While it is clear that Avistar is not an unbiased source on this issue, the case for video conferencing is getting more compelling every day - primarily due to three drivers:
1. Video conferencing saves time: According to the Travel Industry Association of America the average business trip last 3.3 days and the average business traveler takes 5.4 trips per year. Anyone who travels for business knows much of this time is wasted.
I've been using video and web conferencing to reduce my travel and I love it. Not only do I save time and increase my productivity, but I also get to eliminate travel stress and see more of my family.
2. Video conferencing saves money: According to American Express, the average business trip costs $1,110 in T&E expenses. It is pretty clear a video conference is a lot cheaper.
3. Video conferencing is green: The Nature Conservancy recommends video conferencing as one of their top 10 tips for saving the climate. Jet's are heavy emitters of CO2 and produce 12% of all transportation related greenhouse gases. Telecommuting also cuts the emissions associated with commuting.
Avistar has released a green calculator that allows a company to enter in data and estimate the time, money and environmental savings associated with video conferencing. The numbers are quite impressive.
In addition to the above drivers, the technology behind video conferencing is much improved and cheaper. Even across the Internet, video conferencing quality is quite good. And, of course, corporate network quality is even better.
We expect video conferencing to continue its strong growth. With quality improving, costs down and the time, money and environmental benefits increasingly clear, video conferencing's time has come.