As demand and usage surge, companies will face pressure to provide increased videoconferencing services without impacting corporate networks.
Avistar Communications Corp. (www.avistar.com), a provider of unified visual communications solutions, has announced its annual list of expected industry trends for 2011 and beyond. The push for videoconferencing as an essential unified communications (UC) tool for business will continue, especially in virtual environments, and companies will embrace those solutions that enable them to tackle the bandwidth management, interoperability and quality issues that can plague solutions that are not business-class.
Here are areas to watch:
Videoconferencing will be virtually everywhere - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will continue to gain momentum as businesses work to control costs while delivering software tools that employees need to do their jobs effectively. Desktop videoconferencing, for example, has emerged as a must-have solution for business people at offices or on the go, as it provides ubiquitous visual communications–anywhere, anytime, anyplace. All-software solutions will be preferred because of their cost-efficiency and high quality.
What’s old is new again—Interoperability will be a big issue as proprietary communications solutions limit connections to other systems. The industry will again need to tackle the interoperability issue. Will customers accept being forced to bridge standards, media processing and signaling at their own cost?
Videoconferencing on the go will increase—Videoconferencing has moved from the conference room to the desktop, and from the desktop to the laptop. With more tablet devices set to hit the market and the further roll-out of 4G networks, along with the popularity of video-enabled smartphones, true mobile videoconferencing for business is on the horizon, as employees who use mobile videoconferencing in their personal lives will push for the same capability at work.
Thin will still be in—As Avistar predicted last year, thin terminals and desktops continue to be in. We’ll see more thin devices next year and expanded functionality on those devices. This convergence will be seen with videoconferencing popping up as a function in non-traditional devices, such as smart whiteboards and a variety of new and innovative devices, so that people can communicate and collaborate regardless of device, location and/or network capacity.
It's all about the network—As demand and usage surge, companies will face pressure to provide increased videoconferencing services without expanding the cost and complexity of their corporate networks, while also ensuring that critical business applications are not adversely affected by communications solutions such as desktop videoconferencing. Companies will select communications solutions that provide robust bandwidth management, call admission control, user policy support, threshold and utilization modeling, in addition to extensive report and forecasting capabilities.
“Users in 2011 will want a feature-rich desktop visual communications experience that supports industry standards and leverages and extends UC features found in their existing solutions—in the office, on the road and on the go,” said Stephen Epstein, CMO, Avistar. "Avistar delivers on all fronts, with ‘all-software’ solutions that unify the desktop visual communications experience, both on traditional and/or virtual infrastructures. We look forward to expanding our customer base in 2011 with more of these innovative solutions.”