Ministry of Defence

Results and Benefits

  • Delivers clear communication
  • Improves knowledge sharing
  • Improves collaboration

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Polycom delivers crystal clear communication to the Spanish Ministry of Defence

Communication and collaboration are key for the prevention and management of any crisis situation. Spain’s Ministry of Defence is well aware of this. That is why all units of Spain’s Armed Forces (FAS in Spanish), Military Headquarters and NATO meet face to face every day to prepare for the unexpected. Every morning this meeting takes place using Polycom unified collaboration solutions.

Security is top priority not only for this meeting, but for all meetings at the Defence Headquarters (EMAD in Spanish). Secured lines managed with Polycom firewall transversal and security enable a trusted route for these internal and external communications. Quality is of high importance; the connection needs to work every time, without fail, and the Ministry of Defence depends on their Polycom infrastructure and endpoints to deliver the highest quality of image and audio. The Polycom® RealPresence® Platform is used every day for Spain’s Defence Headquarters to empower the disparate troops, to improve national security, to provide access to healthcare, to create and deliver distance learning, or to facilitate court process to minimise economical costs.

Video collaboration is integrated in all communications at the EMAD. The Polycom RealPresence Platform is used every day to empower troops stationed on missions, improve national security, improve health services, create and deliver distance learning, facilitate court processes and minimise costs. Here are a few examples:

  • Communication with Military ships—Satellite communications are in place between the ship and the EMAD. Healthcare can be delivered to the soldiers via video conference. There is a general practitioner on board, who can see to most of the soldiers’ needs. But if necessary, they are able to connect to a specialist at the military hospital and an examination can be performed via video.
  • Court testimony—Soldiers who need to deliver testimony can do so from any location without having to travel.
  • Addressing the troops—Twice a year, on October 12th, Spain’s National Day, and Christmas Eve, the Prime Minister of Spain and other leaders address all soldiers serving around the world to thank them for their service.

Lieutenant Colonel R. Pérez, EMAD’s officer who works on the technical part of the project, tells us about the importance of the communications platform. “We started with visual communications back in 1995. Today, we have daily calls scheduled, connecting any detachment to anywhere in the world. 80% of all calls are scheduled, and the rest are ad hoc. Approximately 75% are multi-point, involving a minimum of three sites.” His team monitors and manages the network, and ensures it is fully operational at all times.

For FAS’s Head of Information Systems and Telecommunications Officer, choosing Polycom was based on three criteria. The first was the stability of the solution: “We cannot fail. We cannot lose the ability to connect, each communication is critical.” The second was the interoperability and bandwidth requirements of Polycom: “Polycom can connect to any solution, and demands less bandwidth than others. It’s important when you connect to ships via satellite for example.” And third was the fact that NATO has chosen Polycom. “For us, knowing that NATO chose Polycom was a valid reason for us to do the same.”

The Ministry of Defence can accelerate decision making, as information is exchanged efficiently and securely. With their Polycom Solutions, communications and coordination between organisations have improved. Polycom solutions are installed in the emergency crisis management rooms, one of which is on the Prime Minister’s aeroplane. New applications are found regularly. “Visual communication is often mission critical,” confirms the officer. “Our ability to evaluate a situation, synchronise efforts and develop a plan will save lives in an emergency situation. This is why we have Polycom solutions: to deliver crystal clear communications, allowing the soldiers to focus on the crisis."