Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Green IT goes beyond UC and telepresence

Two new studies have come out that point to the benefits of using unified communications (UC) and telepresence to conserve energy and cut costs. The findings aren't very surprising, but there are some notable data points.

First, a Frost and Sullivan report found
  • Web conferencing services market in Europe grew by 19.3 percent in 2009.
  • Researchers also predict that the green movement will drive growth in the unified communications and collaboration (UCC) market.
Mike Dolan covered the report on FierceVoIP, and you can flip over to his article for more details on the findings.

Next, a Verdantix study commissioned by AT&T determined
  • Telepresence can cut 5.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions through 2020 if U.S. and U.K. companies substitute travel for telepresence.
  • That's the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing over 1 million passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
  • This would provide financial benefits of almost $19 billion by 2020 for the U.S. and U.K. economies.
Larry Dignan covered this study on ZDNet. I'd encourage you take a look at his article too, and the analysis he included about the TCO (total cost of ownership) of telepresence.

While these findings are encouraging, I believe UC and telepresence are just part of what we need to be doing to conserve energy, cut costs, and protect the planet. We have to establish next-generation virtual workplaces that combine these and other communication and collaboration technologies together into a single environment that lets employees work together just as they do in the real world.

I laid out my viewpoints in the comments sections under the FierceVoIP and ZDNet articles, so while you're over there, scroll down and read the rest of my thoughts. What do you say? Would you agree or disagree?

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