Friday, September 23, 2011

Video conferencing: 2 years later, same results

I follow the video conferencing industry closely, so when I saw the headline "Why Video Conferencing Sucks" in my news reader, I had to click over. What I found was an opinion piece by TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle.

He wrote about how video conferencing is still failing to meet business users' expectations in this heavily saturated market -- not only from a technology and cost perspective, but also a human perspective.

"The big problem that no one seems to want to address is that we generally don't like conversing for long looking someone else in the eye," Rob writes. This, he says, is a major reason "why people generally need to be forced to use these systems."

We've been seeing this same trend among enterprise users too. As I told Rob in the comment I left for him on his article, most people don't like to be on video all the time. It can be intimidating and intrusive.

I wrote about this almost two years ago on our blog. And it appears not much has budged in how employees want to use video at work. Technological offerings still haven't solved the issues around personal comfort.

I said it then, and I'll say it again now. Telepresence fails to address the human and cost factors that have, to date, prevented large-scale video deployments from achieving critical mass in the enterprise. Video conferencing as a stand-alone communications platform still sucks.

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