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Videoconferencing extends its reach: Polycom/Wainhouse survey

Ninety-four percent of respondents said that VC technology made them more efficient. This was a higher percentage than the proportion (88%) who said it enabled them to travel less.

Videoconferencing is set to spread beyond the meeting room, with increased productivity the most widely cited benefit, according to a new survey from Polycom and Wainhouse Research.

Among the sample of 4,737 respondents – professionals who use videoconferencing at least every few months – 94% said that the technology enabled them to increase efficiency and productivity. This was a higher percentage than the proportion (88%) who said VC enabled them to reduce the amount they have to travel – which VC vendors have often cited as the technology’s principal benefit. Other benefits widely identified by respondents included having more impactful discussions than via phone or IM (88%), expediting decision making (87%) and developing deeper and stronger relationships (86%). Frequent VC use is becoming the norm: 25% of respondents use it every day, while a further 39% do so each week. Conference rooms are the most popular VC environments, used by 79% of while 69% use video in offices. However, the fastest-growing environment is ‘on the road’ – which includes airports, hotels and client sites. Currently 39% use on-the-road VC at least once a month, but 63% expect to be doing so in a year’s time.
The most frequently used devices are desktop PCs and laptops (71%), followed by room/group video systems (65%), tablets (34%) and smartphones (33%). Multi-vendor environments are commonplace, with around 60% of respondents saying they used video solutions from two or more vendors. “So end-users should find the solution(s) that best address their needs, and vendors/resellers should keep pitching – even if the competition already has a foothold,” comments the report.
When asked what would make them use VC more, the greatest number of respondents (94%) said it would be “if more people I communicate with had video”. Other popular potential triggers of greater use were more accessible video (85%), and its availability on mobile devices (88%), within tools such as Outlook and Word (83%) and within users’ presence/IM/UC clients (80%).
“This comprehensive study validates what we’ve been seeing from our customers for years. In or out of the office, employees do their best work when they are empowered to meet and collaborate, face-to-face, over virtually any device,” said Andy Miller, president and CEO of Polycom.
The full report End-User Survey: The ‘Real’ Benefits of Video – plus a summary infographic – is available to download from Polycom’s website.