Expanded use of video conferencing to conduct preliminary arraignments and other court proceedings throughout the Commonwealth is saving taxpayers more than $21 million annually, according to a report released today by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
Read more: Video conferencing saves PA courts $21M | Pittsburgh Business Times

According to a new report by Frost & Sullivan, the video conferencing market continues to grow, and money saving is the main reason for businesses to turn to video conferencing services because it allows  employees to work from any location without the need to travel.

The report specifies that small and medium sized businesses (SMB) are likely to be among those that will benefit most from the technology:

http://www.conferencingnews.com/news/37558

The bottom line:  small businesses especially can benefit from video conferencing by using it to reduce travel costs and enhance productivity. In fact, small companies can pay for the equipment with just one or two business trips saved.

According to Cisco’s VP June Bower points out that “the compelling reasons for utilizing video communications technology are starting to pile up. Web meetings are not just a good way to connect a far-flung team. They also cut costs, boost productivity and more.”

Video Conferencing for Small Business

Video — already the biggest component of Internet traffic — will account for more than 50% by the end of next year and reach 62% by the end of 2015, according to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index Forecast.

By 2015, there will be nearly 3 billion Internet users, more than 40% of the world’s projected population and there will be more than 15 billion network-connected devices by then, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast for 2010-2015.

Full article:

http://www.multichannel.com/article/469029-Video_To_Comprise_Half_Of_Net_Traffic_By_End_Of_2012_Cisco.php

A recent New York Times article describes the sale of Skype to Microsoft as one example of video conferencing hitting a critical mass with consumers and businesses. Other factors that are contributing to video conferencing’s popularity  are the proliferation of broadband and an increased use of desktop computers/mobile devices.

“As more and more people are telecommuting and not working in the same office — or state or country — there’s more of a need to find other ways to communicate,” the article states.

While video will never replace all in-person interactions, the time has come for it to be a serious alternative to travel.