As travel costs rise and airlines cut back service, organizations of all sizes are rethinking the face-to-face meeting and using technology to connect instead, reports the New York Times. Web and video conferencing technology has matured to the point where it is often practical, affordable, and more productive to move digital bits instead of bodies–even for high-level business meetings. The emerging trend, analysts say, goes well beyond a reaction to rising travel costs and a weakening economy. "These technology tools are going to change the way corporations think about travel and work in the long run," Claire Schooley, an analyst at Forrester Research, said. Past predictions that technology could replace travel have been frequent and premature. The main difference today, analysts say, is that the technology is finally catching up to its promise. No single breakthrough explains the progress, but rather a series of step-by-step advances–and steady investment–in telecommunications networks, software, and computer processing.
The results can be seen not only in the expensive new telepresence systems like those from Cisco Systems or Hewlett-Packard, but also in more mainstream collaboration technologies–web conferencing, online document sharing, wikis, and internet telephony. The audio and desktop presentations in web-based meetings, for example, are now more likely to be in sync and interactive…

Click here for the full story

About the Author:

eSchool News