New technologies announced by Polycom and Cisco could push the videoconferencing market out of its current stagnation, reports suggest. The former made an announcement in October which Polycom’s CEO Andy Miller called the "most important day in Polycom history".
Cisco also announced improvements to its collaboration suite market with an emphasis on cloud services at a recent Collaboration Summit and said it would be concentrating its efforts on maintaining leadership in "real-time and archived video”. The company hopes to put "strong emphasis on cloud collaboration”.
Polycom, on the other hand, is attempting to simplify connectivity by introducing Cloud AXIS, a browser-based videoconferencing service which it hopes to simplify videoconferencing and help drive adoption through ease of use.
Blue Jeans Networks has already adopted the service and reports growth of 50% since using the service, "where it already accounts for 25% of endpoints on calls using the service”.The lack of the need to download a service alongside the growth of BYOD schemes are really expected to move the market along, especially given that the technology can be obtained at a lower cost than before.
This should do away with expensive room-based videoconferencing as it supports both the MCU and SVC codec as well as "interoperability with mainstream AVC”.
"Software MCUs on standard servers will simplify deployments and improve manageability. Software MCUs will combine functions — MCU, gateway, content server, and desktop client server— that buyers have had to deploy through multiple appliances. Virtualized software MCUs will allow buyers more control in scaling their videoconferencing capacity to support more endpoints in their environments,” Forrester report.
Cisco demoed their new technology at their recent summit, giving "an impressive demo of the speech-to-text and analytics capabilities in Cisco's Show & Share video recording and streaming solution, which promise to help viewers navigate and search recorded video as effectively as we do with text today”.
This seems to be helping Cisco’s cause as it has doubled its number of Hosted Collaboration Suite (HCS) partners and seen an increase in customers using the technology. Ultimately, the firm’s goal is to come up with an integrated solution in which enterprises can use cloud collaboration as well as on premise.
However, although it’s thought that Cisco is well positioned to knock Microsoft Office 365 from its "dominance with SharePoint-Yammer and its advantage of seamless integration with Office”, it looks to be an uphill battle, especially as its collaboration suite doesn’t include cloud email. Whilst videoconferencing has recently been reported to have "hit a brick wall” when it comes to adoption, it’s also thought that schemes such as BYOD and telecommuting will help to boost the market.