Virtual meetings set to surge


Fears about flying following September 11 could trigger a windfall for video-conferencing providers, say analysts.

Frost & Sullivan claim videoconferencing revenues could shoot up by 50 per cent over the next few months with people still fearing a repeat of the World Trade Centre and Pentagon attacks.

'The recent tragic events have created a situation where conferencing offers a viable, cost-effective alternative to travel, and people are certainly going to take a closer look at its applications,' said Roopam Jain.

'Businesses are going to explore alternate means of communications. Enterprises may not yet be ready to nosedive into implementing an in-house videoconferencing solution or the necessary infrastructure and network upgrades, a trend that is a boon for service providers.'

Webconferencing providers are reporting a 100 per cent increase in interest since the terrorist attacks. Audioconferencing is also set to take off over the coming months and throughout 2002.

Frost & Sullivan say service providers will 'thrive' if they can meet customer expectations.

'Conferencing systems and service providers need to be prepared to meet the surging demand,' said Jain.

'Service providers in particular need to work to ensure greater network availability and reliability to support higher call volumes. End users will expect better customer service, technical support and training.'

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