The market for video conferencing solutions is constantly growing. The consulting company Frost & Sullivan expect that the global market volume in this area will reach 4.7 billion euros by 2014. The constant expansion of broadband networks represents a key prerequisite for this growth. Thanks to the growing popularity of video conferencing systems, the data volume on the Internet is constantly rising. The network specialist Cisco estimates that roughly 90 percent of global Internet traffic will consist of video data in just three years. This boom was triggered by the extensive availability of broadband networks as well as falling prices for large flat screens and high-resolution cameras. The great advances in usability are also playing their part.
Video conferencing reaches SMEs
The result of this development has been that video conferencing solutions are seeing increasing use even in small and medium-sized enterprises. Kapsch BusinessCom, the leading Austrian system integrator, has a comprehensive portfolio that covers all company sizes - from simple Web conferencing systems to advanced telepresence solutions. To ensure that every company receives the right system, experts from Kapsch BusinessCom advise your customers throughout the process, from the purchase decision to implementation.
High-end TelePresence solution at Kapsch BusinessCom
A new, high-end TelePresence solution went into operation at the start of the year at the Kapsch BusinessCom headquarters. It connects the company’s head office with the branch offices. "The closest parallel for our largest TelePresence room is the holodeck featured on Star Trek", describes Christian Schober, head of the Marketing & Sales Enhancement Management department at Kapsch BusinessCom, speaking of the telepresence solution from Cisco. "Since all of our TelePresence rooms are kept in the same colors and have similar tables, the illusion is created that you are sitting directly across from the remote participants".
The Cisco TelePresence System 3000, which is now in operation at Kapsch, has three high-resolution 65-inch plasma monitors, which can display up to six people in life size. The video is captured by three HD cameras in the highly compressed H.264 video standard at resolutions of 720p or 1080p. An average bandwidth of 6 to 8 Mbps is required for the full HD resolution.
Usability as core feature
"The most amazing aspect of the system can’t be described with even the most impressive technical jargon: it is simply easy to operate. Anyone capable of adding an entry to an Outlook calendar is also capable of operating this system", says Schober. "The scheduling of a video conferences differs from the organization of a normal meeting by only a single button press. As with meetings, an invitation is sent to all participants – except that the respective TelePresence rooms are indicated as the meeting location. This way, the system knows who wants to speak with whom and when. When the meeting takes place, the connection between the locations can be established with the press of a single button".
Massive potential savings through telepresence
Thanks to this intuitive operation, the TelePresence room at Kapsch is enjoying extensive use even just a short time after going into operation. In addition to the headquarters in Vienna, the offices in Innsbruck, Linz and Prague have compatible solutions. An internal cost-benefit calculation has shown that the savings potential of the telepresence solution, measured in saved travel costs and recovered productivity, is roughly 320,000 euros per year.
"In our calculations, we assume that roughly 100 meetings will take place per year throughout the company. According to our estimate, it is not necessary for the participants to be at the same location for over half of these meetings. If one assumes that the travel costs per person are roughly 150 euros per meeting and that roughly seven hours of productive working time is lost due to travel, one arrives at a considerable sum", explains René Niederhuber, Solution Consultant & Certified Project Manager at Kapsch BusinessCom.
Telepresence allows short communication paths
Another advantage of telepresence is that meetings can be called quickly and easily. This aspect is of inestimable value in the case of urgent decisions. Since Kapsch BusinessCom offers an extensive range of web conferencing and telepresence solutions, this feature is affordable even for small and medium-sized enterprises that are not interested in investing in high-end systems. The available solutions range from web conferencing to video conferencing and all the way to telepresence solutions like the Cisco Telepresence System 3000.
Web conferencing allows location-independent meetings and presentations without large IT investments. An encrypted connection is established between the computers and a central server. Billing takes place flexibly based on use of the service. The services of the Cisco WebEx platform on which the service is based allow users to work together in real-time, including shared use and editing of presentations, documents and applications. Users require a computer with browser, Internet access and optionally a telephone. Using a webcam turns a web conference into a video conference.
High definition visual conferencing means holding video conferences on a screen (LCD or plasma). Thanks to the detailed and crystal-clear image, even conversations over large distances feel personal. The solutions used by Kapsch BusinessCom in this area come from Polycom and Tandberg. A visual conferencing system makes use of one or more monitors, a camera, a PC for transmitting the audio and video signals as well as a table microphone and a remote control to operate the conferencing equipment.
In contrast to visual conferencing, TelePresence involves the integration of video conferencing technology into a room concept. It conveys the experience of a true-to-life personal encounter and makes video conferencing a pleasant and straightforward event. TelePresence solutions offer optimal usability and "realism" in the area of video communication. TelePresence requires an appropriately equipped room and a provider connection with high bandwidth rates. The platform used is Cisco TelePresence, which encompasses a range of room systems for different applications.
Kapsch BusinessCom – a company of the Kapsch Group – is a leading ICT service partner in Austria, Central and Eastern Europe with over 1,200 employees and annual sales exceeding 230 million euros. Embedded in the Kapsch Group, Kapsch BusinessCom is active worldwide with its own offices in Austria and subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland. Kapsch has positioned itself as an ICT service partner offering a complete solution portfolio covering the areas of information technology as well as telecommunications. In addition to system integration and continuous optimization measures, Kapsch BusinessCom is increasingly taking on responsibility for the entire area of operations. Kapsch BusinessCom relies on manufacturer independence and partnerships with globally leading technology providers, such as Apple, Aastra, Avaya, Cisco, Google, Hitachi, HP and Microsoft. In concert with these partners Kapsch offers its services as a consultant, system supplier and service provider, but above all as a reliable, dependable, long-term trusted advisor in a rapidly changing technological environment. Kapsch BusinessCom always generates clear added value for its over 17,000 customers.
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growth, BusinessCom, network security, TelePresence, Visual Conferencing, Web Conferencing