Is South Africa Ready for a Video Conferencing Revolution?

Phonatics is proudly one of South Africa’s leading suppliers of telecommunication peripheral products, and has become the trusted name in affordable high quality equipment within this market. Having done extensive research over the past 15 years regarding the products available in SA today, we are passionate about creating an ergonomic and comfortable working environment that supports the simplification of daily tasks.

This strategic business approach is no different when it comes to the company’s video conference (VC) and conference phone solutions, which is why we have undertaken our latest and most extensive survey to date: Is South Africa Ready for a Video Conferencing Revolution?

Major League Players

With a sample focus group of 4,000+ individuals identified from various local businesses and large corporates alike, such as Mediclinic, GrowthPoint, the De Beers Group and Telkom SA, the findings were most enlightening.

An astounding 93% of participants were already familiar with the concept of VC (54% very familiar; and 39% moderately so).

In The Know

57% of respondents are currently making use of VC in their various business environments; with 47% of these using Boardroom VC Solutions, and 36% Cloud Based Solutions. This was indeed a surprising revelation given that Boardroom VC Solutions are typically vastly more expensive than Cloud Based VC Solutions.

Phonatics then went on to test local VC suppliers, asking if the respondents were happy with their current provider. 50% replied in the positive, 20% were ‘unsure’, and 3% indicated a need to source a new supplier.

To Buy or Not To Buy

Next the costing psychology of VC was raised as to whether or not respondents believed it to be an expensive technology to acquire and/or use. As predicted, the majority (55%) believe that VC is expensive, with a fair chunk (33%) sitting on the proverbial ‘fence’, and the minority (12%) stating that they did not believe VC to be expensive at all.

Of those who deemed the cost high, 96% indicated that they might be persuaded by a more cost effective Cloud Based Solution, with 18% saying that they may even consider renting or leasing the technology if available as an option.

Another point which yielded unexpected results came to the fore when respondents were asked to rate which VC benefits they believed would have the most positive impact on their business.

From least to most favourable business impact:

  • Improved internal team collaboration’ came in in last place (36%), followed by
  • Decreased expenses’ (55%), then
  • Increased productivity’ (61%), and taking top honours was
  • Strengthened overall business communication’ (79%).

In truth, we did expect ‘Decreased expenses’ to be ranked much higher on the list (it ranked #3) with SA being such a price sensitive market. The response is however clearly indicative of the fact that South African VC users have a solid understanding of the value which the technology brings to an organisation, showing appreciation that it is first and foremost a business communication tool meant to support company resources, thereby upping the ante on business efficiency and effectiveness.

A Smart VC Future

And, finally, with the aim of gauging the readiness and acceptance of VC in the SA market, we found that 40% of those companies who have not yet begun using Video Conferencing in their businesses are looking to implement within the next two years. 

Our final take away - South Africa is indeed ready for video conferencing technology and solutions. With a massive opportunity in this market of a growing interest in cloud based VC solutions – an indisputably attractive sector with a bright future!

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