Italian Region Offers a New Vision for Politics
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A significant issue for the Italian government in recent years has been the efficiency of its public administration. The problem begins in the Regions, the twenty territorial entities into which Italy is historically and constitutionally divided and which include the Umbria region in Central Italy. A brilliant example of where efficiency and resource modernization has been used to address this problem is the decision by the Umbria regional government to choose Huawei to design a videoconferencing system based on the latest generation technology.
One of the main needs of the Umbria region is to communicate daily with territorial entities such as local communities and health companies. However, it also has to liaise with other regions, up to the highest level, as well as the Italian Ministries and the European Union. Graziano Antonielli, Umbria Regional Director for Technological and Digital Infrastructures explains: “As a Region we need to talk to each other using videoconferencing many times throughout the day, for topics that concern the institutional issues we deal with and for communication with the various regions and ministries that we need to speak with on a daily basis. However, we did not have adequate accommodation to do this in terms of either quantity or quality. Also we only had a couple of movable systems, so each time there was a need for videoconferencing, it was logistically difficult to arrange.”
So, at the same time as a re-organisation of the Umbria regional building, it was decided to set up at least one fixed meeting room on each of the six floors, for a total of ten. As well as this, each room was to be integrated into a broader digital system to make it accessible to all Umbrian administrations and avoid expensive relocation costs.
To achieve this vision Umbria set about looking for a cutting-edge technology solution and, after a tender bid, it chose the Huawei solution proposed by a primary partner, In.I.T., a member of Group Partners Associates.
A Huawei Gold Partner since 2014, In.I.T. quickly identified Huawei’s RP Series Telepresence system as the ideal solution. Available with one or two HD displays (RP100 or RP200), it provides high-quality videoconferencing by integrating HD video, camera, microphone, and data into one easy-to-use solution. A pedestal stand with wheels also means it can be moved effortlessly from one room to another.
The system features full HD 1080p video at 512 Kbit/s, and AAC-LD wideband CD-quality audio supports a 20 percent packet loss resilience that enables it to deliver up to a 50 percent savings in bandwidth costs.
The associated TE Mobile Videoconferencing soft client delivers a superior audiovisual experience when installed on mobile phones and tablets, making it easy for users to make video calls, join videoconferences, and share presentations. In the words of Francesco Donadio, Chief Technology Officer of In.I.T.: “One of the main advantages of this solution — as with all Huawei solutions — is the use of standard, non-proprietary protocols. This makes it possible to build infrastructures that are understandable to those who use them and which can be easily be expanded. Each room can be equipped with wireless microphones, and can accommodate more if needed. It is also possible to add more cameras, so that you can move the action to a wider audience.”
However, the system does more than allow sharing and participation. It offers centralised management of rooms, reservations, technical assistance (everything can be done remotely), point-to-multi-point communication to connect multiple virtual rooms with a single room, and the ability to share audio content and real-time video and compatibility with Android mobile systems/Skype calls.
The highly customised solution that the Umbria Region has installed has been up and running for more than a year and has allowed it to meet the needs of both its partners and customers.
In.I.T. has already received a similar request for Huawei technology from another regional entity so that, with the support of the Umbria region, the experience has become a great example of what can be achieved.
Francesco Donadio confirms: “The platform has improved the quality of the meetings, and the work of those in the Umbria region, having helped them to avoid frequent relocation. It has really proved to be an innovation in public administration.”
For the Umbria Region, efficiency is measured by a highly competitive quality/price ratio and further savings from logistics optimization. Giuliano Antonelli, Manager of Technology for the Umbria Regional Government clarifies: “Three different suppliers participated in the tender, then after making a price comparison and offering features, we chose Huawei. There was a good cost reduction. All videoconferencing that is made daily avoids the need for people to travel to Rome or elsewhere, also saving travel time. So, there is definitely an economic return.”
Personalized solutions and innovative technology, more effective communication between political parties, taxpayers’ money savings and, ultimately a better image for both public administration and partner. In short, the objectives of the region were achieved, confirming that its vision of the future, working with Huawei, could never be better.
“Three different suppliers participated in the tender, then after making a price comparison and offering features, we chose Huawei. There was a good cost reduction. All videoconferencing that is made daily avoids the need for people to travel to Rome or elsewhere, also saving travel time. So, there is definitely an economic return.”
— Giuliano Antonelli, Manager of Technology, Umbria Regional Government