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Plenty of technology industry observers have predicted that video
conferencing would stand to benefit in 2009, since travel is often the
first thing that companies cut from budgets when money is tight. 
But now a new survey of existing users of video conferencing technology
has proven the theory.

Over the past year, both interest and purchases of such equipment has
grown dramatically, reports Wainhouse Research in its annual survey of
video conferencing users.

Respondents said that 32 percent of deployed systems now support 720p
HD video conferencing, and 23 percent of respondents have either
deployed telepresence suites or are planning to deploy them within the
next year. Telepresence suites are immersive video conferencing rooms
featuring large HD flat screen displays, surround sound HD audio, and
other very high end video conferencing technology.

"The two largest drivers [are] travel reduction and improved decision making," Wainhouse Research notes in its report.

To support their appetites for these new video conferencing solutions,
users say they are continuing their migration to IP, with users
reporting that 76 percent of video calls now take place on an IP
network, up from 66 percent in last year’s survey.  Wainhouse also
reports that users are showing an increased interest in integrating
video conferencing with unified communications platforms.