A Videoconference View

With the recession making companies do more with fewer resources, many are utilizing videoconferencing to increase efficiency.

By Michael Mink

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According to analyst Roopam Jain of Frost & Sullivan, a growth partnership firm, videoconferencing systems and services were a $1.9 billion market in 2008 and could reach $4.2 billion in five years. How to hook up with videoconferencing?

  • Utilize experts.
    You can land plenty of information and consulting services from such firms as Glowpoint, Frost & Sullivan, Forrester Research (FORR), Gartner (IT), Wainhouse, ABI Research, Interactive Data Corp. (IDC) and Telepresence Options. "Most major companies realize that video is still not a plug-and-play application," said Joe Laezza, co-CEO of Glowpoint.

He says it's crucial to have a tech expert on your team who can secure any off-network or business-to-business connectivity.

"This will help ensure a reliable application with a high return on investment," Laezza said.

  • Check your needs.
    While one firm may use videoconferencing to collaborate internally on projects, another may want to utilize it with partners and customers and "thus need a very high-end, fail-safe approach that requires specific technologies and skill sets," Laezza said.

According to IDC, one multinational pharmaceutical firm uses videoconferencing for research and marketing to bring its products to market 20% faster.

Many companies at first focus on videoconferencing as a travel replacement, says Andrew Davis, a senior partner at Wainhouse Research. He adds that those same firms come to recognize other benefits, such as speedier decision making, better team collaboration and improved customer service.

  • Spend on needed technology.
    Video is a unique application that requires specific network capabilities and expert resources. They cost money. They also can lead to a solid return on investment. IDC reports that W.R. Grace (GRA), the chemical company, saves $8 million annually from videoconferencing because of increased productivity. says DHL, the mail firm, sees a 30% boost in productivity from videoconferencing.

"Now that video communication technology has become presentable, reliable and predictable, it has become a more valuable, if not vital, money-saving tool for business communications," Laezza said.

  • Separate duties.
    "We recommend that a company should focus on their business and let experienced video experts focus on their video operations for them whenever possible," Laezza said. His Glowpoint is one company that makes sure video investments are worth it.
  • Expand.
    Once you have harnessed the power of videoconferencing, go the distance. Laezza points to how it can help the hiring process via off-site job interviews.
  • See the big picture.
    When you attend a meeting by videoconference, you avoid spending money on airfare, hotel, taxi. "A more subtle issue is that when people don't waste time on travel, they have more time to be productive at work," Davis said. "This is a significant but somewhat hidden savings. If you are paying someone $100 per hour and can save four hours per week by travel reduction, this adds up quickly for any organization." End of article.

For additional information on how your organization can realize the efficiencies provided by video conferencing, call 1-800-224-7083, or e-mail, or click here to have an IVCi Representative contact you.

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