Now back to my preaching the easymeeting.net gospel. Whilst I try to maintain only a slightly opinionated blog on the videoconferencing industry once in a while I am pushed to well "toot" my proverbial horn and those in our industry that have come from outside and are forcing change.
Videoconferencing has long been a hardware based difficult to use technology that is ideal only for IT Managers and those interested in infrastructure and networks. The user has been left in the back-seat. Then came TelePresence. An interesting idea and perhaps for the first time in videoconferencing´s early existance has the videoconferencing been presented on a silver platter to the "C" level of each company. Ok the "C" level at Fortune 500s and a year or two later the Fortune 1000s but still it reared it´s head in the boardrooms and executive conferencing rooms of the corporate captains of their respective industry. However again (yes tooting my horn) it was not adopted or even offered to the real true beneficiaries... the "other" users. This was "too good" for the true beneficiaries and too cost for "them" to use.
Ok off my soapbox. I recently received a link to an article on Telepresence and why Cisco and Polycom (the big two) are in trouble. After reading it I had a hallelujah experience because someone else got it too!
If we briefly look at Telepresence and in all honesty ALL OF THE TECHHOLOGY the traditional companies like CISCO and Polycom offer it is meant to communicate based on the 1950s intercom model. Even Don Draper of MAD MEN was already using "newer" tools for communication.
The market´s potential is great but the current market that has adopted videoconferencing is still miniscule. Why? ... there are many reasons but partly because each of the traditionals CISCO and Polycom among others have decided that the market is small and we need to "lock up" the business. We speak about interop and we speak of "standards based" so that all different systems can communicate with each other but in reality this in their mind works only 1-on paper 2-if the customer or the global Telco buys lots of hardware infrastructure to make it work. That being said... lets "lock `em up". This is the same as your IPHONE not being able to call your HTC or your HP PC not being able to communicate via the internet with your DELL PC. Is this strategy going to win more business and expand the market? I think not.
Remember Tandberg bought the UK based Codian and both were bought by Cisco, LifeSize by venture caps and then sold to Logitech, Radvision bought by Avaya and so on... they want to strengthen their positions on the "existing" market space. "Lets take marketshare from Polycom or CISCO... and not about how to sell more "easy to use" technology.
It is about collaboration, it about change in the way we work, the way we communicate and the way we embrace easy to use technology and not the "how can I lock ´em up" model. Companies like easymeeting.net, BJN to an extent and companies that have not even started yet are those coming from the outside forcing change to this industry that cannot seem to find it´s way out of a wet paper bag.
That being said...easymeeting.net does not look at CISCO, Polycom and you name it as competitors we look at them as partners. They just do not understand it yet. The question is... will they in time? or will it be too late? You can answer.
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