Video conferencing facilities and telepresence systems have become ever more popular among business since the start of the economic recession according to sales figures from 2009. ABI Research says that over the course of the past year, sales of telepresence hardware, software and services grew to a record $567 million.
This has made 2009 one of the most active years for the telepresence supplier market. This was partly due to the planned acquisition of systems developer Tandberg by Cisco, the world’s leading developer of telepresence, video conferencing and network communication systems. According to ABI, the consolidation of the high end of the market has helped drive the growing use of telepresence services.
ABI’s “Enterprise telepresence and video conferencing” study examined the customer and supplier trends of the 2009 telepresence market. The report highlights several factors in the growth of video conferencing and telepresence use, such as:
The potential savings on travel costs for companies in the wake of the recession, particularly for those who are expanding their supply chain during the recovery period.
Increased capability and sophistication of telepresence systems and video conferencing facilities, such as new unified communication features like white-boards, document sharing and multiple video feed streaming.
The growth of high-speed managed and cloud data services for business purposes from telecommunications vendors.
Commenting in a Business Wire press release about the study, director of ABI research David Lemelin added that many smaller companies were renting telepresence studios where they didn’t require a permanent internal facility.
“Video conferencing products that are a step above ‘talking heads’ at reasonable price points, allow companies to experience the benefits and incorporate them into their business procedures” said ABI practice director Dan Shey, who added that this could begin a “cycle of growth” from video conferencing to “using true telepresence systems.”