IN PRACTICE | N CI Agency increases its emphasis on videoconferencing
The NATO Communications and Information Agency, NCI Agency, is engaged in ongoing innovation with its trading partners Proximus and Polycom. The idea is to optimize the use of videoconferencing for as many NATO personnel as possible.
he NCI Agency delivers secure, coherent, cost effective and interoperable communications and information systems and services in support of consultation, command and control and enabling intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, for NATO, where and when required. It includes IT support to the alliance’s business processes (including provision of IT shared services) to NATO HQ, the Command Structure and NATO agencies. “Our headquarters are located in Brussels,” says Gus Mommers, Head of Conference Management Services at the NCI Agency. “We also have regional offices in Mons and The Hague and are active at 30 other locations.” The NCI Agency was finding the purchase, management and maintenance of facilities for videoconferencing particularly complex and time-consuming. Working closely with Proximus, the agency devised a new process, based on a hybrid approach. “Polycom acts as supplier,” says Mommers, “while Proximus looks after the helpdesk and first-line support. In this way we combine the best of these two partners.”
New ways of working Based on this partnership, the NCI Agency plans to expand and renew its infrastructure for videoconferencing. The Agency manages, among other things, nine Tele Presence Experience systems for videoconferences. Some of them have reached the end of their life cycle. “The employees’ needs are changing all the time,” says Catherine Galoppin, Section Head of On-Site Conferences and Events. “We therefore looked into what the most fitting and cost-effective solution would be.” The NCI Agency ultimately opted to offer the advantages of videoconferencing to the widest possible group of users. “Flexible solutions like the Polycom RealPresence Group Series, Centro, RealPresence Trio and Software Clients fit perfectly within the broader context of the new ways of working that we have introduced in our agency,” Galoppin continues. “These days, flexibility is absolutely vital because we are no longer at the office from nine to five. We are a mobile
About the NCI Agency
The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) is NATO’s internal IT Agency. The agency is headquartered in Brussels and has about 2,400 employees.
Business magazine for top ICT professionals