With rising fuel prices affecting business travel expenses, many companies are implementing video conferencing technology in lieu of travel, and video conferencing providers are improving this technology to accommodate the need.
Business air travel costs are rising as jet fuel prices increase. According to the Los Angeles Times, a gallon of fuel sold for $3.00 a gallon in 2011, nearly a 40 percent increase from 2010's price of $2.15. Forty-eight million gallons of jet fuel are used each day by American-based airlines, and the high utilization combined with rising fuel costs are forcing airlines to increase their prices.
This can put a financial strain on businesses that rely on long distance travel for meetings, so while video conferencing technology is constantly evolving, more and more businesses are leaning towards this option. Wainhouse Research reports that the number of shipped videoconferencing units has increased every year since 2006. Additionally, it is believed that as many as 35 percent of video conferencing units purchased during this time were replacements from standard definition to high definition units, showcasing a need for high quality technology.
Surveys state that 60 percent of communication is visual, which is why businesses are more inclined to hold long distance meetings via video conferencing rather than traditional phone conversations. Richard Krulik, CEO Briggs & Riley, a luggage maker out of New York, told USA Today that high definition videoconferencing has been useful in displaying designs, something that cannot be achieved over the phone. "You can just hold up the product," Krulik said.
Business technology consulting firm Subsidium Technologies is a reseller of video conferencing technology and offers cost effective alternatives to business travel. These systems are designed to offer the intimate feel of a face to face meeting without having to pay to arrange one.