New Mexico Justice System
New Mexico Supreme Court required a flexible multi-platform cloud solution to bridge different technologies used by participants, including Google, Microsoft & aging Poly units
About the New Mexico Justice System
New Mexico is a state in the south-west United States with a population of approximately two million people. The New Mexico Supreme Court, located in Sante Fe, is the state’s highest court and overseen by five judges. Courts work closely with lawyers, police and the prison system, as well as other government agencies. Hearings, mediation and testimony in the New Mexico justice system increasingly occur over video.
Pexip services in use
- Pexip Interoperability for Google Workspace
Need to quickly adapt court system to video in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Need to bridge different technologies being used by participants including Google Workspace and Microsoft products, as well as aging Poly video conferencing units
Need for cost-effective solution given financial constraints
Adoption of the Pexip Interoperability for Google Workspace
Pexip’s value now being widely acknowledged by judges who are using it to support the courtroom
This could involve video interactions with a lawyer, defendant, prison inmate or expert witness
Pexip’s flexibility as a bridging solution means it will continue to transform the justice system as new video use cases mature
New Mexico courts have been slow to adopt video, instead preferring physical presence. “You show up, you stand before the judge, and you say your piece,” explains Dick Wilkinson, chief technology officer of the New Mexico Supreme Court. “American justice – that's it.”
All that changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing requirements meant strict limits on how many people could be inside courtrooms – but the legal participants who needed to communicate over video were all using different technologies.
The New Mexico courts had Google Workspace as their core platform, inviting people seeking legal services to get free Gmail accounts and interact using Hangouts and Meet. However, the executive branch of government was using Microsoft Outlook and Teams. Many agency employees were also using aging Poly video conferencing units.
Pexip was an attractive investment for Wilkinson’s team six weeks into the pandemic, as the demand for video soared and it became clear existing services weren’t coordinating well.
The key was finding a flexible multi-platform cloud solution. “We were already a Google organization, using Meet. The public was accessing services the court offered for free on Google and I wasn’t going to abandon that,” Wilkinson says. “Pexip gave us that ability to create a crossover between Teams, Zoom, Meet and everything else.”
Pexip’s price point also made it more cost-effective than continuing to invest in aging Poly hardware. As Wilkinson puts it, state government agencies in America are not “swimming in dollars” even as they “have to find a way to get rid of the old stuff”.
“When I heard there was an opportunity for a bridge that may have one, two, three or four products talk to each other – I said ‘yes, absolutely, let’s go’. This was a no-brainer investment in an absolutely valuable platform."Dick Wilkinson, chief technology officer, New Mexico Supreme Court.
Pexip’s value is now being widely acknowledged by judges who are using it to support courtroom video interactions – for example, with a lawyer, defendant, prison inmate or expert witness.
Typically, the judge launches a session over Google Meet or Zoom and directs participants to behave as they would in person. However, it is still a struggle to keep people from interrupting or joining specific conversations.
As video solutions mature, they have potential to replace other court processes – for example, by allowing evidence to be shared securely – and to make hearings truly transparent to the general public.
“Now we can just do business with anyone and not have $5 million of equipment in buildings that doesn't have to be there,” Wilkinson says. ”This is a springboard to push us into newer versions of whatever video meetings need to be.”
For more information on New Mexico Court considerations for their video strategy, download ‘Empowering the modern workplace through enhanced video collaboration experiences,’ a Frost & Sullivan report in collaboration with Pexip.