In these final weeks of the federal buying season, government agencies are looking to invest in solutions that will help them with long-term IT priorities. One such area is developing a long-term plan around hybrid work environments that enables employees to work from the office, remotely, or both during the uncertainty of the global pandemic. For Health and Human Services, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch, a seamless solution is critical to delivering constitutional services and enabling citizen engagement. Webex for Government not only enhances collaboration in a hybrid work environment, but it also meets the requirements of these agencies.
Webex for Government offers a unified experience for users by integrating messaging, calling, video, and meeting all under one application, while also meeting FedRAMP requirements. During the SYNNEX Comstor EDGE Conference for partners, Daniel Stewart, Senior Advisor for Cisco Public Sector, offered insight into a few solutions under Webex for Government that enable collaboration in a remote or hybrid setting while creating a more connected justice system. Stewart has seen first-hand the importance of these types of solutions. Prior to joining Cisco, he led one of the widest-reaching video integration projects as the Chairman and Commissioner of the New York State Commission of Corrections.
At the start of the pandemic, Stewart noted that many customers were scrambling for answers on how to do their business remotely, especially those who needed to stay connected to hold hearings, vote on issues, deliver health services, and engage citizens. “As a result, we decided to verticalize further within the Cisco platform to bring through a few new solutions.”
These solutions include the following:
Webex for Legislate: Leveraging the Webex platform, legislators can access a secure, in-person experience remotely to conduct voting and virtual hearings. The solution offers closed captions, American Sign Language video, and live interpretation that makes the experience inclusive to all participants. “The Webex Legislate product was born out of the pandemic,” Stewart explained. “We had to find a way to deliver an experience that was as close as possible to what you’d find in U.S. Congress or the Senate.” He noted that the solution could also be used at the state level, city council, school board or any governing body that required hearings and voting. This add-on solution to Webex for Government allows any governing body to act seamlessly in a remote setting or in a hybrid environment and offers a fully customizable solution to meet specific needs.
Cisco Connected Justice Solution: This offering connects Courts, Corrections, and Post Incarceration into one platform, bringing together correction facilities, Health & Human Services (HHS), and the court system. The experience is powered by Webex and layered with Cisco Customer Experience (CX) service offerings to deliver the full cloud offering. “We needed to have a hosted service in the cloud that could be accessed [via] hybrid or fully remote [platforms], on-demand,” Stewart explained.
Court Services: The solution connects into the court management system, offering a dashboard to the clerk and the judge that can be accessed from anywhere with security and authentication built-in. As hearings are assigned and scheduled, information is sent to participants that allows them to identify their roles and join the video session at the scheduled date and time. When a participant arrives virtually, they are placed in a lobby and can be sent to different meeting rooms as needed.
According to Stewart, this solution makes a hybrid environment more seamless. He noted that based on his customer interactions, most courts do not believe they will go back fully in-person at this point. “They believe they will have a 30 to 40 percent virtual capability in order to reduce the number of people coming into the courts.”
Inmate Services: Everyone who is incarcerated has constitutional rights and certain services must be delivered. So, the question that many faced during the past 18 months was how to deliver constitutionally protected services to a population in lockdown or quarantine. Stewart explained that “the pandemic changed the way these services were delivered.” Cisco helped deliver services, whether it was telehealth visits, family visitation, or courtroom appearances via Webex video. Adding a layer of automation allowed for easy scheduling for appointments or services by creating a cloud-based reservation system.
Additionally, mobile app solutions have been created to connect and support inmates post-incarceration. With a video application built for a smartphone, capabilities include setting up meetings with parole officers, gaining access to telehealth, and much more.
Citizen Engagement: Staying connected with citizens during the pandemic has been one area of focus for agencies across federal, state, and local governments. As an add-on to Webex for Government, Cisco has developed the Virtual Office for Public Services. This cloud-based solution allows a citizen to find available appointments or schedule a video meeting from the agency’s website, giving them access to all the agency’s virtual offices on one page. Similarly, the agent can manage events and the schedule and provide updates in an easy format. When a meeting occurs, users can use any device to log in, launch the Webex application, and begin the engagement. For more details on how Webex for Government can help your customers, watch this full video from the EDGE Conference here.