CDW Video Conferencing Straw Poll Report

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1 CDW Video Conferencing Straw Poll Report Summary Consider this scenario: Your company is working with a key customer on a major project that involves several partners and colleagues in multiple locations. You need to meet with everyone on a regular basis to keep the project on track and maintain the face-to-face contact that is critical to building a long-term partnership. Oh, and the customer is located 600 miles away. Flying the whole team in is neither practical nor fiscally responsible, and traditional conference calls lack the personal touch that the customer deserves. This scenario, being played out every day, is leading many businesses to take a new look at video conferencing as a viable alternative. Video conferencing can help businesses reduce operating costs, improve their decision making capabilities and increase their customer contact. Yet, just half of businesses use video conferencing today. In November and December 2010, CDW surveyed IT and telecommunications managers to understand video conferencing adoption, examine key drivers and identify implementation challenges. Importantly, CDW investigated if and how businesses are measuring their video conferencing success and their return on investment (ROI) to date. According to the report, medium and large businesses most commonly deploy peer to peer conferencing 1 and multisite meeting rooms 2. This said, respondents indicate increasing interest in immersive telepresence 3 systems. The report found that businesses need a better understanding of the costs and benefits associated with video conferencing, and, critically, they need a concrete plan to track these metrics. As it stands today, just slightly more than half of medium and large businesses who use video conferencing are tracking their ROI. However, many organizations have identified ways to track these savings and communicate the value that video conferencing offers. 1 Uses a desktop computer with video conferencing software or a stand-alone video conferencing appliance. Desktop video conferencing contrasts with "room video conferencing" where participants congregate in front of a camera and watch the screen together 2 Enables participants in various geographic locations to take an active part in meetings with a duo design discussion mode and the presentation mode. The screen is split so that every site is visible at all times 3 Simulates an in-person meeting, from the feeling of entering the conference room to the sensation of being at the same table. It is best distinguished from high-end video conferencing by the near lifelike experience it creates. Participants can sense the spatial relativity of their counterparts on the other screen. High definition, life size images allow for natural eye contact 1

2 Survey Findings and CDW Comments Half of medium and large businesses use video conferencing today; another quarter plan to implement the technology within the next two years: Use video conferencing 50 percent Do not use, but considering within one year 8 percent Do not use, but considering within one to two years 17 percent Do not use, and have no plans within two years 25 percent Businesses report that video conferencing provides significant value, especially as they seek to enhance customer and employee experiences: Most businesses say they use video conferencing to collaborate with remote employees and distant offices, reduce (or eliminate) travel time and costs and collaborate with external customers, partners and suppliers Other applications include employee training and conducting job interviews Medium and large businesses rate the following videoconferencing benefits as very important to their organization 4 : Comment: Find the need. Consider how video conferencing can help your organization achieve these benefits, prioritize implementations based on opportunity and, importantly, determine how to measure the benefits Desktop (peer-to-peer) video conferencing is the most popular video conferencing technology, although nearly half of medium and large businesses say they plan to pursue immersive telepresence within the next two years: We asked medium and large businesses who use videoconferencing to indicate which conferencing technologies they use: 4 Rated 8-10 on a scale of 1-10, where 1=not at all important and 10=most important 2

3 Desktop video (peer-to-peer) Multisite meeting rooms Immersive telepresence Yes, we utilize the technology No, but plan to implement within a year No, but plan to implement in one-two years No, no plans to implement in next two years Unsure 70% 14% 7% 7% 2% 59% 18% 14% 6% 3% 21% 22% 24% 28% 5% Comment: Desktop video and multisite meeting rooms lead the video conferencing solutions, but many businesses are discovering the benefits of full immersive telepresence: the simulation of an in-person meeting with life size images in high definition. Organizations should execute full system assessments to understand cost and network bandwidth requirements Businesses report that the top implementation barrier is the inability to justify the investment Yet, many (half) of medium and large businesses are not placing high value on demonstrating ROI, and lose the opportunity to justify the investment. Just 50 percent of respondents said demonstrating hard (dollar) ROI is very important 5 and 51 percent said demonstrating soft (productivity) ROI is very important 6 Just slightly more than half of medium and large businesses currently track ROI 56 percent track hard (dollar) ROI and 58 percent track soft (productivity) ROI: Of the medium and large businesses that track hard ROI, the majority are looking at dollars saved from trips avoided 7 : 5 Rated 8-10 on a scale of 1-10, where 1=not at all important and 10=most important 6 Rated 8-10 on a scale of 1-10, where 1=not at all important and 10=most important 7 We asked respondents to select all that apply 3

4 Nearly half of medium and large businesses that track soft ROI are looking at employee productivity 8 : Comment: ROI is key. Walk the talk and resolve the disconnect if reducing costs is important, track the ROI. Management is less likely to provide on-going support for technology without metrics To make the most of their investment, and understanding that the IT infrastructure has to support the technology or risk alienating end users with a bad experience, most medium and large businesses that have implemented video conferencing conducted network assessments, and many leveraged managed services for their solution: Sixty-nine percent of businesses that implemented video conferencing completed a network assessment to ensure that IT could support video conferencing Sixty-six percent of businesses that implemented video conferencing have changed or upgraded their IT networks specifically for video conferencing When asked to identify their video conferencing implementation approach 9, medium and large businesses reported: 54 percent purchased managed conferencing services 44 percent built and manage their own conferencing infrastructure 32 percent use free conferencing software 4 percent are unsure Comment: Businesses are taking real steps to ensure success by assessing their networks, and in many cases, purchasing supporting services Recommendations IT executives who have implemented video conferencing technology in medium and large businesses offer the following advice: Consider prorating the cost of network infrastructure upgrades, as many of these upgrades would have been necessary anyhow. 8 We asked respondents to select all that apply 9 We asked respondents to select all that apply 4

5 Keep track of money saved on trips that could have been. Also, focus on the number of client relationships in terms of new business (revenue). Absolutely track travel avoided and employee satisfaction from not traveling. Present your tracking data in an easy-to-understand, clear way for executive colleagues to quickly understand the importance and usefulness of new-media technology. Establish an agreed-upon business plan and well defined mission. Two words: employee satisfaction that s the ROI you need to gain ROI everywhere else. Find The Need: Identify who will use video conferencing the most, and prioritize implementation and training Identify Costs and Bandwidth Impact: Before launching the project, execute a full network assessment to identify if upgrades are needed and determine any associated costs Track ROI Based on Unique Goals: Define the metrics that matter most to your organization. Track regularly and report frequently to management Methodology and Demographics Data collection: Online surveys executed in November and December 2010 Sample size: 631 responses from medium and large businesses of 100 or more employees and small businesses of 99 or fewer employees Respondent titles: IT and telecommunications managers and above, through C-level executives All respondents have involvement with the IT decision-making process for their company 5

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