Once viewed primarily as an alternative to costly, time-consuming business travel, companies now are using videoconferencing solutions to increase collaboration, boost productivity, and cut costs. This surge in adoption occurred as the technologies shrank — moving from dedicated rooms onto desktops, laptops, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets—and hosting headed into the cloud.
As a result, sales of videoconferencing and telepresence solutions could reach $8.6 billion by 2015, according to a report by Gartner. They may even pass the billion-dollar-mark, hitting $1.1 billion in revenue by 2016, predicted Ovum.
“Videoconferencing and telepresence are leading something we call business transformation,” said David Danto, principal consultant for Collaboration, Multimedia, Video and A/V at solution provider and integrator Dimension Data, in an interview.
Many organizations now are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to host and operate their videoconferencing solutions in the cloud. This demand is expected to drive the overall value of the global telepresence and videoconferencing managed services market to $1.2 billion by 2016, compared with $512.5 million in 2010, according to ABI Research.
This eliminates organizations’ need to contend with the network complexities and interoperability issues that may arise when they implement videoconferencing solutions. Since MSPs provide the networks, servers, security, and services, they help companies overcome the hurdles that may be associated with videoconferencing technologies, the research firm said.
“We believe, in the long-run, the videoconferencing solutions market will see healthy demand as a result of several positive industry trends, including globalization and the proliferation of branch offices; concerns about time demand and high cost of travel; homeland security and other government initiatives; as well as distance learning and healthcare applications,” according to a Zacks Investment Report.
Organizations have differing reasons for investing in videoconferencing. Higher educational institutions are adding videoconferencing capabilities in order to reach students remotely, and to cater to today’s diverse student-body.
The University of Kentucky continues to expand its videoconferencing capabilities, a tool that faculty and students are taking advantage of, said CIO Vince Kellen, in an interview. Like