Video Conferencing in a New World
When I ask our dealers if they are installing video conferencing systems as part of their residential or commercial solutions, I often get one of two reactions. In one scenario, either their knowledge of, or experience with, video conferencing has left them with the impression that the only workable options are expensive telepresence solutions. In the other scenario, they are dealing with customers who prefer a free solution like Google Chat or Apple’s FaceTime.
Many are surprised to discover that there are several video conferencing solutions in the marketplace—solutions that are far more robust and functional than free offerings, and more flexible than telepresence products.
They are also surprised to learn that these products can be purchased at very affordable price points. These solutions do not replace the ability to chat casually with grandma through your Samsung TV, nor do they unseat Cisco in the very high end of the market. These are solutions that are aimed at the user who wants quality at an affordable price.
So why should you care about this market? First and foremost, the size of the opportunity. Let’s strip out the Fortune 1,000 and other large corporations. Even with those companies removed, there are more than 27.9 million small-to-medium businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration.
Now that video conferencing solutions are coming down in price and becoming more flexible, the residential market presents an opportunity as well. Fifty-two percent of the aforementioned 27.9 million small businesses are home-based. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 24 percent of all workers in U.S. companies currently telecommute, ranging anywhere from a few hours a week to full time. In today’s always-on, hyper-connected workspace, video conferencing is most likely the next productivity tool that will be widely adopted in both offices and homes.
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