The technology isnt limited to huge displays and dedicated
roomsit can be deployed on the desktop, in existing conference rooms or
board rooms and even at home, if you have the bandwidth for it. By Prashant
2009, the worldwide market for telepresence and video conferencing equipment
stood at about $2 billion (IDC, 2010). By 2014, the market is expected to more
than double with the APAC region contributing 16% of this revenue.
In India, we have seen a lot of success with wins in Tata Consultancy
Services, Tata Teleservices, Tata Steel, GE India, Reliance World, Wipro Technologies,
Maharishi University, ANZ IT and Accenture, said Minhaj Zia, National
Sales Manager, Cisco India & SAARC.
According to a 2010 Frost & Sullivan report, telepresence is expected to
grow to a $4.7 billion market globally by 2015. The report cites the Asia-Pacific
region as a major growth market for telepresence, with it expected to account
for over a third of the market, i.e about $1.7 billion in revenues. That said,
the overall collaboration market is a $34 billion dollar opportunity where voice
is currently the largest application. We believe that video will become
the core of the collaboration market going forward, but it will require substantial
innovation and investment to drive the market transition,added Zia.
According to Neeraj Gill, Managing Director - India and SAARC, Polycom, Inc.,
Telepresence has a high potential in India as the business solution for
real time communication. This market is estimated to grow at a rapid CAGR of
53% and is estimated to reach $40 million by 2012.
LifeSize cited a 2008 report from Frost & Sullivan wherein the analyst firm
had calculated that the telepresence market was worth $4.5 million in 2008 and
had projected a 22% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2008-2015. Zinnov
Management Consulting had released a study back in 2008 estimating that the
telepresence market in India would grow at a CAGR of 53% and reach $40 million
by 2012. They estimated the telepresence market in 2008 to be $7.2 million.
Verizon Business also cited Zinnov Management Group data but Benjamin Green
Unified Communications Practice Manager, Asia Pacific - Verizon Business, felt,
They slightly undersell the market in India; its a conservative
estimate. We will see much more revenue coming from immersive telepresence in
Whos adopting the technology
The adoption of this technology is happening across
a wide sphere of verticals, outside of the traditional IT companies and MNCs.
We are seeing increased adoption within government, education, healthcare and
the SMB verticals, commented Simon Claringbold, Vice President, Asia Pacific,
Ciscos take was that telepresence was finding a home in sectors such as
IT/ITES, manufacturing, retail, BFSI and the government amongst others. There
is increased usage of telepresence solutions for interviewing candidates, interaction
with relatives settled abroad, reviews and meetings, product launches and press
conferences, in addition to business meetings. Among enterprises, there is continued
adoption of telepresence solutions to facilitate communication between their
knowledge workers and increase collaboration with their customers across the
globe. Recently, we have seen traction from the SMB segment and have set up
public telepresence rooms along with our service provider partners where organizations
and individuals can use the facility on a pay-per-use basis, added Zia.
Polycom felt that IT/ITES companies were among the early adopters and that the
popularity of the offshore delivery model had resulted in telepresence technology
enjoying popularity with technology vendors and ISPs. Education centers, the
government, banks etc. were all taking to this technology.
|Telepresence systems from Cisco require
a broadband connection of 4 Mbps per screen to ensure the desired quality
of service levels. However, the system can operate at several different
bandwidth levels ranging from 2 to 5 Mbps. The CTS 1300, launched in 2009,
delivers telepresence using lower bandwidth connections.
According to LifeSize, telepresence systems make
high demands on the network, with low-compression, three-screen, HD rooms
taking anything from 8 Mbps to 45 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth for video
and content. In contrast, the LifeSize Conference 200 telepresence solution
requires only about 5 Mbps for 1080p video communication. LifeSize HD
video conferencing solutions can deliver HD video at as little as 768
Technology has advanced and CIOs recognize that
HD is the way to go and customers who bought SD earlier are now looking
to upgrade. Its not just a question of technology. Its a question
of the fact that we have taken great strides in doing compression,
said Gill of Polycom, adding, Today you can do 720p at 512 Kbps
and 1020p in 1 Mbps. This used to require 2 Mbps. With HD available at
such low bandwidths and bandwidth rates dropping substantially, there
are huge OPEX savings to be had along with much better quality. We enable
all of this in the endpoints and in the video infrastructure. You can
do immersive telepresence with Polycom equipment on a 4.5 Mbps pipe.
Cost of solution/RoI
Cisco provides everything from personal telepresence, CTS-500, to the 18 seater
CTS-3200 solution. Higher end versions of the solution provide a fully immersive
experience and require the design of a complete room where the solution is deployed,
hence the cost would depend on the scale of the deployment and the amount of
customization required. The list price of a CTS-500 solution is $33,900.
In a March 2009 study conducted by Crimson Consulting Group, global companies
reported fast returns on investment (RoI) and transformed business processes
from Cisco telepresence. Participants in the Cisco-commissioned study reported
achieving breakeven in an average of 14 months, with some companies achieving
breakeven within six months enabling one company to fund additional units solely
from travel budget savings without tapping its IT budget.
LifeSize cited Gartneraccording to the analyst firm the investment can
range from $180,000 to $400,000 or more per endpoint meeting room, and an additional
$8,000 to $18,000 per month for managed services and networking. The LifeSize
Conference 200 telepresence solution retails for under $100,000. LifeSizes
other HD video conferencing solutions range in price from $2,499 for LifeSize
Passport, its portable telepresence-quality system that can be used in offices
or meeting rooms, to $16,999 for LifeSize Room 220, its solution for medium-sized
conference rooms. Regarding RoI, LifeSize cited the case of its customer Virgin
Mobile India that realized a RoI in just six months.
we have seen traction from the SMB segment and have set up public telepresence
rooms along with our service provider partners where organizations and
individuals can use the facility on a pay- per-use basis"
- Minhaj Zia,
National Sales Manager,
Cisco India & SAARC
government is extensively deploying immersive telepresence solutions at
central ministries, state governments and defense organizations. Many
of them are deploying high definition video conferencing and room-based
telepresence systems as well"
- Neeraj Gill,
Managing Director - India and SAARC, Polycom, Inc.
Some customers have a mix of desktop, boardroom and telepresence.
While some have only telepresence and others have only boardroom high-definition.
Most of our customers have experienced some form of
video conferencing. Most either go directly for immersive telepresence either
on hire or on premises. Others look at upgrading their video conferencing to
handle high definition and, in a parallel strategy, deploy telepresence as well.
In the next 6-18 months the telepresence market in the end units and the core
infrastructure will handle everything from a desktop, a home user, a boardroomall
the way up to the immersive room. In some countries and some areas, especially
in remote areas of India, a 1080p 60 frames per second solution wont get
deployed because the bandwidth requirements are quite high and it wont
serve the purpose of earning a RoI, said Green.
He defined telepresence as a set of technologies that allow the person to feel
that they are present in a meeting. Its the next evolution of video
conferencing. Based on the sophistication of the underlying infrastructure,
the reach of Verizons MPLS and the quality of service, that shouldnt
restrict the person into feeling that they are not there regardless of the access
device that they employ.
Paul Newell, Senior Director, Unified Communications Strategy,
Asia Pacific, Polycom, commented, It comes down to experience from the
desktop to room-based solutions. I work from home. I have what we call the Personal
Executive desktop. You and I could be talking just like this over that. Is that
telepresence? Telepresence is what the experience is. Its not a one-size-fits-all.
Large enterprises have it alldifferent people
have different needs within the organization. All this equipment is interoperable
and based on open standards so you can talk outside our environment, he
Gill added, You could have a corporate office, regional office, branch
office, executives homesyou take the need and buy a solution that
fits it. From personal desktop-based telepresence units to fully immersive solutionsall
of them are being bought by enterprises. If I have a fully immersive telepresence
system at the corporate headquarters, I could then have an executive desktop
unit sitting on somebodys desk that should be capable of talking to the
immersive telepresence system, to an executive boardroom or a conference room
somewhere. Video conferencing is breaking the barriers of internal communication.
People are talking about offering it to their suppliers, collaborators and partners
and we have enabled that in India.
He cited the example of a company that uses Polycom telepresence in its offices
and has candidates walk into Reliance Webworld where video conferencing is deployed
and interviews them over telepresence. You should be able to share video
across the boundaries of an organization, he said.
Talking about the usage of telepresence in the government today, he cited Frost
& Sullivan. According to the research & consulting firm, the governmentnot
only in India but across the APAC in places like Australia and China as wellhas
been at the forefront of leading video conferencing deployments and actually
using the technology. If you look at India today, the government is extensively
deploying immersive telepresence solutions at central ministries, state governments
and defense organizations. A huge amount of them are deploying HD video conferencing,
say, room-based telepresence systems as well. There is extensive use of video
conferencing bridging equipment, infrastructure, management applications, recording
and streaming services etc., said Gill.
The government is pushing the boundaries of usage.
They are one of the leaders, both in terms of deployment and when it comes to
utilization. Service providers have been using telepresenceboth internally
and externally. Internally Reliance, Airtel etc are using the technology. BFSI
has been one of the leading sectors when it comes to telepresence deployment.
Almost every major Public Sector bank is using video conferencing fairly extensively.
Personal telepresence, room-based telepresence, bridging infrastructureall
that is being used by banks, stated Gill.
||Thomson Reuters, Tata Teleservices, Bharti Airtel,
Tata Steel, Wipro Technologies, ANZ IT, Accenture, Mahindra & Mahindra
||Tata Teleservices/Virgin Mobile India, Obeetee Private
||Bank of India, Reliance (Webworld and internally),
Plans for the future
LifeSize employs the H.264 standard and provides H.263 support for interoperability
with all standards-based video communications systems. Along with its parent
company, Logitech, it is a founding member of the Unified Communications Interoperability
Forum (UCIF), a non-profit alliance that aims to enable standards-based, cross-vendor
interoperability of UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers
and consumer clouds.
In 2010, Logitech is committed to bring HD video to anyoneconsumers and
businessesanywhere, on any of the four connected screens (PC, TV, meeting
room and smartphone). Under its LifeSize brand, Logitech will introduce new
solutions, which will make video communications systems as pervasive as projectors
in all meeting rooms.
Earlier this year, Verizon Business Interactive Video Exchangean exchange
service providing business to business connectivity on the telepresence network
within the providers networks. If two companies deploy telepresence from
Verizon Business, they can interconnect.
We offer a private key ring point into our service provider. This will
enable customers to seamlessly connect to other providers telepresence
exchanges as well. We are working with the top global SPs to make those peer
points, said Green.
Newell commented, The business-to-business exchange is an emerging area.
It goes back to mobile phones before you had roaming and all that. Today, were
at a point where you hardly notice that. We are going through that same evolution
with video conferencing. Its a work in progress. We are a founding member
of the UC interoperability forum and the exchange is a big part of that. There
are a lot of challenges. Service providers have challenges doing a business-to-business
exchange in their own networks. That just gets exacerbated when it goes from
service provider to service provider. We are working with others to form that
exchange based on open standards. It's going to be an evolutionary process.
You are talking about different IP addressing, security etc. Different players
have their own view on how it should be and some are going to implement it one
way, some another.
Polycom is deepening its relationship with Microsoft. For years weve
had partnerships with them on integration on the video side working within OCS
as an environment; we had phones specifically developed to work in a Microsoft
environment. Last year we came out with the CX500 roundtablethat led to
further discussions on 'how can we make the experience simpler?' We will come
out with products to the market that are seamless, added Newell.
Gill stated, This wasnt just a product-related agreement. Its
about joint go-to-market and sales. You will see it roll out at the theatre
level down to the country level at Microsoft when we start putting joint efforts
in these areas. This will fructify in the next quarter or the quarter after
that. We expect 2011 to be a year where we partner with Microsoft a lot. Even
today, weve started getting orders from customers who are looking to integrate
all of our VC infrastructure into the Exchange back-end, Outlook and OCS. So
far it was something that was talked about and a great idea; today its
starting to happen.