Over the summer we have been looking at the activities of the big vendors to promote video calling and video collaboration - and where this fits into a collaboration and Unified Communications strategy.
The vendors, particularly Microsoft, Google, and Avaya all have a clear view of where their collaboration products will lead. At Connect Communications, we study their strategies in detail, but we are even more interested to know which communications tools our customers are actually choosing to use “at the coal face” in the enterprise. We are watching to see how quickly the concept of video on the desktop is being accepted and who is implementing the latest forms of collaboration. We were interested to see the latest IDC report on Worldwide Enterprise Videoconferencing and Telepresence, showing the current trends. Here are some of the highlights from the IDC report.
IDC’s statistics confirm that the market is indeed changing, and it is moving the way we predicted. With so many new options on the desktop, the trend is away from separate video conferencing systems, towards a more integrated, enterprise-wide view, which reflects the growth of Bring Your Own Device and the personal devices being used at work, and the latest changes in desktop computing.
The market for multi-codec, immersive telepresence continues to decline, with a year over year decrease of 32%. Notable losers were Cisco, with a -7.5% decline in sales and Polycom whose sales fell -14% year over year. However, in spite of the very challenging economic conditions, there was growth in desktop video systems, which grew 7.7% year over year.
We believe this growth will continue, as it’s being driven by factors which will not go away – the pressure to save fuel and drive less, the pressure to reduce time spent in meetings, and the opportunities presented by the abundance of bandwidth, whether that is through fibre or 3G mobile connections, the bandwidth available makes it possible to work with video as a matter of course.
Video is an important element of collaboration, and a big opportunity in anyone’s UC strategy.
The way we communicate in our social life is also influencing the way we work in the office. Although YouTube was not conceived as a business tool, it’s become the medium of choice for a vast number of commercial uses. At Connect Communications, we are talking to our enterprise customers about the implications of using personal solutions alongside, or instead of the solutions that were sold to the business for the same purpose.
We see the main opportunity for growth in the newer applications such as Scopia from Radvision (now Avaya), which will replace the older style ‘big room’ video conferencing systems. Scopia offers voice, video and data collaboration on the desktop for PCs and Macs with H.264 High Definition imaging. It’s sold as a browser plug-in which is centrally managed and distributed, and it could completely remove the limits on the number of video locations that we saw in the past.
In our opinion, there will still be a place for the bigger players in the market, provided they can adapt their offers to bring video down to the personal level. For video to be truly adopted across your organisation you should be looking at vendors that are offering products that are slick and convenient and truly deliver on the Unified Communications promise of efficiency and agility.