The launch of browser based and cloud based services from leading telepresence providers could be considered as them admitting defeat in attempting to conquer the world of desktop video communication.
New services offering interoperability with social video platforms such as Skype, Google Talk, and Facebook, is the vendors attempt to bring social and business video tools together. Many are still asking the questions “If video communication is free using social platforms, why would anyone choose to pay for desktop video conferencing?”
So rather than battling against the free video applications, the aim of the vendors is to work with them and ensure video becomes the preferred choice of communication irrespective or device or location.
Room based video collaboration solutions have proven to be successful, and there is still a place for the technology in meeting rooms and boardrooms, however there has always been the frustration of being unable to invite a Skype user into a boardroom video call. That was until services from the likes of BlueJeans Network, and the latest addition to Polycom’s portfolio, CloudAxis, have been able to break down these barriers and enable interoperability between business and social applications.
So now Skype users can communicate with standards based video conferencing and telepresence solutions which, in some cases, could tempt people back to using the solution they invested in all those years ago.
So why have the telepresence vendors chosen this route and what impact will introducing these services have?
Open doors – Well firstly it could open up the doors to the social market. The opportunity to develop brand awareness through social channels cannot be over-looked. However, unless they are offering a free service, they will struggle to gain new desktop users.
Attract new users – Secondly, by offering a desktop video service which requires no software download the telepresence providers could quickly attract desktop workers who do not have the required permissions to download software.
Squander existing users – On the other hand by offering interoperability with social tools, telepresence providers could potentially push their own users towards the free, social desktop tools and run the risk of de-valuing the brand.
The expected growth of video communication shows no signs of slowing. With new video suppliers emerging every week the competition is quickly becoming fierce, and as predicted has caused the price of desktop video communication to be driven down.