British company urges government to use video conferencing software

Thursday, October 21 2010

After British retail tycoon Sir Philip Green's recent review of spending in government departments, one company offered a simple solution: Go to video conferencing to reduce costs.

Avanta, a British company that offers workspace solutions, advised in a recent press release that video conferencing software to conduct meetings would drastically reduce government costs accrued from travelling to attend meetings.

"It's time that the government adopted the 21st century technology that has proven popular in the private sector," said David Alberto, Avanta's managing director.

The report filed by Green revealed that government staff spent 38 million British pounds (nearly $60 million) a year on overnight accommodations in London hotels to attend meetings. In addition, physical meetings between several people can incur substantial travel and catering costs.

Alberto explained that the government could learn a lot from private enterprises like Avanta.

"We have to run an efficient and cost-effective business model and there are many simple, yet effective habits that government departments could adopt in order to reduce unnecessary spending," Alberto said.

Green, who owns some of the United Kingdom's largest retailers, was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron in August to review government efficiency. His focus was the procurement of goods and services like IT, travel and print and office supplies.

"There is no reason why government should not be as efficient as any good business," Green said.