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Climate change and ash concerns help telepresence popularity

The disruption caused by volcano ash in April is one factor which pushed telepresence up the priority list for large and high-value business, according to CRN.

A series of in-depth interviews by market analyst Frost & Sullivan also found that, whilst the recession has dampened telepresence adoption, it also served to refocus business minds on cost control and return on investment.

Another reason behind the increasing adoption of telepresence technology was the “increasing globalisation and vitalisation of business”, according to the report. An increasing awareness of climate change “and the need for businesses to pro-actively demonstrate corporate social responsibility and mitigate carbon emission” were also labelled as influencing factors.

Dominic Dodd, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, explained that there has been a continued rise in demand for telepresence technology. Talking of the reasons behind the rising popularity of the technology he said: “It is an overused phrase, the ‘perfect storm’, but what we have is the need there and the network infrastructure is now in place – and a couple of years ago it wasn’t. The network was still not really reliable for long-distance, end to end calls. So it is about all those things coming together.

The research found that smaller but high-value firms, such as the legal or financial services sectors, were increasingly looking to telepresence to help them communicate more effectively, whether that is in-house or across the world.

“We spoke to a lot of companies in the IT space … and people may be getting into these types of services for the first time,” explained Dodd. “All the feedback was very strongly positive. Obviously you have to take what you hear with a certain pinch of salt, but there was a consistent view that [telepresence] is a good opportunity to get into.”

The senior vice president of emerging technologies at a telepresence company told CRN: “We strongly believe that telepresence – along with our entire rich collaboration portfolio, powers this new way or working where everyone, everywhere, can be more productive through the pervasive use of video and face-to-face collaboration.”