PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Stuttgart, Baden Württemberg, Germany, 2012/04/10 - Telepresence as real alternative to personal meetings — High quality and comfort makes it suitable for long meetings — Investment levels lead to adoption predominantly by larger companies - Infocom-de.com.
During the last years, the major market drivers for telepresence solutions have been related to external factors, for instance natural catastrophes, restricted airplane traffic due to volcano ashes or snow, or other causes, for instance terror attacks. In addition to these factors, as issues such as environmental protection and green IT gain importance in the public opinion, many companies are now committed to reducing their carbon footprint. At last, companies seek to reduce significally their travel expenses, avoiding high travel costs for meetings outside. Telepresence has thus been seen as a promising option to cope with several, if not all, of these problems.
The high quality provided by telepresence has been indeed a decisive factor that has lead to a better acceptance of such a solution as a real alternative to personal meetings. Thanks to high audio and video quality, as well as the availability of adequate equipped rooms, the participants get the feeling of sitting at one table with all the other meeting participants. As a result, meetings are not as tiring as videoconferences with systems, which do not provide the same comfort and quality. Consequently, telepresence is not only used for short conversations and meetings may last even for several hours, where participants discuss and exchange more thoroughly, thus leading to a relevant increase in productivity and to a faster decision making process. In addition, telepresence solutions can be used quickly and easily, e.g. conferences can be booked via MS Outlook or special booking platforms and can be started by pushing only one button.
On the other hand, there are also some market obstacles. One of the major factors is the price level of such a solutions. In general, telepresence solutions are quite cost intensive and affordable predominantly by larger companies. An immersive telepresence solution with a refurbished room and included furniture for 6 people costs between €250.000 and €350.000 for the hardware and software. In relation to the high costs, only companies with large sites where many travels can be spared can enjoy quickly a positive ROI.
Another issue can be the limited interoperability of telepresence systems. Even though the systems of different manufacturers are supposed to be compatible according to most of the providers, it can still be a problem to set up telepresence meetings between solutions of different manufacturers or different network operators. As there are no common standards on the market it can be problematic to include external systems and further costs may occur if additional hardware or special services are needed.
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