Nefsis: Cloud Video Conferencing is the Future

In an announcement released today, Nefsis, a provider of video conferencing software, today predicted that cloud computing will play in increasingly large role in the video conferencing market. The company cites the fact that their product mix has shifted from 50% on-premise in 2008 to 90% cloud based in 2011. The company says that cloud based conferencing solutions will play a major role in the upcoming years.Video conferencing and collaboration technology is a growing market. Infonetics predicts enterprise spending on video conferencing and telepresence systems will reach $5 billion by 2015. Frost & Sullivan predicts that the web conferencing and collaboration market will reach $4.12 billion by 2014. Driving some of this growth is the increasing deployment of collaboration technologies by smaller businesses. Advancements in technology have allowed SMBs to have video conferencing and collaborative tools that were historically only available to large enterprises with deep pockets. Cloud based infrastructures and software-as-a-service delivery models have definitely contributed to the viability of conferencing solutions for the SMB market.

Robert Poe, Principal Analyst for VoIP Evolution, has commented on the trends in the SMB conferencing market in his report SMB Video Conferencing: Getting Beyond Clouds & Interoperability:

“SMBs today are looking for enterprise-class communication capabilities like high-quality video conferencing, at a price they can afford. Taking the cloud approach is a great way to provide these capabilities, but not all cloud video conferencing solutions are the same. To be truly useful, cloud-based video conferencing solutions have to perform well even over unreliable network connections, and offer sophisticated collaboration tools in addition to video conferencing.”
Tom Toperczer, Nefsis’ vice president of Marketing, commented on the differences between cloud conferencing solutions:
“Cloud computing and video conferencing are more popular than ever, but there are fundamental differences that set the leading cloud-based solutions apart. Be sure to look for multiple points of presence and real-time, distributed workload balancing – a centralized data center or a single hosted video router is not exactly in the spirit or technical meaning of the word ‘cloud.'”
Nefsis adds that there are several critical components to an effective cloud based video conferencing offering:

  • Virtualization in a true cloud – Load balancing, automated fail over, and scalability are necessary
  • Low latency – Closer equals faster
  • Multipoint HD – Videos should be the highest definition feasible for specific bandwidth/hardware specifications
  • Dynamic scalable video – Variable encoding ensures smooth video
  • Advanced collaboration – Video should be integrated with other collaboration tools as platform
  • Expanded IT features – Diagnostics, security features, and other features should all be present

What do you think about the growth of cloud based web conferencing? How will SMBs utilize the technology to compete with large competitors? How does the cloud affect enterprise level conferencing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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