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Telework, Web Conferencing 'Way Up' for Businesses, Study Finds


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August 26, 2008

Telework, Web Conferencing 'Way Up' for Businesses, Study Finds

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In its latest WebMetrics Survey, Wainhouse Research found that energy and gas prices are "greatly impacting" how business is being conducted, specifically leading to "expanded use of existing and addition of new collaboration technologies."

The WebMetrics Survey explores attitudes towards telework and environmental initiatives, brand perceptions, usage habits and feature preferences as they relate to Web conferencing for the first half of the year 2008.
The study found that almost 2 out of 5 reported that their organizations have launched some type of "green" initiative. One-third of respondent organizations have expanded or have plans to expand their existing conferencing and collaboration technologies, and 22 percent have "added" or "plan to add" new conferencing and collaboration technologies.
26 percent of those who responded say their organizations have expanded their telework programs, enabling employees to work from home more frequently.
"Rising energy prices have resulted in a surge in use of conferencing and collaboration technologies, and telework is one of several silver bullets that are helping enterprises programmatically add collaboration technologies," said Alan Greenberg, senior analyst & partner, Wainhouse Research.
The findings show what Wainhouse officials characterize as "a shift from brick-and-mortar to online meetings through the increased use of Instant Messaging, applications integrated with Web conferencing, and directory services to launch ad hoc meetings."
Andy Nilssen, senior analyst and partner Wainhouse Research, said while we expected "some growth, we're seeing a total of 41 percent of the panel  — an increase of 10 percent over this time last year — taking advantage of enterprise-grade IM technologies."
This WebMetrics report was compiled using data collected from 149 end user panelists qualified as individuals in enterprises, small to medium business, education or government and military.
According to the executive summary of a white paper prepared by Wainhouse recently, while telepresence offerings provide "an exceptional, almost in-person meeting experience," the "high cost of these immersive solutions makes them difficult to justify for mass deployments."

This has given rise to a new breed of offerings that provide near-telepresence performance at a videoconferencing price point, the white paper finds, adding that these products include "the core elements of a telepresence solution — life size images, proper positioning and proximity — and compromised versions of the other visual collaboration user experience elements."

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David�s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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