Affordable, Professional Quality Videoconferencing Becoming a Trend
AVer recently launched a new videoconference camera system, the VC520, which is priced to meet the budgets of the SMB market. The system consists of a PTZS camera, hub, speakerphone, and remote. At just under $1,000 it delivers superior video with presets and 12x optical zoom and its USB wiring makes it easy to set up and use.
The solution seems to be part of a growing trend to open up the videoconferencing market to smaller businesses. Although the scalability of the cloud has made business-grade videoconferencing (VC) more affordable than it used to be, it can still be expensive for many SMBs. The lowest-priced cloud solution for videoconferencing offered by Lifesize sells for about $13,000/year. It is easy to spend more on one camera alone than on the entire VC520 system.
AVer is hardly unique in its quest to become an affordable VC supplier. Highfive offers a VC solution priced at $1,199 per room with no monthly costs. Tely Labs and Blue Jeans Network teamed up recently to deliver a VC solution to the same market. Vidyo earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 North American Award for Customer Value Leadership for its affordable VidyoWorks platform.
Why all the relatively sudden interest in the SMB market? Part of the reason may be that the high-end market is so well established that it would be competitive suicide for all but the largest of vendors to enter. A report from Infonetics earlier this year found that industry giants like Cisco, Polycom, Avaya, ZTE, and Huawei were among the top vendors in revenue share. The report also found that this portion of the market had flattened out.
Another likely reason is volume. According to the U.S. Census, about 95 percent of business establishments (over 27 million) had fewer than 100 employees. About 1.4 million had 10-99 employees; the most likely portion of the market to consider low cost VC solutions. Technology has not only advanced to the point where it is possible to have a quality videoconferencing system without spending several thousand dollars upfront or on ongoing monthly fees, but now SMBs have several options to choose from.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson