My GetThere team and I recently spent a couple of intense days preparing for the September roll-out of our new, patent-pending virtual meetings product. It was exciting not only for us to get immersed in GetThere Virtual Meetings, but to think about how it will change the way we – and you – do business.
Ultimately, as GetThere, our mission is to help you run your businesses better by helping you collaborate most effectively. This certainly includes (but is not exclusive to) business travel. Delivering innovative technology, improving your users' work-life balance, helping your employees communicate with more impact, saving you money ... these are all part of the puzzle.
It also helps explain why we can't wait to introduce you to GetThere Virtual Meetings. Telepresence technology has long been fantastic – anyone who has ever participated in such a meeting wouldn't argue otherwise. Scheduling a meeting, however, has been another story – especially across B2B lines. Manual, time-consuming, inefficient, frustrating even – all words that I've heard people use in describing their various experiences.
So, we've taken this process and streamlined it, putting it online and making it intuitively self-service. By integrating it within GetThere, your users can quickly find and get familiar with it. They'll find that booking a virtual meeting is as instinctive and easy as booking a roundtrip. With ease-of-use comes adoption, leading to those oft-touted benefits: savings on travel (particularly for internal meetings), increased usage of existing resources (e.g. corporate rooms) and improving work-life balance.
The visual collaboration industry itself is seeing huge gains. In 2009 there were roughly 460,000 room systems. Last year, the number grew to over a million. This year it will top 1.4 million, and by 2015 there will be nearly 3 million rooms – from the 3-screen immersive systems to the single-screen multipurpose set-ups that so many of you already have in your office environments. Recently (on a plane, no less!), I also saw a Kotler study in an industry publication where more than half of respondents said they will begin using more video conferencing in place of in-person meetings with suppliers and partners. Forty-two percent said they would use it more for customer support, and a third noted large internal events.
... Which is to say ... The time is right for GetThere Virtual Meetings.
During our same meeting at GetThere this month, we had a CTO from a large company join us. He spoke at length about the importance of giving technology buyers the right solutions at the right price – with proven value. It's what we've always done at GetThere, and what we commit to you with our new GetThere Virtual Meetings solution.