By Dave Crilley, VP of Marketing at Tely Labs
Interest in videoconferencing and telepresence solutions has been reignited in the past 18 months by a new wave of technology and delivery mechanisms. Unlike the expensive, complex, traditional offerings, this generation’s systems are easy, affordable, interoperable, cloud-based, and mobile-friendly. In other words, the videoconferencing market is undergoing a fundamental democratization driven by innovative new technology.
This is driving a significant growth in unit sales of less expensive offerings, and opening the market to a huge tranche of previously-excluded users and service providers. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of videoconferencing awareness among SMBs and their service providers. SMBs have never been in a better position to take advantage of the innovative solutions now coming onto the market that overturn barriers such as cost, “closed” systems, limited functionally, and difficulty of operation.
From the solutions provider perspective, this new access to the underserved SMB segment is a breath of fresh air, representing a substantial revenue growth opportunity as much for experienced UC and videoconferencing providers as for those new to this market. All that’s needed to get going is an understanding of SMB needs and challenges and an awareness of the way that new solutions can meet the overriding SMB hunger for technology that delivers cost savings, workflow efficiency, ease of implementation, and overall ROI.
Here are the five reasons to add new-generation videoconferencing to your services portfolio:
1. New revenue streams with existing customers
Newer, standard-based videoconferencing solutions work with most of the traditional videoconferencing vendors’ equipment and connect multiple systems — fixed and mobile devices — to sync up with whatever is already installed in the main conference room. At a price point of less than $700 per room, this is an appealing option for current clients looking to extend their existing investment in videoconferencing and a great opportunity for service providers to continue adding value.
2. New customers
SMBs and key verticals who are not yet customers are starting to investigate the potential of new-generation video collaboration equipment. This segment constitutes the largest part of the business market and is grossly underserved. There is a tremendous opportunity to build new revenues and recurring business within this emerging market.
3. Recurring revenues
Today’s affordable videoconferencing platforms represent an accessible entry point for SMBs and enterprises alike, yet still generate annual, renewable subscriptions that form the basis of stable, recurring revenue models. Subscription services can include annual update and support services, or access to virtual, cloud-based (rather than physical) videoconferencing infrastructure.
4. Low maintenance
The latest solutions are designed for non-tech specialists and are easy to use. Lightest on IT support and budgets are the latest all-in-one, HDTV-based systems. Because they don’t need to be connected to a PC with separate speakers, microphone and camera, even C-level executives won’t be calling your help desk with simple questions!
5. Cloud services
Cloud-based and on-premise options are now available on the same appliance-based solutions. These options can be used in the same organization using either the existing system or a cloud-based virtual infrastructure for hybrid architecture flexibility. This allows for many creative deployment scenarios, such as the use of Blue Jeans Network mobile cloud options, without cutting users out of the main video network.
For any business that has remote clients or employees, videoconferencing is an increasingly vital management tool. The cost savings and efficiencies in terms of travel time alone make provide compelling proof of ROI. The new wave of videoconferencing platforms — simple, interoperable, flexible and above all, affordable — means that service providers now have an opportunity to profitably extend these benefits to any customer or prospect, large or small.