How has videoconferencing as an industry grown?

Tumultuous and shaky would be the best way to describe the growth of the video conferencing as an industry.  Video conferencing was first seen at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York by AT&T.  It really didn’t become commercialized in a practical sense until the 1980’s.   Several companies emerged with expensive solutions with proprietary algorithms for connecting.  In short they tried to corner what they perceived as an emerging demand for video conferencing.  Larger enterprises certainly recognized the potential for video conferencing and they played along with vendors and made some purchases.  Many of these deployments were unsuccessful and equipment found its way in the junk closets in corporate board rooms.  In many larger enterprises there is turn over especially with “C” level executives.  Often a new executive would see his boardroom with unfamiliar video conferencing equipment and ask his or her assistant — what is this?  This assistant would say “video conferencing” and the new “C” level executive would almost immediately order its removal.

Over time after standards were established, video conferencing become much easier to use and connectivity was no longer a proprietary issue.  This created openings for new competitors and the technology began to refine itself and mature in the mid to late 90’s.   The older expensive solutions were quickly replaced by the lower cost and easy to use “set top” units.   Most of the legacy equipment manufactures went out of business or downsized to a fading shadow of their former selves.  As in any technological industry winners and losers come and go quickly. The losers ignored new competitors, ignored the impact of the ITU, (International Telecommunications Union), standards and most importantly ignored the real needs in the market place.  The winners took advantage of the emerging ITU standards and listened to customers.

Since then even more competitors are emerging with even better solutions.  Hardware from the board room can now connect seamlessly to any mobile device just like a cell phone can connect to the boardroom speaker phone.  Also, video conferencing is not for the “C” level executive anymore  — Project managers, field reps, sales professionals, service people, engineers, lawyers, law enforcement professionals, professors, teachers, doctors and many other professionals now use video conferencing.  As an industry the manufactures and developers of video conferencing are now recognizing this almost endless expanded use.  In short the industry is still a bit shaky but a lot let tumultuous and is on a solid path for growth in the future.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts