A scheme that gives people the chance to talk face-to-face over a videoconferencing system linking 45 libraries has won the Syscap Approved Technology Innovator award for November.
The winning VAR, Questmark Europe, implemented the system for Derbyshire County Council.
It runs across an internal IP-based virtual private network (VPN) and interconnects all of the county's libraries via ISDN gateways, giving about 170,000 people access to videoconferencing facilities.
Robert Gent, assistant director of cultural and community services at Derbyshire County Council, said: "We did not have the expertise to manage the ISDN gateway that we are using to go out into the wider world and it has been quite a steep learning curve for us."
Sam McMaster, managing director of Questmark, explained that the project had been a challenge. "It involved implementing the system across an internal broadband network and putting in a gateway that goes out through ISDN to the outside world," he said.
"That's quite a complicated implementation on any network, let alone one that involves the general public."
In eight of the libraries, Questmark deployed Tandberg 1000 videoconferencing units. The other 37 are equipped with ProVu HP323 IP broadband videophones, stand-alone units that can be easily managed locally and connected to TV units or projectors.
The Technology Innovator of the Month award is sponsored by financing and leasing specialist Syscap and backed by both CRN and its sister title Computing.
The 11 monthly winners are shortlisted for two annual awards, one for private sector projects and one for work in the public sector, that will be presented at the Channel Awards later this month.
If you are interested in finding out more about next year's Innovator Awards, visit www.technology-innovator.co.uk.
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