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June 16, 2008

U.K. Companies Overwhelmingly Relying on Virtual Collaborations to Enhance Communication Quality

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Virtual collaboration has gained acceptance and adoption throughout the global economy as companies are seeking to reduce travel costs, while also taking a more environmentally-friendly approach to doing business. For those companies that are competing in this area of communications, the opportunities are proving to be promising.
 
According to a new survey of UK manufacturing and service businesses undertaken by Vanson Bourne on behalf of unified collaboration and communications service provider, Genesys (News - Alert) Conferencing, an overwhelming nine out of ten large companies in the U.K. are using some form of virtual collaboration solution to enhance the quality of their communications, both within and beyond business.

Of these companies employing this technology, nearly two thirds have incorporated an element of video and/or Web Meeting, in addition to their established audio conferencing capability.

This survey also found that 90 percent of businesses that employ more than 1,000 staff have adopted a conferencing/collaboration tool as part of their communications strategy. Businesses with more than 3,000 staff have driven this statistic to 96 percent.

Of those companies that have implemented conferencing and/or collaboration tools, 74 percent use integrated multimedia conferencing tools to some degree, with only 26 percent exclusively using audio conferencing solutions. This is especially strong in manufacturing businesses as 81 percent of these respondents use multimedia tools.

The survey also found that companies are using virtual collaboration tools more frequently. Almost one third or 29 percent of respondent businesses are using virtual conferencing on a daily basis, with a further 45 percent every week. Financial services businesses are leading the field with 83 percent using conferencing tools weekly or more frequently.

Another 30 percent of respondents reported that they would use their conferencing solution more frequently if it could more effectively replace face-to-face meetings. An additional 25 percent highlighted the need for peer groups to use it more often.

The ability to experience tangible cost savings and improved ease of use were seen as significant barriers to greater usage by 22 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Only 5 percent expressed an environmental concern in wanting to see tangible evidence of reduced carbon emissions.

"Companies have long recognized the value of collaboration tools," says Jerona Noonan, sales director, Genesys Conferencing, "yet historically, for many businesses usage was restricted to audio conferencing and a relatively small number of power users'.
"Yet those businesses with easy-to-implement and easy-to-use multimedia tools such as GenesysMeetingCenter typically achieve greater benefits - in terms of operational cost savings, lower carbon emissions and improved work/life balance for their employees - as a result of much higher take-up by staff across the whole enterprise."

While carbon emissions may not be on the mind of every business seeking to implement virtual collaboration solutions, reduced costs and improved communications are a key priority. As long as companies such as Genesys can continue to tap into these demands and deliver solutions that can emulate dace-to-face collaboration, adoption should continue to grow.
 
For more, check out the Web Meeting channel on TMCnet.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for Market Drive News. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
 
 



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