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Polycom and Several of the Company’s Customers Sweep 2012 Federal Government Distance Learning Association Pillar Awards
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012
Army National Guard, Defense Acquisition University, National Park Service, and World Bank recognized for distance learning innovation, best practices and leadership
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Aug 20, 2012 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications, today announced that four of its customers - the Army National Guard (ARNG), the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the National Park Service (NPS) and World Bank - all earned 2012 Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) awards for their contributions to distance learning in the federal sector and beyond. These organizations use Polycom® RealPresence® video solutions to bring face-to-face distance learning to millions of people, from school children to military service personnel. FGDLA also honored specific leaders 'from NPS, DAU and Polycom for individual accomplishments in distance learning.
“Companies don’t earn Pillar Awards simply by getting their products onto the GSA Schedule; they need to make real contributions that have a true and lasting impact on distance learning,” said Dr. Jolly Holden, FGDLA’s executive director. “Polycom has made those contributions by partnering with agencies and institutions to find new and innovative ways to dissolve the barriers of time and distance, and to transform costly, in-person training with distance learning solutions using video collaboration that reach more people at less cost. Distance learning is the future of training and education in the federal sector, and Polycom is helping us create this future today.”
FGDLA organization award winners for 2012 are:
Army National Guard. ARNG’s Distributed Learning Program won FGDLA’s Innovation Award for its enterprise-wide distance learning network – powered by Polycom video - that extends across nearly 340 distributed classrooms. ARNG also develops custom courseware and provides on-demand courses through its Guard University initiative. Working against tight budgets and high expectations, ARNG uses the network to cost-effectively attain force readiness, flexibly train personnel, and allow remote units to participate in exercises that would otherwise require them to travel. And it has seen results: In its first 90 days alone, Guard University enrolled more than 6,000 students and logged more than 3,600 course completions.
Defense Acquisition University. DAU’s Global Learning and Technology Center won FGDLA’s Eagle Award, for demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision and advocacy. DAU, which trains the workforce responsible for acquiring goods and services on behalf of America’s defense agencies, cost-effectively reaches students stationed or deployed in 106 countries with a curriculum designed for distance learning environments. In fiscal 2011, DAU produced 203,130 graduates of distance learning and classroom training courses using Polycom video collaboration solutions. DAU students also completed 474,893 continuous learning modules. DAU’s total 2011 instructional output topped 1.2 million hours of learning and development.
National Park Service. FGDLA’s Innovation Award went to NPS for its use of a growing unified communications (UC) environment integrated with the Polycom® RealPresence® Platform and video solutions. Every day, NPS employees rely on the network - powered by Polycom video - to coordinate activities across NPS districts, allow more staffers to attend more meetings without travel, and deliver compelling, high-definition (HD) learning content that allows students nationwide to visit popular U.S. landmarks without ever leaving home. For instance, in March, NPS hosted a virtual field trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The live, interactive event - which included the installation of a Polycom® EagleEye HD Camera in the statue’s iconic torch – reached 1.5 million students and was recorded and replayed for another 7 million students. Using Polycom’s People On Content™ feature, NPS was able to use TorchCam as the backdrop, with a live shot of the park ranger leading the field trip while standing atop the torch.
World Bank. For its coordination of the Global Distance Learning Network (GLDN), the World Bank won the 2012 FGDLA Innovation Award. GLDN is an affiliation of more than 120 global institutions in more than 80 countries that collaboratively design learning solutions for people and organizations who work in developing countries. The Polycom® RealPresence® Platform underpins the GLDN, which last year enabled more than 1,000 training courses, brainstorming sessions, multi-country dialogues and virtual conferences. GLDN programs help people in developing areas in various ways, including: establishing a knowledge network in Bangladesh, improving access to cardiologists in Africa, jumpstarting the prevention of Avian Flu in Latin America, and accelerating private sector development in Mongolia.
Polycom. FGDLA honored Polycom with its Pillar Award, which spotlights contributions by an organization not affiliated with the federal government. Polycom® RealPresence® collaboration solutions enables government agencies to offer low-cost, high-impact ways to extend interactive learning experiences to more employees, partners, students and citizens – even people in remote locations or those who are reachable only through mobile devices. Agencies rely on Polycom solutions to expand skills and expertise, extend the reach of instructors, speed learning, and decrease the time and expense associated with travel. Polycom works closely with agencies in the federal government, including DAU and the National Defense University, to help design innovative solutions that transform distance learning.
FGDLA individual award winners for 2012 are:
  • Russ Colbert, U.S. federal government market director at Polycom. Colbert won the Pillar award, which recognizes the contributions of people not affiliated with the federal government. Colbert, who managed Polycom’s global education market initiatives before taking his current post last year, has worked closely with customers to help introduce new, standards-based Polycom products designed specifically for distance learning environments that must operate beyond firewalls and across platforms.
  • Dr. Judith Bayliss, center director of DAU’s Teaching and Learning Lab (TALL). Bayliss won the Pioneer Award, for her initiative and leadership in applying and advancing distance learning, for establishing TALL as a platform for assessing how new teaching technologies can improve learning while still meeting strict budget constraints.
  • James McGettigan, regional IT security officer at NPS. McGettigan won the Pioneer Award for overseeing distance learning activities at NPS, including the video collaboration deployment that enabled the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island field trip to reach a total of 8.5 million students.
“It’s an honor to be acknowledged by the FGDLA, but the real story here is the important work undertaken by the organizations that use Polycom® RealPresence® collaboration solutions to make the world a better, safer and healthier place,” said Colbert. “It’s rewarding to see that their contributions, which every day make such a profound difference to millions of people, are receiving some well-earned recognition. We’re thrilled that time and again, these organizations choose Polycom.”