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29/10/2009

Video Network Connected Across NI

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A major provincial video-based communications network has gone 'live' this week.
Based in Belfast, eircom NI, has marked the successful roll-out of the £70m Network NI project for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS).
The implementation phase of the project has connected 300 sites across the province to Network NI, which will replace departmental-based wide area data networks with one network managed by a single supplier over the next six years.
Darren Lemon, General Manager eircom NI, said: "Together, eircom NI and the NICS are putting robust communications centre-stage in the drive to improve province-wide workplace efficiency, enhance citizen-centric services and reduce the cost of delivering government service."
Mr Lemon also said eircom had invested significantly in their operation in Northern Ireland and planned to double its current staff of 30 and to grow market share considerably over the next two years.
"We have spent the past several years putting in place the world class experts, service operations and infrastructure to provide a dynamic and robust telecommunications service to the local market, including the provision of cutting edge telepresence tools," he added.
"Both the public and private sectors realise it is imperative to optimise productivity and minimise waster during a tough economic environment – and streamlining the communications infrastructure is the one sure way to boost competitiveness.
"Access to information is often the final piece in the productivity puzzle, especially given the changing nature of work, with an increasing number of employees collaborating across sites, offices, teams and from home," he concluded.
Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson - who is pictured trying out the video conferencing facility - added: "This has been a hugely important and influential project which has established a modern and efficient network infrastructure to support and meet the growing business needs of the NI Civil Service and those of its key reform projects such as Records NI, HR Connect and Account NI."
The Minister also took the opportunity to view the eircom NI video conferencing facility at Forsythe House, Cromac Square, which is used by the company to link with other sites across the UK and Ireland.
"Having seen eircom's video technology in action I can clearly appreciate why video conferencing is fast becoming an important and valuable tool in today’s fast-paced world," he said.
"The use of video technology reduces the need to travel to meetings which in a time of tightening budgets and increased pressure to reduce travel and subsistence makes much more efficient use of valuable staff resources."
(BMcC/KMcA)
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