Businesses today usually think twice before scheduling a meeting that requires participants to travel. Not only are they looking for savings in the travel budget, but also many have become conscious of the impact plane travel has on their carbon footprint. At the same time, there is no question that face-to-face meetings are an important component of doing business—it is impossible to replace that critical personal connection online, or even by phone. But, there are other high-tech options, and today, more and more businesses are accomplishing both goals—saving time and money, but still achieving the personal touch a meeting provides—through the use of videoconferencing.

    The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower is the Coachella Valley’s premier provider for videoconferencing services. The conference center’s state-of-the-art technology can be used to convene groups of any size from multiple locations around the globe. Whether organizations need to convene a large group meeting, set up a deposition, or just facilitate a long-distance, oneon- one conversation, Annenberg’s technology can accommodate them.

    “Videoconferencing offers a multitude of business benefits, including increased productivity, cost savings, faster decision making, improved access to talent, and employee convenience, so it is widely used by both large and small firms, as well as non-profits,” says Phil Dombrowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences. “But securing the right technology can be expensive. At Annenberg, we can offer organizations all the advantages of videoconferencing while saving them the capital investment.”

    The videoconference center at Annenberg delivers “telepresence” quality, high definition video and audio, which allows users to achieve a real meeting experience. This can be as simple as a point-to-point conversation between two people to several sites (multi-point) with more groups of people involved. The technology at Annenberg uses advanced fiber optics, which allows for clear, real-time visuals and crisp, true sound. Presentations, documents and multimedia can be shared with all participants, enabling everyone to collaborate more effectively. The overall experience simulates a face-to-face meeting as closely as possible, without the cost and time lost to travel.

    The teleconference system is set up in an executive board style conference room that seats up to 20 participants comfortably. The room is equipped with two 52-inch HD (high definition) LCD (liquid crystal display) monitors, two HD video cameras, a comprehensive sound system, and multiple data ports for computer connections. The system was installed by GBH Communications, whose other clients include, among others: The Walt Disney Company, Expedia, Inc.®, FedEx®, American Express®, the State of Washington and Yahoo!®.

    According to Dombrowski, the videoconference center is seeing a wide variety of uses. “Our medical staff can use the center to set up a virtual classroom for physicians,” shares Dombrowski. “Local attorneys have used it to take depositions, several companies have staged multi-site meetings, and the Annenberg Board used the system to interview a potential board member.” Dombrowski says physicians can also use videoconferencing to consult with experts from other medical institutions, or to “virtually” attend medical meetings or conferences.

    For more information about videoconferencing services at the Annenberg Center, please call 800-321-3690 or 760-773-4500.
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