After severely curtailing the corporate travel budget, many businesses are in no rush to fund requests for trips to visit clients or attend conferences. Instead, businesses and government agencies are turning to the latest technology to satisfy meeting needs. This new interest in video conferencing is expected to increase this year and IT vendors will be marketing a variety of solutions.
New research from technology solutions provider CDW shows that about half of businesses currently use video conferencing. Another 25% will make an investment in this technology in the next 2 years. And the technology for video conferencing is poised to make the jump to immersive telepresence. The main features of this technology include using “high-definition, life size images to simulate an in-person meeting.” Conference participants will have the “sensation of being at the same table with users spread across multiple locations.”
Corporate IT departments are ready to make investments in order to improve the video conferencing experience. The most common implementation strategies have been:
- Network assessment: 69%
- Upgrade of IT network: 66%
- Purchase managed conferencing services: 54%
At the same time, financial managers are hesitant to invest in new video conferencing technology. IT managers often calculate the ROI from the purchases by listing out travel cost savings, improved employee productivity and satisfaction, improved customer satisfaction and reduced downtime associated with travel. Christine Holloway, CDW vice president of converged infrastructure solutions says “[e]xecutive decision makers need to see the bottom line to determine whether implementing the technology is worth it, and in most cases the value of video conferencing is easily demonstrated.”
Video conferencing, especially immersive telepresence, looks like the next big investment on the horizon for many businesses. As a result, vendors will be increasing educational and promotional marketing campaigns to introduce their products and services.[Source: Three-Quarters of Companies Will Adopt Video Conferencing Within Two Years, CDW Report Finds. CDW.com. 25 Apr. 2011. Web. 4 May 2011]