Welcome to the (20)10 Days of Techness. This is the fourth installment of a 10-part series of postings that will discuss prevalent trends during past year. Happy Holidays!
Videoconferencing is expected to the next big thing in unified communications. And in 2010 it got bigger and better through the introduction of telepresence solutions from such companies as BrightCom, Cisco/TANDBERG, LifeSize, Polycom (News - Alert), Vidyo and Vu TelePresence.
At the same time, video has become more accessible via desk phones introduced by some of the above-mentioned organizations and others, including snom; the availability of mobile videoconferencing applications from some of those same companies as well as Apple (News - Alert), which delivered the FaceTime video application with the introduction of the iPhone 4 this year; and video calling services from such companies as Skype.
Jim Cantalini, president of High Speed Video, which offers ClearVision, a standards-based videoconferencing service, says videoconferencing is expanding beyond the executive suite and beyond conference rooms. He calls it the “democratization of videoconferencing”
Steve Vonder Haar, research director with Interactive Media Strategies (News - Alert), adds that interest in business video and demand for video-enabling technologies continued to grow in 2010.
“As illustrated by Cisco's (News - Alert) acquisition of videoconferencing giant Tandberg, large technology companies began investing more heavily than ever before in developing and delivering video-based communications solutions to the enterprise,” Vonder Haar says.
“Continued sluggishness in the economy did not hamper investments in video technologies during the year. Indeed, pressures on travel budgets combined with the need to enhance work day efficiency prompted expanded use of communications platforms incorporating video.”
Most notable was the growing demand for telepresence solutions, as “a variety of vendors jumped onto the telepresence bandwagon, offering a range of solutions designed to make telepresence more affordable and – for some – making the potential of desktop telepresence a reality,” he adds.Roger Farnsworth, senior director of VSG solution strategy at Polycom, says it’s interesting to see the slow growth and appreciation in video. While videoconferencing has been introduced to great fanfare in the past, he adds, he believes its time has come.
“Maybe this time it is different,” he says, noting that he’s seen people on video calls at the airport using tools like FaceTime (News - Alert), but that videoconferencing can also help some business people stay away from the airport and in their own offices to conduct meetings with far-flung colleagues.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi