Report: Videoconferencing Finally Delivers the Goods

By Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

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For a long time, videoconferencing has looked like a promising technology. It has the potential to cut down on travel expenses and speed the pace of corporate communications, not to mention its obvious ability to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions. However, the technology's adoption has been slowed by a lag in communication technology that has caused visual glitches and audio lags.

But after years of sluggish growth, the technology is poised for resurgence, says a report from Frost & Sullivan. The research firm states that high-quality pictures and sound, combined with new IP networks, can deliver an experience in line with users' expectations and reliably replacing many face-to-face meetings.

Still, Frost & Sullivan warns that videoconferencing is not immune to the gale force winds of the worldwide financial crisis: "Faltering global economies now threaten this resurgent visual collaboration technology."

However, the technology's significant cost savings benefit should give it some cushion. For instance, Nokia Siemens Network North American division uses videoconferencing to cut down on travel expenses. Sue Spradley, who heads the division, told Wireless Week in a March interview that the company has turned to the technology as a way to cut travel costs during the economic downturn.

"In just the last two years, the market for videoconferencing and telepresence has grown dramatically, spurred by a new generation of products and network services that can deliver what we all have hoped visual collaboration can really become," said Dominic Dodd, global program director for unified communications and collaboration at Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. "This progress has been hard won, and comes at the right time to help organizations tackle the many challenges they now face, including how to reduce operational costs and improve productivity in the current recession." End of article.

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