The economic crisis will drive uptake of enterprise telepresence services at the expense of the travel industry in the next three years, Gartner predicts.
Gartner analysts predict that high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the global travel and hospitality industry $3.5 billion per year.
Gartner research director Robin Simpson said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence.
"The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organization revisit the need for face to face meetings," he said.
Telepresence was not the answer in every circumstance, he noted.
"But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as the immersive workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet-to-be-released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses.
"Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies."