Florida Department of Environmental Protection uses Lifesize Cloud for scalable, easy-to-use and cost effective video conferencing.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship of air, water and land. Florida’s environmental priorities include developing a consistent and effective regulatory process, ensuring the quality and quantity of the state’s water resources and increasing access to Florida’s award-winning state parks. Lifesize® Cloud video conferencing helps them connect 170 park sites with numerous stakeholders, allowing them to collaborate efficiently over video.
We recently chatted with Adam Jones, FDEP’s Network and Information Security Manager, who had much to share on FDEP’s decision to use Lifesize based on the product’s exceptional scalability, ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
How did Lifesize distinguish itself from the competition?
Lifesize is the only solution that can scale at the level we need. We had a quarter million dollars allocated to purchasing new video conferencing infrastructure, but we didn’t really want to spend that kind of money. Some providers wanted $125K up front, plus $38K a year in recurring costs. Lifesize isn’t anywhere close to that. In fact, our CIO is happy because he was able to repurpose the leftover funds for other things.
Would you say Lifesize Cloud was a big draw?
Yeah, absolutely. This was the main driver. Someone can just grab an iPad®, download the app and be good to go. In general, the move to the cloud and away from on-premise solutions has been among the biggest changes to my role over the past five years.
How does FDEP use Lifesize?
A few days after we received the administrator account, our help desk staff was trained on how to use Lifesize Cloud so we could instruct others during the employee rollout. We’ve got 170 park sites throughout the state, and 14 of those are in coastal aquatic areas. We gave each of those sites registered user accounts. Most of them have offices and conference rooms, so some of them have actual meeting room camera systems as well. And then the rest of the accounts will go to VIP users, such as our lawyers, directors, deputy secretaries and bureau chiefs.
How would you say video conferencing has affected the way FDEP collaborates across sites?
Well, it definitely bridges the geographical divide. Park managers are scattered hundreds of miles away from each other across the state. They use it on a daily basis for staff meetings and to discuss various construction projects. This is our primary use. We’ll also expand our use of Lifesize into the environmental restoration division. They want it for job interviews across the country.
What advice would you give others considering video conferencing?
So far, our experience has been really good. We’re going to start telling people to ditch their existing video conferencing systems because there really is no comparison on price.