The challenge of current world economic conditions is set to drive uptake of video telepresence in the next three years, with the travel industry losing out, according to Gartner Inc. Gartner analysts predict that high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry $3.5 billion per year.
Speaking ahead of the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing in Singapore recently, Gartner research director Robin Simpson said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence systems.
'The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organization revisit the need for face to face meetings,' said Simpson, 'Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly here in Asia . But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies.'