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Conferencing Week in Review

June 06, 2014

It’s the end of another week, and time to catch up on some of the major stories in the world of conferencing you might have missed.

Mobile devices are shaking up the technology world, and conferencing is no exception. The proliferation of these devices, including under BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is leading to a whole host of mobile conferencing options and leading to a growth in telecommuting, as Lavanya Ratham wrote at the start of the week.

The growth of Internet-based cloud video conferencing options is causing a decline in dedicated video conferencing equipment. A new report by IDC showed a 20 percent drop in revenue for video conferencing equipment quarter-over-quarter. The growth of cheaper equipment such as Google’s new $1,000 appliance and the growth of completely software-based solutions were cited as reasons for the decline.

The fact that these solutions are often a lot easier and cheaper to set up than the older videoconferencing options also leads to new applications. We’ve covered an attempt in India to have defendants make court appearances from jails that languished because of the expense before, but we learned of a more successful spin on the concept thanks to Telmate’s deployment of a system in Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork, Utah. Loved ones can visit prisoners without having to actually set foot inside a jail.

The lack of a need to make travel arrangements is one of the key reasons businesses are finally adopting video conferencing. Grudi Associates has announced that it is teaming up with SoundConnect to enhance its business conferencing offerings.

Video conferencing also improves productivity through the already mentioned lack of travel, as well as allowing business to continue even in severe weather and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as Ben Linton pointed out.

The IP Phone Warehouse announced that it was offering the cloud videoconferencing service Talk Lifesize to its customers.

While Google Hangouts didn’t start out as an enterprise conferencing solution, it’s become very popular for both business and personal use. Google has started to embrace its popularity, with an embeddable Hangouts button for enterprise software. A number of popular solutions include Zendesk, Zoho and Smartsheet plan to use it.

Be sure to follow The Conferencing Zone for the latest in conferencing news.