Videoconferencing – Not Just Travel Avoidance, Panic Avoidance  

Published 10/29/2012


David Danto


Principal Consultant - AV / Multimedia / Video / UC,

Dimension Data


Director of Emerging Technology, IMCCA


As I sit to write this blog I am facing an early morning flight tomorrow to an important conference.  Thankfully I think I’ll make it there on time.  But the weather forecasters are predicting a huge storm that will conflict with my trip back home.  Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the US Northeast Coast and will likely result in severe consequences for a long time.  It’s a good opportunity to make the point that videoconferencing doesn’t always prevent travel – as some travel is still necessary.  But what it also does is prevent a number of problems that might pop-up because you can’t make it home.


In order to attend this three day conference I had to move a lot of meetings and appointments with some important clients that involve some important projects.  My schedule at the end of the week is more loaded than usual with videoconference and collaboration sessions. 


I remember when this happened a few years ago.  I attended a meeting in San Francisco that was supposed to last for two days.  Unfortunately the 18 inches of snow that fell on the east coast while I was away had other ideas.  I was stuck at an airport hotel for three more days.  My schedule of course fell apart and it took weeks to get everything back on track.


This time around I’m not so worried.  None of my appointments require me being back in my office.  I would like to be there to have access to my full toolset (not to mention be home with my family) but there isn’t a single meeting I couldn’t fully participate in using my everyday mobile tools.  With my notebook, tablet, smartphone, headsets and an active internet connection I can be 100% productive in any hotel room. 


Some will say this is nothing new.  It is true that for the last few years I could always have participated in a web conference while traveling.  What’s different now is that there is no compromise involved.  I can have a full, HD videoconference with any remote, room based endpoint using any of a number of cloud based MCUs that support interoperability.  I can also use a native client from a number of the former hardware only manufacturers.  In addition, none of these conferences would max-out my capabilities.  I can simultaneously open any IM and presence engine and be sending messages while on the videoconference – just like in my office.  I can even have two conferences open – one on my notebook and another on my tablet – which you might think impractical if you don’t have a family that urgently needed an answer to something while you’re on a video call.


So here’s hoping the bad weather isn’t so bad, but in case it is, my clients’ projects won’t suffer.




This blog was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions. It originally was published at UBM’s “The Video Enterprise” website that was closed down November 1st 2012.


David has over 30 years of experience providing problem solving leadership and innovation in media and unified communications technologies for various firms in the corporate, broadcasting and academic worlds including AT&T, Bloomberg LP, FNN, Morgan Stanley, NYU, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase. He recently joined Dimension Data as their Principal Consultant for the collaboration, multimedia, video and AV disciplines. He is also the IMCCA’s Director of Emerging Technology. David can be reached at or, he can be followed on Twitter @NJDavidD , and his full bio and other blogs and articles can be seen at