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Firms Turn to Desktop Videoconferencing to Improve Virtual Meetings

September 13, 2012 | Telepresence Options
Interest grows in integrating videoconferencing into unified communications platforms

By Fred Donovan

Firms are increasingly looking to desktop videoconferencing to improve the quality of their virtual meetings, observed Forrester analyst Philipp Karcher in a new report.

A majority of the more than 1,000 firms surveyed by Forrester this year said they plan to adopt desktop videoconferencing, with more than 40 percent planning to adopt high definition room-based videoconferencing, and around 25 percent looking at immersive telepresence technology.

"In a work culture dominated by virtual meetings, more firms are looking to videoconferencing to replicate the in-person experience that employees prefer--or at least make voice conversations more engaging by fostering the trust and improved communications that comes with being able to read the other person's body language," according to The Forrester Wave: Room-Based Videoconferencing, Q3 2012 report.

"Mobile executives want video for better work-life balance, managers want it to see that their direct reports aren't distracted, and multicultural organizations want it to foster the trust and improved communication that comes with being able to read the body language of remote team members," said the report.

The report noted that there has been a move from high-cost, high-definition videoconferencing and multiscreen immersive telepresence studios to cloud-based alternatives that use PCs, smartphones and tablets to connect employees.

Karcher identified a number of videoconferencing market trends:

    * momentum toward desktop and mobile videoconferencing,
    * less competition to provide immersive three-screen telepresence,
    * a bifurcation of vendors along different flavors of the H.264 video codec,
    * alternatives to expensive hard appliances on-premises,
    * sourcing models that lower costs and skills barriers to using video
    * and interest in integrating with unified communication environments.

Leaders in the videoconferencing market--Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Polycom (NASDAQ: PLCM), LifeSize and Avaya's Radvision--have broad product portfolios with integration into unified communications (UC) infrastructure, while strong performers--Huawei, Teliris, Vidyo--are pursuing a more focused strategy, excelling in particular market niches or in particular regions, according to the Forrester report.

The report added that Cisco and Polycom have the most options for immersive telepresence, room-based endpoints and desktop hardware units. The two firms, along with LifeSize, have comprehensive management platforms, recording and streaming capabilities, multiple deployment options, leading interoperability and options to integrate with UC platforms.

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