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RoperASW-TANDBERG survey reveals that much of today’s business communication falls on deaf ears

Staines, UK, and Oslo, Norway Nov. 18, 2003 – RoperASW, an NOP World company, and TANDBERG (OSLO: TAA.OL), a leading global provider of video communication systems and services, today announced details of a survey that worryingly reveals the methods businesses use most heavily to communicate outside the office – e-mail and phone – are insufficient to establish the foundation for good business decisions. The survey found that 56 percent of business professionals estimate they waste more than half-an-hour a day using inefficient communication methods. In the U.K among financial and business professionals alone, TANDBERG estimates inefficient communication costs U.K. businesses alone a over a million hours of wasted manpower per week. *Estimate based on survey findings and statistics from UK National Bureau of Statistics*

People are least focused when they rely on the phone and e-mail and are noticeably more attentive face-to-face, reveals the survey of 625 respondents in the UK, US, Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. For instance, only one-in-four respondents say they pay full attention when participating in an audio conference call, and only one in four will finish reading an email completely before deleting it. This begs the question: how many important messages are being deleted or forgotten?

The survey results strongly indicate that in today’s wired world, face-to-face presence has become more important than ever. Tony Venables, an economist at the London School of Economics, believes that businesses that thrive on face-to-face communications – or F2F, as he terms it – now account for a growing share of economic activity. He reasons that in those workplaces where F2F contact thrives, employees generate increasing returns and so do the companies in which they work.

“Most people understand that face-to-face interaction is optimal, but only recently have technologies such as video communication become mature and available for mainstream use,” said Lou Latham, a Gartner industry analyst. “This has allowed real, visual interaction with colleagues across the globe. Video is the productivity tool that is the missing piece in enabling the enterprise to operate in a truly real-time environment."

Indeed, business professionals overwhelmingly say that face-to-face communication – when compared to audio and online/web-based communication – is easier to understand, is more personal, enables quick decisions, builds high trust, makes negotiating easier, reduces confusion and misunderstanding, makes people more accountable, and is better for detailed explanations. In addition, respondents reported that seeing people is more effective:

* 95 percent say they like to see visual cues and body language

* 93 percent say they pay more attention when they see someone

* 92 percent say seeing someone when they are communicating with them is best

“This survey proves what we at TANDBERG have believed for years: there’s a genuine communication gap that impacts a company’s bottom-line – few people are fully paying attention,” says Andrew Miller, TANDBERG chief executive officer and vice chairman. “The reliance on approaches besides face-to-face communication contributes to confusing discussions, failure to establish trust among all parties, less accountability, and slower, more complicated negotiation processes.”

And business professionals strongly believe video communication can offer many of the same benefits as in-person communication:

* 81 percent consider video a good alternative to audio or e-mail communications

* 78 percent say video provides many of the same visual cues as in-person communications

* 63 percent say video can be as interactive as in-person

* 62 percent say video can provide similar eye-contact perception as in-person

“TANDBERG’s advanced video communication systems and services are focused on helping customers close the communication gap,” said Miller. “Because of TANDBERG’s unique industry-specific knowledge and consultative approach, customers are increasingly relying on us to extend video from the boardroom to the workroom.”

“The RoperASW survey has validated what TANDBERG customers already know – video is a proven productivity tool in every industry. TANDBERG’s commitment to standards-based video technology, and the cost-effective collaboration now available using the Internet Protocol (IP) network, will make visual communication just as ubiquitous as e-mail and telephone calls,” said Miller.

TANDBERG serves a growing roster of diverse industries – from health care, manufacturing, financial services and consumer products to distance education and the public sector. Like respondents from the survey report, TANDBERG customers conclude that communicating face-to-face makes their organisations more effective. The following customers are examples of how companies depend on video every day:

* DaimlerChrysler - Since 2001, for example, DaimlerChrysler has used video to enhance its customer service. Various dealerships in the U.K. offer video to allow customers and dealers to connect with corporate consultants that provide financial funding and insurance advice onsite as customers make their purchasing decisions.

* Aon Corporation - Chicago-based Aon, the global insurance company, relies on video to collaborate visually with customers and bring employees together from various locations around the world. It also uses video for training purposes, which officials find leads to a smarter and more integrated work force.

* GMAC - Its Commercial Mortgage division has 110 video systems installed throughout the enterprise, including at facilities in Ireland, England, France, Japan and India, to efficiently acquire and assimilate new companies into its enterprise – without derailing productivity, employee morale, or customer care.

* Australian Government - In Victoria, Australia’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) uses the Internet Protocol (IP) network to connect video at more than 100 offices, some separated by more than 500 miles. IP video improves employee collaboration and safety, and at a low cost to the DNRE.

* United Kingdom Health Center - Broadwater Farm Health Center’s general practitioners use video during surgeries for translations to communicate with patients who understand little or no English. This allows doctors to communicate with patients through an off-site interpreter.

* Texas School System - Region 14 Education Service Center (ESC 14), located in Abilene, Texas, serves a predominately rural, economically disadvantaged area of Central West Texas. It uses video to provide countless educational options for students and educators in small, remote communities. Through distance-learning classes, virtual field trips and adult education offerings, video systems help to educate lives in this underserved area.


TANDBERG, a leading global provider of video systems and services, helps companies and organisations fill the visual communication gap that exists today. Our industry specific knowledge and consultative approach helps TANDBERG customers envision new opportunities for their organisations. TANDBERG is committed to advancing the use of visual communication tools through standards-based solutions. The Company has dual headquarters in New York and Norway with customer installations in more than 90 countries worldwide. TANDBERG trades publicly on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker TAA.OL. Please visit for more information.

About RoperASW

RoperASW, an NOP World company, is a leading global market research and consulting firm. With headquarters in New York and offices in London, Manila, and throughout the U.S., NOP World is the seventh largest market research company in the U.S. and among the top ten globally.


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