Video conferencing is a dog of a market.

by alec on October 14, 2007

Andy is feeling his oats this morning in Madrid.  He cites Steve Adubato’s piece in the Newark Star-Ledger on how to make video conferences more productive, and then takes the entire video conferencing industry to task for not understanding their customers’ needs.  Andy sees web cam based solutions, like the excellent system from SightSpeed, as the key to successful conferencing.  Forget about the complication and expense of the Cisco Telepresence platform, HP’s Halo, or older systems from Polycom, Tandberg and others!

He’s right.

When Cisco announced the Telepresence platform, the biggest mystery was why they chose to dive into a dying industry.  Yes, dying.  The graph below was reproduced from Wainhouse founder Marc Beattie’s slides from the Wainhouse CSP event last year at this time.  It shows video conferencing service provider revenues since 2001.  The decline probably has a lot to do with the fact that the novelty of video conferencing installations which drove the market in 2001 in no way justifies the expense in 2006.  Note that Marc doesn’t comment on the market for video conferencing equipment in this slide.

Graph

Andy’s also right about the utility of personal video calls, such as those enabled by Sightspeed.  With virtually every laptop sold today incorporating a web cam, and the quality of those cameras steadily increasing, it’s only a matter of time before the natural way to have a conversation will be by video.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tom September 6, 2008 at 3:33 am

Good point well made, but somehow misses out that "users" these days are not consumed by having to see the other party but really want to go beyond that and meet with them. By that, I mean the virtual meeting where you can speak to and see each each other (or indeed multi parties) but also can share the same information as they would if they were in the same room – ie, Powerpoints, applications, documents, browsers, whitboards, etc, etc. So rather tahn jsut a phone call – a real on-line meeting with anyone, anywhere and at any time.

So, in reality the virtual meeting with full collaboration rather than just a 3-d phone call.

If you want to see this in action > http://www.wiredred.co.uk – see you on-line

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James October 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Good point for sure. I use an app from http://www.gatherbox.com – a cool video conference/collaboration app that is less expensive (12/month). They have doc sharing, image sharing, annotations, music/audio file sharing and video file sharing. Cool app for personal and/or business use.

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Sony video conferencing systems November 13, 2008 at 2:10 am

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Isaiah Roberts May 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

Video Conferencing is really a very convenient and very fast way in keeping in touch with your business partners.`'~

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