Users' Experiences with Visual Collaboration Products and Services in the Business Context
This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Users’ Experiences with Visual Collaboration Products and Services in the Business Context, measures the ways in which organisations use visual collaboration tools, while comparing this usage to more traditional meeting tools, including audio conferencing, Web conferencing, and standard face-to-face (F2F) meetings.
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Visual Collaboration Preferred as Key Meeting Tool over Some Traditional Equivalents
A recent Frost & Sullivan study conducted among over 100 European business users of information and communications technologies (ICT) solutions sought to investigate European business users' preferences regarding information and communications products and vendors, as well as services and service providers. Among the many interesting insights was that, despite its many benefits, nearly half the surveyed companies spent less than five per cent of their ICT budget on visual collaboration.
All of the meeting methods tested were used for a variety of purposes. “Visual collaboration was most widely used for internal staff communication, product development, and product training and demonstration,” notes the analyst of this research. “In comparison, standard face-to-face meetings were most commonly used in situations that required diplomacy and confidentiality, such as contract negotiations, customer presentations, or for HR purposes.” Since human face-to-face interaction is the most effective form of communication, face-to-face meetings were also rated as most beneficial in most business situations. Yet, visual collaboration was generally rated just behind face-to-face meetings and ahead of other, more traditional, meeting types, such as audio and Web conferencing.
Promise of Time and Cost Savings to Boost Adoption of Visual Collaboration
Overall, visual collaboration was not frequently used, especially in comparison to more traditional meeting methods. “Frost & Sullivan’s survey found, for instance, that 58 per cent of standard face-to-face meetings occurred daily, while 27 per cent of meetings that utilise visual collaboration took place less than once a month,” explains the analyst. “Nevertheless, 10 per cent of respondents were already deploying visual collaboration on a daily basis.” Moreover, the usage of visual collaboration was gradually increasing. As many as 78 per cent of respondents expected the usage of visual collaboration in their organisations to increase during 2012.
“Overall, the greatest value that visual collaboration offers organisations is ease of use, the value received for the money spent, and the reach it extends, as it can be used by a large number of people throughout the organisation,” adds the analyst. While primary benefits focus on savings via reductions in time spent and travel costs, secondary benefits include relationship building/linking of workforces and/or clients, especially for international organisations. “Meetings via visual collaboration also bring an additional element to a meeting, namely, the “cool factor” of using a more innovative meeting tool,” concludes the analyst. “Thus, within international organisations, visual collaboration is and will continue to be a tool that enables close business relationships to be maintained, while containing costs.”
Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following technologies in this research:
- Videoconferencing equipment and software
- Web conferencing
- Audio/document conferencing
- Visual collaboration
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