The costs associated with operating a trans-Australia business - both time-wise and financially - is giving rise to a videoconferencing boom locally.
One reseller benefiting from the flourishing market is Integrated Vision, which has just landed a contract at Wesfarmers Limited valued at approximately half a million dollars.
Integrated Vision, which recently opened the largest videoconferencing facility in the southern hemisphere (ARN, 5 August, 1998, p8), is the largest reseller of PictureTel equipment in Australia.
According to Peter Johnston, Wesfarmers' company secretary, Integrated Vision was recomm-ended to the organisation by its consulting architects to outline a range of specifications for a videoconferencing project tender. That experience proved useful for Integrated Vision because though several companies bid for tender, its understanding of Wesfarmers' needs helped it seal the deal.
"Price was a factor for us," Johnston told ARN. "But more importantly, Integrated Vision understood our requirements because they were consultants to us from the outset."
The first stage of the rollout, which commenced in late May, has involved establishing videoconferencing links at Wesfarmers' Perth and Sydney offices.
The network is expected to be extended to also include integration of the PictureTel videoconferencing facilities at the office of Wesfarmers' Melbourne-based subsid-iary Bunnings. Johnston claims a Queensland link is also likely to be added as the Bunnings organisation continues its push into that market.
"We are a very diverse company and the new PictureTel equipment will assist us in making quicker and more sensible decisions because it is a far better medium than telephony," Johnston said. "It will also save us in interstate travel which is so expensive time-wise as well as money-wise."
Integrated Vision is banking on other Australian companies mirroring Wesfarmers' approach and has big ambitions for its business accordingly.
"We want to own the videoconferencing market and we believe we're poised to do that," Graham Williams, Integrated Vision's managing director, claims.
"We've moved from a technological base to a more consultative sales and market approach where we work with customers to establish what they're trying to achieve so we can fit the tech nology to their business. As a result we're now expanding rapidly."