Video-Enable Users, But What About the Conference Room?


Story by Beth Schultz

Conference room video sits at the intersection of two contradictory trends, as industry experts will explore at Enterprise Connect Orlando.

Conference room video seems perpetually in a tight spot, stuck in a corporate niche between the high-end telepresence systems catering to the executive echelon and the quick-and-easy desktop or mobile video apps popular among so many others. But on it lives — and adapts.

Video endpoint vendors haven’t given up on the conference room, despite flat sales. Here’s why: Employees are using room-based systems now perhaps more than ever, as we learned from Michael Frendo, executive vice president of worldwide engineering for Polycom, back in December (see 5 Trends to Watch in Video Collaboration). Some Polycom customers, he told us, report usage of their room systems at 80% to 90%.

To be sure, conference room video has its purpose. Reducing travel costs remains a big driver, and supporting ad hoc meetings among far-flung colleagues is another. And say a team needs to confer with an expert at another location and video conferencing is the preferred means of communications. Sitting around the big screen in a conference room tends to be much more conducive to communications and collaboration than huddling around one team member’s desktop or tablet — wouldn’t you agree?

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