Whenever an emergency rears its ugly head in a manner that makes business travel appear less attractive, videoconferencing gets a boost from pundits. Circumstances such as the swine flu pandemic and the volcanic ash cloud are the most recent examples.
There are several reasons why videoconferencing is a worthwhile inclusion to organizations, outlined in this slideshow, but keep in mind that strong policies need be in place regardless of the technology a company chooses. In addition, in order for videoconferencing to enter the mainstream as the PC, smartphones and other forms of technology have, it has to be in some ways more compelling than a traditional meeting.
Telepresence appears to fill this business need. Its HD quality lessens the need for expensive business travel by providing the sense of meeting face-to-face. There are, of course, problems with telepresence, such as cost, existing videoconferencing systems and network infrastructures that cannot accommodate the technology. However, the business value the technology provides looks as though it will eventually spur telepresence to become widely adopted.
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