The current economic downturn has put on hold some of these initiatives; nevertheless, the enterprise world has increased its interest in such tools as telepresence and conferencing solutions.
Dorota Oviedo, Industry Analyst for Frost & Sullivan Unified Communications & Collaboration group comments: "A green IT strategy is becoming a necessity for organisations in both public and private sectors. Businesses are beginning to respond to the impacts of climate change and increasing energy costs by taking action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."
Corporate travel presents one area in which organization may lower their greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously cutting expense. Telepresence and UC tools offer virtual meeting alternatives that reduce the necessity of traditional face-to-face contact. Companies already recognized the benefits of these solutions: Web conferencing services market in Europe grew by 19.3 per cent in 2009.
The companies that are actively pursuing a green strategy understand that letting employees work from home not only contributes to lowering CO2 emissions, but also brings direct benefits to the organization, like improving business operations flexibility and responsiveness to customers, increasing employee satisfaction, and attracting highly qualified professionals.
"Unified communications applications enable remote workers to work with the same efficiency as they would in an office by providing a full range of communications tools and giving secure access to company networks," adds Ms Oviedo. "They allow staff to access data remotely, hold interactive meetings, make online sales presentations, deliver online training, provide remote support, broadcast events or set up shared online workspaces to collaborate on documents."
Home and remote working - as well as a collaborative working environment – also can lead to reduced office space requirements, and therefore to decreasing the costs of heating, powering and lighting. In the longer term, a further potential gain will be the avoided environmental side effects of new offices construction.
UC uses a converged network, delivering a reduction of infrastructure equipment and devices. The running of communications as software not only decreases energy consumption, but also reduces the amount of hardware to be upgraded, and thus the amount of 'e-waste' generated by enterprises. Moreover, VoIP decreases the amount of telephony wiring infrastructure by sharing the existing Ethernet copper.
"The UC green benefits will be used as a marketing tool to promote unified communications solutions among end-users. Companies that adopt green policies are among the leaders in collaboration tools adoption," concludes Ms Oviedo.
If you would like to receive more information on Frost & Sullivan Market Insight entitled "Going Green with Unified Communications", or would like to learn more about Unified Communications & Collaboration, please contact Joanna Lewandowska, Corporate Communications, at Joanna.lewandowska[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, job title and contact details.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan (frost.com), the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents.