With the rapidly changing business dynamics, increased number of connected devices, and growing trend of BYOD, video conferencing is becoming extremely popular.
Apart from eliminating the need for physical presence and travel needs, it enables effective communication between organizations, helps in cost saving, and also enhances productivity and efficiency.
Video conferencing services differ from the video call services; video conferencing majorly helps in conferencing multiple locations over individuals. Video conferencing services providers have to follow certain standards laid by International Telecommunications Union (ITU), such as ITU H.320, ITU H.264, and ITU V.80.
With the industry shifting from hardware-based solutions to software-based video conferencing solutions, key players offer a wide range of video conferencing solutions to fit specific customer requirements.
The global market for video conferencing equipment and services, in terms of revenue, is estimated at 29,500 crore in 2016. It is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 8.5 percent during the period from 2016 to 2023 by Transparency Market Research. The market is largely driven by the growing globalization of business organizations, coupled with the need for scalable communication methods. The increasing need to lower operational costs and effectively manage a global supply chain is another significant factor driving the global video conferencing market. In addition to corporate enterprises, increasing adoption of video conferencing services in the public sector and healthcare verticals is further expected to drive the growth of the market during the coming years.
Introduction of high-capacity broadband telecommunication services is driving the adoption of video conferencing services. Rapid proliferation of IP-based video conferencing systems and Internet drives are expected to drive market in coming years. Server message block (SMB) and integrated services for digital network (ISDN) are the opportunities for players in this market.
Based on deployment type, the on-premise video conferencing market holds the largest share. Other deployment types, namely, managed video conferencing services, and cloud-based video conferencing solutions are expected to grow at a high rate. Factors such as an industry-wide shift from hardware-based to software-based solutions and a rising need to curtail infrastructure expenditure are leading to the growth of managed and cloud-based video conferencing services.
Corporate enterprise as the end-use industry holds the largest share of nearly 65 percent of the overall video conferencing market in terms of revenue. Apart from corporate enterprises, verticals such as healthcare and government and defense are expected to witness high growth in the coming years due to increasing adoption of video conferencing solutions in these sectors. With growing adoption of immersive telepresence systems and video conferencing infrastructure in Fortune 100 companies, a substantial amount of revenue is generated in the on-premise video conferencing solutions segment. Moreover, high-priced end-points, including high-definition displays, cameras, microphones, and dedicated video conferencing networks, have contributed to a huge proportion of the overall video conferencing market's revenue. Other equipment as conference bridges, peripherals, external compression cards, internal compression cards, codecs and codec boards, software for video conferencing, desktop computers, phone links, and rolls-about are equally important. However, a rising need to lower capital expenditure and operational costs has led to the increasing adoption of managed and cloud-based video conferencing solutions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
North America accounted for the largest share, in terms of revenue of the global video conferencing market, owing to significant adoption by businesses and governments. However, with increasing adoption in the public, corporate, and healthcare sectors in the region, the video conferencing market in Asia-Pacific is expected to become the fastest-growing market in the coming years. On account of rising demand in India, China, and the Southeast Asian countries, the Asia-Pacific video conferencing market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.9 percent over the next five years. Furthermore, catering to the rapidly emerging small/medium enterprises (SME) sector in Asia-Pacific through cloud-based solutions is anticipated to be the key to gaining significant market share in the region during the coming years.
The global video conferencing market comprises many players offering video conferencing infrastructure, networks, end-points, and services. The players offer a wide range of video conferencing solutions to fit specific customer requirements. The key players in the video conferencing market include Cisco Systems, Inc., Polycom, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Vidyo, Inc., Lifesize (Division of Logitech International S.A.), ZTE Corporation, Avaya, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems, Inc., and InterCall (West Corporation).
It is well accepted that nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and posture, are important elements of interpersonal communication. That is why video conferencing is such a powerful tool for connecting with colleagues and partners over distance. However, there has always been a bit of gap between the technology's promise and its actual execution.
While business and IT leaders overwhelmingly agree about collaborative value of video conferencing, enthusiasm has been dampened by persistent cost, complexity, and technical barriers. A common complaint is that it is not easy enough. On an average, nearly a third of a 30-minute meeting is eaten up just getting the technology to work. Technical glitches and bandwidth constraints can lead to dropped connections, garbled audio, and frozen video. Organizations expect better when they pay so highly for a full-room solution.
All signs point to video conferencing reaching a performance tipping point in 2017, however. Emerging trends are eliminating common technical barriers and leading to solutions that are easy, effective, and affordable for businesses of all sizes. These developments include:
WebRTC. Web real-time communication is an open-source application programming interface (API) that enables real-time voice, video, and data communications through a web browser. This dramatically simplifies cross-platform communications.
Platform interoperability has always been an issue with video conferencing. Participants are often on disparate systems that use a variety of video coding and decoding (codec) formats. Typically, these various media streams must be translated and converted to a common language through the use of a gateway. However, this is a resource-intensive process that can affect video and audio quality.
WebRTC eliminates all that because the browser contains all the underlying codecs as well as all the required encryption, bandwidth management, and NAT/firewall traversal tools.
Software-based codecs. Hardware codecs are dedicated chips that encode and decode a digital media stream. For a long time, it was really the only way to ensure a quality video session. However, these chips vary from vendor to vendor – there can even be variables between chipsets from the same vendor. That limits customization and creates platform compatibility issues.
Software codecs run on the CPU and were long considered to be too slow for heavy-duty video. However, dramatic improvements in graphics and CPU processing power over the past few years have altered the dynamics. Software codecs now offer more flexibility and more customization at a better price point with no discernible performance penalty.
Cloud-based platforms. A growing number of cloud-based solutions offer robust and flexible ways to utilize video conferencing. Video Conferencing-as-a-Service (VCaaS) solution allows to access a feature-rich platform without investing in equipment or the technical resources to maintain and support that equipment.
For companies with existing investments, cloud-based integrations can connect the solution with unified communications and collaboration platforms. For example, integrating Microsoft Skype for Business with a cloud-based video service widens communication to mobile devices, room-based conferencing systems, chat clients, and third-party video clients, and even allows audio-bridging for mobile and landlines.
Video conferencing may still be a work in progress, but it is clear that mainstream usage is inevitable. As solutions become more interoperable, reliable, and cost-effective, organizations will reap the benefits of a more collaborative environment.