Video Conferencing: Moving Towards Flexible Work Culture
Software defined communication tools are changing the way people connect and communicate with each other. Collaboration technologies such as video conferencing are giving new dimensions to the business communication. Today, video conferencing has taken a central stage in the board room discussion and is helping enterprises to improve team collaboration and creating connections beyond the geographic boundaries.
A Research and Markets report forecasts that the global video conferencing market will touch $6.4 billion by 2020. According to the report, the video conferencing market in Asia Pacific is also expected to achieve significant growth by 2020, driven primarily by increasing demand from countries such as India and China. With organizations adopting flexible work culture, the video conferencing business is set to grow, giving huge prospects to telecommunication solutions vendors.
Changing Face Of Communication
Gone are the days, when the business communication was largely driven by emails and telecommunication. Today, video conferencing has become an important part of office meeting routines. Enterprises are deploying video conferencing solutions to enhance both internal and external communication in order to get instant feedback. Video conferencing enables businesses not only increase their productivity but enhance employee and customer relationships through face-to-face interactions using digital tools.
The cost factor was the major hindrance in deployment of video conferencing solutions, especially in the SMB segment. However, the advancement in technology and expansion in video conferencing has now facilitated development of improved solutions with minimal costs.
With network bandwidth increasingly dropping in price with improvements in technology, video solutions are also becoming smoother, smarter and more affordable, helping to boost widespread usage.
“Business organizations are now looking at flexible, secured and high end solutions, and are shifting towards unified communications (UC) deployments. Peoples’ needs have evolved with time, they want way more than just audio or a video track. They are now looking for collaboration tools to be added to applications which will make their communication and work much easier. With network bandwidth increasingly dropping in price with improvement in technology, video solutions are also becoming smoother, smarter and more affordable, helping to boost widespread usage”, said Arun Shetty, Director of Collaboration Solutions at Avaya.
Another important factor which is accelerating the growth of the video conferencing market is the growing use of video conferencing applications in industries like healthcare and education. Video conferencing services and cloud-based video conferencing solutions are enabling healthcare organizations to widen the reach of their services to remote areas. In the education sector, video conferencing is enabling educational institutes to offer tutorial and training services to students using video conferencing solutions.
Emergence Of Video-as-a-Service (VaaS)
Video conferencing has long moved from equipment to software, web based solutions. While the room-based video conferencing model has a significant share in the market, the cloud based collaboration tools are also gaining traction in the industry. Enterprises are looking at cloud
for a reliable, secure and features rich and affordable video-conferencing solutions. Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) has a lot of potential and it has increasingly becoming popular and is coming across as an extremely valuable service. The VaaS market is growing rapidly because of the transition from traditional web conferencing to advance cloud-based conferencing services. The market is expected to witness exponential growth in the next 5 years.
“As businesses keep growing and continue to adopt advanced IT infrastructure, the conference rooms in the organizations will become more complicated with too many solutions and services. VaaS will help in clearing the clutter and will be a helpful solution to adopt. So, the future is clearly in cloud and services. However, the room-based video conferencing model is will maintain its position in the market”, said Shetty.
As businesses keep growing and continue to adopt advanced IT infrastructure, the conference rooms in the organizations will become more complicated with too many solutions and services. Industry experts say that the VaaS model will help in clearing the clutter in the business communication process.
Similarly, Video PaaS products are gaining traction in terms of application in the tele-health, media and entertainment, education, and banking and finance sectors. However, rising concerns regarding data security, increasing quality issues, and lack of a proper business case for real-time communications are the major hindrance in a large scale adoption of Video PaaS business models.
M&A And Expansion Plans
In the era of always connected workplaces, organizations are shifting toward conference meetings in order to enable faster decisions and reduce traveling hassles. Additionally, in order to extend their reach globally, organizations around the world are increasingly focused on investing in cost effective communication tools. This has created immense opportunities for the video conferencing players. Leading video conferencing solution vendors are very aggressive on their expansion plans.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are one of the ways for vendors to penetrate into emerging markets. The latest report by Transparency Market Research says the majority of companies operating in the global video conferencing market are focused on expanding their footprint through M&A. Similarly, in order to gain traction across emerging markets, the established companies are collaborating with prominent regional players. Vendors such as Microsoft Corporation, Avaya, Polycom, Huawei Technologies, Vidyo, Cisco Systems, ZTE Corporation, and Lifesize, have been strengthening their position in the global video conferencing market through this strategy.
Growth Prospects In India
With various digital projects such as Digital India and Smart City in place, India is the most desirable growth destination for all the major collaboration communication technology vendors. Video is an essential and strategic component of the ambitious smart city and safe city project. Hence, all the prominent vendors are betting big on such projects in the country. Cisco Systems is in talks with several state governments to provide video collaboration solutions in smart city projects. Similarly, Polycom sees a huge opportunity in the initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and plan to raise 100 smart cities. Avaya is also in the race of smart city project and is looking to invest in foray into the initiative with its new Fabric Network Connect technology.
As businesses are going digital, the modes of communications have also gone through significant changes. Today, businesses are open to invest in high quality video collaboration technologies in order to enhance their productivity. Hence, product innovation and go to market strategy will largely determine the success of vendors in this space.
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