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Issue of November 2005 
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Fast Track

Unified networks for video conferencing

Yugal Sharma

There’s been a significant increase in the adoption of unified communication. The healthcare, education and government segments are expected to deploy these solutions as prices of hardware and bandwidth fall, and awareness about the technology spreads. Factors such as cost of ownership, maintenance of infrastructure, and the general perception which people have that video-conferencing is a luxury is slowly dying with emergence of unified networks.

The video-conferencing equipment market was estimated to be worth $10.8 million in 2004 and is likely to grow at a CAGR of 24.9 percent till 2011. Given the present low level of penetration, Frost & Sullivan anticipates a growth explosion—30 percent for the next two years—in the medium-term beyond which market growth rates will stabilise to grow at a still robust 22 percent. Additionally, any increase in the availability of broadband networks at cheaper rates will also fuel growth. The existence of different inter-operable standards between vendors could hamper market evolution in the long run. Yugal Sharma, Country Manager, Polycom India disagrees: “I do not think inter-operable standards between various vendors are today a deterrent to wide-scale spread of the technology.”

Depending on the use, nature of deployments and price-points, two approaches of video-conferencing systems—Group Systems (integrated systems and portable units) and Desktop Systems—are in vogue.

“Enterprises today are looking forward to leading-edge technology, flexible conferences, flexible deployment, common management suites, highly scalable solutions, secure VoIP conferencing, embedded multipoint options and more in video-conferencing solutions. Video-conferencing therefore spells the power of integration,” states Sharma. It enables easy sharing of any type of information, instantly arming participants with the knowledge they require. This, in the long run, is extremely important for swift analysis, decision-making, bringing products to the market and gaining an edge over competitors.

—Kusum Makhija

 
     
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Copyright 2001: Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Limited (Mumbai, India). All rights reserved throughout the world. This entire site is compiled in Mumbai by the Business Publications Division (BPD) of the Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Limited. Site managed by BPD.