“Going green,” “sustainability,” reducing a “carbon footprint” – we have heard these as common PR buzzwords; however, trends show enterprises are “going green” for more reasons than marketing. Sustainability practices are becoming the new standard for affecting the bottom line and cutting costs. As organizations seek economic viability through green initiatives, Fast Company, among others, list common strategies among businesses seeking green solutions. These include:
- Enlisting staff participation: Green Research found that 80% of major corporations planned to invest significantly in employee [sustainability] engagement in 2012.
- Indirect emissions accounting, such as business travel: Last year, the Carbon Disclosure Project reported a 20% increase in indirect emissions reporting at leading companies.
- Integration of sustainability applications with existing business systems: Demand for corporate emissions management software is booming. Groom Energy predicts the market will increase 300% by 2013, while Pike Research says global expenditures for carbon accounting software and carbon management services is expected to grow from US$705 million in 2010 to US$5.7 billion by 2017.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s report: Analysis of the Global Web Conferencing Market, released November 2012, web conferencing revenue will show a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2011 to 2016 of 12% to reach $2.86 billion by 2016. The hosted web conferencing services market, specifically, is expected to have a CAGR from 2011 to 2016 of 11%. Still, we have trouble quantifying a tangible ROI for web conferencing solutions for budget and emission savings. Perhaps this is why quantification of sustainability measures is listed as a key differentiator in going green and gaining management support:
Sustainability is no exception to the maxim that management requires measurement. Employers that collect data on the organization’s footprint and employee sustainability efforts are roughly three times as likely to have a very effective program. And this group is growing, with the number of employers collecting these data increasing 15% since 2009, to three in ten. (Prairie, 2011)
iLinc web conferencing customers, however, seem to have the quantification dilemma solved. iLinc has long recognized the power of web conferencing to help companies save time, cost, and travel, while mitigating harm to the environment. Recently, iLinc announced its customers have saved $1 billion in travel-related costs as measured by their patented Green Meter Technology (for more information, see: http://www.ilinc.com/pdf/pressrelease/ilinc-green-meter-milestone-2012.pdf). Integrated within iLinc’s leading web conferencing and collaboration service, the Green Meter provides customers with greater insight into the environmental – and financial – impact of travelling versus meeting online. Rather than rely on manual tracking of travel and related expenses, iLinc’s Green Meter calculates, in real time, the:
- Cost savings;
- Miles of travel eliminated; and
- Reduction in CO2 emissions made possible through web conferencing.
Collectively over the past four years, iLinc customers have a calculated ROI of:
Green Meter allows each iLinc customer to view an immediate and quantifiable ROI of their web conferencing solution. iLinc also includes benefits unique from other common web conferencing services. For instance, while providing seamless integration with Salesforce.com, Outlook and Social Networking Sites, iLinc customers currently take advantage of whiteboarding, web sync and media capabilities and enjoy a solution that works without a PC third-party plugin.
Your organization is expected to access and share information faster than ever before. Leveraging the proliferation of open source and SaaS software, alongside the growth of mobile devices, businesses meet this demand by embracing the many benefits of software integration for enhanced communication and customer service process. As organizations demonstrate “their preference for integration solutions that cater for a wide range of integration needs,” Ovum predicts integration as a trend to watch in 2013. Beyond customer service, software integration is helping organizations to: streamline operations, improve employee productivity, and eliminate inefficient processes and redundancy. Rather than toggle between applications, systems, and locations, software integration, specifically web and video conferencing integration, extends the benefits of the software and tools your employees are already using to a single platform of real-time collaboration, ensuring communication and business processes are completed seamlessly.
As businesses combine the tools and applications unique to their goals (such as lead generation, coordinating online meetings, updating records, and more) with web and video conferencing services, we have heard customers report the many benefits and ROI of software integration. Perhaps the most prominent benefit has been greater control over the entire customer life cycle. Whether through the integration of a specific app, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), ERP, or LMS, or through a SOAP-based custom web integration, web conferencing integration benefits are extended to clients through efficient management of the customer life cycle. Customers have reported raising customer satisfaction levels and reinforced relationships through enhanced customer support and more informed interactive engagements.
CRM web conferencing integration is a trend we feel will continue to gain popularity, offering one of the most robust solutions for customer lifecycle management. Through the integration of web conferencing and CRM solutions, organizations of nearly every vertical can focus on delivery while keeping sales and support teams seamlessly informed through every process:
- Webinars: Track leads through the entire sales cycle; store & manage webinar registrations.
- Sales Meetings: Easily launch virtual meetings from lead or contact records and use multi-point video to make customer presentations and internal team meetings interactive and engaging
- Customer Presentations: Track progress with automatic updates to your activity history
- Support: Launch support sessions directly from cases and drive any Windows or Mac machine remotely across any network connection
Currently, iLinc offers iLinc for Salesforce CRM to combine the power of a web conferencing solution and a best-in-class CRM solution. Integrated through your Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, iLinc for Salesforce CRM, allows users to launch virtual meetings directly from lead and contact records and manage registrations from their CRM database. iLinc for Salesforce CRM also gives organizations the visibility to effectively sell to, and communicate with, potential customers as well as to increase the loyalty of existing clients.
Traditionally, we are familiar with a sudden increase in telework during icy winter seasons. As weather and emergency disturbances force employees to seek remote methods to communicate, enterprise IT solutions surrounding remote communication plans quickly become trends. We have seen this with Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and teleworking policies, and solutions such as unified communication and web and video conferencing tools.
Cindy Auten, the general manager for Telework Exchange, keeps track of the “telework storm system”, which she describes as “an IT drizzle,” which rapid adoption has turned “into a full-blown storm surge”. Using Federal IT executives as a case study, Cindy’s team recently released the results of the 2012-2013 Telework/Mobile IT Almanac. Of the 152 Federal IT professionals surveyed:
• 85% of all federal agencies now have teleworkers
• 59% expect more employees to be regularly teleworking at least two days a week by 2013
• 45% expect that they will have to accommodate more part-time mobile workers, with respondents expecting mobile device use to jump 20% in the next year
How are the agencies meeting demand? The list of upgrades includes:
• Boosting mobile platforms
• Increasing VPN Bandwidth
• Adding cloud-based services, in addition to “expanding enterprise use of collaboration and access tools”
• Expanding on instant messaging tools and video or web conferencing.
Through iLinc’s own customer adoption, we have seen the productivity benefits of cloud-based services and understand why video and web conferencing was selected in the top-five leading telework/mobility tools. While solutions such as iLinc for Meetings enhance virtual collaboration, they also improve efficiency through tools such as CRM integration (see iLinc for Salesforce) and interactive whiteboard capabilities. As the telework trend continues to surge, iLinc helps dispersed employees connect to remote departments and clients, while also providing additional benefits not possible in the traditional environment.
The Telework Exchange asks, “With the forecast calling for telework showers, who’s ready to weather the storm?” Learn more benefits of meeting telework demand through the latest cloud-based collaboration tools:http://www.ilinc.com/products/meetings/. Read More »
Listen to insight from two web conferencing experts as, iLinc’s Director of Marketing, Drew Kaufman, and iLinc’s Solutions Engineer, Kelly Clair, chat on the latest industry trends and practices in Bloglinc’s monthly podcast series. Kaufman and Clair discuss how Human Resources and Training Departments are utilizing web conferencing solutions to streamline processes, messaging, and training across departments and location — great solutions for any vertical.
With iLinc’s long track record, we would like to think we’ve learned a bit about web conferencing! In fact, through the process of developing, marketing, and serving the needs of our customers, you might even say we are hoarders of resources and best practice in the area of web conferencing and collaboration services and the role they play in driving your organizations.
Rather than simply storing this information for our own uses, we would like BlogLinc to serve as a go-to-source for you, our customers, and the world at large to help the make the most of digital meetings and collaboration. When you make the most of our product, we all help to redefine what it means to be present in a globally connected environment. Read More »