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Banana Shire Council Dramatically Reduces its Carbon Footprint and Realises Significant Time, Cost and Collaboration Benefits with Polycom's HD Video Conferencing Solutions
Banana Shire Council uses Polycom's HD video conferencing solutions to bridge divide between rural and regional, saving up to $24,000 and 6,000 kilometres per month in time and travel costs

Banana Shire Council, located in central Queensland, is reducing its carbon footprint and experiencing significant cost and time savings through the implementation of high definition video conferencing technology from Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), a global leader in telepresence, video and voice communications solutions.

In 2008, as a result of the Queensland local government consolidation, Banana Shire Council doubled in size to 30,000 square kilometres creating a four hour drive from one end of the Shire to the other.

As a result Banana Shire Council saw an increased need for more efficient communication and collaboration. They worked with Polycom and Telstra to implement video, voice and data capabilities between the Shire's major sites through an IP WAN, which provides businesses with a simple, cost-effective and secure means of interconnecting between metropolitan, regional and rural offices.

After the council consolidation, geographically dispersed teams were required to travel several hours and cover distances of up to 200 kilometres for the council's monthly meetings, which cost the council both significant time and money and led to a drop in productivity. It also meant that council vehicles were being poorly utilised. This was solved through the use of video conferencing equipment installed by Polycom.

"The Polycom and Telstra technology has collectively saved Banana Shire Council approximately $24,000 per year and about 6,000 vehicle kilometres per month," said Todd Sleeman, director corporate and community services, Banana Shire Council.

"By enabling staff throughout the Shire to communicate face-to-face through video conferencing, we have also reduced our carbon footprint which is very important to us and our constituents. It is also safer because our staff are not undertaking long country drives," said Todd.

If the IP WAN system didn't exist Banana Shire Council would require an additional two servers at the main site in Taroom, requiring the time of support staff.

"This would require the council to send staff to Taroom to support those servers costing approximately nine hours per fortnight," said Jacob Godwell, ICT support officer, Banana Shire Council.

"Not only are the cost and time savings significant, but there was no real training required as the implemented technology is that easy to use, a flick of a button and employees can have immediate contact with other offices," said Jacob.

"Polycom's video conferencing technology allows for increased productivity and collaboration benefits because workers spend more time working and less time travelling," said Michael Chetner, Managing Director for Polycom Australia and New Zealand. "The solution for Banana Shire Council shows the impact that video conferencing technologies can have to rural and regional areas supported by a high speed, robust broadband network," he added.

As the Shire continues to grow there will be a need to provide services to its communities and the Telstra and Polycom technology will be able to grow with the council into the future.

Link to video case study:

Released for Polycom by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Petra Aitken or Nicola Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.

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