Conferencing can and usually does include both audio and video conferencing. It is called a variety of names including web conferencing, online conferencing, video conferencing, etc. For our purposes, we will use the generic term of “web conferencing”.
The global market for web conferencing is projected to reach US$3.9 billion by 2020, driven by the growing need for real-time collaboration among geographically dispersed workforce and businesses enterprises. The United States represents the largest market worldwide. Globalization of business activities, expanding mobile workforce and increasing adoption among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving growth in the global web conferencing market. Ongoing IT consumerization trend, growing need for flexibility in workplaces, and need to improve productivity among businesses are fostering demand growth in the market.
A few years ago, web conferencing was something small and medium-sized businesses hesitated to invest in because of high initial investment and huge total cost of ownership [TCO]. Also, high-quality video calls required sufficient bandwidth, special video conferencing rooms, and expensive technology. Therefore, only large enterprises could justify these costs by reducing their travel expenses for initial sales meetings and presentation to potential clients.
The introduction of desktop video solutions and managed and hosted web conferencing systems have made web conferencing systems a viable technology for everyday meeting and offloaded the high installation hurdle.
Currently, organizations are not limited to web conferencing systems investments just based on travel avoidance. Most companies are adopting web conferencing systems to make it available to all their employees, with an easy guest access model for customers and partners to enrich collaboration and enhance business outcomes.
Web conferencing systems allow employees to share information in a more interactive way with other employees elsewhere through the Internet. web conferencing systems also allow employees to share virtual whiteboards, desktops, presentations, and spreadsheets, thereby improving communication between geographically scattered teams. Also, enterprises can improve their communication through the usage of new technologies such as recording capabilities and polling.