When they try it, businesses like telepresence: survey

Telepresence -- the high-def videoconferencing that creates the illusion participants are sitting in the same room -- is still in the early stages of adoption, but businesses that try it, like it and want more, a new study says.

Nearly seven out of 10 businesses polled don't use telepresence and have no plans to use it, but of those that have it deployed, 60% say they plan to spend more to expand it's coverage in the coming year, according to survey results by TheInfoPro. "That speaks well of a technology in the early adopter phase," says William Trussell, managing director of network research for the research firm.

Will your next phone be a videophone?About 13% of the 230 interviewed for the study say they plan to try telepresence by the end of the first quarter of next year, he says. The hurdle any technology faces is 25% use, which puts it in the category of mainstream, he says. Anyone in the last 35% to adopt a technology is considered a late adapter.

The main reason businesses give for expanding telepresence use once they have it is that the technology meets business goals, which primarily means it saves on travel costs, Trussell says. When a similar survey was conducted last year, many of the comments from respondents indicated they were reluctant to invest in telepresence because it called for a significant initial investment they found daunting.

In the most recent survey, those who have adopted say the technology fits into strategic plans and it delivers on the savings. Also, vendors have made an effort to introduce lower-end options that require a smaller initial outlay, Trussell says.

In its wide-ranging survey, TheInfoPro found that businesses are cooling some on WAN optimization. Spending on WAN optimization continues to grow, he says, but at a slower rate, indicating that because if its clear potential to cut WAN bandwidth costs or at least to defer increases, the technology has passed into the mainstream with 47% of those surveyed saying they use it.

Of those who responded to the current survey as well as the last one, fewer now say they have plans to roll out WAN optimization because in the meantime, they have actually rolled it out, he says. Of all respondents to both surveys, the percentage with plans to adopt WAN optimization dropped from 31% to 11%, he says. "It's an indication of the technology maturing," he says.

In another area, TheInfoPro found that 41% of businesses have some form of unified communications deployed, with roughly equal percentages (about 29% each) saying they have plans to implement UC by the end of the first quarter for 2011 and saying they have no such plans.

Read more about lans and routers in Network World's LANs & Routers section.

This story, "When they try it, businesses like telepresence: survey" was originally published by Network World.

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