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U Tasmania Upgrades Videoconferencing To Improve Collaboration Across Campuses

A university in Australia is upgrading its video technology to facilitate expanded digital collaboration. The University of Tasmania (UTAS) will be implementing the Polycom RealPresence suite, which can deliver face-to-face communication via the Internet to any type of computing device. The suite includes unified communication features, including instant messaging and presence awareness, as well as Web conferencing, call control, video collaboration, and desktop sharing.

The university has three primary campuses and several smaller ones. The largest is in Hobart with nearly 16,000 students. The institution's IT services organization has used legacy Polycom and Tandberg Codian videoconferencing bridges to enable groups of students located at any of the campuses to participate in courses delivered by faculty at one of the locations. Videoconferencing is also used for cross-campus committee and staff meetings, recruitment interviews, consultation, and research. And it allows the university to bring lecturers from around the world together with students.

"Historically, UTAS has been a significant user of video communication technologies in Australia for learning and teaching, with approximately 1,800 conferences annually," said Adrian Dillon, deputy chief information officer. "We embarked upon a program to refresh UTAS' entire videoconferencing environment, including extensive room remediation, to deliver an innovative collaborative video conferencing ecosystem for the academic community."

The first phase of the institution's upgrade will involve creation and refurbishment of collaborative spaces across campuses in four of its locations.

The university will be working with Vantage Systems, an Australia-based IT firm focused on conferencing and audio visual integration.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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