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Spending On Videoconferencing And Telepresence To Double By 2015

Enterprises will spend $5 billion on videoconferencing and telepresence solutions in 2015, Infonetics predicted in a study released Monday. Last year, revenue for these technologies grew 18 percent, reaching $2.2 billion worldwide, the research firm said. As businesses around the globe continue to seek out new ways of cost-effectively and efficiently communicating, their spending on videoconferencing and telepresence is expected to increase, the study said.

"Communicating via video continues to be one of the top trends in telecom, as evidenced by strong growth in the enterprise video market. Businesses worldwide are looking for richer means of communications with their employees, partners and customers, and enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence solutions are a natural fit," Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise video at Infonetics, said in a statement. "The biggest winners in the enterprise communications market will be those who offer solutions that are multimodal, visua --e.g., video-based--and support the collaboration requirements of globally distributed organizations."

Enterprises are adopting videoconferencing to address visually intensive tasks, as well as more esoteric issues, Machowinski said in an interview. "You know what they say about pictures and what they're worth: If you're trying to troubleshoot something, instead of having someone try and describe the problem, if you can see the problem you can resolve it much faster," he said. "Some organizations are highly virtualized where people may rarely, if ever, meet in person. If you enable video communications, you make it easier for these folks to have a workplace culture. People need to be comfortable with each other to have a strong team."

Unlike sales of PBX technologies, which dropped about 20 percent during the recession, videoconferencing product sales remained steady in 2009, Machowinski said. "Videoconferencing was pretty resilient. I think that's pretty telling. Vendors at the time were saying, 'Hey, that's a way you can reduce travel cost.' I don't know how much of a factor it is, but I'm pretty sure it played a role at doing pretty well in the recession," he said. "As economy improves, will companies continue to scrutinize their travel budgets? People will continue to travel, but they can also continue to use this to raise their productivity levels."

Businesses increasingly are investing in the infrastructure required to support bandwidth-hungry services such as videoconferencing, according to ABI Research. Fiber broadband--often used for applications such as videoconferencing and healthcare--is the fastest-growing broadband platform, said ABI Research's Broadband Subscribers Market Data report, released last week.

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