Video conferencing, telepresence sales tank

Video conferencing, telepresence sales tank

Summary: Software and cloud-based video collaboration tools have opened up a big can of whoop ass on hardware-based video conferencing systems.

TOPICS: Collaboration
These telepresence systems just don't sell like they used to. (Image: Cisco)

So much for all that video conferencing and telepresence as a collaboration panacea.

According to IDC, sales of video conferencing equipment in the first quarter fell 15.9 percent compared to a year ago. Global enterprise video equipment revenue in the first quarter was $473.5 million and units sold fell 6.2 percent from a year ago.

IDC called the results "dismal," but noted video is "a key component of collaboration." The issue with the first quarter video conferencing system sales is that the market is transitioning from hardware-focused approaches to software and cloud only.

Among the key data points:

  • Immersive telepresence equipment revenue fell 33.5 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago. 

  • Room video systems fell 10.1 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago. 

  • Latin America had the smallest decline in first quarter, falling 5.1 percent compared to a year ago. Other regions all had double-digit declines.

  • Cisco has the most market share in the space with 40.1 percent followed by Polycom at 28.9 percent and Huawei at 7.8 percent. All of those leaders had year-over-year declines with Cisco taking the biggest hit.

IDC analyst Rich Costello noted:

"We continue to see the impact of delayed customer buying decisions, lower-cost systems, more software-centric products, and competitive cloud-based video service offerings on the worldwide enterprise video equipment market."

In other words, hardware-based video collaboration systems will continue to stumble in the quarters ahead.

Topic: Collaboration

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1 comment
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  • Evolution of Video Conferencing

    Thanks for the article, you pointed out some interesting statistics showing how telepresence systems are on the decline. Technology is evolving so fast that these systems are almost seen as out of date. Saas solutions are more widely used because of their simplicity and mobility. Now you don't have to worry about getting everyone in front of a TV in the conference room. People can join online meetings through their mobile device and still contribute. Honestly, these statistics do not surprise me considering we have also switched to saas to fulfill our video conferencing needs. We now use iMeet ( which our clients love because you don't have to download anything to join a meeting.