Evidence is mounting that as the economy has soured, business and individual interest in the deployment of advanced communications solutions has been growing.
A study from Access Markets International has found that small and medium businesses (SMBs), whose workforce is increasingly dispersed, will spend more on conferencing solutions that include audio, web and video in the coming years according to tmcnet.com, an industry website.
It estimated that by 2012 companies will spend $26 billion on the technology, which represents an annual growth rate of 5.9 percent from 2006, when SMBs spent $1.8 billion on conferencing solutions.
In addition to business cost savings and environmental benefits, voice and video conferencing also helps families stay in touch, something the recession is also making increasingly difficult.
Fortunately, a range of business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer communications solutions currently exist. What is more, such an investment is likely to continue to provide benefits long after the recession is over.
In fact, some see the downturn as a blessing in disguise for the telecommunications industry.
Says Dominic Dodd, principle analyst at Frost & Sullivan, quoted by the website, “For companies able and willing to continue their IT investments during the recession, visual communications and collaboration products and services should become a central part of their strategy for survival -- and for creating a dominant position for themselves, come the upturn.”
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Business as usual is no longer an option. Hear Fredrik Halvorsen, CEO, TANDBERG discuss how telepresence and video conferencing are enabling The New Way of Working.
In a recent interview with Business Week, Amar Bhidé, Lawrence D. Glaubinger Professor of Business, Columbia University, had this to say when asked if the current economic weakness is going to inspire more innovation, and result in a positive outcome from the crisis:
It’s going to be positive in two respects. One is that [recession] is often a stimulus for the adoption of new technologies. The decade of highest productivity growth in the 20th century was the 1930s. In the 1930s a lot of technologies developed in the 1920s were put into use because people were looking for any angle to improve their productivity. The personal computer revolution took off in the early 1980s when we had a really lousy recession. I think we’re going to see an awful lot of innovation in the health-care sector because people will be driven to cut costs. So right under our noses a great boom could be taking place that in the long run revolutionizes health care for everyone. And that will have a much more lasting impact on the economy than whether the recession lasts a few months more or less.
The continued adoption of video conferencing and telepresence technologies, even in challenging times, is proof of what Bhidé is saying. Companies have recognized the value that these technologies bring to help them not only deal with current short-term challenges, but to help them thrive in the future.
He goes on to say, “We have a more innovative society than at any time in history. There are people looking for opportunities, and they will lead us out of this.”
Do you agree?