Personal Videoconferencing Trend Predictions for 2012

Dec 20, 2011 4:30 am   |   Leave a Comment

As we begin to wind down a very exciting year at Avistar, it’s time for us to take a look into 2012 and the trends we believe will most significantly impact the videoconferencing sector. Personal videoconferencing, virtual environments such as virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) and cloud-based services, and bandwidth management will be key topics for enterprise customers and our technology partner – all driven by the need to increase productivity, decrease operating costs and leverage business assets in a real-time and collaborative business environment. Let’s delve more into these trends.

• Videoconferencing will continue to be virtually everywhere – Businesses have embraced cloud computing and the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to improve workforce collaboration, control costs and deliver software tools that are essential to improved employee productivity, regardless of location or device. The next phase is on-demand videoconferencing cloud- and VDI-enabled services that are available to any business, delivered through industry- leading infrastructure, network and application service providers.

• The speed of change is increasing – Over the past three years, the industry has moved from hardware-based conference room solutions to software-only videoconferencing on laptops to conducting calls on tablets. This rate of change will continue and price/performance ratios will improve, driven by the cloud and increased connectivity on all sorts of devices. To take advantage of the rapid change (and to be able to rapidly change), companies should seek out videoconferencing solutions that take an all-software approach – as opposed to more expensive and less flexible hardware-based solutions.

• Consumerization of technology continues to drive business adoption – Computers were not conceived as a consumer device. Now consumers drive technology adoption, downloading and testing free apps and services and demanding more intuitive user interfaces. Enterprise apps such as business-class videoconferencing will continue to become more user-friendly while delivering reliable, secure and scalable videoconferencing capabilities built to meet business needs.

• BYOD will go mainstream – Information technology departments traditionally limited the types of devices they offered employees (and allowed employees to use on their networks) based upon the belief that it was inefficient and complicated to support too many platforms or systems. With the need to be flexible and drive down costs, IT departments are rethinking these outdated policies. Today, employees expect to BYOD – Bring Your Own Devices – and have them sync with their corporate technology. That means IT departments must support Windows, iOS, Mac, Android and Linux devices and machines. That means that companies must select cross-platform solutions that can be securely delivered. Once again, the virtual desktop comes to the rescue.

• Videoconferencing solutions need to get along and play nicely – As more businesses rely on videoconferencing, interoperability, availability and scalability become critical. Solutions that are not based upon industry standards such as SIP and H.264, for example, will increase the cost of videoconferencing. Emerging unified communications platforms not based on industry standards or not fully interoperable will create significant barriers to adoption. Videoconferencing solutions that can cost-effectively break down these interoperability barriers will emerge as important unifying strategies and find quicker paths to adoption on a broad basis.

• Bandwidth on the run – As more users rely on videoconferencing wherever they are, there will be more stress on data plans as well as corporate networks. Bandwidth usage, even via the cloud, becomes a cost issue as IT departments also must ensure that increased usage from outside the network does not impact security or critical business applications. Companies need to select communications solutions that provide robust bandwidth management, call admission control, user policy support, threshold and utilization modeling, in addition to extensive reporting and forecasting capabilities.

Businesses in 2012 want anytime, anywhere videoconferencing that works with any device, that can be delivered securely and that will not negatively impact their networks. CFOs want solutions that are economical with a proven ROI, while CEOs and COOs want enhanced productivity and creativity. With convergence and availability of all these technologies, 2012 certainly will emerge as an important year for the videoconferencing industry and businesses alike.

2012 will most certainly be an important year for our industry. We look forward to many more exciting developments as we watch these trends, and hopefully predictions unfold over the course of the year.

See you in 2012.

Happy Holidays from the Avistar team.

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About Avistar Communications

Avistar is an innovation leader in the unified visual communications industry, with more than 15 years of experience providing proven business-class desktop videoconferencing technology. Avistar's solutions are used across a broad spectrum of industries with deployments ranging in size from 30-35,000 users. Avistar's technology also helps to power solutions from Citrix, IBM, LifeSize, Logitech and many other leading unified communications vendors, while delivering end-user videoconferencing solutions to some of the world's largest corporations, in more than 40 countries. For more information, please visit www.avistar.com.

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