Several options for video conferencing service providers exist. A large determinant in the selection process for a vendor which is suitable to a specific enterprise is the ROI its products and services will afford a customer. In general, video conferencing solutions influence several areas which positively affect a company’s ROI, which is largely linked to its break-even time—the amount of time it takes to recoup total investment expenditures. Virtually all video conferencing services allow enterprises to reduce travel and increase levels of customer training and service. However, the best solutions offer the fastest break even times and the greatest ROI rates, and are detailed below.
Forrester Research performed an objective study on LifeSize’s ROI for a European division of a Japanese company that has 47 offices throughout the Middle East, Europe, Russia and Japan. The results included a 392 percent risk adjusted ROI for a period of five years, which included a nine month break even time. Other boons such as lower rates of carbon emission, increased sales and greater productivity occurred in addition to a travel expense reduction of over a million dollars. The company studied also had a lower TCO and slashed its ongoing maintenance and support costs in half.
Polycom customers typically see a total ROI in one to six months, largely based on factors such as reduced travel expenses and time, the latter of which a fair number of enterprises claim may be more valuable than the former, since it provides an opportunity to generate more revenues. The elimination of a single transcontinental or international business trip will generally pay for a Polycom high definition video solution, which the company reports is saving a variety of organizations several thousand dollars each year. Additionally, Polycom videoconferencing customers are able to increase productivity due to lower travel expenses and regained time.
In June of 2011, HP Halo was bought out Polycom, in no small part due to the former’s high ROI associated with its Halo rooms. HP internal studies revealed that its own ROI climbed over a period of a year in which travel was reduced 40 percent (allowing for significant savings in this area), while Halo room usage increased 30 percent. Studies have shown that the substitution of just one Halo room for a standard travel route enables a net present value of $500,000. The reduced travel time not only saves an enterprise valuable funding, but also increases the quality of life for employees who are able to travel less and spend more time with friends and family.