Given the current winterly economic climate, businesses looking to cut costs are turning to videoconferencing more than ever. Thankfully, the technology is making the switch from travel to monitors easier than ever:
Plagued by fuzzy images, out-of-sync lips and bulky equipment, videoconferencing has a spotty track record. But now, the technology has matured to the point where it’s often more practical—and affordable—to move digital bits instead of bodies.
Accenture figures it saved more than $25,000 in travel costs by holding just one recent virtual meeting. The firm has 36 videoconferencing rooms spread across its locations and plans to install 14 more this fall. The move will save millions of dollars and hours of tiring travel for its workers.
“It’s a big win for me at home,” said Borerro, a mother of two who lives in Leonia. “I’m definitely planning more telepresence meetings in the area I lead.”
You can learn more about the benefits of videoconferencing and telework in the IIA Broadband Fact Book.
USA Today on the rise of videoconferencing:
Ben Weinberger, chief information officer of a law firm, typically travels about 25 times a year visiting colleagues around the country to make sure their information technology systems are working properly.
His employer, Lathrop & Gage, has 11 offices and 300 attorneys. But Weinberger estimates he will travel only once this year to each office, relying instead on videoconferencing from the main office in Kansas City.
The firm has six dedicated videoconference rooms there, with high-definition cameras, 47-inch or larger monitors, and software provided by California-based Polycom, a large videoconferencing equipment supplier.
“You don’t have a meal with your colleagues videoconferencing,” Weinberger says. “But I can save tens of thousands of dollars. If I go to the New York office only once, instead of going three times a year, I save the firm $3,000 (on airfare and hotels), and that’s just me.”
The article goes on to note that the videoconferencing market jumped by 24% last year, as businesses looked to cut expenses. One benefit of the practice not touched on in the article: videoconferencing isn’t just good for the bottom line, it’s also good for the environment.