Telepresence not just for enterprises

Keerthi Chandan
Tavess
Business spending on telepresence is poised for a massive increase as enterprises across the world continue to focus on cost-cutting and productivity.
 
The market for telepresence in APAC is growing at a CAGR of over 50% for the period 2008-2013 and is expected to reach $300 million the by end of 2013, excluding services. This represents a CAGR of nearly 25%.
 
The growth rate in India is in pace with that of its neighbours, with spending expected to reach $70 million by end of 2013.
 
While Cisco and Polycom are contending for the lion's share of the market, a number of new players have emerged in response to the opportunities in emerging markets.
 
Most vendors have something common in their go to market strategy – a verticalized approach. Healthcare, public sector, education, financial services and high-tech are a few of the most targeted verticals. Tavess believes that this targeted approach, if well supported by for-the-industry offerings, will help vendors make quick inroads.
 
Tavess believes that telepresence is an expensive proposition which limits these systems to a very high end niche. Further, Tavess observes that most players target large enterprises due to the obvious affordability factor and relevance from travel perspective, but the potential of the growing SMB segment is often overlooked despite standing relevance from cost-control perspective. With an average list price of $300,000, cost is a concern in emerging markets like India. 
 
Tavess believes that ‘Telepresence-as-a-Service’ will be attractive not only in emerging markets but everywhere. Over time, Telepresence-as-a-Service can exceed traditional installations in both count and revenue. Few vendors are working on this already. One exception is VADS in partnership with Cisco in Malaysia, offering three- or five-year contract options.

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