Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- (Marketwired) -- Vantage Systems Pty Ltd -- The University of Tasmania (UTAS) has embarked on the first phase of a multi-million dollar project which will revolutionise the way video technology is used in Higher Education.
The first phase of the University's Video Communication Improvement Program (VCIP) is nearly complete and includes the creation and refurbishment of collaborative spaces across campuses in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Sydney.
However, video communication isn't a new idea at UTAS; it was an early adopter of the technology in the 1990s. What makes this VCIP unique is the holistic approach incorporating both technological and environmental objectives.
"Historically, UTAS has been a significant user of video communication technologies in
Australia for learning and teaching, with approximately 1,800 conferences annually," says Adrian Dillon, Deputy Chief Information Officer, UTAS. "We embarked upon a program to refresh UTAS' entire video conferencing environment, including extensive room remediation, to deliver an innovative collaborative video conferencing ecosystem for the academic community."
To deliver the innovation required, UTAS' VCIP project team embarked on a rigorous selection process which challenged industry-leading service providers to propose both compliant and innovative solutions using technology from leading vendors Polycom and Cisco.
Extensive stakeholder engagement and architectural design focused on the delivery of a collaborative video conferencing environment to the academic community. This approach, rather than a straightforward technology upgrade, was among the reasons leading Australian conferencing specialist Vantage was awarded the opportunity, with its innovative solution designed on the Polycom RealPresence® platform.
"By focusing on the University's vision to implement technology in a way that fosters collaboration and innovation, we were able to design a solution that ensures UTAS will remain relevant and competitive in the global education marketplace," says Mark Buckley, Chief Executive Officer, Vantage.
Traditional education methods are being challenged by open universities and the new generation of technically-savvy students. Long, unengaging lectures of the past, whether in person or through video technology, are no longer acceptable or successful teaching approaches.
Twenty-first century academics want to interact using touchscreens, shared digital workspaces, life-sized video projections, multiparty conferencing, BYODs (Bring Your Own Device) and more -- they call it Unified Collaboration, the stakeholder engagement revealed.
"Future-proofed technology transforms from a TelePresence solution to a dynamic content environment, serving multiple purposes by being built around a modular and flexible environment," explains Gary Denman, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Polycom. "Not only is UTAS defying distance, they are also defying academic convention with their innovative learning environments."
Using innovative design and the latest technology, Vantage and Polycom have developed a technologically attractive and flexible environment guaranteed to enhance UTAS' reputation for leading the way in modern learning, teaching and research methods.
Vantage is an Australian 'Unified Collaborations' pioneer. Established in 1995, Vantage provides communication solutions that leverage knowledge and time. Through strategic partnerships with leading vendors, innovative technology and commitment to the highest quality of service, Vantage creates solutions that improve business communication and collaboration. Vantage maximises the value of these solutions by offering a comprehensive portfolio of services that includes managed services, hosted services, network services, support and consultancy. For more information, visit our website at www.vantage.com.au.
Polycom is the global leader in open standards-based unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions for voice and video collaboration, trusted by more than 415,000 customers around the world. Polycom solutions are powered by the Polycom® RealPresence? Platform, comprehensive software infrastructure and rich APIs that interoperate with the broadest set of communication, business, mobile and cloud applications and devices to deliver secure face-to-face video collaboration in any environment. Polycom and its ecosystem of over 7,000 partners provide truly unified communications solutions that deliver the best user experience, highest multi-vendor interoperability, and lowest TCO. Visit www.polycom.com.au or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn how we're pushing the greatness of human collaboration forward.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is an international university working out of Tasmania. UTAS is committed to the creation, preservation, communication and application of knowledge, as well as excellence in all teaching, research and scholarly activities. Our research is integral to our identity and sense of purpose and we are ranked in the top 10 research universities in Australia. UTAS continues to make far-reaching educational, cultural and economic contributions to Tasmania and the world. While maintaining a strong and distinctive Tasmanian identity, UTAS' programs and research are international in scope, vision and standards. UTAS' family includes around 50,000 graduates who are now scattered across the globe. UTAS is connected and contemporary, creating life-changing, life-shaping experiences that provide the foundation on which to build careers and lives for their students. For more information, visit the website at www.utas.edu.au.