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Avistar Communications Issues Its Industry and Videoconferencing Predictions for 2013

Avistar Communications (www.avistar.com), a leader in unified visual communications solutions, announced its annual list of expected industry trends for next year and beyond. The demand and acceptance of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work, cloud communications and interoperability are driving factors for a number of important issues and trends in 2013.

Here are areas to watch:

  • BYOD will become the accepted approach to office technology in 2013. Because BYOD delivers more flexibility while driving down costs, we think it will become the standard approach to corporate technology because (as we wrote last year), “Today, employees expect to BYOD and have them sync with their corporate technology.” Key drivers include: phenomenal sales of smartphones and tablets combined with the fact that consumer technology can be more powerful and easier to use than corporate technology.
  • Working from home becomes mainstream. According to Home-Based Workers in the United States: 2010, a recent Census Bureau report, 9.5 percent of the U.S. workforce – 4.2 million Americans – work from home. That’s an increase of 2 million, a jump from 7.8 percent in 2005. The growing population of employees who work at least part of the week from their homes is another reason for companies to embrace BYOD because BYOD can enhance productivity and collaboration, even or especially when employees work from home.
  • The rise of Chief Mobility Officers. As nearly half of the world’s population is projected to be mobile users by 2018, companies need to shift from being PC-centric to being Post-PC- or smartphone/tablet-centric. To achieve that, we think companies are going to hire Chief Mobility Officers to break down silos between development, sales, marketing and IT to enable companies to offer a seamless mobile approach to employees and customers alike.
  • Mobile bandwidth and connectivity are the most important tech issues for most users. It seems as though you can never have enough bandwidth – and it’s never fast enough. As more people become mobile users and as more mobile apps offer new as-yet-unimagined capabilities, expect that bandwidth, speed and security – and the cost to provide those – will continue to be major concerns.
  • Green tech blossoms. Green tech will likely hit a tipping point over the next 48 months, where prices drop to be equivalent to previously lower-cost non–green tech, enabling people to feel better with their choices. For example, videoconferencing (a topic close to our heart, obviously) enables employees to work from where they want to; even if they work just one day a week from home, employees can reduce their daily commute along with the frustrations of being stuck in traffic, save money along with wear-and-tear on their cars while reducing pollution. That’s a win-win for everyone.
  • Videoconferencing in the cloud will increase in 2013. We continue to see demand for VDI-enabled videoconferencing but we also see significant interest in cloud-enabled videoconferencing. We expect the cloud to bring about an increase in videoconferencing services and capabilities, driven in part by BYOD and the necessity make apps and access available to employees regardless of the device or platform they’re using. In fact, we expect cloud-based B2B videoconferencing to become so big over the next several years that the sector will be mostly comprised of either cloud-based vendors or on-premise vendors, with little overlap because the tech requirements are so different. However, we think customers will want solutions that offer a choice of cloud-based, on-premise and a hybrid solution offering both.
  • Interoperability continues to be a challenge in 2013. Neither BYOD nor the cloud fully solves unified communications (UC) interoperability. Because there is no cross-industry commitment to interoperability, this will remain a significant barrier to adoption in 2013 and beyond. Imagine if ATT customers couldn’t call Verizon customers: companies will be reluctant to purchase UC technology that only connects with those using the same platform. We think there will be real interest in apps – like videoconferencing – that can connect to applications developed by competing vendors.

“The technology foundations for videoconferencing have rapidly changed over the past three years, and we feel Avistar’s all-software, standards-based and fully virtualized videoconferencing architecture has been leading the way,” said Bob Kirk, CEO of Avistar. “The trends we’ve identified – specifically BYOD, cloud communications and interoperability – affect business users and consumers alike. Avistar’s solutions are being used to overcome many interoperability challenges, while scaling to meet the technical and economical needs of our partners. This means that our partners can leverage Avistar’s industry-leading technology to overcome today’s challenges while addressing opportunities in 2013 and well into the future.”

About Avistar Communications Corporation

Avistar is an innovation leader in the unified visual communications industry, with close to 20 years of experience providing proven business-class personal videoconferencing technology. Avistar’s solutions are used across a broad spectrum of industries with deployments ranging in size from 30-35,000 users. Avistar’s technology also helps to power solutions from Citrix, IBM, LifeSize, Logitech and many other leading unified communications vendors, while delivering videoconferencing solutions to some of the world’s largest corporations, in more than 40 countries. For more information, please visit www.avistar.com.

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