The need for businesses to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs could be a key factor is driving the growth of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) technologies, according to Frost & Sullivan.
The analyst firm said that technologies such as telepresence and web-conferencing offer viable alternatives to face-to-face contact, and enable companies to cut corporate travel and lower their environmental impact and expenses.
Dorota Oviedo, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan's UC&C group, said that the public and private sectors are beginning to understanding the benefits of collaboration technologies.
"Unified communication applications enable remote workers to work with the same efficiency as they would in an office by providing a full range of communications tools and giving secure access to company networks," she said.
"They allow staff to access data remotely, hold interactive meetings, make online sales presentations, deliver online training, provide remote support, broadcast events or set up shared online workspaces to collaborate on documents. "
Frost & Sullivan backed this up with figures showing that the web-conferencing market in Europe grew by 19.3 per cent in 2009.
However, the firm noted that this growth had been hindered by the downturn but will improve as economies start to recover.
Frost & Sullivan also highlighted other benefits of UC&C products, including the ability to offer home working for employees and improved business flexibility and responsiveness.
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