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Current videoconferencing hardware not fit for purpose, say UK businesses

Over half (56%) of the UK businesses in a recent survey say their videoconferencing hardware is outdated and not fit for purpose – despite 90% of the same survey respondents believing that video meetings outperform audio calls in building stronger relationships.

The research, commissioned by cloud-based VC provider Blue Jeans Network, surveyed 116 IT and operations decision-makers throughout the UK, and found that 76% agree that videoconferencing has had a significant positive impact on their business and employees. However, only 8% plan to update their hardware in the next 12 months, demonstrating a significant gap between what businesses deem efficient and the technologies that support that.

James Campanini, VP & GM EMEA, Blue Jeans Network commented: “It is clear that a lot of businesses see the value in videoconferencing, but are unable to take full advantage of the solution as the hardware being used is deemed to be ‘past its best’ and not fit for purpose.

“With budget cuts and other priorities affecting the IT agenda, updating and managing video conferencing hardware may not be top of the IT department’s list. Businesses should therefore look to make the most of their current equipment by exploring complementary services that can extend their reach and leverage their initial investments.”

With 87% of companies predicted to be using more videoconferencing by 2017, the research also found that interoperability continues to frustrate: 49% of all respondents say that they are dissatisfied with the current ability of their hardware solution to interoperate and connect with other systems.

Underlining the importance of ease of use, 53% claim that VC tools are simply too difficult to use all together. Furthermore, nearly 60% believe the ability to easily join a meeting is important but only 9% say their current hardware vendor provides an easy-to-use experience.

Additionally, 55% of respondents prefer to use other solutions for video meetings than what their company currently provides. As such, it is no surprise that one in three find it difficult to achieve a return on investment.

Campanini concluded: “IT decision makers need to ensure that the solutions provided to the workforce are as flexible and easy to use as possible; without this, expensive hardware equipment can end up gathering dust. We see customers dramatically increase the return on investments made in expensive video hardware; essentially upcycling equipment to increase productivity and improve collaboration, both internally and externally.”