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Videoconferencing comes of age says the online newsletter


Developments in the videoconferencing industry from 1996 to 2006 are analysed in four major articles, as celebrates ten years of specialist Newsletter publication

London.PRNewswire)27 June 2006. Videoconferencing has come of age, according to on-line newsletter To celebrate ten years of publication, the on-line newsletter surveyed developments in videoconferencing over the last ten years in four articles: 1.Now ready for mass deployment; 2. Who is using video meetings; 3. Complying with standards for inter-operability; 4.The 20 most important technology.

Most observers who see or use videoconferencing for the first time today are impressed with its realism and the “in the same room” meeting experience. Video meetings between four to six different sites located anywhere in the world are the most common. They are saving time and the need to travel for the busy executives and others who attend them. Video meetings, by reducing travel, are both improving their quality of life and helping to improve the environment. Most users find having a video meeting is a win-win proposition for all concerned.

How did we reach this point today where anyone can have video meetings? The Videoconferencing Insight, a free weekly online newsletter which has just celebrated ten years of publication, tells us the answer in a series of four articles. The articles survey the development of the industry from 1996 to 2006 and confirm the technology of video meetings is ready for widespread use. They provide a fascinating insight into a technology that has attracted the interest of Cisco, IBM, HP and Microsoft as well as the specialised companies that founded and developed the industry.

VC Insight, the weekly online newsletter that describes the positive experience of users of video meetings is read around the world by thousands of readers. A reader in Mexico wrote: “VC Insight is an important resource when I need to know trends in video conference technology.” A reader in the United Arab Emirates said: “I get everything I need to know about video conferencing around the world, be it products or applications; I do not need to look elsewhere. That’s a great service.”

Market leader, Polycom, says: “VC Insight provides a good resource for users and potential users of video communications technology ...” Another industry leader, TANDBERG, says “We appreciate the customer focus you and your team bring to your readers through applications and customer stories.”

The first major article in the series in the 30 May 2006 issue explained why, after many false dawns, videoconferencing is now ready for mass deployment.

The second article considers who uses video meetings; it lists a selection of 45 out of the many thousands of user stories that have been published. The largest categories of users are: corporate users, hospital and doctors (telemedicine), schools and universities (distance learning), and financial services. Government and military, Broadcasting and entertainment, Recruitment Consulting, The deaf, Law courts and prisons, and conferencing service providers are also major users. Some of the more recent user application stories are archived on the web site

The third article lists 17 milestones in the development of international standards to ensure the inter-operability of videoconferencing equipment from different vendors. Although the vendors compete fiercely for customers, they collaborate when it comes to defining technical standards and testing them to ensure inter-operability. Today, all the large and successful vendors comply with these standards and those who do not comply risk creating little islands of connections not linked to the majority of videoconferencing users.

Industries thrive as a result of technology innovation. The fourth article lists 70 milestones in the development of videoconferencing industry technology over the last ten years. This innovation is created and supported by heavy expenditure on developing technology to improve the video meeting experience. The industry’s six leading spenders on R & D - Polycom, TANDBERG, Aethra, Sony, RADVISION and Lifesize - together spent an estimated U.S $170 million on R & D (Research and Development) in 2005, or about 15% of sales revenue.

The 20 most significant technology innovations over the period 1996 to 2006 are identified and analysed. Half of these facilitate the development and operation of video conferencing on IP-based networks, the most important development of the past 10 years. Two more relate to automating the scheduling of video meetings and remote control/management of videoconferencing equipment on a network through a web interface. Other innovations have improved the quality of the audio, video and data sharing experience in a video meeting. High Definition video conferencing is seen as the next big growth area.

About Videoconferencing Insight Newsletter

Videoconferencing Insight is a well established newsletter for the user of video and unified conferencing systems which has reported on the industry from a user perspective since May 1996. To increase access to the Newsletter, Videoconferencing Insight became a webzine in August 2002. It is published on Wednesday of each week at It is accessible free of charge thanks to generous support from six companies: Aethra, LifeSize, Polycom, RADVISION, Sony, and TANDBERG.

In addition to the user application case studies, interviews and industry news published weekly, the web site contains a reference data bank of over 100 user applications in 23 user vertical categories such as manufacturing industry, financial services, telemedicine and education. Potential users of videoconferencing are invited to examine these in order better understand the benefits of using videoconferencing for themselves.
Richard Line, Editor,
Videoconferencing Insight Newsletter,
Web site:
Telephone: 44 (0)1273 381 300
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