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Managed Telepresence Gains New Converts

As the European aviation sector encountered major disruptions, online business meeting services attracted growing interest and new demand. Apparently, few traditional globetrotters plan for, or even anticipate, the effects of a natural disaster so many were searching for last-minute alternatives to international air travel.

Online visual collaboration platforms -- that enable just-in-time face-to-face meetings -- were a natural choice for the informed business travelers who, like most of us, only recently discovered that Iceland has an active volcano.

According to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan, renewed awareness of videoconference solutions will create further opportunities for TelePresence service providers.

Telepresence Market Growth Predicted
Frost & Sullivan estimates the global Telepresence market value was $396.2 million for 2009, and forecasts this market to reach $825.9 million in 2015. Their research assessment included both ready-built Telepresence room solutions, and component parts that are used by third parties to construct customized Telepresence room solutions.

The effectiveness of the latest technologies and the impact of the global economic downturn are impelling businesses to re-assess Telepresence -- as a viable solution to facilitate reduced operation costs and create new sources of productivity increases.

"The volcano ash clouds from Iceland are just the latest in a long line of issues that have impacted business travel," says Frost & Sullivan principle analyst Dominic Dodd. "Telepresence in particular, has played a pivotal role over the last two to three years in helping build greater awareness and in re-focusing executive-level attention on visual collaboration."

Frost & Sullivan believes that Telepresence offers a unique proposition that can deliver effective and reliable visual communications. Its development and growth in popularity parallels advancements in other forms of collaboration as a service. Visual collaboration is also an essential part of a comprehensive Unified Communications (UC) strategy.

Immersive Experience will Accelerate Demand
The majority of Telepresence systems continue to rely on significant network bandwidth and quality of service management to perform up to their maximum potential. Globally, managed service offerings remain an essential ingredient for many users, as service providers continue to add new meeting room locations to their expanding networks.

Visual collaboration endpoints are expected to do well in the long term. Although, according to Frost & Sullivan, while the product format by which immersive Telepresence is delivered is likely to change, the overall demand for its unique features and benefits will continue to gain new user converts.

"While the latest research indicates that the market for today's ready-built systems will ultimately reach its upper-limit within the next five years, it also shows how growth demand for the immersive experience can accelerate as it is fed by other product sets such as high definition videoconferencing and custom Telepresence solutions," concludes Dodd.