According to Matt Cowall at Appia Communications, if you look around the business video communication landscape today, you'll see two extremes in predominant use within the marketplace.
At one end are TelePresence and other highly sophisticated solutions. These are expensive and largely aimed at the enterprise market, but the quality of the video experience is excellent.
At the other end are PC- and Web-based solutions. These products are inexpensive, but often lack the quality and reliability that business users require.
Mid-Market Video Requirements
Somewhere in the middle, SMBs and similar organizations hope for the best of both extremes -- high video quality and reliability at an affordable price.
But a recent convergence of circumstances and next-generation technologies appears to be closing the gap in both directions, fueled by:
- The soaring costs, hassles, and inefficiencies associated with travel
- The slowing of the economy, which puts a premium on doing more with less
- The focus on reducing carbon emissions
- Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which cuts video transport costs, especially in comparison with traditional ISDN services
- New video compression codecs
- The emergence of Video as a Service (VaaS)
The Rise in Virtual Meetings
Case in point: in survey results released last month by the National Business Travel Association, travel buyers from over 320 U.S. companies reported a 57 percent increase in the use of videoconferencing, and 81 percent of those respondents said that the increase is due to a deliberate replacement of travel with video.
Video communication is on the rise, but how will "the middle" fully adopt and employ it? What mix of products and services will meet the demand? It will be fascinating to find out. Maybe next time, we can discuss it face to face.