Conferencing Week in Review: Mississippi, Global Presence Alliance, West Hawaii Today

February 28, 2015


By Rory J. Thompson
Web Editor

The conferencing arena saw some intelligent movement this week, as more and more entities realized the value that video conferencing can actually deliver. We have the highlights.

For example, while most of the time this particular tool is one that is focusing on the business world, that doesn’t mean the business world is the only market that can take advantage of what it has to offer. Underlining that are the plans of the Monroe, Mississippi County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell, who has plans for a room in the county jail. If the plans are carried out the way Cantrell wants, part of this area will be turned into a place where federal inmates communicate with their attorneys. "It frees up our jailers and our transport deputies to do other things around the jail and it's just a tremendous thing and we're really, really excited," said Sheriff Cantrell, according to local television station WTVA. Monroe County has become one of three counties in Mississippi that are about to implement a new video conferencing program. Among other reasons for the excitement by the Sheriff and his deputies is it will save the department quite a bit of money. The video conferencing solution will also make it so that authorities don’t have to transport inmates from their jail to the U.S. District Court building in Aberdeen (News - Alert). 

Elsewhere, the Global Presence Alliance, a group of audiovisual, video conferencing, and managed service providers from across the globe, report that they work to improve the communications ecosystem by reducing costs and making those related products and services more efficient and effective. Its most recent announcement states that the multi-national group has reached the billion-dollar mark with its combined annual sales revenue. Meeting that mark makes the GPA the world's largest provider of audiovisual services. It has expanded on a model that, it says, mirrors what the airline industry has done for many years. While the airline industry used the collaboration of global entities to lower costs and make sure their services were compatible, the GPA has taken that format and applied it to the communications products that global enterprises use every day.

Last fall, we heard about Washington state's plans to put video conferencing systems to work in giving people in locations far away from the state capital of Olympia better access to the workings of government. Now, a new report from West Hawaii Today suggests that the Washington project isn't limited to Washington, as Hawaii is looking to put similar systems to use. The benefits of such programs are substantial enough to be worth considering; not only could more people take part in the legislative process, but such people could do so without the time and expense often required to take a trip to a state's legislative facilities. This is an issue of particular note in Hawaii, where residents could often be separated from a state capital not by miles of land but by miles of land and water as well.

As this technology continues to gain momentum, be sure to check in with us often for the latest updates.