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June 18, 2014

InterCall Study Highlights Global Conferencing Practices

By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Technology and globalization has made the world we live in much smaller. This has introduced many new opportunities and challenges as new markets become available; and the competition now involves everyone around the world with a digital presence. A technology that has made this world much smaller is video conferencing. It is no longer necessary to travel across cities, states or countries to have a face-to-face meeting and collaborate with business associates. The new study by InterCall (News - Alert), a global conference and collaborations service provider with cloud-based unified communications services, looks at how businesses around the world use the technology.

InterCall has delivered telephony, messaging, conferencing and collaboration tools for businesses of all sizes, from large global enterprises to small or regional companies since it was founded in 1991. The study it carried out involved analyzing more than 20 billion conferencing minutes across 197 countries in 2013. In an article on written by Dennis Collins, director of marketing for conferencing and collaboration at InterCall, he highlights the growing demand for the technology as well as the international working habits of the countries in the study.

The report looked at the most and least demanding times for conference calls around the world with cultural norms, holidays, vacations and even tax deadlines playing a role in the outcome.

According to the study, October, April and May are the busiest times respectively. October was the busiest because it is the beginning of a new quarter, the time most companies begin planning for the upcoming fiscal year and the annual earning calls for companies that operate on July fiscal calendars. The second busiest month, April, is also the start of a new quarter, U.S. tax deadlines and annual earning calls for organizations operating on a regular calendar fiscal year.

These events require organizations to communicate more with business associates in many sectors to coordinate different functions. Using conference and collaborative technology introduces new levels of productivity and efficiency while expediting many of the processes essential to keep them moving forward.

In contrast, December is the quietest month with the least active time of year for calls. This is primarily due to the global observances of the holidays during the month. It is followed by February because it is the shortest month of the year as well as New Year celebrations in China. The month of November also has a major holiday in the U.S. with Thanksgiving.

The five biggest December declines take place in:

  • Switzerland (29.5 percent)
  • Belgium (29.2 percent)
  • Singapore (28.5 percent)
  • Australia (25.9 percent)
  • Finland (23.1 percent)

The United States only experienced a 19.9 percent decline in December; with China falling by just 1.5 percent, while Japan bucked the trend by increasing call times by 2.2 percent.

The next biggest decline was in August during summer vacation, with Europe experiencing 27.7 percent drop in minute usage followed by Central America and the Caribbean at 20.6 percent and the Middle East/North Africa at 17 percent. North America on the other hand increased minute usage during August with 9.5 percent.

As the globalization of business continues to increase, it is going to be difficult to differentiate seasons because the need to stay competitive means being available all the time; and collaborative and conferencing technology will be an integral part in making it happen.

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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