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April 08, 2008

Videoconferencing Makes a Comeback

By Eve Sullivan, TMCnet Editor


High travel costs and the desire for a greener environment are just some of the reasons that videoconferencing is making a comeback in Asia.

The Asia-Pacific videoconferencing endpoints market recovered strongly from an anemic performance in 2005, turning in robust growth over the last two years. Revenues grew 20.3 percent in 2006 and 17.7 percent in 2007, respectively, driven by stronger capital expenditure in IT against a backdrop of sturdy economic growth and foreign direct investments in the region.


New analysis from the global growth consulting company, Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) (News - Alert), finds that the market – covering six countries in Asia-Pacific – earned revenues of $297 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $647 million by the end of 2014 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.8 percent.

Greater China was the single largest market, accounting for 56 percent, or $166 million, of the revenues in 2007, followed by Japan at 19 percent, Australasia at 10.4 percent and India at 7.7 percent.

The upbeat trend is backed by the increasing need for real-time collaboration, enhanced high definition video and audio solutions, the buzz around telepresence and the growing focus on unified communications (UC) as business productivity tools among enterprises.

 “Awareness of videoconferencing solutions has grown by leaps and bounds as more organizations begin to embrace conferencing and collaboration tools as a means to enhance productivity,” says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Yen Yen Har. “The introduction of the much publicized top-end telepresence solutions has also had a trickle down effect on customer interest and adoption of videoconferencing systems as a more cost effective alternative.”

Environmental issues and the mounting pressure on enterprises to fulfill their corporate social responsibility toward a greener environment are further prompting wider adoption of videoconferencing, according to the study. Companies today are seeking ways to measure carbon footprint and the impact of applying conferencing collaboration tools to address environmental issues in real terms.

Other external factors such as high travel cost, air travel disruption, terror threats, business globalization and improved network infrastructure will also drive the adoption of videoconferencing solutions.

However, Har says that video will increasingly become an integral component of UC and videoconferencing as standalone applications will gradually lose its appeal to UC.

“UC is no longer a nice-to-have strategy, but a critical roadmap for videoconferencing vendors and service providers. Considering this, vendors need to place greater emphasis on enhancing end-user experience before they can truly harness the benefits of UC in their videoconferencing solutions,” she adds.

The Asia Pacific Videoconferencing Endpoints Market Cy2007 study is part of the Conferencing & Collaboration Growth Partnership Service program, which includes research in the following markets: telepresence, videoconferencing infrastructure and web conferencing software and services.

Eve Sullivan is a TMCnet Contributing Editor.







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