Video conferencing is fast becoming one of the most popular virtual communication tools in Asia Pacific in the corporate sector. It is already used by many large enterprises that aim to maintain face to face communication with their distantly located business associates. Singapore itself has many Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) that are looking for adopting this communication solution, though only a few can afford it. However, with the arrival of companies like Vidyo and LifeSize, this is about to change as these solution providers will cater to the SMBs rather than large enterprises.
According to an official at Frost & Sullivan, SMBs only contributed to 20 per cent of the whole video conferencing segment earlier, though this figure rose to 30 to 40 per cent in 2011 and will cross the 50 per cent mark in the coming 3 to 4 years. However, experts do not believe that this growth would be so easy to achieve, though they are still extremely optimistic. In Asia Pacific, video conferencing is largely out of the reach of SMBs due to high initial costs and running costs as well as tremendous bandwidth requirements.
The primary barriers in the growth of video collaboration among the small and medium sized companies of the region have, traditionally, been cost and complex network infrastructure. Both these factors have held back many smaller companies that are either risk averse or do not have access to the required resources. Though overall costs associated with video have considerably come down over the past few years, bandwidth availability is a roadblock that is not expected to go away soon. For this, governments of emerging markets of South East Asian countries like Singapore need to put a robust infrastructure in place that can support High Definition video as well telepresence solutions.
Any company that regularly hosts video conferences for business can easily save tremendous costs and increase individual as well as overall organisational productivity. Apart from these ‘tangible’ benefits, successful implementation of this Conferencing also presents ‘intangible’ benefits like more collaboration, higher morale and improved rate of client satisfaction. Notably, experts working at research house Ovum said that companies which adopt this solution can easily recover 100 per cent costs in just one year.
Such positive predictions by prominent research houses as well as the presence of Vidyo have bolstered confidence of SMBs themselves in video collaboration. Therefore, the Compound Annual growth Rate (CAGR) of the segment in Asia Pacific is expected to be close to 7.8 per cent between 2011 and 2016, higher than the 5.8 per cent projected for the international market. This shows that video collaboration is all set to grow in the region over the next few years and reach new heights.
Lee Mark is an accomplish expert in the field of Video Conferencing, with experience of more than 6 years under his belt. His expertise also extends to video and High Definition Video solutions.