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Video-conferencing technology sales ‘decline’ in the UAE


IP connectivity issues make businesses reluctant to invest

February 13, 2014 10:59 by

As teleconferencing systems become staples of businesses around the world, such technologies are a “non-starter” in the UAE, according to Herbert Paine, group sales director at Video Connections International. “What 85 per cent of the world connects on is blocked and banned in the UAE. In fact, the trend of companies purchasing video-conferencing technology is declining here because of the IP connectivity limitation,” he says.

Paine explains that, presently, companies that want to use conferencing software can do so only through a dedicated VPN network or by using an external IP provider – measures that only make investment costs higher.

The benefits of having this technology readily available are “tremendous,” he adds, pointing out that businesses can save in hours and the cost of travelling. He says that if these services were unblocked, there would be a “phenomenal decline in air travel”. However, Paine notes that sales of such equipment are unlikely to pick up until there’s a change in the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) regulations and a reform of the fibre-optic network and bandwidth available.

However, while it can prove challenging for businesses to make an investment in the software, many are keen to hire offices that offer teleconferencing services on an hourly basis. “They don’t have to buy the hardware and aren’t locked into a contract,” says Paine. He also notes that Video Connections International has seen a 300 per cent year-on-year increase in this area, with recruitment firms making up the bulk of its clients.

A study released in April 2013 by specialised staffing firm, Robert Half UAE, also reveals that 37 per cent of HR directors in the Emirates have increased their use of video conferencing to conduct interviews, revealing a clear shift in the hiring process.


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