The cloud is a game-changer, and those who make a living off how it’s played are getting concerned. Videoconferencing is expected to take a hit to revenue as users begin turning to more affordable PC software and cloud computing, forcing them to up their game to compete.
Rather than purchasing traditional hardware-based videoconferencing systems, which can take up entire rooms, companies are beginning to adopt software-based systems that can be used from desktop computers.
As such, the market share is shifting away from room-based systems and toward the more flexible and affordable systems.
While the larger room-based systems may be impressive, and can grant a more realistic conferencing experience, they can cost upwards of thousands of dollars, compared to the hosted systems that cost a small monthly fee. Software offerings can still provide the same services as room-based systems, such as multipoint video, without taking up as much space or money.
Furthermore, it’s often easier to get everyone on their computers at the same time than it is to get everyone into a few rooms for videoconferences. The affordability of software-based systems also helps make video more widely available to employees, and thus more used.
Companies are trying to keep up, such as Polycom’s (News - Alert) new videoconferencing products, which include software-based systems for PCs. This comes after a decline of year-to-year revenue, in part caused by the above reasons.
Cisco (News - Alert) is also offering customers the voice of using videconferencing and Web collaboration services in the cloud, having faced a similar decline in revenue.
However, room-based videoconferencing is not completely out of the running. It offers a far more immersive experience, and has higher quality than PC videoconferencing. For long meetings, it is still the preferred method.
For shorter meetings, though, videoconferencing software is proving a dangerous competitor.
Edited by Braden Becker