Survey: Economic woes spur virtual conferencing

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Survey: Economic woes spur virtual conferencing

Reducing travel costs and speeding products to market are hot buttons for decision makers, an iTnews survey found.

Online conference services are popular with 71 per cent of business users who responded to a recent iTnews survey.

The survey of 297 respondents sponsored by Citrix GoToMeeting conducted in January and February found about a third either host or attend (39 percent) web conferences.

Of the 79 respondents who said their companies host audio-only conference calls, more than half (47) said it was used for collaboration; about two-thirds use it at least weekly.

Of the companies which use web conferencing (with the ability to share screens), respondents said about half of them use it for collaboration and 40 per cent of those used it weekly.

Reducing travel costs and speeding products to market were high on users' menu.

Training was also a focus, with nearly 40 per cent of respondents who attend web conferencing hosted by external organisations using it to learn about products and services from vendors.

About a third attend marketing webinars and a quarter use it for internal meetings. Audio conference calls were more popular for internal meetings 56 per cent of respondents to that question said although 43 per cent also used it for training calls with suppliers.

However the IT department still holds sway over buying decisions, they said.

Of those who answered the question "Who makes the decision to buy audio-only conference call services in your company", 44 per cent said it was the IT department while a third said executives decided.

None of those who responded to the question, "How will your company's use of web conferencing change over the next year" said they would use it less; 68 percent will probably use it more, they said.


Web conferencing benefits (in order by respondents to question):

1. Reduce travel costs (62%)
2. Speed internal communication/projects (41%)
3. Increase sales (29%)
4. Improve customer loyalty (28%)

Barriers to adoption of web conferencing (in order by respondents to question):

1. Still planning to use (79%)
2. No need (75%)
3. Cost (73%)
4. Unclear benefits (71%)
5. Complicated (62%)
6. Reliability (60%)
7. Security (50%) 

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