Online conference paints telepresence green

Saving the planet, as well as business travel costs?

Pushing telepresence as a way to cut the cost of corporate travel isn't working too well so the industry is looking to promote the video/audio technology as a way for businesses to embrace green principles, according to speakers at a recent telepresence conference.

Businesses don't believe in the potential savings or just don't adopt the technology as a substitute for corporate travel, according to speakers at a Wainhouse Research Point 9 forum set up for discussion of conferencing and collaboration.

A speaker from WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) says the technology could encourage businesses to travel less, resulting in fewer airline flights and less carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. With businesses interested in having a green image, this could prompt telepresence purchases, says Peter Lockley, head of transportation policy for the WWF in the UK.

Even so, Lockley also touted potential business gains by using telepresence, such as less wasted time during travel, the ability to hold meetings more frequently to move work along and getting products to market faster. He said one pharmaceutical firm says it cut by three months the time it takes to bring new drugs to market by using conferencing rather than travel.

The Point 9 conference was held via Cisco TelePresence gear at six locations in the US and Europe. Had the 39 participants all met in London instead, their flights would have dumped 6,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming, according to David Maldow, senior researcher for Wainhouse.

But Wainhouse managing partner Andrew Davis says that is a false savings because the planes participants would have taken flew anyway, so the C02 got dumped anyway. Over time, if enough people used telepresence, it would result in fewer flights and actual CO2 reductions.

BT Conferencing spoke about its videoconferencing service that supports Cisco gear and runs over BT's MPLS network. Low expectations about videoconferencing have made things tough for telepresence, says Scott Wilcoxen, senior conferencing and collaboration consultant for BT.

Getting telepresence used within organisations takes a lot of work with end users, he says, including email campaigns and information sessions, both live and via the web.

The help-desk service BT offers is key because users are easily frustrated if they can't get conferences going. For instance, the service offers remote call launching, so users can call in and ask a BT operator to turn on the conference if they are having trouble doing it themselves.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?