many attendees were excited about the benefits of VTC implementations in their agencies, they were concerned about the cost of infrastructure upgrades and datacenter improvements that would be needed to power the solutions.

Many of these attendees were surprised to learn that today’s advanced VTC solutions don’t require what those in the industry refer to as “forklift” changes to datacenters. In fact, today’s solutions deliver HD video with far less bandwidth than in the past and can work with many legacy systems.

What was even more surprising was that, thanks to today’s software solutions, the other darling of the Polycom booth, mobile video communication, could also integrate and operate with VTC solutions running on these legacy systems.

Mobile video communication was a huge attention-getter at the C4 Conference thanks to its ability to practically turn any mobile device, including smartphones and tablets, into VTC solutions. This is increasing important in today’s federal agencies, which are implementing mobility policies and embracing mobile devices for their workforces.

Unfortunately for mobile video communications in the intelligence and defense fields, agencies are still struggling to figure out the security aspect. Although employees are looking for bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives that would allow them to enjoy the same technologies and capabilities in the office as at home, defense and intelligence agencies are still working to combat the security challenges that these devices create.

Although some roadblocks remain in embracing mobile video communication in defense and intelligence agencies, VTC solutions and the benefits they deliver are still top of mind. By increasing operational efficiency, powering information sharing, expediting decision making and driving collaboration inside of these agencies, they’re an important and secure piece of the puzzle for agencies with sensitive communications needs.