October 21, 2013
Study Finds Office Video Conferencing on the Rise
By Mae Kowalke TMCnet Contributor
We all know that e-mail is a cornerstone of business. But would you believe that soon video conferencing will be more used than e-mail when it comes to business collaboration?
This, at least, is the expectation of business leaders. A recent survey commissioned by unified communications provider Polycom (News - Alert) found that 52 percent of business leaders polled thought that video conferencing would trump e-mail voice calls as the most popular way to collaborate in three years time.
It is easy to see why. Video conferencing helps with a globally dispersed workforce, it brings greater clarity to topics, and it leads to more efficient meetings.
Almost every one of the 1,200 business decision-makers surveyed (96 percent) thought that video conferencing removes distance barriers and improves productivity among teams in different locations.
A little over three quarters of respondents are now using video conferencing at work, according to the survey, with 56 percent of those using video conferencing doing it at least once per week. Moreover, roughly 83 percent or respondents, and nearly 90 percent of those less than 40 years old, use consumer video conferencing at home. Roughly half currently use it at work, too.
“The growing popularity of video conferencing at home, especially by millennials entering the workforce, is a big driver of increased preference for and adoption of video collaboration in the workplace,” said Jim Kruger (News - Alert), EVP and chief marketing officer at Polycom.
“Some key factors to making video as popular in the office as it is at home is ensuring it’s easy to use, providing a high quality connection, delivering enterprise-grade security, and participants’ willingness to accept and adapt to cultural differences as they communicate across borders,” he said. “We’re seeing businesses around the world defy distance every day using video collaboration, including increasing productivity, enhancing employee engagement, improving time to market and helping to save lives.”
When conferencing by video, laptops and desktops currently are the most popular; roughly 75 percent use them for their conferencing needs, followed by 48 that use conferencing rooms. Mobile devices, which some pundits see as the future of video conferencing, are currently used by 42 percent of those surveyed.
This will shift toward mobile devices over time, as more people discover the ease of mobile video and experiment with it at home.
It is expected that mobile devices will be used by 55 percent of workers who video conference in three years time, with the number using laptops and desktops dropping slightly to 72 percent, according to the survey.
Interestingly, the number that use conference rooms for video conferencing also should rise in the next few years, with an estimated 51 percent penetration. That could be because conference room video conferencing technology could be updated to keep pace with the torrid pace of consumer and DIY options.
Video conferencing is certainly here to stay.
Edited by Blaise McNamee