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Video Conferencing: An Arrow For the UC Quiver

David ByrdTime after time, analysts have incorrectly forecast the seminal event for creating major pull for video conferencing. Earlier, this year, I indicated that the sales and growth trend for the market seems to be on the right path. Video-conferencing solutions for the desktop are very inexpensive to acquire, simple to install and fairly effective as a communications tool. Moreover, solutions for the office can be had for thousands of dollars versus tens of thousands of dollars. A lot has changed in the way video-conferencing solutions are designed and built versus five to 10 years ago.

International Data Corporation (IDC) recently released revenue numbers for the market that indicate enterprises are investing in video conferencing at a rate that exceeds the growth of other applications leveraging IP communications. The global video-conferencing market saw an increase of 24.3 percent year-over-year in Q3 2011. The leaders in the market are, unsurprisingly, Cisco and Polycom. Ciscos dominance in the market is a staggering 50.4 percent, with Polycom a distance second with 19.4 percent of the market. This means that other innovative players such as Vidyo, RADVISION and, to a lesser extent, players like ooVoo, are fighting over the rest of the market, which is not a bad thing in a market growing as quickly as video conferencing.

Rich Costello, an IDC analyst, attributes the growth in the market to technology improvements and better overall networks. I definitely agree. It is easy to have an effective video-conferencing session using the office infrastructure and, with expanded home offerings of faster broadband, the experience also translates very well to the home and remote office workers.

As a purveyor of Unified Communications solutions, Broadvox positions collaboration is the driver for video conferencing. Presence, IM and education will also contribute to the demand. Frost and Sullivan have forecast a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent through 2015. In addition to the solutions provided by the equipment vendors/OEMs, look for a wide range of video-conferencing solutions to be offered as part of cloud computing or video conferencing as a service (VCaaS). VCaaS is viewed as the best way to attract SMBs to use the technology. And when SMBs embrace video conferencing as a necessary component of their business processes, then major innovation will shortly follow.

So, as you discuss the deployment of Unified Communications, do note the strong pull of video conferencing. It may just be the arrow you need to secure the deal.

See you on Monday! Have a great weekend!

David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for

Broadvox

, and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.


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