Home Business IT Technology Falling prices, NBN to boost videoconferencing market
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The local market for videoconferencing products and services is "still quite buoyant" according to Garry Scarborough, acting country manager at LifeSize Communications.

While the videoconferencing market is growing at around 10-15% rather than the 20-25% seen this time last year, the growth is patchy and coming largely from the education, health, banking/finance/insurance, and mining sectors, Scarborough told iTWire.

The recent release of the LifeSize Icon series of equipment (pictured above) will increase the size of the videoconferencing market and also increase LifeSize's share of that market, he predicted.

Not only does Icon reduce the cost of room-based videoconferencing to less than $10,000 to connect two locations, it is genuinely easy to set up and use, he claimed.

This makes room-based videoconferencing accessible to SMEs, as well as allowing corporate users to install equipment at a wider range of locations. If a Sydney-based executive could avoid making two or three trips to the Perth branch office, that would probably save enough to recover the cost of an additional unit, Scarborough suggested.

In addition to falling prices, the rollout of the NBN "will have a major impact on videoconferencing," he said, although that impact probably won't be seen for another couple of years. Being able to dedicate 1Mbps of bandwidth to videoconferencing allows a quality result.

Another source of growth for videoconferencing is provided by the interoperability of room-based systems with software running on desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. This "third wave of videoconferencing" is starting to become part of some organisations' strategies in the light of the growing number of employees who work from home or from their cars rather than at a desk on their employers' premises.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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