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January 12, 2010

Education, Training Needs Fuel Web Conference Call Market: Report

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor

When it comes to Web conference calls, an increasing number of users are tapping the technology for training, as well as educational purposes, a new report found.
The report, by Wainhouse Research, found that the educational and training portion of the Web conferencing market reached about $680 million in 2009 and is projected to grow to more than $1 billion by the end of 2014.
“Educators are taking advantage of stimulus funding in the U.S. and major governmental initiatives elsewhere to acquire these tools to improve the learning experience, while corporate trainers are responding to imperatives for improved training efficiencies in business,” Alan D. Greenberg, the study’s author, said in a statement. “New use cases for these tools are making them more compelling than ever before. Meanwhile, some of the vendors and service providers are doing a great job - better than we've seen in adjacent technology markets - of creating enabling factors (easy-to-use technologies, assessment and measurement tools and user-enabling programs.”
Web conferencing is expected to thrive in the corporate training area, according to Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research.
Meanwhile, the report found that interactive whiteboards - large interactive displays that connect to a computer and projector – would be the strongest in higher and primary/secondary education. The educational and training portion of the interactive whiteboard market hit about $880 million in 2009 and is projected to reach nearly $2 billion by the end of 2014, the report found.
The study, which is the third volume of 'The Distance Education and e-Learning Landscape' series, includes forecast details, discussion of market dynamics and profiles of major players like Adobe, Cisco WebEx, Citrix Online (News - Alert), eInstruction, Elluminate, IBM, Linden Lab or Second Life, PolyVision, Smart Technologies and Wimba. The report also predicts the direction Web conferencing, interactive whiteboards and MUVEs will take in coming years.
Because Web conferencing replaces the need to travel to physical locations to collaborate or, in this case, learn something new, companies can significantly cut down on travel expenses while also increasing productivity, officials from Eagle Conferencing, a provider of audio teleconferencing, video teleconferencing and Web teleconferencing services, said.
With companies’ desire to keep business expenses low, businesses can hold educational or training sessions via so-called virtual meetings without ever having to leave their office. Eagle Conferencing, a subsidiary of EagleNet companies, provides facility-based teleconferencing services, including IVR and voicemail. With a capacity of more than 10 billion minutes annually, the company connects groups and individuals anytime and anywhere.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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