Feds Could Save More Than $8 Billion by Utilizing Video Conferencing

by | Sep 24, 2012 | UC

New Telework Exchange Report Highlights the Video Value to Government and Taxpayers – 84 Percent of Respondents Expect Video Conferencing to Increase in Next Five Years

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the tangible value of telework, today announced the results of a new study, “Fly Me to Your Room: Government Video Conferencing Collaboration Report,” which showcases opportunities for increased efficiencies and cooperation – as well as significant savings – by utilizing video conferencing. Underwritten by Blue Jeans Network, the report reveals that if half of all Federal workers used video conferencing, they could save three and a half hours a week in productivity savings, amounting to $8 billion annually.

Following the release of Executive Order 13589 – Promoting Efficient Spending, 84 percent of respondents expect video conferencing use to increase within the next five years. Video conferencing is an effective way to reduce already-tightened Federal budgets – 92 percent of respondents agreed increased video conferencing use would save tax dollars, while 73 percent agreed video conferencing would help reign in project timelines.

In keeping with these conservative financial times, 78 percent of respondents noted the greatest benefit to video conferencing is reduced business travel. Other benefits include: money saved (70 percent), improved collaboration (53 percent), a reduced carbon footprint (49 percent), and improved work-life balance (47 percent). Respondents also believe that greater use of video conferencing could save their agencies more than 30 percent of their overall travel budgets, which equals nearly $5 billion of the Federal travel budget.

“In our experience, the largest barrier to the adoption of video conferencing has been the lack of device interoperability. Organizations should not have to worry about whether or not all participants are using the same video conferencing solution, computer, or mobile device,” according to Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans Network. “The report findings support our relentless focus on making video conferencing as simple as an audio call in order to have government and non-governmental organizations alike benefit from better productivity and the cost savings associated with video conferencing.”

Despite positive feedback on the use of video conferencing, those surveyed did point to significant barriers. A majority – 76 percent – agree that their respective agencies are not using video conferencing to the fullest extent possible. So what are the great hurdles to more widespread adoption? The lack of available video conferencing tools is the leading problem (53 percent). Additional issues include: network/bandwidth limitations (46 percent), lack of general use (41 percent), cultural barriers (40 percent), lack of awareness of video benefits (35 percent), cost concerns (34%), incompatible video conferencing platforms (33%), and lack of managerial buy-in (33%).

“Since the passage of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, we have seen an incredible change in how government is working together remotely,” said Cindy Auten, general manager, Telework Exchange. “We are riding the wave of mobility and must arm Federal workers with the right tools to get the job done in the best way possible. Collaboration tools, like video conferencing, allow coworkers to come together visually but without lengthy travel, or large amounts of time away from one’s work station. It best enables cooperation and teamwork in these mobile times.”

“Fly Me to Your Room: Government Video Conferencing Collaboration Report” is based on a survey of 128 Federal government employees who participated in an online poll between July and August of 2012. The report has a margin of error of +/- 8.63 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit www.teleworkexchange.com/noflyzone.

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