The ROI of Telepresence Technology


There are a number of elements to consider regarding the  technology  and the effectiveness of Telepresence. The extended question is; what components should be involved in evaluating the Return On Investment (ROI)? What will be your total cost of ownership = (initial equipment purchase x licensing cost x labor x maintenance and upgrades) divided by the expected lifespan of the system.

Let’s face it, several of the big dog vendors in the market would love to see you spend several hundred thousand dollars setting up a system, buy more network equipment to handle the giant chunks of bandwidth that these systems consume and pay heavy annual license fees. But if you are on a tight budget, you want more flexibility and functionality for your dollars. No mater if you’re a large corporation or a small business, selecting a Telepresence solution is about how you do business not some vendor telling you how to fit their stuff into your processes.

A review of what is some of the considerations for why you would use Telepresence

o Speed up product development cycles and shorten time-to-market

o Reduce travel expenses

o Make more cost-effective use of billable employee time

o Improve hiring decisions from wider and deeper recruiting

o Improve work/life balance and higher employee retention

o Raise employee satisfaction through faster decision making

o Access experts or employees in remote locations more easily

o Expand services to a wider customer base

o Improve communication with home workers, customers, partners and suppliers

o Improve the environment with lower hydrocarbon emissions, reduced fuel consumption, and less traffic congestion

o Allow employees to function fully from their desk without having to go to a conference room

Return on investment

Most importantly, the key consideration of ROI is that the people who will use the system and components must want to use the tools. The fundamental of a good return is that the management team has a strong buy-in and that they use the  technology  also. I always talk about leading from the front and this is a perfect opportunity for management to set the example of increasing efficiencies and cutting cost.

A simple matrix

The Telepresence  technology  answer to what your business will need can be complex depending on the type of business and what you desire to accomplish. This abridged matrix will get the grey matter churning regarding your assessment of needs and then calculating the ROI. The ROI math need not be complex since most business sites will remind you of the simple formula:

ROI% = (Total Expense Savings – Total Cost) divided by Total Cost x 100

Additionally, you might want to consider a platform or service that not only gives the larger room presence but also has multifunctional desktop connectivity, application collaboration and other video capable services. Often there are multiple  technologies  used to converge these tools. Consider a single platform that is IP driven and gives Increased Performance, Increased Productivity and Increased Profits.

An Abridged ROI Matrix

Each category should answer across the top: Reason Why? Cost Expense Savings

 Technology  Reasons

Common Room

Desktop -Browser Based

High Definition

Applications Collaboration


Service based or wholly owned

Multi-Video Application Environment

Bandwidth Requirements to all or any location and Cost

Business Reasons should answer arcoss the top: Description Cost Expense Savings/ Benefits

Air Fare


Car Rental

Trip Dead Time (non-productive)

Customer Interface Time Vs Travel to Meetings

Workflow Reasons should answer arcoss the top: Description Cost Expense Savings/ Benefits

Transit from Workstation to Conference Room

Setup resources Vs Having all at Desktop

Meeting Preparation Time

A first order summary of Telepresence ROI for your organization is based on an complete analysis of your workflow processes, the number of people who have to travel as little as five miles for a meeting, understanding who is participating, what are the expectations of the experience, if Telepresence is a business tool or an ego booster and will the tool be used from the management team throughout the distributed workforce?

The facts prove out that Telepresence  Technology  is cost effective for most business environments. The business factor in deciding the  technology  service to use is the ROI. Using a competent consultant to evaluate your needs is the best way to ensure that you will have a successful implementation and efficient ROI.

Source by Thomas Niewulis Jr

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