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Telepresence Reaches Out to SMBs & Vertical Markets, Report Finds

September 12, 2008 | Chris Payatagool
light_reading.gifTelepresence technology suppliers hope to gain a larger customer base than videoconferencing suppliers, says 'Light Reading Insider' 

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 -- Suppliers of telepresence technology and managed services are targeting small to mid-sized businesses and select vertical markets as primary candidates for their next-gen video offers, hoping to capture a larger customer base than earlier videoconferencing systems was able to tap into, according to the latest report from 'Light Reading Insider', a paid research service of TechWeb's Light Reading.

Telepresence: A Market Opportunity Reality Check examines applications in the telepresence market, including a look at how telepresence is being defined, strategies for both horizontal and vertical markets, and the development of telepresence as a managed service. It also examines why the market will continue to grow and the challenges the market faces. Further, this report examines partnerships, acquisitions, and future investment strategies vendors are considering. Additionally, it provides a comparative analysis of 11 of the top vendors in the telepresence industry.

For a list of companies analyzed in this report,

"The telepresence arena is different from videoconferencing because it's a technology spanning all horizontals," says Denise Culver, research analyst for 'Light Reading Insider' and author of the report. "Currently, suppliers are figuring out telepresence's definition and creating new services that companies cannot ignore. Most telepresence vendors believe that the next 12 to 18 months will see a major shift in the way managed services are handled for telepresence, especially as customers become more comfortable with the technology."

A key factor that will affect market acceptance for telepresence is demonstrating to potential users exactly what the technology offers, and how it differs from conventional videoconferencing, Culver notes. "Regardless of what telepresence is called, the key to these services is that a live person is reachable at the touch of a button -- via phone, email, or a telepresence unit -- to set up a meeting without participants doing anything on their end."

Key findings of Telepresence: A Market Opportunity Reality Check include:

--  No longer exclusively reserved for the executive boardroom, telepresence now has applications that apply to large enterprises and SMBs

--  Vertical markets such as healthcare and financials are vendor targets because they have application-specific needs that telepresence can address

--  Managed services are a promising, value-added service for telcos, as more telepresence vendors realize the benefits of such relationships

Telepresence: A Market Opportunity Reality Check provides critical insight and analysis for a range of industry participants, including:

--  Telepresence technology suppliers looking for independent insight into how market strategies are developing throughout the industry

--  Network operators needing guidance on how to develop and market telepresence managed services

--  Investors who want a clear view of the potential market opportunity presented by telepresence, and which companies are emerging as leaders in the sector

About Light Reading

Founded in 2000, Light Reading is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. It reaches an extensive audience of executives and technologists within the telecom and enterprise networking communities, as well as the financial/industry analysts and investors who track these sectors. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005, and operates as a unit of UBM.

About TechWeb

TechWeb, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise,,, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, Wall Street & Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services ranging from next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion.

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