Effective telepresence solutions, according to McCormack, are systems that act
as “human middle-ware” and are extraordinarily intuitive for end users.
An emerging trend in business today that will become commonplace over time is a
globally dispersed work teams. Telepresence solutions allow distributed teams to
communicate quickly and efficiently compared to previous forms of remote
McCormack believes that the time is finally right for telepresence due to the
emerging business drivers discussed above, together with decreasing network
bottlenecks and better technology to take advantage of improving networks.
However, McCormack admits that technology alone won’t solve business problems,
mentioning this recent comment her heard from a CEO:
“Why is my video conferencing budget increasing at the same
rate as my travel budget?”
McCormack blames poor implementations, a lack of quality training,
and technology designed for IS departments rather than the true end users of the
products for this scenario. Effective systems will do a better job of getting
inside the mind of the end user. Put more succinctly, “Value is created when
systems are used rather than just when they’re bought.”
The Green Angle
Demonstrating how telepresence solutions can have a significant impact on
decreasing CO2 emissions, McCormack provided some insight into how CO2 emissions
and travel costs have dramatically changed within BT:
- BT’s systems have eliminated 860,000 face to face meetings, reducing
97,000 metric tons of CO2.
- Saves an average of $587 in travel costs, accommodation fees and
unproductive time, totally $469 million in savings to date.
Will it be the green angle, ease of use, or some other business
driver that leads to increase uptake of telepresence systems? Stay tuned to find