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CompTIA business survey shows strong interest in telepresence and videoconferencing

June 22, 2011 | William Zimmerman
CompTIA Logo.jpgBut sellers must be prepared to demonstrate ROI

by Joan Engebretson, Connected Planet

If the recent flurry of telepresence announcements wasn't enough to illustrate substantial business interest in the technology, new research from CompTIA offers further evidence. Sixty-three percent and 49% of respondents to a CompTIA survey of business IT users, respectively, said they "strongly associated" videoconferencing and telepresence with unified communications--and nearly half (49%) of respondents said their UC budget is growing relative to their overall IT budget.

That could be good news for companies like Verizon, Tata Communications, Orange Business Services (CP: Verizon interconnects with Tata telepresence exchanges) and XConnect that have recently enhanced their telepresence and videoconferencing options.

Virtual meetings viewed positively

Fifty-eight percent of enterprises already have a videoconferencing system installed, the CompTIA research found--and 88% of respondents said video systems were important or very important. But a deeper dive into the type of video system respondents have installed suggests there is plenty of room for upgrades.

The most common type of video system installed was a web conferencing application such as WebEx or Live Meeting (57%), followed by an Internet video application such as Skype (63%). Only 49% of respondents reported having an enterprise video conferencing system, and only 45% said they had an installed room system.

Some telepresence advocates argue that business meetings conducted via telepresence are actually more effective than meetings in which participants are physically present in the same room (CP: Telepresence: Not just for meetings any more) --and the CompTIA research supports that view. The Number 1 reason why enterprises considered video important, cited by 65% of respondents, was "more immersive experience leads to better meetings," followed by "more viable option to substitute virtual meetings for in-person meetings" and "facial expressions and body language facilitate better communication," which were cited by 62% and 57% of respondents, respectively.

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