Report

Report: The Enterprise Videoconference Landscape, 2010 – 2015

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction: A Look Ahead
  3. Market Overview
    1. Suppliers
    2. Historic and Future Growth
  4. Market Analysis: Drivers and Inhibitors
    1. Supply-Side Drivers
    2. Demand-Side Drivers
    3. Inhibitors (Flies in the Ointment)
  5. Findings and Recommendations
  6. Research Methodology
  7. Further Reading
  8. About Lisa Pierce
  9. About GigaOM Pro

Analysis

Enterprise use of real-time videoconferencing is on the verge of explosion. A short but critical list of demand and supply side factors have converged to fuel unprecedented rates of adoption of a wide spectrum of technologies in this sector. This includes:

  • Demographic, public safety and environmental factors
  • The growing availability and use of broadband and Internet technologies
  • Video-friendly consumer electronics and applications
  • The availability of a new generation of high-quality, powerful, flexible and inexpensive technology running across high and low quality IP networks

Videoconferencing based on recent- and current-generation technology — from high end, purpose-built telepresence rooms to new, room-based systems and desktop/PC- based systems — is light years ahead of the kind deployed ten, five or even three years ago. Even so, a rosy future for the industry is not necessarily assured. Several critical factors retard growth; some pose significant barriers over our entire five-year planning horizon. The most significant of these is lack of complete interoperability of current- generation videoconferencing and related technologies (vs. currently available technologies). This is caused in part by vendor technology alignment along one of two camps:

  1. Vendors that heavily rely on transcoding technology (e.g., specialized videoconferencing hardware)
    vs.
  2. Software vendors that use non-transcoding techniques and rely instead on multipurpose, current-generation PCs.

Another major hurdle to adoption is the lack of widespread, direct carriers: carrier enterprise-class WAN interoperability. Other challenges include the continuing debate over net neutrality, incomplete integration with UC technology, organizational and cultural factors, industry consolidation and some specific IT-related challenges.

Carriers, videoconferencing vendors, videoconferencing exchanges and managed services specialists will be able to capitalize on latent demand if they proactively address these important industry challenges, most notably, inter-vendor and inter- carrier interoperability. But such objectives aren’t easily or quickly achieved.

In the absence of tight interoperability specifications for current-generation technologies, managed service providers and video exchanges play particularly significant roles in enabling more companies to engage in videoconferences with other companies — essentially serving to interconnect videoconferencing “islands.” Their near-term future is very bright. In the mid- to long-term, the development of hybrid solutions that employ aspects of transcoding and adaptive coding technologies, followed by interoperable HVEC-based systems, will continue to advance innovation and propel market adoption.

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