Outdated views mean opportunities in videoconferencing

Video conferencing systems used by most firms are out of date and delivering much less quality than more up-to-date technology can offer

Senior managers in UK companies are constrained by outdated, prejudiced views of videoconferencing stopping their businesses from adopting the latest collaborative business solutions.

Changing these preconceptions is a massive opportunity for resellers, according to a survey from Vidyo, which revealed a deep misunderstanding at senior level of the costs of videoconferencing and that the technology is still seen as an inflexible, room-based option for a low number of employees.

“These figures and others in the report seem to suggest a disconnect between board-level management – which appears to be working from decade-old knowledge – and their day-to-day IT managers who are more savvy about the possibilities that exist today.” said Fraser Dean, head of sales for Vidyo in the UK.

In the survey, senior IT managers, were asked about senior management’s objections to video-conferencing; 29% of respondents cited senior’s ‘personal dislike of video communications but cost fears came out top at 68%, while unquantifiable benefits came out at 42% and worries about few staff using dedicated rooms and network issues tied at 39%.

“The reality is that high-quality, business-grade videoconferencing is available for a small fraction, perhaps 10%, of what such systems used to cost,” continued Dean’ “and this is the case precisely because video-conferencing no longer requires huge investment in single-purpose telepresence rooms, standing by idly, waiting for someone to use them."

“Worries about network performance are also simply out of date;” warned Dean, “since the internet and mobile devices can be used to deliver high-definition conferencing then it should be clear that a corporate network isn’t likely to be put under any pressure – in fact the network is simply going to deliver a higher return on the investment in it.

Of the IT Managers themselves 77% indicated that a formal cost-benefit analysis formed part of the decision-making process but only 49% agreed that such an analysis is the decisive factor, while more than a tenth said ‘personal bias towards/against video communications at a senior level’ would be the decisive factor.

“Personal bias against video-conferencing, whether or not it’s for one of those reasons, should also be put to bed now. Since cameras exist on a vast proportion of the devices used by their staff today, senior managers should be asking themselves, shouldn’t we be using videoconferencing to bring my people together using those devices?”

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