Cisco: Young Execs Will Fuel Increase in Video Communications

A Cisco survey found that three of five respondents will rely on high-quality video over the next five to 10 years.

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.