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Reducing travel costs with ICT

Reducing travel costs with ICT

Videoconferencing takes the hassle out of distance communication.

In a recession CIOs need to carefully consider an investment in videoconferencing to help reduce travel costs, according to LifeSize Video Communications ANZ director Patrick Micallef. The company is a US-based videoconferencing company formed in 2003. It The company has local partnerships with HP, The University of Canterbury, Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, Christchurch Polytechnic, Jade Software and BNZ.

Over the past six months Micallef has been meeting with CIOs here and in Australia.

“Given that travel budgets are being cut, my suggestion is that CIOs should be thinking of the business needs of the company right now and that involves cash flow.

“What I advise CIOs of these companies is that video conferencing by high definition has become one of those business tools they can no longer do without. Many companies are surprised by the leap in video quality compared to what they’ve experienced in the past,” he says.

There are also three steps Micallef suggests to CIOs when talking about video conferencing.

The first is to find immediate and significant reductions in overheads.

“That’s reducing travel costs and excessive communication costs. It is a lot cheaper to make a video call over the internet in high definition than it is to make a long distance call using the phone,” he claims

The second is increased productivity. Once you’ve made those immediate reductions in overheads look for productivity gain. “Where companies are downsizing there are less people to do the work. Companies are not finding new revenue streams and are trying to hold on to existing revenue streams.”

Thirdly, he advises companies to embrace the technology. “Organisations then enjoy the convenience of meeting face to face [via video conferencing] more frequently.”

Micallef has also noticed a shift within organisations from just looking at travel cost savings when considering video conferencing.

“They are looking for video tools that make them work smarter and more efficiently. Customers are also looking for change and during these times are looking for innovation to help them do things smarter.”

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