With 16 years of experience in video conferencing, including design, build and implementation of many successful programs (and some not so successful programs), I want to help others learn from my success and failures. I want to provide them with food for thought by discussing the elements that are crucial to building a video conferencing network. I will cover the basic overlay of the network needs, considerations, and how to plan for future needs.
The network, though simple, is still the most complex system on the planet. Though there are standards, there are still variances, and new adoptions causing conflicts within your network to only expand as the network grows. These variances then multiply with the implementation of new technologies, applications and programs. These issues only multiply as variances allow connections into other networks. This is where our best friend the firewall comes into play. Just as other walls are built firewalls do not solve all your problems. Now you must safely provide access to other networks while protecting our own.
Another of the many challenges the network teams face is keeping the packet moving with minimal errors; zero preferred. This challenge is compounded when adding video and audio layers to the mix, and more so when leaving the control of your network and connecting to that other network. Where the typical web traffic can lose a packet and retransmit video and audio, in the hospital world, you do not have that ability. That packet, that bit of audio and video are gone. Now the human has to retransmit.
Understanding the video network from the core to the edge is a must for the admins, all layers making the network, not just the OIS model, but where it interacts with the customer. We must design a network to meet the needs of our current customers today, the new customers tomorrow, and their needs today and in three years. All of this, while being compatible with existing technologies. What do they need, what will they need or want, and what solutions can we provide or build for them? While maintaining a sustainable, manageable, and expandable network.
Doing this requires constant research and communication with your customers. Teams must also communicate with your venders and with the manufacturers to ensure they also understand your needs. This helps in many folds. First is budgeting, the worst part. A quick way to lose a program is to break the budget and not show a reasonable ROI. Secondly, working with vendors and manufacturers, you must encourage them to make decisions to promote the growth and success of your programs. It helps to understand your needs, and the direction the technology is going. It's never good to have a young or outdated network.
IS Group Manager
Children's Health System of Texas
Mr. McKenney is the Group Manager of Virtual Health and Innovation at Children’s Health System of Texas, Children’s Medical Center Dallas. His role is to research, design, build, and maintain virtual health solutions. Mr. McKenney has 21 years of hospital technicial experiance with 14 years in video conferencing.
Tuesday, April 25
2:40 PM – 3:00 PM