Cisco: Young Execs Will Fuel Increase in Video Communications

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-08-05

Cisco: Young Execs Will Fuel Increase in Video Communications

The young workers raised on technology who came into the marketplace less than a decade ago are beginning to move up the corporate management ladder, and they're expecting to be able to use high-quality, business-class video communications in their jobs, according to a survey by Cisco Systems.

The results from the Global Young Executives' Video Attitude Survey, released Aug. 5, found that three out of five young executives—aged 34 or younger—will rely on business-class video over the next five to 10 years, and 87 percent believe video has a significant positive impact on a company, from saving money on travel costs to improving the experience of telecommuters to attracting high-level talent.

To that last point, 87 percent say they'd choose to work for an organization that invests in high-quality video collaboration technology over one that hasn't, noting that a video-enabled company is tuned in with using technology to drive business growth.

The results dovetail with the belief of Cisco executives that video will play an increasingly important role in businesses as they look to improve employee productivity and satisfaction, drive down costs and attract talented workers who are used to communicating via video.

"Today's leaders are often tech enthusiasts," Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, said in a statement. "Tomorrow's leaders are increasingly tech-dependent, and video is no exception to the rule. The next generation of leaders is realizing that using video makes them more productive, helps companies reduce costs and even plays a role in attracting the best talent available. They understand why video can be better than being there."

Video conferencing continues to be a key part of Cisco's overall strategy. The company offers a range of products, from its TelePresence immersive room-based systems to software-based offerings to cloud-enabled solutions. The networking giant also continues to be the top vendor in a rapidly changing video communications space.

In the first quarter, Cisco's conferencing business revenues grew 11 percent, though the TelePresence business was down 6 percent. CEO John Chambers, in a conference call in May, noted that Cisco is more tightly integrating TelePresence with its WebEx online collaboration offering. Chambers also said that software now makes up about half the collaboration business' revenues.

According to IDC analysts, worldwide revenues in video conferencing equipment fell 13.2 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year, as organizations move toward more software- and cloud-based offerings. Cisco and Polycom continue to be the top two vendors, but they're being challenged by a growing number of smaller companies and startups, including Vidyo, Blue Jeans Networks and Zoom.


Cisco: Young Execs Will Fuel Increase in Video Communications

Young executives are expecting to take advantage of video as they move more management positions, according to Cisco's survey, which was conducted by Redshift Research and included responses from more than 1,300 young executives.

Video is a tool that not only can help the executives in their careers, but also the organization.

The primary benefits to the user are the ability to read visual cues, to be able to connect with other people visually without traveling and to share content in real time. In the future, innovations will enable them to customize and improve the experience via such features as real-time language translation and ways to get background information on participants from such sources as LinkedIn and

For organizations, investing in video communication technology will help them reduce travel costs, build rapport among workers and with partners and customers, and make telecommuting a better experience.

In a post on Cisco's blog, Angie Mistretta, director of TelePresence solutions marketing at Cisco and a new mother, said the company's video communication technology has made a significant impact on her life and job.

"Easy-to-use video allows me to manage global teams from the comfort of my own home when I cannot make it into the office," Mistretta wrote. "It's also a job perk that helps Cisco attract top talent, regardless of where that talent lives. High-quality video allows me to interact with global colleagues I wouldn't be able to connect with otherwise while saving on travel costs."

Going forward, the survey respondents said using video collaboration tools needs to become as easy to use and pervasive as other communications technologies, such as desk and mobile phones, email and instant messaging. In that case, 84 percent said they'd use video for at least 25 percent of interactions, while 53 percent said they would use it for half to all of their non-face-to-face interactions.

In addition, as video is used more, quality becomes increasingly important. Most respondents said they'd skip using the technology if the quality was not high.


Rocket Fuel