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New verticals spur video comm adoption in Asia

The region is driving uptake in video communication technologies as new verticals such as healthcare and education get onboard.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

New industry verticals such as healthcare and education are driving the demand for video communication technologies in Asia, aided by improved sales channels in markets such as China and Vietnam, according to Polycom.

Nick Hawkins, director of technology consulting group at Polycom Asia-Pacific, said in an interview Tuesday the Asia-Pacific region is leading the way in the adoption of video communication, particularly in new verticals such as healthcare and education.

Citing the example of Beijing Ditan Hospital, Hawkins said the hospital, which specialized in treating and stopping the spread of infectious diseases, adopted Polycom's unified communications (UC) platform to communicate with other medical experts around the world. It also improves the quality of health for patients as they can talk with their family and friends despite being quarantined in the hospital, he added.

These new verticals have helped spur Asia-Pacific, and made the region one of the company's strongest growth markets for video communication tools, he noted. China, Vietnam and Australia are three countries with very strong growth, although the whole region is growing, he said.

Service providers vital in promoting sales
Vietnam also serves as an example of how service providers such as telcos are helping to drive the adoption of video communication technologies in Asia's emerging markets, Hawkins pointed out.

The Vietnam Post & Telecommunication (VNPT), for one, is bundling video communication offerings with broadband access to small and midsize business. Customers can purchase the service on a subscription-based, on-demand model, which helps lower their upfront capital investment.

The communications vendor also identified the problem of companies adopting videoconferencing tools but being unable to communicate with third-party stakeholders such as customers or suppliers as a roadblock to wider adoption.

This is where its CloudAXIS platform comes into play, as it allows Polycom users to extend their enterprise-grade collaboration tools to these stakeholders communicating via consumer products such as Skype, Facebook, and Google Talk. Hawkins said Polycom users can send a link to third-party video apps to prompt users to join them in the video call using their Web browsers.

When asked if the company is concerned the video collaboration market in general is going through a slowdown, the executive said Polycom continues to grow and its share in this market grew to 32.4 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2012. This was an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous quarter.

He added the company is looking at the overall unified communications space and not just video collaboration.

IDC had earlier highlighted the videoconferencing market generated 14.4 percent revenue growth in the first quarter of 2012, which was well below the 23 percent to 25 percent year-on-year growth seen in the previous three consecutive quarters, the research firm stated.

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