The 3 Markets of Visual Communication

Modeling the visual communication market has been on my mind for some time now. I think that, as all things in the world, it can be split into 3 segments:

  • Large enterprises and organizations
  • Small and medium businesses (SMBs)
  • Consumers

All are emerging markets, with SMBs being the newest one. All are doing virtually the same thing - using video calls to communicate. And still they are quite different from one another in nature.

Large enterprises and organizations

This can easily be called the traditional video conferencing market. In this segment, I also include medium-sized enterprises who are multi-national. This is the segment where RADVISION, for example, is dominant today.

This market segment is focused on connecting colleagues working in different branches of the enterprise to one another. You won't see a lot (if any) calls done between enterprises.

Most deployments tend to be focused on the organization itself, with its IT or communication department taking care of managing the infrastructure itself.

The types of video endpoints you'll see here will be mainly room systems - located in designated meeting rooms, equipped with a large TV and a camera, connected to a video terminal.

Lately you can see more desktop solutions being deployed alongside the room systems in such organizations - like our very own SCOPIA Desktop. These allow employees to use video calling from their desktops.

This segment is all about high definition these days, and the higher the better.

Small and medium businesses

SMBs, for me, are single office enterprises. They have no real need for video conferencing within the organization besides teleworking, as the rest of the staff is located in the same place. They can, however, use video conferencing to communicate with customers, suppliers and partners.

Most SMBs would probably prefer to have this as a hosted service, with the server located elsewhere and a minimal set of equipment being either purchased or leased for use on site.

In these deployments, 7" videophones and desktop based solutions would work best, if you want to deploy a solution for the employee's desks, while a single room system will be more than enough.

This is a new market altogether, with new video-centric service providers leading the way.

Consumers

Surprisingly enough the consumer market already exists today, and I dare to say it's the biggest of them all. It consists mainly of peer-to-peer video calling using services such as Skype Google Talk.

Today this segment is PC-centric, but for it to really grow, it needs to encompass consumer electronics: migrate from the PC/software domain to hardware-based/entertainment goods, such as videophones, TV sets,set-top boxes, etc.

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