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American University of Afghanistan deploys telepresence

The systems will be supplied and installed at the University's chosen locations by Polycom's authorised Value Added Distributor (VAD) in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, FVC and its authorised partner in Afghanistan – Rana Technologies.

AUAF's IT department, that currently operates an IT infrastructure that supports over 200 staff and faculty members as well as 500 students, computer labs and computers in the library, is always looking to improve its IT infrastructure, ensuring that all students and faculty have enough technology resources to complete their task using up-to-date information and technology resources at hand. AUAF researched the video conferencing market extensively before choosing Polycom's RealPresence Experience High Definition, RPX HD218 suite with a capacity for 18 students.

K. S. Parag, MD for FVC, said, “We are very pleased that the American University of Afghanistan has selected Polycom's immersive telepresence solution for its needs. The education sector has particularly been benefited by the advantages this system offers with its unprecedented high-definition life-like video, extraordinary stereo surround audio and high resolution content because it recreates the feel of a classroom and helps the university to extend its resources while reaching out to newer audiences – all without raising its carbon footprint.”

Hamdullah Mohib, Director of Information Technology at AUAF said, “Our final decision was made based on the evaluation of FVC's past experiences, the quality of Polycom's RPX solution that we experienced at Gitex this year and their ability to fulfil our needs. We have a commitment to provide a high quality education based on international standards, offering a structure of academic programmes and the content of courses offered based mostly on an American standard of education.”

The addition of the RPX HD218 immersive suit is a major addition to AUAF's existing IT facilities including ERP, E-learning, Interactive Lectures, Internet, files sharing, etc. The new system will first and foremost cater to the growing need for an advanced educational environment, keeping AUAF abreast with the latest multimedia communications technology. In addition, the new Polycom RPX-HD system is part of a greater vision of introducing environmentally-friendly and greener technological solutions to Afghanistan.

“The RPX system will reduce the need for transporting lecturers back and forth across the world, hence reducing pollution,” pointed out Mohib. “We selected the Polycom system because it is the nearest thing to a real presence experience that modern technology can offer – making it a door to the world without having to step outside campus.”

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